2016-36 Testimonies

The treasure of praying the rosary

Oct 07, 2016 Testimony

After their review of my MRI and CAT scans, I heard the chairman of the consultative panel say: “Thank the Lord God! The tumour has disappeared. The operation won’t be necessary.”

Thanks to praying the rosary, in 2003, the Blessed Virgin Mary obtained for me the miracle of the spiritual transformation of my entire life. A few years later, she protected me from death in a car accident in which my car was completely destroyed after striking a concrete barrier. I walked away from the accident without a single injury other than some small scratches on my calf. That was certainly a miraculous intervention. Immediately before the accident, I had been praying my rosary.

Thanks to praying the rosary, along with the intercession of St John Paul II, who was a great devotee of Our Lady and the Holy Rosary, I experienced the miracle of the recession of a large tumour in my eye socket that was pushing the eye out of its socket and causing loss of vision. That happened in 2011. I fell ill in Holy Week, and the illness peaked on the evening of Good Friday. They admitted me to the provincial hospital. I was in great pain, and the way the tumour was forcing the eye out, I was at risk of losing it entirely. That happened a few days prior to the beatification of John Paul II, which took place on Divine Mercy Sunday. I was supposed to have gone to the celebration with my friends, but because of my illness it wasn’t possible. I asked them to pray for St John Paul’s intercessions for me, and I also prayed the rosary with the intention of the fulfilment of God’s will in my life. On Holy Saturday, the pain in my eye inexplicably disappeared, and the tumour subsequently also began to disappear. For me, this was an amazing sign of God’s intervention. I might add that on the day of John Paul II’s beatification, my brother, who is a priest and was present in St Peter’s Square, celebrated a Mass in my intention.

But that wasn’t the end of my “adventure” with my eye. Even though it wasn’t visible from the outside, a few weeks later, after an MRI scan, I was diagnosed with a tumour under my left eye. I was sent to Ludwik Rydygier Clinical Hospital in Cracow for an operation. After a time was set for the operation, I spent a great deal of time praying in the hospital chapel, because since 2003 I have had the grace of praying all four parts of the rosary daily. After reciting the rosary, I returned to the room at 8 o’clock, because at that time they were beginning to prepare for the operation.

“We need to return to the practice of family prayer and prayer for families, continuing to use the rosary. The family that prays together stays together” (St John Paul II)

The ward nurse directed me to the chief surgeon. In the presence of the consultative panel, which had reviewed my MRI and CAT scans, I heard him utter these words: “Thank the Lord God! The tumour disappeared. The operation won’t be necessary.” With great joy, I thanked the Lord God, the chief surgeon and everyone who had gathered for the case conference, and I left. About half a year later, I had another CAT scan done in my home town. It showed that the tumour had reappeared, but that it was very small and wouldn’t cause me any problems.

Since 2010, when I took solemn vows to follow Jesus faithfully in the spirit of St Francis, I have been a member of a community of lay Franciscans, and I thank God daily through the intercession of the Virgin Mary for the grace of faith and prayer, and for the grace of life. I recite the rosary and attend Mass daily, and I go to confession at least once a month. Thanks specifically to the care of the Holy Mother, I undertook an individual thanksgiving pilgrimage by bicycle to Medjugorje, where Mary the Queen of Peace has been appearing since 1981.

I encourage everyone to recite at least one set of mysteries of the rosary daily. Authentic, living faith expresses itself in steadfast daily prayer. Anyone who stops praying deteriorates spiritually and loses the great treasures of faith, hope and charity.

The rosary is a prayer that I have come to cherish

I would like to encourage everyone to read selected passages from the apostolic letter The Rosary of the Virgin Mary (RVM). In this letter, St John Paul II calls, asks and encourages us to rediscover the treasure of praying the rosary. The Holy Father reminds us that this is a prayer, “loved by countless saints […]. Simple yet profound, it still remains […] a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness” (RVM 1). St John Paul II reminds us that the Mother of Christ, during numerous apparitions, “strongly recommended the form of contemplative prayer that the rosary provides […]. The most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the rosary is the fact that […] the rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation; […] it is a typically meditative prayer, corresponding in some way to the ‘prayer of the heart’ or ‘Jesus’ prayer’ which took root in the soil of the Christian East” (RVM 5). “Mary constantly sets before the faithful the ‘mysteries’ of her son, with the desire that the contemplation of those mysteries will release all their saving power” (RVM 11).

St John Paul II wrote: “Since my youth, this prayer has held an important place in my spiritual life. The rosary has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of strife. […]. I have entrusted any number of concerns to it; I have always found comfort in it. Twentyfour years ago, on 29 October 1978, scarcely two weeks after my election to the See of Peter, I frankly admitted: ‘The rosary is my favourite prayer. A marvellous prayer! Marvellous in its simplicity and its depth. […]. Against the background of the words ‘Ave Maria’, the principal events of the life of Jesus Christ pass before the eyes of the soul. They take shape in the complete series of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries, and they put us in living communion with Jesus through the heart of his Mother. At the same time, our heart can embrace in the decades of the rosary all the events that make up the lives of individuals, families, nations, the Church and all mankind, our personal concerns and those of our neighbours, especially those who are closest to us, who are dearest to us. Thus the simple prayer of the rosary marks the rhythm of human life.’

With these words, dear brothers and sisters, I set the first year of my pontificate within the daily rhythm of the rosary. Today, as I begin the twenty-fifth year of my service as the successor of Peter, I wish to do the same. How many graces I have received over these years from the Blessed Virgin through the rosary: Magnificat anima mea Dominum! I wish to lift up my thanks to the Lord in the words of his Most Holy Mother, under whose protection I have placed my Petrine ministry: Totus Tuus!” (RVM 2).

The Holy Father makes us aware that “the rosary mystically transports us to Mary’s side as she is busy watching over the human growth of Christ in the home of Nazareth. This enables her to train us and to mould us with the same care, until Christ is ‘fully formed’ in us (cf. Gal. 4:19). […] Nowhere as in the rosary do the life of Jesus and that of Mary appear so deeply joined. Mary lives only in Christ and for Christ!” (RVM 15).

‘The rosary is my favourite prayer. A marvellous prayer! Marvellous in its simplicity and its depth” (St John Paul II)

The rosary in the family

St John Paul II calls on families to pray the rosary daily, and he emphasises that “the rosary always has been a prayer of and for the family […]. We need to return to the practice of family prayer and prayer for families, continuing to use the rosary. The family that prays together stays together. […] The family that recites the rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre, share his joys and sorrows, place their needs and their plans in his hands, and draw from him the hope and the strength to go on.” (RVM 41).

Stefan