By Eileen Benavente-Blas
For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

If you are a regular reader of the “Umatuna,” then you are aware that this year marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fátima whose formal name is Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fátima.

I learned to pray the rosary as a child as reciting the rosary was a regular part of attending Catholic school. I received my first rosary at the time of my First Holy Communion in May of 1962 at St. Thomas More Church in Washington, D. C. This tiny rosary is perfect for a child’s fingers but too small for use now. I keep it in my curio cabinet, and I’m happy to still have it 55 years later.

I’ve been praying the rosary regularly for the last 10 years. Mothers pray to the Blessed Mother for guidance as she is a model for motherhood. Not having children, I go to the Blessed Mother as a child seeking the guidance of a beloved mother.

Smart phone apps make praying the rosary easy and convenient. I use the Rosary Deluxe app from iTunes and alternate that with the EWTN app, where an audio-on-demand group rosary is led by Mother Angelica.

For each of the mysteries of the rosary, I have a favorite.

Of the Joyful Mysteries, my favorite is the 5th one, the “finding of Jesus in the Temple.” Jesus says to Mary and Joseph, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Even as a child, Christ had his eye on the proverbial prize, aware of what he must be about.

The Sorrowful Mysteries are the hardest for me to pray as Christ’s suffering for our sins is graphic and forces us to be acutely aware of how much physical pain Christ endured for the expiation of our sins.

The agony in the garden portrays Jesus’ humanity as he fears what is to come and prays, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou will.” We all have our cup to bear but do not always accept it as Christ did his.

Among the Glorious Mysteries, my favorite is the descent of the Holy Spirit as the Apostles and their disciples are given the courage and strength to spread the news of the Gospel. The feast of the Pentecost marks the beginning, the birthday of the Holy Church.

The Luminous Mysteries were established by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, in October 2002. Of these mysteries, the Transfiguration is my favorite as Christ revealed his ultimate glory to Peter, James, and John before they experienced the horror of his crucifixion.

This 100th anniversary year of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fátima is the perfect time to begin praying the rosary regularly if you do not already do so.

As a child, I memorized Mary Dixon Thayer’s “Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue” about prayer and the Blessed Mother and still remember it over 50 years later. Perhaps you learned it too. It’s a lovely poem to share with the children in your life.

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue

by Mary Dixon Thayer

Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
Tell me what to say!
Did you lift Him up, sometimes,
Gently on your knee?
Did you sing to Him the way
Mother does to me?
Did you hold His hand at night?
Did you ever try
Telling stories of the world?
O! And did He cry?
Do you really think He cares
If I tell Him things ———-
Little things that happen? And  Do the Angels’ wings
Make a noise? And can He hear  Me if I speak low?
Does He understand me now?
Tell me ———-for you know.
Lovely Lady dressed in blue ———-
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
And you know the way.

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Umatuna Si Yu'os

The Umatuna Si Yu’os is published every week by the Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam. Our mission is to print and distribute a true report of the Roman Catholic Church’s ministry of changing lives through the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.