Rosary Gems: Daily Wisdom on the Holy Rosary

Rediscover the power and wisdom of the holy rosary! Inspired by his... Read more


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For Love of the Rosary

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Father Donald Calloway, MIC, will release his latest book, Rosary Gems, on April 6, a collection of quotes from popes, saints, blesseds, and other great Catholic sources on the power and blessing of the Holy Rosary. Here, Fr. Calloway explains why he wanted to write this book and how the Rosary remains relevant today:

Why write Rosary Gems now? Why did you make this your priority?
Every time I go on the internet to find quotes on the Rosary, there's always the same 15 quotes by the same people. I'm like, "You've got to be kidding me! There's got to be more that has been said on the Rosary by saints and popes!" I was puzzled that I wasn't able to find more than these 15 quotes, and they never had the sources so it would just say, "So-and-so said it," and I'm like, "Really? Did they say it? How do I know somebody isn't just saying this and now it's circulated all over the Internet?"

I knew about books like The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort — that's the best book ever written on the Rosary — and John Paul II's Letter on the Rosary, but I was like, "Man, there's got to be a ton more quotes. It'd be great if I just took the time to scour through documents and writings, ask around for these quotes, and put them in a book where people could have a resource that was just more than these 15 quotes that you find on the Internet."

That's when I started the project and that's the reason why I did it. Obviously I didn't want to just throw them on the pages and say, "Here, publish this," so I said, "Well, I'll gather 365 of them and make it like Marian Gems so it's one for every day of the year," because a lot of people pray a daily Rosary (I do), and so I thought, "That's a nice little daily reminder, a little inspiration for your daily Rosary."

The Church has promoted the Rosary for around 800 years. Why keep talking about it?
Well, it's like "Why keep talking about the Bible?" Because it's a biblical prayer; basically the Rosary is just praying the Bible. The reason we keep praying the Rosary is because we keep reading the Bible.

What's your favorite quote from the collection?
Oh, gosh. I haven't really thought about having a favorite one. I think a lot of people are going to get a lot from the quotes — in particular, from Venerable Fulton Sheen, because a lot of people don't know how devoted he was to the Rosary. I have a ton of quotes from him in there that are just unique because he had a way of saying things that was just amazing. That's probably one of my favorite groups of sayings in the book.

I would have to also say that there are so many popes and saints who've constantly referred to the Rosary as a weapon. I just love that terminology because it really is a weapon in the spiritual life because it's based off of the Word of God. The majority of the prayers in the Rosary are right from the Scriptures, and it can be used as a weapon against evil. As Our Lady said at Fatima, "Pray the Rosary to end war," specifically meaning at that time World War I.

Also, it's a weapon against vices, a weapon against sin. It brings about personal conversion as you meditate upon the mysteries of the life of our Lord and Our Lady, but it can also bring about family conversion. It can bring about societal conversion. There's a whole history that goes with that — the very introduction of the Rosary into the life of the Church by St. Dominic occurred in response to error.

What is the connection between praying the Rosary and sanctification? Why is that so strongly linked?
Because of the meditation. It's not some magical thing that you just keep repeating. It's because the soul of the Rosary is the meditation on the mysteries, and those mysteries are saving mysteries. They're the saving mysteries of the life of Christ, and so when you meditate upon them, it has power. It has meaning. Just like when our Lord told St. Faustina, "There is more merit to one hour of meditation on My sorrowful Passion than there is to a whole year of flagellation that draws blood; the contemplation of My painful wounds is of great profit to you, and it brings Me great joy" (Diary, 369). This is what our Lord has told saints for 2,000 years: Meditation upon the saving mysteries of His life is a book in itself. It's the best book. It can be basically given to us in 20 simple little mysteries in the Rosary. You can memorize those; that's why we don't have 500 mysteries, we only have 20 — very, very easy.

Why does Our Lady love the Rosary so much?
There are a lot of reasons, but maybe two main ones: she wants to bring everyone to her Son, and that's the point of the Rosary, even though it's a Marian prayer, a Marian devotion. It's a Christ-centered devotion, and so, of course, it's very pleasing to her.

Then I think the second reason is because she's a mom. The very word "rosary" tells us that basically what we're doing is we're giving this spiritual bouquet of roses to Our Mother. What mother would ever refuse roses from her child? That makes her happy; that makes her smile, so to speak. She's pleased with that. And what child would not want to give roses to his mom? It's a beautiful way of honoring her, of loving her.

What fruits have you seen from praying the Rosary either in your own life or in your ministry?
It takes me about 20 minutes to pray the Rosary. I can pray it anywhere, so if I'm stressed out, if I'm having a bad day, whether I'm driving, on a plane, wherever, I can pray it. It's portable prayer; it goes anywhere. It's soothing, it's calming, and it helps me at times when I'm struggling or when I'm having temptations or when an issue has come up or there's some kind of stress. Just taking 20 minutes to pray the Rosary gives me peace.

