Spirituality

Yes, the Rosary is a completely biblical prayer

Katrina Fernandez takes on a common misconception many hold about the Rosary and Catholics' devotion to Mary.

Katrina,

I just happened to come across one of your articles in which you conveyed that praying the rosary is important… Praying the rosary is not biblical and is one of your church’s man-made traditions which the Bible speaks against in Jeremiah 17:5 as well as Mark 7:13.

1 Timothy 2, verse 5 says the following:  There is ONE MEDIATOR between God and man, JESUS… That verse says nothing about praying to Mary…

Also, Matthew 6:7 says the following:

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Please explain to me why you are encouraging folks to engage in idolatry by praying to Mary.

Mike F.

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Dear Mike,

I appreciate you reaching out to me and offering the opportunity to clarify a common misconception many hold about the Rosary and Catholics’ devotion to Mary.

First, the Rosary is not a prayer to Mary. It is a meditation on the life of Christ. Each mystery of the rosary is focused on the very Biblical events of the Gospels. To say that the Rosary is not biblical is not accurate at all.

When you look at the components of the Rosary individually you’ll see 1) that every part of the Rosary is biblical in nature and 2) each part has deep meaning contrary to the claim of “mindless pagan babbling” or “vain repetition” that it’s often described as.  I invite you to read Fr. Longenecker’s comments on vain repetition for a deeper understanding of Matthew 6:7, and also read Elizabeth Scalia’s thoughts on the question, here.

The Rosary is composed of the following prayers – Ave Maria (Hail Mary), Pater Noster (the Lord’s Prayer, given to us by Christ Himself), Gloria Patri (Glory Be), Apostles Creed, the various mysteries of faith, and a concluding Salve Regina.  

When Catholics pray the “Hail, Mary” prayer they are not praying to Mary but are asking for her prayers of intercession for us, in the same manner that you may ask friends, family, or your clergy to pray for you. Only her intercessory prayers are more powerful because she is the Mother of our Lord and sits at His side in Heaven.  The Hail Mary prayer is taken straight out of the Bible, off the lips of the Archangel Gabriel, the messenger of the Lord (Luke 1:28 NAB), and from Elizabeth’s words of praise when the child in her womb recognized Jesus as the Messiah (Luke 1:42 NAB) .  

The doxology Gloria Patri, or Glory Be, is nothing more than a hymn of praise to the Holy Trinity.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was
in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen”

The Mysteries of the Rosary are meditated on while praying each decade (ten Hail Mary beads), with the purposes of drawing the person praying deeper into reflecting on Christ’s’ joys, sacrifices, sufferings, and the glorious miracles of His life.  

I can’t think of any other prayer in the world richer in biblical and theological meaning, more profound and spiritually beautiful than the Rosary. It’s a chain of prayer that binds us to God. That is why I encourage folks to the pray the Rosary and invite and encourage you to pray it as well.

I also think you would enjoy the writings of Scott Hahn. Before he was a well-known Catholic writer and apologist he was staunchly anti-Catholic Presbyterian minister. If you are earnestly seeking knowledge the best place to start is with his books, Rome Sweet Home and Hail Holy Queen.  

I truly wish you the best.

 

sexygirl

Katrina Fernandez

Katrina Fernandez  has a PhD in being single, and a master’s in single parenting with a concentration in Catholic guilt. She’s been writing about these and other life-survival topics for more than a decade. Submit all questions to katrinafixesitforyou@gmail.com