The Rosary prayer was highlighted in Garabandal 

According to tradition, it was in 1214 that Our Lady explained to Saint Dominique about a new way of saying the rosary. Since that time, sixteen Popes have honored and used this type of prayer, promoting it to religious and lay people with the aim of more and more people using this powerful form of communication with Heaven. Leo XIII, over a period of ten years , he even wrote seven encyclical letters promoting the use of the Rosary and its urgent application in the church. Later, John Paul II, was one of the Popes who made the most use of the Rosary prayer.

It was this beautiful prayer that Our Lady wanted to teach again to the four girls from a poor Spanish village, Garabandal. Why is it that almost 700 years later, there was a need to teach this prayer again? Why, when the same prayer had been given to Saint Dominic in such detail? Why did Our Lady choose four children, with little training, to teach how to pray this prayer? Our Lady certainly knew of the approach of the Second Vatican Council. For the first time, John XXIII proposed holding a Council for a group of cardinals, on January 24, 1959, in a Benedictine monastery. This occurred two and a half years before the events of Garabandal. Why, then, did Our Lady not choose some Cardinals, Bishops or Pope John XIII himself for this mission?

In fact, over the course of several centuries, Our Lady has always wanted to convey the message of the Rosary to several children and relatively young people, and usually with little schooling. In Lourdes, through Bernardete, in Fátima through Jacinta, Francisco and Lúcia, and now in Garabandal through Mari Cruz, Jacinta, Mari Loli and Conchita Gonzalez. In Lourdes, Bernardete always said the rosary before the apparition of Our Lady and later Our Lady helped Bernardete in reciting the rosary, passing the beads of the rosary with her fingers, without reciting in a voice, and when she reached the part of the "Glória" prayer , Our Lady bowed her head in sign of praise and respect for Almighty God, thus participating in the total recitation of the rosary.

In Fátima, the Mother of God recommended and used the recitation of the Rosary in each of the apparitions, asking that a new phrase be added to the rosary: ​​"O my Jesus, forgive me and deliver me from the fire of hell, take souls to heaven especially those that need it most. " Apparently the world did not understand the importance of these messages. Our Lady felt the need to come again to make known the importance of reciting the Rosary. Could it be that Garabandal's purpose was to give enough emphasis and reflection on the Rosary before the wonderful Second Vatican Council was held? Regarding the records that took place in Garabandal, there is no precise data on the days when Our Lady prayed the Rosary with the seer girls of Garabandal. What we do know is that this happened regularly and that it was normally before the apparition occurred. We know for example that on the 2nd of July, the first apparition of Our Lady in Garabandal, the girls recited the Rosary, but there are not many details about how everything was done. On the 4th of July, the girls recited the Rosary in the Parish Church, shortly before the apparition of Our Lady. On the 29th of July, we know that Our Lady asked the visionary girls for the crowd, present there that day, to participate in the recitation of the Rosary. On a certain day, Mari Loli and Jacinta were reciting the Rosary, they were going at the end of the first decade, when they were ecstatic, and after being ecstatic they continued their recitation. On July 31, it is known that Our Lady also participated in the recitation of the Rosary. After the ecstasy was over, Mari-Loli informed those present that Our Lady taught them to say prayers at the right time, and it was often Our Lady herself who recited the "Avé Maria" prayer together with them, just to correct them and teach them to pray properly. This was the first observation that there was actually a verbal teaching regarding the recitation of the Rosary.

On August 3rd, 1961, one of the girls started Rosário before going into ecstasy. In the middle of the first decade, Loli and Jacinta were also ecstatic. In this ecstasy, Our Lady appeared with the Child Jesus on her lap, the girls all full of joy wanted to place him in her arms and for that reason the Rosary had not been prayed in its entirety. After taking the Baby Jesus and having all the parties that normally take place with babies and young children, the sighted girls went down to the parish church where they later finished the recitation of the Rosary which had meanwhile been interrupted for the reasons given previously. On August 5, Conchita was leading one of the recitations of the Rosary in ecstasy, asking Our Lady why Mari Cruz, her companion, was not present at that moment. We know that that night, Mari Cruz was not present, because she was forced by her parents to go to bed earlier. Our Lady always respected the parents' decision. It seems strange to us adults, all these successive interruptions that the visionary girls had with their prayers: the sudden entrance in ecstasy during the recitation, conversation with Our Lady on the most diverse subjects, new redirection to the prayers that had meanwhile been interrupted, attention to the Child Jesus, etc. For us adults, all of this would be a distraction. But for the young girls participating, the change of context, from our world to the supernatural world, was done in a natural and simple way, as if it were an extension of their prayers. Taking into account the intense attention that the girls had in the apparitions, their participation in these ecstasies, they were beyond doubt, a form of prayer and no one was indifferent to all this spiritual experience, which was characterized by a relaxed communication with this special visit from Heaven. 

