For October, the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary, we would like to share a method of praying a “Eucharistic Rosary,” taken from an old Blue Army book. (The Blue Army, now known as the World Apostolate of Fatima, was founded in answer to Our Lady of Fatima’s request to pray the Rosary, especially for the conversion of Russia.)
As Dominican nuns devoted to the Perpetual Rosary, we are continually praying the Rosary before Our Eucharistic Lord exposed for Adoration. The Perpetual Rosary Sisters tradition calls this “the adoring rosary.” Our original 1800’s Custom Book says: We thus study all the mysteries of Jesus under the veil of the Host which contains them. What a source of joy to be able by this sweet industry, to cause the gift which Jesus had made of His merits to fructify by placing them into our hands, so to speak, through the Holy Eucharist! That is certainly what the following Eucharistic Rosary enables us to do.
A Eucharistic Rosary
(Taken from the book “There Is Nothing More”: The Blue Army Pledge to Our Lady of Fatima, published by AMI Press, Washington, NJ.)
Spiritual Communion is a real Communion and unites to Christ without any visible sign—it draws Him spiritually into our heart, and enriches us with the graces He would have given us had we been able to receive Him sacramentally as we desired.
A simple desire—no matter how brief—suffices to constitute a Spiritual Communion. Obviously the deeper and more fervent the desire, the more fruitful the Communion. No particular formula is required. Our Lord once said to St. Mechtilde, “Every time you desire Me, you draw Me to you.”
In every Rosary we say, we can make fifty-three Spiritual Communions. How? By simply making the Holy Name JESUS in each Haily Mary a formula for a Spiritual Communion. “Call Me and I will come to thee,” said Our Lord to Cistercian St. Ida.
All this we can do mentally, but if we so desire we can externalize our interior desire by bowing the head, or pressing the beads to our heart each time we pronounce the Name JESUS with the intention of drawing Him spiritually into our soul. [Dominicans have a long tradition of praying with both body and mind—our Holy Father St. Dominic had his “Nine Ways of Prayer” using various postures to express or inspire his interior devotion. We ourselves sometimes pray the Rosary genuflecting at the Holy Name.] This won’t make the Rosary a bit longer—but what a difference it will make! The Rosary will become a living experience.
For instance, if when we are saying the Third Joyful Mystery — the Birth of Our Lord — we make the Holy Name JESUS in each Hail Mary a formula for a Spiritual Communion, Our Lady will lay her Divine Babe spiritually in our hearts just as she would (in answer to our request) have placed Him in our arms on the first Christmas Night. And it is even better to have Him spiritually in our souls than physically in our arms! And what shall we do with Him?
WE CAN ALSO OFFER HIM!
Why, surely, place Him back again in our Mother’s arms and supporting them with our own, lovingly offer Him to our Eternal Father—a Gift as infinite as Himself to render Him infinite adoration, reparation, thanksgiving and petition, which are actually the four ends of the Mass, as Pius XII tells us in Mediator Dei (para. 70-74). Such a Hail Mary united us interiorly to the Sacrifice of the Mass wherever we might be. Could we wish for more?
Notice how like the Mass the Rosary is! All the beads stem forth from the Crucifix and return to it again as to their source. Is not Calvary—renewed in every Mass—the Source and Fount of all grace, the focal point of all time?
All that went before it was a preparation for Calvary. Everything that has followed looks back to it and derives all its supernatural worth from it. Every beat of the Sacred Heart from Crib to Cross was a preparation for Calvary. Every subsequent beat of that Heart has been a renewal of the supreme act of Love offered once on the Cross and continued in every Mass to the end of time.
Notice how liturgical the Rosary is! Each decade begins with the Our Father. Like the Canon of the Mass each decade is addressed to our Eternal Father—and ten times over we offer Him (in the Eucharistic Hail Marys) the one and only Gift that is good enough for Him: “the Blessed Fruit of Mary’s womb,” “the Beloved Son in Whom He is well pleased.”
In the present world crises, when the powers of evil engulf us on every side, what more saving and sanctifying device could our heavenly Mother hold out to us than her Eucharistic Rosary—each bead a Spiritual Communion—wherein Jesus enters spiritually into us as He was in each of His great Mysteries—to be offered by us on the living altar of our own heart to the Eternal Father, to pay all our debts of gratitude and atonement, and to purchase for ourselves and each member of the human family the graces we need and desire.