Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

On the Holy Rosary

In the 8th chapter of Proverbs, we find the phrase ab æterno ordinata sum. At the heart of the phrase is the verb ordinare: to arrange, set in order, regulate, adjust, compose, appoint. We find this text–and may others from the Wisdom Literature–rather often applied to Our Lady by the sacred liturgy: “From eternity, I have been appointed.” Come October, the text is colored by the feast of the Most Holy Rosary.

Remember what the theologian attempts to do: he does not prove doctrines, but explains them. He reflects upon how revealed truths coordinate, how they are arranged, composed, and ordered; ordinata sunt.  

The Rosary is a mute theologian; a catechism of the theology of Jesus and Mary. It is not an affectation, Romish superstition, or quaint occupation for pious females. (Let it be said!) The holy Rosary coordinates the mysteries of Our Lady, relates them to others, and draws us into their merit and meaning. To pray the Holy Rosary is to place oneself inside the theology of the Mother of God. 

Yes, she was set in order from all eternity; her mysteries were all coordinated and foreseen in the divine intellect. The Rosary reminds us of this. 

St Francis de Sales writes somewhere that, “Union in distinction make order; order produces agreement; and proportion and agreement, in complete and finished things, make beauty.”1 

Be reminded today of the order, beauty, and merit of the Holy Rosary.


1 The Spiritual Maxims of Saint Francis de Sales, Angelico Press: 2014; p 10.

{ Art Credit: detail, Devotion (1882), Sir Luke Fildes }

Lightning Meditations