Also in my ministry, a lot of times somebody asks for prayers and you say to them, "You'll be in my prayers." Using the Rosary, we can say, "I offer up this Rosary for all the intentions of those who have asked for my prayers, or for my intercession, or shared their intentions with me," and so I bring it into my ministry to intercede for people, laying all of this at the feet of Our Lady.

Some people believe Vatican II did away with devotions outside of the liturgy. What does the Church teach about devotions like the Rosary?
The Second Vatican Council never mentioned anything about the Rosary, but it never mentioned anything about tons of other stuff, either. It actually did promote the Rosary, but not by name. It encouraged "those forms of devotion to Mary that have been in the Church" (see Lumen Gentium 66), and obviously the Rosary is one of them.

The Rosary basically comes from the liturgy and leads back to the liturgy. The Rosary can be understood as preparing for Mass and a thanksgiving for Mass. That's why in a lot of parishes, people pray the Rosary either before or after Mass, because it's all about the Mass and the Eucharist, the Source and Summit. So oh yeah, Vatican II didn't do away with anything.

As a matter of fact, there have been a lot of misinterpretations of Vatican II. People thought, "Well, we don't have to do that anymore." Every pope after Vatican II basically said, "No, it's a wrong interpretation," and they promote the Rosary big time. The popes after Vatican II were big time players in the Rosary.

Mention a few of the approved Marian apparitions recently where Mary has asked for it.
Obviously, at Lourdes, Mary herself prayed the Rosary, in the sense that she prayed the Glory Bes with St. Bernadette. Mary actually let her fingers pass along the rosary beads as St. Bernadette was praying the Rosary, and when St. Bernadette got to the Glory Bes, Mary would then join in and say the Glory Be. That started a big Rosary movement around the world of people wanting to pray the Rosary.

Also, obviously you have Fatima, where Our Lady said "Pray the Rosary every day for peace and for an end to war." So that's a huge one. Then also you've got Our Lady of Banneux and Our Lady of Beauraing in Belgium in the 1930s, both approved, where Our Lady came holding a rosary.

To be honest with you, in almost every single apparition since the 17th century, Mary has a rosary.

Obviously you've also got Kibeho where Our Lady tells the children to pray the Rosary, meaning the Dominican Rosary, but then she also tells them about the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, which is a very ancient Rosary. Basically, they didn't know what she was talking about, so she had to teach it to them, but it actually was introduced by the Servites in the 13th or 14th centuries, so it's very old.

There's another famous one that our brothers in Argentina told me about: Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas in Argentina, an approved apparition. Mary appeared and encouraged everyone to pray the Rosary, and the statue associated with that apparition is specifically Our Lady of the Rosary.

What fruits do you hope to see from Rosary Gems?
Well, I hope that people fall in love with the Rosary and that they have a renewed interest in praying it or persevering in praying it. I know a lot of people who used to pray it, and they kinda put it down, and they're not as fervent with it as they once were. These little gems of wisdom from the popes and saints will hopefully light a fire in people to want to take up the Rosary again.

To order Rosary Gems (Product Code RGEM), visit or call 1-800-462-7426.

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Rose Ann Drown - Aug 13, 2016

Thank you for MENTIONING the rosary..I believe prayer for Marys concerns (World Peace/Souls/Fatima is the only promise of World Peace that exists..I know that all requests made through the rosary are answered but i think people dont ask a lot, except for personal needs..Am wondering why so few ask for the entire world -perhaps it is not known that she needs prayers FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD ..We take care of her needs she takes care of our needs ..relationship/friendship/Mother of God's family....Also wonder why there are large rosary gatherings to honor her only once yearly ,IF AT ALL ...Has birth control allegiance made us too busy, too poor, too misogynist, too ignorant, too uninformed about the need for and power of Rosary prayer...Wondering too at the treatment of the people by other Catholics...Wondering if Masons dont judge/ecumenism/homosexual has sterilized the intercessory power that the Catholic Church has to protect the World with her intercession ..862-888-4066..Parishes would not be closing OR poor if there were true non-masonic Marian groups in each ..seems the five main rosary groups were altered and diminished in 1965...Cowardice seems to have replaced Holy Boldness...Desecration seems to have repaced Public Honor ..WHAT IS THE FEAR ? JESUS MIGHT BE OFFENDED IF WE TRULY AND SINCERELY AND HUGELY HONOR HIS MOTHER ? ARE WE LIVING THE BRAINLESSNESS OF LUKE 1:51 because birth control and birth contro thinking has slaughtered wisdom ? Only 3/4 of one percent of American Catholics attend daily Mass..Wouldnt Mary correct that craziness if ALL clergy promoted the rosary in their parish..The kingdom of God comes through Mary -etched into Americas shrine Cathedral..Proestantism is heresy- THE ROSARY is THE WEAPON against heresy..There is a shortage of priests..Why dont priests let her help them..3.8 to 4.8 Billion souls in jeopardy from false humility ..She is the holiest woman in history EVER &ALWAYS. and THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN &EARTH ..make sure your faith is in place and those influencing and providing for you have zero Masonic connection ..Many Baptists &Lutherans'ministers are Masons.."Be prepared" is not just for Boy Scouts...I AM SO DISTRESSED THAT FATIMA IS SO UNKNOWN, IGNORED AND BELITTLED..We could have skipped the Holocaust and Planned Parenthood (spoiled brats, gangs, drugs,pornography,homosexuality,greed, foul language, control freaks) and Isis atrocities if love for Mary and truth and Fatima were not so watered down and phony and pathetic..God allows u -turns ..Real priests on the Rosary have immeasureable power to bless..2 % of the current bishops are Masons...Masons are not Catholics ,so how are they Bishops ..USE YOUR BLESSING WEAPON WISELY AND HUGELY..She will help you..She said the consecration would come but it would come late..Please hear me ..HORRORS CAN BE STOPPED, IF AND WHEN SHE IS LISTENED TO BY SOMEONE WHO KNOWS THE ENTIRE WORLD WAS CREATED FROM NOTHING...GOD IS WELL ABLE TO DO WHAT HE SAYS HE CAN DO ..People who think they know better than God have not yet begun to think with the brain God gave them..