An interesting point occurred on the 6th of August, when at night the visionary girls recited the Rosary. Their voices become angelic, modulated to the rhythm of the recitation, slowly and precisely and with the utmost attention always present That day and after having completed their ecstatic prayers, they left that state shortly afterwards and went to the parish church to pray a "season [1]". When the visionary girls said a prayer, without being in a state of ecstasy, it was possible to verify that their voices were no longer so modulated, they no longer had that special tone and the same rhythm. 

These teachings on the part of the Virgin Mary would be a kind of reminder of the quick way in which the rosary is often said. Both in the village and by the visionaries themselves, there was later a correction to their way of saying these prayers. However, despite these wonderful and precious teachings given by our Heavenly Mother, very few people followed these advices. The girls, however, as they grew older, adopted this new methodology of saying their prayers, especially the Rosary. 

On August 8, 1961, one of the biggest and most important events related to the apparitions of Garabandal took place. It was during this ecstasy that Father Andreu, a Jesuit priest present in Garabandal at the time, also witnessed Our Lady and the future Miracle of Garabandal that will one day occur in this village. During this apparition, the girls recited the Rosary once again. That night, after Jacinta, Loli and Conchita left ecstasy, Mari-Cruz remained ecstatic in the parish Church. All of this happened at a time when Our Lady was teaching Mari-Cruz how to pray the Creed and Avé Maria. This time, Mari-Cruz did not miss this opportunity. On this day, Our Lady also taught the girls to pray the entire Rosary.

It is enought to say that Our Lady wanted us all to think well about the words we recite, and she was not interested in the volume and quantity of prayers, but concerned with our understanding of the words and their true meaning. As we pray in this way, our piety and devotion is increased, and we are thus closer to the things of God, and of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. On November 4th, 1961, Our Lady instructed the girls to recite the Rosary every day.

Participation of Our Lady 

Our Lady's participation in the recitation of the Rosary during the state of ecstasy of the seer girls, became very evident her great concern and care with all of us, as she wanted to teach us to pray our prayers correctly in the sense to speak to God with all our attention and all of our thinking. When examining the participation of Our Lady in the Rosary, we may be a little confused and ask this question: how is it possible that Our Lady herself is praying to "Avé Maria". Wouldn't all of this be a kind of self-adulation as many might think? In Garabandal, when Our Lady and the visionary girls recited the Rosary, they prayed through the Mother of Heaven to reach their prayers to God. The words of the prayer seem to be addressed to her, but if we analyze it better, the first words of "Avé Maria", do not represent our greeting to her, but the greeting of the Angel and the greeting of her cousin Isabel. See this point in the New Testament (Luke 1: 28-42). 

In these little verses, we can find the presence of God's love and mercy, not only for Mary, but also for us, once they relate to our salvation. How does Our Lady participate in the recitation of the Rosary? She remembers the first words of prayer spoken by the Angel of God: "Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you ..." These words are engraved in her Immaculate heart. She rejoices at this moment whenever we put these words addressed to her. Her heart leaps for joy and she loves God in gratitude, reminding him of God's mercy and the Mystery of the Incarnation itself. So the answer to this question is clear. 

Of course, Our Lady can participate in these prayers, because the prayers are not for her, but represent what God did through her for the salvation of all men. How could Our Lady forget her meeting with her cousin Isabel, when she traveled and traveled through the Judean hills all that way to assist her during the time of John the Baptist's pregnancy? Isabel, filled with the Holy Spirit, feeling the movement of her son in her womb, when feeling the presence of the Savior, exclaims full of joy and amazement: "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. " Which mother would be indifferent to this sentence? In the same way that Our Lady participated in the recitation of the Rosary, she will also participate in our prayers, if they are well reflected. Since the second part of "Avé Maria" is totally dedicated to her, she did not say it together with the visionary girls, but waited for the girls to finish reciting "Avé Maria", praying together "Gloria" together. For all these reasons, we will all have to think about the great affection and love that Our Lady had for us, when she wanted to participate with us in our prayers and to remember with us all about the mysteries and the wonders of God. Therefore, let us all remember: the Mother of God is and will always be with us in our prayers.

Willian Kuhn

Traduzido pelo apostolado de Garabandal em língua portuguesa