Hello Rosary lovers! In this post, we ask: is the Rosary idolary? You see, those who are unfamiliar with the Rosary and unfamiliar with Catholicism often think that praying the Rosary is idolatry.
It’s not just those unfamiliar with Catholicism who sometimes think this. There are times when even Catholics themselves question whether praying the Rosary might be a form of idolatry, or secret ‘Mary worship’.
What is involved in the Rosary?
In the Rosary, someone takes a set of blessed Rosary beads and meditates on the lives of Jesus Christ and his Mother Mary. We do this by announcing a mystery (such as the Annunciation, or the Crucifixion), praying one Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and finishing with one Glory Be.
A typical Rosary is 5 mysteries long (see here for a list of the mysteries of the Rosary). So this would mean praying 50 Hail Marys in total. It is this that gives the impression that the Rosary is really just a secret form of worshipping Mary instead of God.
An Outstanding Way to Find Christ
The truth is, however, that the Rosary is ultimately a form of meditation on the Holy Gospel of God in Jesus Christ. The Rosary is designed to do nothing more or less than help a Christian to focus on Jesus and his life: his conception, birth, ministry, death, resurrection and glorious reign in heaven.
Praying the Hail Marys is a MEANS by which we can step into these glorious mysteries of the Rosary, the glorious events of the life of Christ. Each Hail Mary becomes a sort of background chant which – believe it or not – helps us to step into the mystery and experience Jesus Christ more fully.
If you doubt this, then watch this video with an open mind and see what you think.
The reason why the Rosary is so powerful is because the MEANS we are employing for stepping more deeply into Jesus Christ is his own Mother. No-one in all of history ever meditated on Jesus more than Mary did. We read about this in Luke chapter 2, that constantly Mary remained silent and kept all these things in her heart and often thought about them.
When we recite 10 Hail Marys whilst thinking about an event in the life of Jesus, we are not only doing what Mary did, but we are asking for Mary’s prayers and help to be more united with her Son Jesus.
God came to us through the Virgin …
The Catholic Church believes in an incredible theological teaching: that just as God chose Mary by which to come to humanity, so humanity rises back up to God through Mary.
Mary, in Catholicism, is the great Vessel and Means by which we find Christ. She is at the same time the means by which Jesus Christ came to us, and she is also the Christ-appointed means by which we come to Christ.
St Louis de Montfort took pains to constantly explain this amazing truth, and you can read about it in his books ‘The Secret of Mary’ and ‘True Devotion to Mary’, which I very much encourage you to read. I found ‘The Secret of Mary’ to be utterly life-changing, and I’ve never been the same since.
The Rosary, in other words, is one GIANT way of approaching Jesus through his Mother. That, in essence, is all the Rosary is trying to accomplish. And that is why it is so very powerful, so very influential and such an outstanding means to holiness.
So many Catholics have become saints through their devotion to the most holy Rosary. Notice that title ‘the most holy Rosary’. This is what even Popes have called the Rosary (such as Pope Pius XII).
The Rosary Idolatry?
So is the Rosary idolatry? Not at all, because it never leads someone away from Jesus. It always leads us to Jesus because it leads us to his Mother, and Mary never, ever leads us anywhere but to her Son Jesus.
In John’s gospel chapter 2, Mary told the servants at the Wedding Feast: ‘Do whatever HE tells you.’ She did not say, ‘Do whatever I tell you.’ Mary is always looking to direct all attention to her Son, and her ENTIRE purpose for being is to direct humanity and lead humanity to her Son. She is, in this sense, the Great Evangelist of the Church. Her very nature is such that it only ever leads to Jesus.
St Maximillian Kolbe once said: ‘Don’t ever worry that you might love Mary too much. You can never love her more than Jesus does.’
How much love do we think Jesus has for his Mother? His love for her is infinite, and cannot be measured.
Well then, let us do what Jesus always does; let us love his Mother. Let us approach his Mother in the Rosary and thus find Christ.
No, the Rosary is not idolatry.
If you have any questions, we are here for you. Do get in touch.
Rosary Lovers constantly promotes the glory of Mary and her Rosary. As such, we often direct readers to this gorgeous collection of long-lasting paracord rosaries.
God bless, through Mary immaculate, Mother of the Word made flesh.