Praying the Rosary in Utter Chaos

Praying the Rosary, as a family, is… a bit challenging, if I am completely honest!

Why? Well… basically, I have three children who are five years and under wiggling and running about and basically causing complete and utter mayhem. And — trust me — my house is pretty chaotic. (Wait till the fourth one comes in December… I am pretty sure my house will explode!)

Mind you, the chaos could be worse!

The Rosary books that I made (which you can buy, by the way!) are actually very helpful and usually help them calm down for several minutes, since they know that they can sit down and “read” along with the prayers, and get distracted by the pretty art that they can look at.

BUT.

They still want to hold a rosary. They are still very little. And as they read the book, they’ll start to fidget. And as they fidget, they’ll realize that the rosary makes a great whip.

Things go downhill after that!

So, any Rosary time which involves no rosaries being broken and nobody getting hurt is automatically a successful family prayer session in my mind! (The books that I’ve made, surprisingly, have not broken, unlike the rosaries that I have handed out. And I say this is surprising because nearly every other book that they handle on a regular basis is held together with tape — no joke. So, if you’re looking for a sturdy book that you can use to pray the Rosary together, may I suggest my books? Both my paperback and hardcover versions are incredibly still intact!)

A picture that I took after we survived a family Rosary. I am pretty sure that I am being stepped on in this picture…

Anyway! I try not to let the chaos get to me too much. After all, this is a prayer that our Blessed Mother Mary gave to us! And, seeing as she has basically adopted us as her children, she is very much used to chaos and can tolerate a couple of minutes of chaotic prayer.

Besides, this particular day was chosen to be the feast day because it was also the day in which the famous battle of Lepanto was fought… and before battle, the pope asked that everyone say a Rosary beforehand and pray for victory.

Long story short: they won.

Here’s an artwork that Paolo Veronese did to commemorate the victory, with the focus on Mary’s intercession!

Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto, by Paolo Veronese
Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto, by Paolo Veronese, c. 1571. Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, Italy.

If the Rosary can be holy and efficacious and good during a war — which is pretty much the definition of utter chaos — then it must, by extension, be holy and efficacious and good, even during the chaos of everyday family life!

And so! For today, which is the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, I would like to feature this artwork!

Immaculate Heart with Virgin of the Rosary, by Cusco School
Immaculate Heart with Virgin of the Rosary, by Cusco School, c. 18th century. Barbosa-Stern collection, Lima, Peru.

Isn’t it lovely???

At the very center of the artwork is the Madonna and Child, with Jesus holding the rosary, as if to hand it off to us. (It’s an old fashioned rosary, so it looks a bit different from what we’re used to, but it’s still very much a rosary!) So, it is very similar to a lot of artworks in which St. Dominic is receiving the gift of the rosary.

Now, take a look at the frame that it’s in!

The image of the Madonna and Child is set in the outline of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Now, look closer at the outline! It is made of rosary beads. In fact, it is one of the Dominican rosaries which has beads for fifteen decades — the original Rosary which our Lady gave to us, aka the Angelic Psalter. (The Luminous Mysteries are a very recent addition which were suggested in 2003 by St. Pope John Paul II. The original mysteries of the Rosary consist of the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries.)

On the outside of the Immaculate Heart are flowers that are associated with Our Lady… roses and lilies, primarily. And angels, of course… after all, she is in Heaven now!

And I just love it! Not only does this picture remind us of the beautiful gift of the Rosary, which is pretty much a mini gospel that lets us dwell on Jesus’s life, but it also reminds us of the love that our Blessed Mother has for us!

So! On this lovely feast day, perhaps say a rosary? Or, maybe just a decade, if it’s too much of a battle!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of three, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer

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