A Living Rosary for Moms


A Living Rosary for MomsIt was 1881, and a group of mothers living in the tiny village of Lu in northern Italy gathered every Tuesday for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Their collective prayer intention was for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life from their families. This group of moms also received Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month, again specifically praying for an increase in religious vocations. Fast forward several years, and from that tiny village came 323 vocations: 152 priests and 171 nuns. (Read more about this story on pages 18-19 from the booklet Adoration, Reparation, Spiritual Motherhood for Priests).

Never doubt the power of a sincere prayer, huh? The story of how these mothers banded together in simple yet constant prayer has motivated a group of moms here in Des Moines to do likewise. We don’t collectively gather once a week for Adoration, but we do daily gather together in spirit and vow to pray for one another and the vocation of motherhood.

A Living Rosary inspired by St. Pope John Paul II

First, all credit goes to my beautiful friend Geneveve who initiated the idea and organized our group. She sent out an email invitation to a group of women, sharing a childhood story of St. Pope John Paul. He and several other boys promised to pray one decade of the Rosary every day. Those boys became part of a living rosary, and Geneveve encouraged us moms to do the same. Beginning on Holy Week, twenty moms began praying a mystery of the Rosary each day, and we promised to continue praying that mystery throughout April and May. For example, I have the Wedding at Cana, so each day I ponder that mystery and pray a decade of Hail Marys, praying specifically for the vocation of motherhood.

But What if You Forget to Pray?

Are you asking that very question? Minor confession: I have neglected, here and there, to pray my daily mystery, as have some of the other moms. But we move on and pick right back up the next day. Our group has found it helpful to have visual reminders throughout our homes prompting us to prayer. For example, placing an image of Mary somewhere in your kitchen helps many of us. (Sarah Reinhard shares some terrific ways to bring Mary into your kitchen here). One mom wears a rosary bracelet. Seeing it around her wrist reminds her to pray her decade, even while driving or standing in line at the store. Moms working outside of the home have prayer cards strategically placed in their office space. I have an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe along my stairwell, and I often light the candle next to her. Each time I pass by, typically no less than 2,301 times a day, the flickering light prompts me to pray a Hail Mary.

Our Lady of Guadalupe
The group of twenty moms here in Des Moines have only been doing our living Rosary since April, but it’s already been such a blessing to offer up my day in prayer for them and the vocation of motherhood. The group will revisit our future plans after May, but I really do hope we continue on for a long time to come. Now I’m off to go light my candle and offer a Hail Mary!

Have you ever been part of a living Rosary for moms?

I’d love to hear about your experience!

Copyright 2015, Lisa A. Schmidt
Images Copyright 2015, Lisa A. Schmidt


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  1. Hello Lisa ~ We just celebrated the end of another year of religious education with a Living Rosary. We assigned a child to each bead (prayer) and the mysteries. Our youngest children began it with the sign of the cross. It was absolutely beautiful, spiritual, moving me to tears. I’ll never forget the moment and I’m sure it will be something most of our children will remember forever. Blessings, Lisa

  2. What a wonderful idea, Lisa; thanks for sharing! Also, that is beautiful picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe! My son has such a devotion to her, and I’ve been looking for an image to hang in our home. Can you say where you got it or who the artist is? Thanks so much!

  3. I love the artwork of Our Lady of Guadalupe – it’s lovely. Where did you get it? I would love to find something like that for our home. I also love the cross with the candle holder – beautiful. Please share, I’m looking for items like this to add to our home decor to increase our mindfulness of prayer and God in our home.

  4. What a beautiful idea! I’m even willing to share this with ladies in our parish and CWL and COORDINATE it!
    thanks so much for sharing 🙂 God bless!

    • Hi Melissa! Sorry I missed your message back in May. Just seeing it now. I do hope you coordinated and got that group going! You did, right?! So how’s it’s going? 🙂

  5. I am a part of the Living Rosary through the St Philomena Society. I confess, I forget sometimes, too, but it is a great experience. I like the idea of a visual reminder!

  6. I am member of (PARENTS’ ROSARY FOR THEIR CHILDREN) St Rita Rose since 2009. It is a blessing.

    The idea of the parental rosary prayer was initiated during the retreat of a prayer group in Poland in 2001. The purpose of this prayer is the popularization of the parental rosary and the initiation of new groups of parents, very similar to the Living Rosary groups, were mothers and fathers are the living roses of prayer for their children. We don’t collectively gather, but we do daily gather together in spirit and pray for our own children and all our children included in this group.

  7. Hi! I’ve joined a group of women inspired by this. 🙂 It’s wonderful – thank you! One question: is it necessary that the decade each person is committed to is said seperatly from any other rosary, or can they dedicate their specific mystery for the intentions of the group at the same time they’re praying a full rosary. Thank you in advance for your input.

    • Hi Cheryl,
      Thank you so much for contacting me and letting me know about your prayer group. Here’s how we do it – if women are daily rosary pray-ers (many are), when they get to their mystery of the month, they simply pray for the intentions of our group during that time.

      Thanks, again, for reaching out. Blessings to you and your prayer warrior friends.

  8. After finding this article in late September, I was inspired to reach out to “a few” Catholic mom friends so we could gather 20 Moms to pray together, each doing a different decade a day. Turns out that they shared & shared & shared so that within just a couple of weeks, we had 5 complete 20 decade Rosaries being prayed and a 6th is still being built up as I receive new requests for decades.

    It has been an amazing blessing to so many, we started a group on FB and Yahoo (for those not on FB), and with the help of a couple of friends, we set forth our own guidelines (everyone prays their decade daily, apart from their regular Rosary time) and the fruits are continuously being shared by all.

    This morning, I had a short meeting with our pastor & he not only loves this idea but he’s going to put it in the bulletin & has asked me to speak at the end of all weekend Masses sometime in the next few weeks about it, hoping to spread the ministry to any/all mom-parishioners. I’m NOT a fan of public speaking (or “running” a group to be honest) but I have found that the mustard seed planted by this article has sprouted into an extra large sized bush. 😉

    God bless you now & always (and thanks for sharing this!).

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