Saturdays with Mary

Praying the rosary to prepare to celebrate the faith

Preparing for any trip involves packing, planning, and shopping for travel size shampoo. If that voyage is actually a week of meeting of celebrating your faith with hundreds of thousands young people from around the world and the pope, a totally different type of preparation is needed, and there are many different ways to get that preparation.

The rosary is fast becoming one of the more popular ways to prepare for World Youth Day. Both the WYD organization and Family Rosary International are promoting the rosary as a simple and effective way to prepare for the August event.

In March the department in charge of the main events at WYD launched an initiative called “The Universal Rosary.”They invited youth already registered as pilgrims to send videos of themselves saying a Hail Mary, an Our Father, or a Glory Be, in their native language. Those videos would be put together to form a video rosary in multiple languages. In May it was announced that the first two decades of the rosary had been completed “filled” and submissions were still being accepted to fill in the remaining decades.

Family Rosary International, an organization run by the Holy Cross order, has also launched a rosary-based WYD preparation campaign called Firm in the Faith with Mary. The premise is simple, visit the website, fill in the prayer pledge form, and pray the rosary every Saturday from now until World Youth Day.. The weekly rosary serves as a form of spiritual preparation for pilgrims, and as reinforcement for those working in Madrid to make the event a success. The site also offers links to resources that explain the rosary, how to pray it, and why it is such a powerful form of prayer.

Fr. James Phalan, director of Holy Cross Family Ministries and the Firm in the Faith with Mary campaign, explains that the rosary is powerful because it is meditative and thus praying it is not just reciting words but placing oneself in Mary’s hands and letting her guide us to her son. With the constant inundation of information most people experience today via new media and technology, the need for a meditative form of prayer is increasingly important, he says, adding that when he gives presentations to young adults they seem surprisingly open to the meditative aspect of the rosary.

So important is this meditative aspect of the rosary and it’s fruits that Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the rosary and the importance of this form of prayer at a recent general audience. He said the rosary is experiencing a new surge of popularity. He said, “in the current world, so dispersive, this prayer helps to put Christ at the centre, as the Virgin did.” adding that Mary meditated on everything her son said and did. Praying the rosary one does the same and opens oneself to the grace emanating from these mysteries.

The Firm in the Faith with Mary campaign combines the power of new media, using the facebook, twitter, blogs and videos to draw young people into the rosary. The website allows people to post their prayer intentions to a virtual bulletin board and share their comment and reflections with others who have committed to praying the rosary.

To find out more about the Firm in the Faith campaign visit
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For more on the Universal Rosary visit

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