“The rosary is a spiritual weapon in the struggle against evil, against all violence, for peace in hearts, in families, in society and in the world” – Pope Benedict XVI.
The Catholic rosary consists of total of 59 beads. The “Hail Mary” is recited for the 53 beads while the “Our Father” is repeated for the 6 larger beads. This implies that the prayers composed by men and directed to Mary is 9 times more and important (and effective) than the prayer taught by the Jesus Himself and directed to God. In desperation for legitimacy, some Catholics appeal to Psalm 136 where the words “His love endures forever” were repeated. But this not a prayer, it’s a song and each verse of the Psalm is different. Others refer to Revelation 4:8 where angels were praising God over and over. Again, we don’t see them fingering a rosary or meditating on ‘the 5 mysteries.’ The Lord Jesus directly condemned such repetitious prayers as pagan.
“And when you pray, do not keep babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Matt. 6:7) Apostle Paul wrote “But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2Tim. 2:16). In essence, objects that typify repetitious prayers are not acceptable before God.
There is not a single reference in Scripture to any servant of God ever using rosaries. Jesus said “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven…” (Matt. 6:9). There is no such thing as “our Mother in heaven” to which our prayer is to be directed to. Even in the Old Testament, it is said “O LORD, you are our Father” (Isa. 64:8). This revelation of the Fatherhood of God is one of the keys to true prayer. As a Father, God says to us “Come near to [Me]…” (James 4:8). He desires a close and intimate relationship with us. He speaks to us by His Word and we speak to Him in prayer, therefore, our prayer should be sincere from the heart and not a rote memory test.
Take a look at the prayers of Jesus in Scripture, especially in John 17, you won’t find a hint of mechanical ritual or set of memorized phrases in them. One can examine the many prayers in the Psalms, they contain no repetitive chants either. In a loving, normal family, do the children communicate with their parents by repeating the same phrases over and over again using a device? In the same vein, having the right relationship with God casts the use of rosaries, prayer wheels or other religious junks men have invented into the ash heap. God is not an impersonal force to be appeased with such rituals.
Many Catholics are spoon-fed with legends right from their catechism classes that the rosary is a mystery; it was brought down from heaven by Mary herself and given to St. Dominic. They are told she gave 15 promises attached to it, one of which is that the rosary purifies the mind of evil thoughts and protects Catholics from heresies. Catholic scholars however, do not adhere to such fairy tales. Standard Catholic works agree that the rosary – far from being brought by ‘Our lady’ from the sky – was invented by some monks here on earth to chant prayers for the dead (a practice condemned in Scripture).
“At an early date among the monastic orders the practice had established itself not only of offering Masses, but of saying vocal prayers as a suffrage for their deceased brethren … when the death of any brethren at a distance was announced, every priest was either to say fifty Psalms or to repeat fifty times the Pater noster [Our Father]… by the eleventh and twelfth centuries a practice had come in of using pebbles, berries or discs of bone threaded on a string [rosaries]…” (Catholic Encyclopedia 13:185).
“Irish monks, who divided the psalter into three sets of fifty psalms each brought this custom to the European continent … Lay brothers in the monasteries were required to say fifty psalms or fifty Our Fathers for a deceased monk … Between 1410 and 1439 Dominic of Prussia, a Carthusian, helped to make the practice popular by joining fifty Hail Marys with fifty such phrases” (The New Dictionary of Theology, 2006, 908).
It’s admitted that: “There is little or no trace of the Hail Mary as an accepted devotional formula before 1050 [A. D.]” (Cath. Ency. 7:11).
These beads have been shrouded in so much hype, superstitions and fantasies to make them appealing. Even if we accept that St. Dominic received the rosary hot from heaven, the so-called “promises” attached to it can’t be from God because they contradict His Word. For example:
Promise 1 “Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces”
This proves Catholics are actually serving Mary. We must “worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve” (Luke 4:8).
Promise 2 “I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all who shall recite the Rosary.”
How can Mary confer protection on millions of Catholics worldwide? She would have to be omnipresent to do so. If God is our refuge and fortress, why do we need a deceased woman to protect us? (Psalm 91:2). Grace is always used in a singular form in the Bible. It’s received by faith, not works.
Promise 3 “The Rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.”
No godly person in Scripture ever fought Satan or his demons with a bunch of beads. “The weapon of our warfare are not carnal [physical objects like beads, crucifixes etc.] but mighty through God [not Mary]…” (2Cor. 10:4). Catholicism’s vices have multiplied till date and beads won’t solve them.
Promise 9 “I shall deliver from Purgatory those who are devoted to the Rosary.”
Purgatory is a myth cooked up to control Catholics and drain their wallets. There is no cleansing after death (Heb. 9:27).
Promise 11 “You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.”
This is sorcery – chanting some words with a device and getting all you ask. Jesus said “whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father [not Mary] in My name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16).
Promise 14 “All who recite the Rosary are my sons and daughters...”
The idea that God is our Father and Mary is our “heavenly mother” is straight from the pit of hell.
There’s no denying the fact that the use of rosary was adopted from paganism. It’s use goes back thousands of years. According to the book The Cross in Tradition, History and Art, the Phoenicians used a circle of beads resembling a rosary in their worship of Astarte, about 800 B.C. (p. 21). Some Hindus also use rosaries in their worship of Vishnu (108 beads). Shiva devotees also use it for chanting his names.
The Catholic Encyclopedia cited several examples of pre-Christian uses of rosaries e.g an artifact found at the site of ancient Nineveh was of “two winged females standing before the sacred tree in the attitude of prayer; they…hold in the left [hand] a garland of rosary.” Muslims used rosaries; Marco Polo (c 13th cent) found the king of Malabar use a rosary of precious stones to count his prayers and St. Xavier discovered its use among Buddhists in Japan.
The concept of repeating a phrase over and over (called mantra) as is observed in the Catholic rosary is also used in occult circles. These mantras are “words or phrases, when repeated in meditation, will bring the individual to a higher state of consciousness [i.e in contact with the spirit realm]…it has a certain metre and a presiding deity [demon]…” (The Sivananda Companion to Yoga, 1983, 98).
Regardless of the so-called miracles that come with using the rosary, it’s an abominable object that has no place in Bible Christianity.