The Rosary Still Means Victory

The Rosary meditations at Ex Corde get more visitors each day than anything else we do. Today’s feast day explains why: The Rosary means victory.

The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary started out as Our Lady of Victory, commemorating the day the rosary gained a victory for Europe against invading forces.

Today it stands for personal victory. The examples are endless, but one particularly surprised me.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for Mary’s intercession,” Brian Pessaro wrote at Godspy years ago. “Since the age of 11, I was addicted to pornography. It began simple enough with sneaking peaks at my best friend’s father’s Playboys in the basement of his house. But by the time I was 25, I was so hooked on Internet porn that I would itch for my wife to leave the apartment so I could secretly jump online. Several times over the years I tried to quit. Each time, not only did I fail, but the addiction got worse to the point where I gave up resisting.”

Then, while looking at a book about apparitions, he had a remarkable experience of Mary. He said his earthly mother rarely scolded him — but his Heavenly mother suddenly did: “I felt her say to me sternly, ‘Brian you’ve got to stop looking at that garbage. Starting now!’”

That night he went online for entirely new reasons: He ordered a scapular and pulled out his grandmother’s rosary beads.

Not only did he kick the habit, he says, but also “when I was in my late twenties I could still see those images from when I was 11 as if it were yesterday” and it bothered him. But now, he says,  “They’re gone.”

He calls everyone to pray the Rosary daily, just like he does. But he says “The Rosary is excruciating. There I said it.”

It doesn’t have to be excruciating. When I worked as editor of the National Catholic Register, we dedicated an issue of the Register to the Rosary and for each mystery I wrote 10 points of meditation, which we accompanied with artwork, additional prayers, and scripture.

The “Rosary issue” was a huge hit.

“It is the best resource I have found so far,” wrote one woman, a teacher. “Would you please tell me how I can obtain 20 copies?” We did.

“I am a Protestant who is journeying toward the Catholic faith,” wrote another. “The rosary was always a mystery to me. Your rosary issue has been such a blessing. Have you thought of providing your guide in a booklet form?” We did that, too.

We created a booklet version of our Rosary Guide, and, with the help of CatholicMil.org, “Thousands of copies of the Guide were mailed to Catholic troops overseas,” wrote Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, who was then the Military Archbishop. “Demand was so great, that our supply was soon exhausted.”

I feel blessed to have been the guy to write them but, like Pessaro, I feel like the real power of them came from Our Lady. It has been wonderful to meet readers over the year who go to ExCorde.org for the Rosary meditations at our Prayer Resources. Go there by clicking above or click here:

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes, author of The Rosary of Saint John Paul II and The Fatima Family Handbook, is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Kansas and hosts The Extraordinary Story podcast about the life of Christ. A former reporter in the Washington, D.C., area, he served as press secretary of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman and spent 10 years as executive editor of the National Catholic Register newspaper and Faith & Family magazine. His work frequently appears in Catholic publications such as Aleteia.org and the Register. He and his wife, April, have nine children and live in Atchison, Kansas.