Pope St John Paul II called the rosary his favourite prayer.  While the Mass is my favourite prayer, the rosary is not far behind in my preference.  If for any reason on a rare occasion I fail to say the rosary, then I cannot sleep until I say it in full.

The rosary is mostly centred on Jesus and Mary so for that reason, it is very precious to me:  Jesus who is Alpha and Omega, and Mary who is His Mother.  In the company of these two very important people, I am always happy.

Each mystery reveals some aspect of the life of Jesus or Mary.  In this prayer, I find my joy for Jesus because one of us – like us in all but sin – my solace, my strength, my comfort, my encouragement, above all my hope in a future of eternal life.  As I pray the rosary, I find I can draw from all the various mysteries the grace and strength I need for whatever life or circumstances are presenting to (or throwing at!) me at any given moment.

Pope Benedict XVI says, “The constant repetition of the Ave Maria does not disturb interior silence: rather, it requires and nourishes it.  If Christian contemplation cannot do without the Word of God, even the rosary to be a contemplative prayer must always emerge from the silence of the heart as a response to the World, on the model of Mary’s prayer.”

Holding the rosary in my hand is something very dear to me as I feel Mary is taking my hand in hers, and gently leading and guiding me.  When ill or restless in bed at night, just to touch and hold the rosary beads is a great comfort, as I’m led into prayer and very often into a deep sleep!