Featured Image

(LifeSiteNews) — What would you say about children who ignore their mother’s wise, life-saving instructions, not once but multiple times? You might initially opine under your breath, “Brats!” Then, you might further reason, “Life-saving, hmm? These kids better listen to their mother!”

But what if the mother in this example is Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and what if the kids are us? How can that be? When did Our Blessed Mother give us life-saving instructions that we ignored? Well, as it turns out, a whole bunch of times — apparition after apparition.

In his landmark book Champions Of The Rosary, Father Donald Calloway, MIC, describes what is known as the Age of Mary: a period of 125 years from the 1830 St. Catherine Laboure Miraculous Medal apparitions to the Marian Year of 1954. It included astonishing apparitions: La Salette, Lourdes, Knocks, and of course, Fatima.

Father Calloway tells us there was a “Pray the Rosary” component to each apparition. Not by mere coincidence, the Holy Rosary was prayed by many families, worldwide, every day during this Age. Even in the 1970s-80s there were lesser known, yet approved apparitions of Our Lady instructing the Rosary at Akita, Cuapa, Kibeho, and Argentina.

Later, Our Lady told St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “Take care of them — they are mine. Bring them to Jesus — carry Jesus to them. Fear not. Teach them the Rosary — the Family Rosary, and all will be well.”

'The single richest treasure in the Vatican is the Rosary' – Pope Pius IX.

British Jesuit Father Hugh Thwaites taught, “So I think that the abandonment of the Family Rosary is the main reason why so many Catholics have lost the Faith. It seems to me that the Church of the future is going to consist solely of those families who have been faithful to the Rosary. But there will be a vast number of people whose families used to be Catholic.”

The Family Rosary has always been the centerpiece of Our Blessed Lady’s instruction. Should we not heed Our Mother’s instructions?

Father Thwaite added, “If a garage mechanic warns you that your car needs repairing or else it will break down, surely you would heed that warning. If the gas gauge warns you that you need gas, do you do nothing about it? And if Our Lady comes to Fatima and tells us not once, but six times that we must say the Rosary every day, do we disregard that warning? If we do, we have only ourselves to blame when we find our children have lapsed from the Faith.”

Snapshot of destruction

Lapsed indeed. Young people have been leaving Holy Mother Church in staggering, unprecedented numbers — and at a younger and younger age. The landscape has devolved to the point that it is now our children, yes, our children, leaving their Mother, the Church. Our Lady’s holy, life-saving instructions have now become critical for our families!

So, how bad is it? The average age of leaving the Catholic Church is now 13 years of age, according to CARA (Center for Applied Research) at Georgetown University. Age 13; a mere child! Another researcher puts the age at 15. Stunningly, 63% of young Catholics surveyed report they “stopped being Catholic” between the ages of 13-17. And sadly, only 13% say they would likely return to Holy Mother Church.

All is not lost — it has merely been forgotten

As heart-breaking as these research numbers are, perspective can be instructive. Catholics can learn much from our rich tradition. So, how exactly did our forefathers pass on the Catholic Faith to their children? Why did their kids not leave the Faith at age 13, but remained practicing Catholics their entire lives?

For our forefathers, the Faith was simple. It was Holy Mass, the other Sacraments, and charity. But, the cornerstone of their Faith was the daily pious practice — another name for the Rosary.

History tells us that the pious practice was prayed daily by many Catholic families worldwide for centuries — from the 16th century until the confusing spirit of Vatican II overshadowed the Church in the late 1960s. Our forefathers’ example was then forgotten — time to resurrect it!

Consider: Our forefathers and their children meditated on the Mysteries of the Rosary every single day. In doing so, they were constantly reminded of their Faith. For example, without praying the Rosary, how many times a year does one think about, or meditate on, the Scourging at the Pillar – maybe on Good Friday? But, in praying the normal cycle of the Holy Rosary, one will be reminded of it more than 100 times a year. It is most powerful!

Finally, demons steer clear of the home in which the Rosary is prayed daily. “From what some possessed people have said, and from what the saints have said, it seems certain that demons fear the Rosary. And in a home where the Rosary is said every day, after a time the demons realize they are impotent in front of Our Lady, and go elsewhere,” advises Father Thwaite.

Why not do as Our Mother instructs — for our sake and the sake of our families?

David J. Barton is the author of The Family Rosary — Forgotten, Not Lost.


America and the Church are in crisis and need the Rosary more than ever

This year, give the Lord a gift: pray the Rosary with your family