For centuries the beautiful custom of the Family Rosary flourished in Catholic homes. Everywhere it was the custom for fathers and mothers to kneel with their children and any other members of the household each evening at bedtime and recite the Rosary together.
The Rosary was often followed by the Litany of the Blessed Virgin. This pious practice brought untold blessings to homes, and was the means of molding the children into true Christian men and women, who when they left the parental roof went forth as staunch Catholics, whose firmly rooted faith was not to be shaken by the views of free-thinkers and false philosophers; Catholics who lived their faith and did not lightly leave off the practice of virtue and their Christian duties under the influence of worldly doctrines and example; Catholics who were not afraid to defend their Faith when need arose.
In homes such as these, innumerable vocations to the priesthood and religious life were fostered. May not the decline of vocations, so keenly felt in these later years, be traced to the decline of the Family Rosary?
Though a goodly number of fervent Catholic families still keep up the beautiful practice of the Family Rosary, it is regrettable that it has fallen into disuse among the majority of Catholics. Some look upon it as unconventional; some neglect it because of work or various forms of recreation which take the individual members of the family away from the home evening after evening and make it inconvenient and impractical. Others, again, neglect it from sheer indifference.
The sad outcome of this neglect of prayer in the family is everywhere manifest today in the broken homes, in the delinquency of youth, and in the lawlessness and lack of respect for authority now so prevalent.
The restoration in the home of the spirit of religious faith and its fervent practice is a crying need of our day. Realizing that the Rosary is one of the surest and easiest means to accomplish this end, a zealous young priest in 1942 began a Crusade to restore the Family Rosary to the homes of America. He has succeeded in getting thousands of families to pledge the daily recitation of the Rosary and is at present furthering the work through various means, such as radio broadcasts, dramatic presentations, circulars, and addresses. People of all classes have taken an active interest in the Crusade and have lent their help to bring to neglectful Catholics the realization of the necessity of the Family Rosary and its inestimable value in teaching and aiding men and women to live Christian and saintly lives in their homes, in their offices, in their workshops, and in their social gatherings, in imitation of Christ and His Blessed Mother.
The daily recitation of the Rosary in the home circle teaches the members of the family to see God in all that happens in life, to think of Him reverently, to look up to Him trustingly, to acquiesce lovingly in all that He sends or permits, and to find the whole of life bright with His presence, and filled with love, joy, and peace. May America and all the world hasten to restore to the home the beautiful practice of the Family Rosary!
May God grant this Crusade a worldwide success so that the faithful everywhere may seize and hold fast to this anchor of salvation in the days to come! Where the Family Rosary now flourishes, may the heads of families continue to preserve inviolate this sacred and beautiful custom; where it has been neglected, may it be restored; and where it never existed, may it be introduced at once.
The famous Bishop Martin of Paderborn, in urging the devout recitation of the Family Rosary, once exclaimed: “Every house thus blessed becomes a citadel of the Church against the assaults of immorality and irreligion. Despite all the assaults of hell, the Catholic Faith will be preserved in families, and Christian life flourish by this means.”
Family Rosary Praised by the Popes
The Popes have repeatedly stressed the need of a renewal of the practice of the Family Rosary. Pius IX urged its recital every evening as a sure means to secure the blessings of heaven. Pope Pius XI asked specifically for the Family
Rosary, and presented rosaries to bridal couples who visited the Vatican. Pope Pius XII has continued this practice and on many occasions has commended the Rosary, reminding his hearers of the special promise attached to prayer where several are gathered together in God’s name.
The Rosary is the mystic crown which Christian people place every day on the queenly head of the Mother of God. It is certainly the most beautiful flower of human piety and the most beautiful source of heavenly graces. This prayer is perfect because of the praise it offers, because of the lessons it imparts, because of the graces it obtains and because of the triumphs it achieves. — Benedict XV
The Holy Rosary not only serves admirably to overcome the enemies of God and religion, but is also a stimulus and spur to the practice of evangelical virtues which it injects and cultivates in our souls. Above all, it nourishes the Catholic Faith, which flourishes again precisely in opportune meditation on the sacred mysteries, and raises minds to the truths revealed to us by God. — Pius XI
The above text comes from: “The Rosary, my treasure”
by Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
Publication date 1950
Nihil Obstat ✠ Stephanus Schappler, O.S.B.
Abbas Coadjutor Im. Conceptionis
Imprimatur ✠ Carolus Hubertus Le Blond
Episcopus Sancti Josephi
Do not err, my brethren. Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God. And if those that corrupt mere human families are condemned to death, how much more shall those suffer everlasting punishment who endeavor to corrupt the Church of Christ, for which the Lord Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, endured the cross, and submitted to death! Whosoever, ‘being waxen fat,’ and ‘become gross,’ sets at nought His doctrine, shall go into Hell. In like manner, every one that has received from God the power of distinguishing, and yet follows an unskillful shepherd, and receives a false opinion for the truth, shall be punished. — St. Ignatius of Antioch, “Epistle To The Ephesians,” c. 105 A.D.