Thursday, August 01, 2013

Review: The Rosary: The Prayer That Saved My Life

About the Book:
Immaculée Ilibagiza believes that praying the rosary spared her from being slaughtered during the horrific 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which her family and more than a million other innocent men, women, and children were brutally murdered.

Nearly two decades later, Immaculée continues to pray the rosary every day and marvels at how she is constantly renewed and richly rewarded by this glorious prayer. It has helped her in every possible way, from strengthening her faith to changing heartache into happiness and landing her a dream job . . . and that’s just for starters. She has witnessed—and been the recipient of—the rosary’s ability to create miracles so often that she vowed to share its blessings with as many people as she could.

In these pages, Immaculée reveals how the rosary’s abundant benefits can be reaped by each and every one of us, regardless of our religious affiliations. In this moving and uplifting book, the New York Times best-selling author recounts her personal experience of discovering the power and the beauty of the ancient beads—and shows all of us how to enrich our own lives by exploring and embracing the mysteries, secrets, and promises of the prayer that indeed saved her life.

My Comments:
I have a confession:  I don’t really like to pray the Rosary.  I rarely choose to say it.  I've tried different times--a daily Rosary has been a Lenten resolution in the past, I've read  books about the Rosary, I've bought Rosary tapes for the car, but the fact of the matter remains, it has never become a meaningful or pleasant prayer for me.  That being said, I don’t have any problem with those who do say the rosary and like some other things that other people like and I don’t, I've wondered what I’m missing.  With that in mind when The Rosary: The Prayer That Saved My Life became available on NetGalley I requested a copy. 

The author of this book, Immaculée Ilibagiza was a child in Rwanda during the genocide. She lost all her family except one brother. She survived because a Protestant pastor hid her and some others in his bathroom. She remained there for months and during that time her prayers included the Rosary. She takes us through each mystery and tells us about the images she saw as she prayed those mysteries while hiding and about how she related what she imagined to her current situation. I will say that it was moving. She sat with the Blessed Mother and watched the soldiers crucify Jesus. She was there at the Nativity. She watched Mary being crowned Queen of heaven. Maybe that’s my problem with the rosary--I’m a word person, not an image person. I could write a report about how the crucifixion process killed Jesus, but I just can’t draw that type of picture in my mind. I don’t “see” it. I read this book over four weeks and was moved by Immaculée Ilibagiza's meditations. I think Rosary lovers would be even more moved. Grade: B+


  1. I can relate with your not caring for the Rosary. I'm a Lay Dominican and I have to pray a Rosary a day, and if it weren't part of the Rule, I wouldn't do it. My Spiritual Director told me that St. Theresa (Little Flower) said the exact same thing--if it weren't part of the rule she wouldn't do it. That being said, I've prayed it faithfully for seven years now and it's part of my life. I pray it poorly. I don't even remember 99% of what I prayed and I'm done. I believe it's the intention that counts. I force myself to pray the Rosary because I love God and we do things we don't want to do to please those we love.
    I've also tried different methods. Videos, CD's, praying with the Legion of Mary before daily Mass, praying while walking, pray a decade on the way to work-during lunch--going home--finishing at night, praying in Latin, praying in French, on my knees, sitting down, reading the prayers, etc. You name it; I've tried it. I will not give up because I love Jesus.
    My spiritual director advised me to stop praying the Rosary for a week and see how I felt. Know what? I missed it. Go figure.

  2. I adore the Rosary and though I am a WordSmith...having a specific picture in my head as I recite the Rosary helps greatly. The 20 min devotion takes me close to an hour because each mystery becomes a Broadway drama!! My most favorite Rosary time is reciting it with my sister(s) or 91 year old mother. Yes, it is difficult for some, but well worth the effort. Thank you for the info on the book by Immaculee and reminding me of how special the Rosary is.


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