Why Mary? Why the Rosary?


Many people from many faith traditions, don’t really “get” the rosary. After all, Jesus is the one who answers prayers, so why pray to Mary at all? And if you are going to pray to Mary, why take all the time to do so in a rosary? There have been pages upon pages written about this, but here we’d like to present a very concise reasoning for praying to Mary specifically and for praying the Rosary in general.  


At Cana, Mary interceded for humanity. Jesus had just been baptized, but at that time He still felt his time for miracles had not yet come (John 2:4).  So, if the married couple had petitioned Jesus directly, it’s doubtful that he would have turned the water into wine.  But out of a good healthy Jewish respect for his mother he did just that.


Years later, as He died on the cross, Jesus said to his beloved disciple, “Behold your mother.” (John 19:27) thus giving Mary to be the adoptive mother of humanity where she could continue to be our intercessor with Jesus until the last day. 


I think all Christians would agree that if anyone is in heaven with Jesus, Mary is. So we have Mary, our adoptive mother, in heaven where she hears us and intercedes on our behalf.  This is the basis for the prayer Hail Mary, where we ask Mary to pray for us now and more importantly at the hour of our death.


The rosary itself is, in large part, a devotion to Mary. But it also contains, at key times, prayers to the three manifestations of the One God, that is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  So, at its most basic, the rosary is simply asking Mary to join with us as we pray to the divine God.


With what intention we are praying to God in the rosary is really up to us.  We might pray for our own needs. We might pray for a friend or loved one — thus ourselves interceding for the needs of another. Or we might use the “mysteries of the rosary” to guide us in contemplation of the life of Jesus as we pray for the miracle of growing closer to the divine God who made us.


The rosary is thus a beautiful, faithful devotion to our adoptive mother, Mary, in Heaven, as well as a powerful petition to the God of the universe who loves us.  If it’s not part of your current prayer life, try adding it in once a week or even daily and see what blessings it brings to your life!