1308 lizaw - Apr 12, 2015

Th3 Holy Rosary is a Way of Life. It is the Gospel of a baptized child of God told as a story of our Faith in the Lord Jesus to keep us and always in the attitude of conversion in mind, heart and soul to the love and mercy of God's good Master Plan in a faithful's walk in the world as a weapon against satan and its minions who always in pursuit to seek to separate us from God, as it is still doing since humanity's expulsion from the Garden of Eden! The focus is the price of all sinner' s salvation, THE CRUCIFIX,! The Message: Jesus mercy to us to pay the PRICE : to offer His sinless and holy Body and Blood as sacrifice to appeal fI MERCY against the wrath of God thru the persistent care and love in the eyes and first hand witness experienced by Blessed Mother Mary herself. She teaches us a simple, easy but powerful way to achieve Eternal life life in the unfathomable for now, Kingdom of the Living God, forever where sickness,sin and death does not exist, because, the Lord Jesus has already Crushed it with His Feet during His sorrowful Crucifixion, death and resurrection we are celebrating EVERY Year! Alleluia, THIS IS THE STORY OF THE ROSARY, told thru Blessed Mother Mary and a must to her children, as a daily or constant remembrances which Protestants had sadly forgotten .

Amelia - Apr 3, 2015

The Schoenstatt Marian Movement has a beautiful tradition- started in Aushwitz by Fr. Joseph Kentenich- by which one prays the Rosary and crowns the Blessed Mother for a special petition/need with a title inspired during the praying. For example:"Queen & Mother of Nannette's Rescue, Healing & Santification". Our Lady always confirms these crownings.That in itself becoming a source of joyful communication with Her and understanding of Her powerful maternal love towards us.

I have witnessed incredible confirmations of crownings of Our Lady for our children and family . Especially during the most stressful and tumultuous times.The Rosary never fails-never!Serviam Mariae Nunquam Peribit! Amen.

Frank J. - Mar 27, 2015

Wonderful! The world needs this book right now!

rosaries still rock - Mar 26, 2015

I would clarify that deep devotion to the Rosary DOES help us progress "to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him." (CCC 2708).

Also, nowadays, the rosary AND the Liturgy of the Hours can both be prayed daily by any Catholic. There's really time, and it makes the whole day clearer in meaning.

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Maybe when people start to order & read this Rosary Gems book, they can start to post reviews of it below, to encourage more people to get it? It's always helpful to get more into the never gets old...that's why we pray it every day...there's always room for more peace, joy, insights, enlightenment, and prayer intentions! :D

rosaries still rock - Mar 26, 2015

that's right, Vatican II didn't do away with the Rosary. St. JP2 promulgated the Catechism 2nd ed. (the big green one) and the Rosary is promoted 4 times:

CCC 971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration." The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary."

CCC 1674 "Besides sacramental liturgy and sacramentals, catechesis must take into account the forms of piety and popular devotions among the faithful. The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church's sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals, etc."

CCC 2678 "Medieval piety in the West developed the prayer of the rosary as a popular substitute for the Liturgy of the Hours. In the East, the litany called the Akathistos and the Paraclesis remained closer to the choral office in the Byzantine churches, while the Armenian, Coptic, and Syriac traditions preferred popular hymns and songs to the Mother of God. But in the Ave Maria, the theotokia, the hymns of St. Ephrem or St. Gregory of Narek, the tradition of prayer is basically the same."

CCC 2708 "Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him."

mike mcdonough - Mar 23, 2015

the rosary is such a great prayer, a christo-centric prayer that brings us closer to the Divine Mysteries. I love the Blessed Mother very much, thanks to the Rosary! Jesus, Mary i love you, save souls...