The Queen of Prayer: The Holy Rosary
The Most Holy Rosary and various other rosary chaplets transmitted by Heaven
Table of Contents
The Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Mary
The origin of this precious rosary goes back to the Servite Order. This religious order was founded in the 13th century on Mount Scenario near Florence by seven holy founders. It has gained new popularity following the Marian apparitions in Kibeho, Rwanda.
Apparition in Kibeho, Rwanda
On November 28, 1981, at a time of increasing tension between the Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, Mary appeared to three young girls at Kibeho College, a secondary school for girls. In one of the most powerful apparitions, Mary shared with the girls an apocalyptic vision of Rwanda mired in violence, horror and hatred. She said that if people did not repent, it would soon be horrific. Retrospectively... and a sign of the authenticity of Mary's apparition, Rwanda descended into civil war and the 1994 Rwandan genocide claimed over 800,000 lives.
Alphonsine, Marie Claire and Anathalie
Our Lady asked Marie-Claire to pray the Seven Sorrows Chaplet (in addition to the regular rosary) and to make it known again among the people. Marie-Claire was murdered in 1994 during the genocide in Rwanda.
If you pray and devoutly contemplate the Seven Sorrows Rosary, you will find the necessary strength to repent of your sins and convert your hearts. The world has become deaf and cannot hear the truth of God's word. Today, people are no longer capable of asking forgiveness for the wrong they have committed through sin; they keep nailing the Son of God to the cross.
That is why I have come here. I have come to remind the world - and especially you here in Rwanda, where I still find humble souls and people who are not attached to money or wealth - to listen to my words with an open heart: Pray my Seven Sorrows Rosary to repent of your sins.
During one of her apparitions, Blessed Virgin Marie-Claire recommended praying it as often as possible, but especially on Tuesdays and Fridays: Tuesdays, because Our Lady appeared to Marie-Claire for the first time on that day of the week, and Fridays, because Christ was crucified on that day of the week. Our Lady also emphasized that the Seven Sorrows Rosary is meant to complement, and in no way replace, the traditional rosary.
My God, I offer You this Rosary to glorify You and to honor Your most holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, contemplating and sharing in her sufferings. I humbly ask You to grant me true contrition for all my sins. Grant me wisdom and humility so that I may receive all the indulgences contained in this prayer.
Act of Contrition
My God, with all my heart I repent of all my sins, not only because of the just punishments I deserve for them, but especially because I have offended You, the supreme good worthy to be loved above all things. Therefore, with the help of Your grace, I firmly resolve to sin no more and to avoid the occasions of sin. Amen.
Order of the Prayers
The rosary consists of seven sets in memory of the seven sorrows of Mary. It is begun like the normal rosary: At the large medal you make the sign of the cross, pray the Apostles' Creed (1), the Glory be to the Father (2) and the Our Father (3). Then three beads follow, each with a Hail Mary (4) prayed, with the insertions of the ordinary (German) Rosary. At the following medal again a Glory be to the Father (2) is prayed. There now also begin the seven sets to the seven sorrows (I-VII) consisting of an Our Father (3) and seven Hail Mary (4), to each of which a mystery is inserted.
Insertions at the first three beads
(4.1) ... Jesus, Who increases faith in us.
(4.2) ... Jesus, Who strengthens hope in us.
(4.3) ... Jesus, Who kindles love in us.
Insertions to the Seven Mysteries
(I) ... Jesus, whose suffering was prophesied to you, Oh Virgin, for your great sorrow by Simeon.
(II) ... Jesus, with whom you, Oh virgin, fled to Egypt to your great sorrow.
(III) ... Jesus, whom thou didst seek, Oh virgin, to thy great sorrow, for three days.
(IV) ... Jesus, whom you, Oh virgin, to your great pain met with the heavy cross.
(V) ... Jesus, under whose cross you stood, Oh virgin, pierced by pain.
(VI) ... Jesus, whose body was laid in your womb, Oh virgin, for your great pain.
(VII) ... Jesus, whom you, Oh Virgin, carried to the grave to your great sorrow.
Mary, who was conceived without sin and suffered for us, pray for us! (repeat three times)
Reflections on the Seven Sorrows
The First Sorrow of Mary (I)
The prophecy of the aged Simeon (cf. Lk 2:22-35)
The Blessed Virgin Mary brought Jesus to the temple because every firstborn male was to be consecrated to God in the temple; this was in accordance with tradition. In the temple, the aged priest Simeon took the infant Jesus in his arms and his spirit was filled with the Holy Ghost. Simeon recognized in Jesus the promised Savior, held the child up to heaven, and thanked God that he had been granted his wish to have lived long enough to still meet the Messiah.
Now, Lord, you let your servant depart in peace, as you have said, he said. Then he looked at Mary and declared, "But you yourself will have a sword pierced through your soul because of all the suffering that will befall your child.
The Blessed Virgin Mary knew that she had given birth to the Savior of mankind. She immediately understood Simeon's prophecy and believed his words. The grace of giving birth to the Child Jesus had touched her deeply, and yet her heart was heavy with sorrow because she knew what was written about the Savior's agonizing death. Whenever she looked at her Son, she was reminded of the suffering He was to take upon Himself, and that suffering became her own.
