I have heard that the Rosary is the “most powerful prayer” a Catholic can pray. Where does this “most power” designation come from? Is it just a testimony of cumulative experience or is it historically rooted in some proclamation of the Church or a Saint?
The Rosary is given credit a a valuable prayer, in particular because it has been requested by Mary in apparitions such as at Fatima and Lourdes. Its value isn’t simply in the words or prayers, but in the fact that it is accompanied by meditations on the life of Jesus.
It isn’t the most powerful prayer, the Eucharist is
“The Eucharistic Sacrifice is the source and summit of the whole of the Church’s worship and of Christian life. The faithful participate more fully in the sacrament of thanksgiving, propitiation, petition and praise not only when they wholeheartedly offer the sacred Victim, and in it themselves to the Father with the priest, but also when they receive this same Victim sacramentally.”
“The other sacraments, as indeed every ministry of the church and every work of the apostolate, are linked with the Eucharist and are directed towards it. For the Eucharist contains the entire spiritual good of the Church, namely, Christ Himself, our Passover and living bread, offering through His flesh, living and life-giving in the Spirit, life to all who are thus invited and led on to offer themselves, their labours, and all created things together with Him.” [Vatican 2 9:6]
“The faithful are gathered by the preaching of Christ’s Gospel and the mystery of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated, ‘so that through the Body and Blood of the Lord the whole brotherhood is united…Christ is present, by whose power the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church is united. For the partaking has no less an effect than to change us into what we have received.’” Constitution of the Church, n.26]
In support of Trishie’s reply, here is what Pope John Paul II wrote in his apostolic letter on the Rosary, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (full text at vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20021016_rosarium-virginis-mariae_en.html ):
- … Consequently, while it must be reaffirmed with the Second Vatican Council that the Liturgy, as the exercise of the priestly office of Christ and an act of public worship, is “the summit to which the activity of the Church is directed and the font from which all its power flows”,(15) it is also necessary to recall that the spiritual life “is not limited solely to participation in the liturgy. Christians, while they are called to prayer in common, must also go to their own rooms to pray to their Father in secret (cf. Mt 6:6); indeed, according to the teaching of the Apostle, they must pray without ceasing (cf.1Thes 5:17)”.(16) The Rosary, in its own particular way, is part of this varied panorama of “ceaseless” prayer. If the Liturgy, as the activity of Christ and the Church, is a saving action par excellence, the Rosary too, as a “meditation” with Mary on Christ, is a salutary contemplation. By immersing us in the mysteries of the Redeemer’s life, it ensures that what he has done and what the liturgy makes present is profoundly assimilated and shapes our existence.
- … The Church has always attributed particular efficacy to this prayer, entrusting to the Rosary, to its choral recitation and to its constant practice, the most difficult problems. At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation.
Wow - fantastic information. I have never read this but it is a perfect answer to the question. Thanks!