One of the greatest gifts that Christ gave to the world was the gift of His mother. How lucky are we that He shared her with us, His most perfect, immaculate mother, Mary? I have always found such solace and comfort in knowing that just as she perfectly loved and cared for her own son, the Son of God, Mary cares for and nurtures each one of us as her own child. She will always be there for us as only a mother could be, ready to wrap us in her embrace when we need it most. Moreover, she will always be there to help answer our prayers and bring our prayers and petitions directly to her son, pleading to Him on our behalf. This image of Christ’s beloved mother pleading with her beloved son on behalf of another one of her beloved children is a striking one. Consider the power that such an intercession possesses–how could Christ ignore the requests of His perfect mother, whom He loves beyond measure?

There are many powerful Marian prayers within our Faith’s Tradition, but perhaps the most powerful of them all is the Holy Rosary. The Rosary as we know it today developed over many centuries and did not originate on one specific date. However, despite its unclear origin, it has been a prayer beloved by many saints. St. Pius X declared that “the Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.” It was the favorite prayer of St. John Paul II. St. Josemaria Escriva also loved the Rosary and believed that “the holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” Even Our Blessed Mother herself commanded the children of Fatima to “continue to pray the Rosary every day.”

I learned to love the Rosary through my mom, who learned to love it through her parents. My grandparents have 15 children, and their youngest two children are severely handicapped. My uncle was born with Down Syndrome and my aunt contracted a virus as a baby that left her a quadriplegic. Through caring for the needs of their youngest two children, as well as their other 13 children, my grandparents relied completely upon the grace of God, and in particular, upon the intercession of Our Blessed Mother through their devotion to the Holy Rosary. My granddad was especially committed to praying the Rosary each night with all 15 of his children and firmly believed that it was this practice most especially that instilled a deep love for the Faith in all of his children. As he grew older, he continued to pray the Rosary as many times as he could in a day. With 15 children, 78 grandchildren, and over 100 great grandchildren, he knew no time was too much time to spend praying to Our Lady for the protection of his very large family.

The Rosary has remained a beloved devotion in my family since my granddad’s passing. For the past two years, one of my uncle’s has organized a “perpetual Rosary” during two of the most grace-filled weeks in the Church Calendar, Holy Week and the Octave of Easter ending with Divine Mercy Sunday. For those two weeks, there is at least one person praying the Rosary at all hours of the day. It takes a lot of tag-teaming when you divide two weeks into 15 minute increments, but luckily we have a lot of people in our family. I can attest that when you invoke Our Lady’s intercession and pray to her without ceasing, she will wrap her mantle around you and your family and protect you as only the most loving mother can.

Pray to Mary and pray the Rosary as often as you can. Flee to her for help and protection, for she is good and will never turn her back on you, her beloved child, no matter the situation you find yourself in.