- Prayer -
Beloved Mother Mary, for our sake your heart suffered unbearably. Teach us to suffer with you and out of love, and to endure all the suffering that God deems necessary to send us. We want to take suffering upon ourselves and ask you that our suffering, just like yours and like Jesus' suffering, be known to God alone. Do not allow us to show our pain and suffering to the world so that it can do more and serve as an atonement for the sins of the world. To you, Mother, who suffered with the Savior of the world, we offer our suffering and the suffering of the whole world because we are your children. Unite this suffering with your own and with the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ and offer it to God the Father. You are the best of all mothers.
The Second Sorrow of Mary (II)
The flight into Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-15)
Mary's heart broke and her soul was full of anguish when Joseph told her what the angel had said to him: that they should get up quickly and flee to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Jesus. The Blessed Virgin Mary barely had time to decide what to take with her or leave behind. She took the child, left everything else and ran out the door before Joseph because God wanted them to hurry. Then she said, "Although God is all-powerful, He wants us to flee with Jesus, His Son. God will show us the way and we will reach our destination without the enemy catching up with us."
Because the Blessed Virgin was the mother of Jesus, she loved Him above all things. Her heart was deeply saddened when she had to see the hardships to which the infant was subjected, and she suffered greatly because he was freezing and shivering from the cold. Although she herself and Joseph were also exhausted, tired and hungry during the long journey, Mary always thought only of the safety and well-being of her child. She was afraid that the soldiers who had orders to kill Jesus might catch up with her, for she was aware that the enemy was still in Bethlehem. During the flight, her heart was constantly in worry. Moreover, she knew they were headed to a place where they would not receive a friendly welcome.
- Prayer -
Beloved Mother, you have suffered so much. Give us your courageous heart. Give us strength to be as brave as you and to accept out of love the suffering that God sends us. Help us to accept all the suffering that we ourselves have caused as well as the suffering that others inflict on us. Heavenly Mother, you alone purify our suffering so that we can give glory to God for the salvation of our souls.
The Third Sorrow of Mary (III)
Jesus gets lost in the temple (cf. Lk 2:41-52)
Jesus was God's only begotten Son, but he was also Mary's child. The Blessed Virgin Mary loved Jesus more than herself because he was also God. Compared to other children, he was unique because he was already true God. When the Virgin Mary could not find Jesus on the way back from Jerusalem, the sorrow became so great and she felt so lonely that she thought she could not go on living without him. (She felt the same pain that her Son would later feel when his apostles abandoned him during his suffering.)
As Our Lady searched in anguish for her beloved Child, a bitter anguish rose in her heart. She reproached herself for not having taken better care of him. But it was not her fault; Jesus no longer needed her protection. What actually hurt Mary was that her son had stayed behind without asking permission. Until now, Jesus had always given her joy in everything. Never had he caused trouble for his parents. But she knew that he always did what was necessary, and so it did not even occur to her that he might have acted out of disobedience.
- Prayer -
Beloved Mother, teach us to accept all our sufferings for the sake of our sins and as atonement for the sins of the whole world.
The Fourth Sorrow of Mary (IV)
Mary meets Jesus on the way to Golgotha (cf. Lk 23:27-31)
Mary saw Jesus alone carrying the heavy cross - the cross on which he was to be crucified. This was no surprise to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for she already knew that Our Lord had to die. She saw how much the many and brutal scourging blows of the soldiers had already weakened her Son, and his agony caused her unspeakable grief.
The soldiers pushed him forward even though he was at the end of his strength. Exhausted, he fell to the ground and could not get up by himself. At that moment, Mary's tender, loving and compassionate gaze met her son's tortured, bloodshot eyes. Their hearts seemed to share the burden; each and every one of his agonies she felt with him. They knew there was nothing they could do but believe and trust in God and offer up their suffering to Him. They could only place everything in God's hands.
- Prayer -
Beloved Mother, you who are bowed down with grief, help us to bear our own suffering with courage and love, that we may bring relief to your sorrowful heart and to the heart of Jesus. May we do this to the glory of God who gave you and Jesus to humanity. Teach us to suffer silently and patiently as you have done. Grant us the grace to love God in everything. Oh Mother of Sorrows, Most Afflicted of all mothers, have mercy on the sinners of the whole world.
The Fifth Sorrow of Mary (V)
Mary stands under the cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27)
The Blessed Virgin Mary followed her Son to Golgotha. She was bowed down by anguish and sorrow, but she suffered in silence. She saw him stagger several more times and fall to the ground under the weight of the cross, and she saw the soldiers beat her Son and pull him by the hair to make him get up again.
Although he was innocent, when Jesus arrived at Calvary, he was paraded before the assembled people so that they could laugh at him. Mary wholeheartedly felt the agony and humiliation of her Son, especially when his tormentors forced him to take off what was left of his clothes. The Blessed Virgin Mary suffered horribly as she watched these cruel people crucify her Son on the cross without his clothes, shaming him just to amuse the drooling crowds. (Jesus and Mary felt this shame more deeply than other people because they were holy and without sin).
