The Rosary of Intercession

Posted On September 29, 2013

Most of us who pray the rosary usually offer it for some specific intention, often multiple intentions, relating to our own needs or the needs of others. Typically, the intention is stated or mentally acknowledged at the beginning of the rosary and then more or less forgotten or relegated to the back of our mind as the prayers themselves are recited. Has this ever happened to you?

I’d like to suggest a way that the rosary can easily be adapted to incorporate our specific intention so that we remain conscious of it and reoffer it throughout the prayers and meditations. By remaining conscious of the intention while we pray and meditate on the mysteries, we link the person we are praying for (ourselves or someone else) to the persons of Christ and Mary in a very meaningful and active way. Doing this helps us discern more completely the specific needs of the person for whom we are praying; and our single, general intention continually reemerges in a series of specific intentions. Prayed in this way, the rosary can become a very complete and effective prayer of discernment and intercession.

As Pope John Paul II was so fond of saying, the rosary is a Gospel prayer. We are remembering and pondering with Mary the great mysteries of God’s love. We are there, reliving the story of our salvation, and thus our prayer is, in a very real sense a living prayer. Through our intentions, we can bring others with us, lifting them up into these living mysteries and repeatedly asking for God’s loving, healing action in their lives.

Each time the rosary is prayed in this way, it is different, because the mysteries are linked to a different person, and the meditations that flow from this are unique to that person, situation, time, place, etc.

So there’s no set formula, but I can give you a few samples to get you started.

At the beginning of the rosary, offer the overall intention. Here are some examples, but don’t be bound by them; use whatever words are most natural for you.

“Thank you, Holy Spirit, for prompting me to pray for (Name). Help me to know how to pray for (him/ her/ them), and as You guide my meditations, overshadow (him/ her/ them) with Your healing love and let your intentions for (him/ her/ them) be fulfilled.”

Or, if you have a more specific intention in mind:

“Eternal Father, in Jesus’ name, in union with Your Holy Spirit, I offer you this rosary through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Throughout these prayers and meditations, I lift (Name) up to You, asking that you immerse (him/ her/ them) completely in Your love. And I especially ask that … ” (here include your specific intention for that person or persons).

After the Apostles Creed and the Our Father (which many people offer for the Holy Father), the first three Hail Mary’s are usually offered for an increase in Faith, Hope, and Love. These may easily be adapted to fit the particular person being prayed for:

Before the first Hail Mary:

“Mary, intercede now for (Name) for a deeper faith in God the Father.”

Before the second Hail Mary:

“Mary, intercede now for (Name) for a greater hope and trust in Jesus.”

Before the third Hail Mary:

“Mary, intercede now for (Name) for a fuller indwelling of love from the Holy Spirit.”

Then, as you begin meditating on each mystery, try to mentally bring the person you are praying for into each event of that mystery. You can do this at the beginning of each mystery and continue it throughout you meditation. The more you do this, the easier it becomes.

Some possible intentions for the Annunciation, for example:

“ Mary, you were in prayer when the angel visited you. Your whole life had been consecrated to the Lord, and you were ready to hear His word. Intercede now for (Name) for that same devotion to prayer and readiness to hear the Lord. … Let (him/her/them) learn to be unafraid and to trust in the Lord with You, to say ‘Yes’ to Him with you and be ready to receive whatever the Lord chooses to give.”

If you look for ways to apply the gospel events and teachings of each mystery to the particular person you’re praying for, you will find many different little prayers coming to mind that will keep the intention active and present to you as you pray.

I find it helpful to adapt even the Our Father and Hail Mary to make them specific to specific intention.
So I pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done (especially for ________), on earth as it is in heaven.”
And, “Pray for us (especially for ________), now and at the hour of our death.”

Mary is our great intercessor with the Lord, and interceding with her through the rosary can be an especially uplifting and fruitful way to pray for those we love.

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One Response to “The Rosary of Intercession”
  1. Joanne Dunn says:

    I love this way of praying…. Thank you. You area gift to the Church.

  • The goal, the destination, or the purpose [of our life] is the encounter with God ... who desires to restore us ... ~ Pope Francis