The Rosary is, as it were, the principle and foundation on which the Order of St. Dominic rests for perfecting the lives of its members, and obtaining the salvation of others. – Pope Pius XI
As Dominicans we share in a tradition of love and devotion to Our Blessed Mother and have a very special devotion to the Most Holy Rosary. Our community began as Dominican Sisters of the Perpetual Rosary, a branch of the Order founded in 1880 by the French Dominicans Father Saintourens and Mother Rose of St. Mary. They wished to form a Guard of Honor for Our Lady by the practice of the Perpetual Rosary. (Read more about their story here.) When our founding Mothers arrived in Marbury in 1944, they were granted the privilege of Perpetual Adoration in addition to the Perpetual Rosary. Today as Dominican nuns we continue the Perpetual Rosary tradition.
The Practice of the Perpetual Rosary
What does this mean in practice? Every hour of the day, and ideally of the night as well, a Sister is praying the Rosary at the foot of the state of Our Lady, before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. As we meditate on the mysteries of Jesus in union with Mary, we unite praise of God and intercession for the needs of the world. By doing so, we perpetuate the singular gift which our Holy Father St. Dominic had of bearing sinners, the downtrodden and the afflicted in the inmost sanctuary of his compassion.
Just as the liturgical year makes all the mysteries of Jesus’ life present to our souls, shaping us into His image, so the Rosary brings us daily into saving contact with those same mysteries. No one was (or is) closer to Jesus than Mary, His Mother. Through the Rosary we gaze at Him with her eyes, and are shaped into His image by her hands. Our Hour of Guard is one of our most treasured hours each day.
Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary
The spirit of the Perpetual Rosary does not stop at the end of our Hour of Guard, however. It extends through all aspects of our life, so that Our Lady becomes, as one spiritual writer said, a mysterious mileux in which we live, the very atmosphere we breath.
By St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, which we make as a community, we put this spirit of devotion intimately into effect in our lives. “When will that happy time come,” asks St. Louis Marie, “that age of Mary, when many souls, chosen by Mary and given her by the most High God, will hide themselves completely in the depths of her soul, becoming living copies of her, loving and glorifying Jesus? That day will dawn only when the devotion I teach is understood and put into practice. Ut adveniat regnum tuum, adveniat regnum Mariae: “Lord, that your kingdom may come, may the reign of Mary come!” (True Devotion, para. 217)
For Your Vocation ~ Points to Ponder
- Do I have a deep love for the Blessed Virgin Mary?
- Have I made St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary?
- Do I pray the rosary regularly? Have I joined the Confraternity of the Rosary (Western, Eastern), through which I can share in the merits of the Dominican Order even in the world?
- For more on the Rosary, see our Rosary Resources page.
- For an inspiring overview of the history of the Dominican rosary and its power as a spiritual weapon, we recommend Champions of the Rosary by Rev. Donald Calloway, MIC.
- The classic book on Total Consecration is True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Louis Marie de Montfort. Rev. Michael Gaitley’s popularization, 33 Days to Morning Glory, has been helpful to some.
If you are interested in Dominican monastic life in our community and would like personal advice in your discernment and preparation, please feel free to contact our Vocation Directress.