Our Lady felt unspeakable pain as Jesus was laid on the cross with his arms outstretched. His executioners warbled merrily as they approached him with hammers and nails. They sat on him with all their weight so that he could not move while they struck him on the cross. As they drove the nails through his hands and feet, Mary felt the hammer blows in her heart; the nails penetrated her own flesh as they pierced her Son's limbs. She was close to fainting.
When the soldiers lifted the cross to place it in the hole they had dug, they gave it a deliberate jerk so that the flesh on Jesus' hands shredded under the weight of his body, exposing the bones. Pain shot through his body like liquid fire. He hung stretched out on the cross for three agonizing hours, but the physical agony was nothing compared to the mental pain he endured watching his mother suffer at the foot of the cross. When death finally came, it was a redemption.
- Prayer -
Beloved Mother, Queen of Martyrs, give us the courage with which you yourself endured all your sufferings, so that we may unite our suffering with yours and give glory to God. Help us to keep His commandments and those of the Church, so that the sacrifice of our Lord may not have been in vain and all sinners in the world may be saved.
The Sixth Sorrow of Mary (VI)
Jesus' body is laid in the womb of His Mother (cf. Jn 19:38-40)
Jesus' friends Joseph and Nicodemus took His body down from the cross and placed it in the outstretched arms of Our Lady. Then Mary washed His body, and she did so with the deepest respect and love because she was His mother: she knew better than anyone else that He was God incarnate who had taken on a human body to become the Savior of all people.
Mary saw the horrible wounds of the scourging blows Jesus had received at Pilate's house. His flesh was torn and the skin had flaked off his back in strips. His whole body was so battered that he was covered from head to foot with gaping wounds. Mary saw that the wounds from the nails were less severe than those inflicted on Him by the scourging and the weight of the cross. She shuddered at the thought that her Son had carried the heavy, rough wooden cross all the way up to Golgotha. She saw the wreath of bloody wounds that the crown of thorns had left on His forehead, and realized to her horror that many of the sharp thorns had even penetrated deep into His head.
As she looked at her dead son, she knew that His agonizing death had been far worse than any torture used to punish the vilest criminals. As she washed his martyred body, the various stages of his short life appeared before her inner eye: she remembered her first glimpse of his beautiful little face when he had just been born and was lying in the manger, and each subsequent day up to that heartbreaking moment when she gently washed His lifeless body. In relentless agony, she prepared her son and Lord for burial, but she remained brave and strong, becoming the true Queen of Martyrs. While she washed her son, she prayed that it may be granted to all people to pass through the gates of heaven and enter the kingdom of God. She prayed that every soul in the world would be open to God's love, so that the cruel death of her Son would not be in vain, but a blessing for all mankind. Mary prayed for the world; she prayed for each one of us.
- Prayer -
We thank you, beloved Mother, for the courage with which you stood beneath the cross to comfort your dying Child. When our Savior breathed his last, you became the wonderful Mother of us all: you became the holiest Mother of the whole world. We know that you love us more than our own parents. We implore you to intercede for us at the throne of mercy and grace so that we may truly become your children. We thank you for Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, and we thank Jesus for giving you to us. Pray for us, Mother.
The Seventh Sorrow of Mary (VII)
Jesus is laid in the tomb (cf. Jn 19:41-42)
The life of the Blessed Virgin Mary was so closely united to the life of Jesus that she no longer knew how to go on living without him. Her only consolation was that his death had put an end to his unspeakable suffering. So, with the help of John and the other women, our Sorrowful Mother reverently placed Jesus' body in the tomb and she left Him there, as was the custom. Filled with great sorrow and terrible grief, she left the place. For the first time He was no longer among the living, and her loneliness was a new and bitter source of sorrow. Her heart had been dying since her Son's heart had stopped beating, but she was sure that our Savior would soon rise again.
- Prayer -
Beloved Mother, you who are more beautiful than all mothers, Mother of Mercy, Mother of Jesus and Mother of us all, we are your children and we trust in you. Teach us to see God in all things and all situations and even in suffering. Help us to understand the meaning of our suffering and also the meaning that God wants to give to our suffering.
You yourself were conceived and born without sin and were preserved from all sin, and yet you have suffered more than anyone else. You endured the suffering and agony with love and incomparable courage. You stood by your Son from the moment of His arrest until the moment of His death. You suffered with Him and felt all His agonies and pains with Him. You fulfilled the will of God the Father; and according to His will you became our Coredemptrix with Jesus. Mother, we beseech you: teach us to live as Jesus showed us by His example. Teach us to accept our cross with courage. We trust you, most gracious Mother, to teach us to make sacrifices for all the sinners of the world. Help us to follow Christ and even be willing to lay down our lives for others.
Queen of Martyrs, your heart has suffered so much. I ask you, for the sake of the tears you have shed in these terrible and painful times, to obtain for me and for all the sinners of the world the grace of perfect and sincere repentance. Amen.