Often people complain about the Rosary being boring or being distracted during its recitation. Often these comments and complaints arise from not understanding the power of the Rosary. The Rosary is not only a contemplative prayer that promotes union with God and our identification with Christ through Mary. It is an extraordinarily effective prayer of supplication. There are countless graces obtained by the Rosary for our personal sanctification as well as for Christian society. The victory of Lepanto is the most striking testimony: Our Lady of the Rosary is Our Lady of Victories!
Popes and saints attest to this. "Through the Rosary you can get everything... It is a long chain that connects heaven to earth, one end is in our hands, and the other in those of the Blessed Virgin. As long as the Rosary is recited, God will not be able to abandon the world, for this prayer is all powerful on his heart" (Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus). What are the reasons for this power of the Rosary on the heart of God and on that of Our Lady? Let us first answer that the Rosary has the qualities required for effective prayer, because it makes us ask with perseverance, trust and humility. It also lends itself to community recitation, especially within the family; yet Jesus promised us that He would answer what we would agree to ask Him. In addition, we remind Jesus and the Blessed Virgin of what they have done for our salvation. These are all titles for our prayer to be answered.
The repetition of the Hail moves the Heart of Mary, which is the heart of our Mother. And above all, this prayer calls for the intercession of Mary, who is all powerful over the Heart of her Son. She is almighty with the Almighty. It could be called: supplicating omnipotence. "Predestined souls, slaves of Jesus in Mary," said St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, "learn that the Hail Mary is the most beautiful of all prayers after the Pater; this is the most perfect complement you can give to Mary, since it is the compliment that the Most High sent her by an archangel to win her heart; and he was so powerful over her heart, by the secret charms with which he is full, that Mary gave her consent to the Incarnation of the Word, despite her profound humility. It is also through this compliment that you will infallibly win his heart, if you say it properly. The Hail Mary well said, that is, with attention, devotion and modesty, is, according to the saints, the enemy of the devil, who puts him to flight, and the hammer that crushes him, the sanctification of the soul, the joy of the angels, the melody of the predestined, the song of the New Testament, the pleasure of Mary and the glory of the Most Holy Trinity" (Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, No. 252-253.)
St. Pius X leaves us this testament: "Give me an army that recites the rosary and I will conquer the world. Of all the prayers, the Rosary is the most beautiful and the richest in grace, the one that most pleases Mary Most Holy. Love the Rosary and recite it with piety every day... "
Pope Pius would have his army; the “Blue Army”. The Blue Army was founded in 1946 by Rev. Fr. Harold V. Colgan, parish priest of St. Mary of Plainfield, New Jersey (US). Father Colgan had fallen seriously ill and was hospitalized. During his illness he prayed to Our Lady of Fátima that if she should cure him, he would spend the rest of his life spreading devotion to her. He attributed his recovery to his prayers and began preaching to his congregation on a regular basis about the Virgin Mary. He summed up the message of Our Lady's apparition as this:
· Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
· Daily recitation of the Rosary and
· Righteous observance of the duties of one's state of life.
His message was highly successful; however, he wanted to make more of a lasting impression upon his congregation, and so he added two further items of his own invention. The first was a signed promise that one would try to uphold these values and the second was to wear a blue ribbon or blue medal in order to remember the promise. This was also a success and the congregation all enrolled. It was then that Fr. Colgan began to think about extending this to other parishes and other nations. Thus was born the Blue Army, from Colgan's own words: "We will be the Blue army of Mary and Christ, against the red of the world and of Satan."
Fr. Colgan began preaching his message and gained success, especially with the assistance of writer John Haffert who began delivering conferences on the message of Fátima and the Blue Army. Colgan then went to the Vatican in May 1947 to meet Pius XII in order to present his project for approval from the pontiff. The foundation of the International Blue Army took place at the House of Pontevedra, Spain, where Mary is said to have appeared to request Communion of Reparation every First Saturday. Currently, there are over 20 million members.