By tradition, the Catholic Church dedicates each month of the year to a certain devotion. The month of October is dedicated to the holy Rosary, one of the best known of all Catholic devotions. October includes the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7). The best way to celebrate the month is, of course, to pray the Rosary. Unfortunately in some parishes, the recitation of the Rosary may not be as prevalent today as it was in the past. However as a teacher, I have found that the Rosary is a great teaching tool in the classroom.
The Rosary draws its mysteries from the New Testament and is centered on the great events of the Incarnation and Redemption with each decade referring to an event in the life of Jesus and Mary. The Mysteries of the Rosary give us “thumbnails” of the life of Christ and his Mother.
- The Joyful Mysteries are taken mostly from Saint Luke’s Gospel in the New Testament. They involve the joyful events of Jesus’ childhood.
- The Luminous Mysteries bring a deeper understanding to the public life of Jesus. They fill in the blanks between the childhood of Jesus and His suffering and death on the cross.
- The Sorrowful Mysteries remind us of how much Jesus loves us. They recall how He suffered and died just for us.
- The Glorious Mysteries tell us what happened after Jesus died-His Resurrection, the descent of the Holy Spirit and the love Jesus had for his Mother.
A teacher can use the mysteries in various ways in the classroom and at every level of education:
- As a shortened story of the life of Christ
- As a review of the various events in the life of Jesus and his Mother.
- As a teaching tool in a religion lesson
- As a introduction to the recitation of the Rosary
- As part of the Liturgical Year of the Church beginning with Advent and continuing on to Pentecost.
The recitation of the Rosary should also be an integral part of the classroom. It can begin a day or end a day. Blessed Pope Paul VI concluded that it was an excellent prayer and its intrinsic value should draw people to its “calm recitation.”
In this month of October, let us consider this beautiful prayer of the Rosary as a means that we, as Catholic educators, can use to help our students draw closer to Jesus and Mary by meditating on the great mysteries of our salvation.
Check out this helpful pamphlet! The Rosary for Children