Earlier this month, I finished praying the Pompeii Rosary Novena. It is a 54-day novena split into two halves — 27 days of petition and 27 days of thanksgiving. In other words, it’s six nine-day novenas. Each day, you pray 15 decades. Before Saint Pope John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries, 15 decades meant all the Rosary Mysteries, every day, for 54 days (I’m unclear if we should now pray 20 decades every day). That’s 810 decades in about a two month period.
The Pompeii Rosary Novena was first prayed by Blessed Bartolo Longo in 1874 and he was miraculously cured of typhoid fever. Later, in 1894, a young girl was cured of a terminal disease after praying this novena. There have been numerous, documented cases of healings as a result of this novena. The Pompeii novena is often prayed to ask Our Lady to intercede on behalf of someone sick. Since there are people in my life who need healing, I too turned to Mary through the Pompeii novena.
You Always Have Time
I learned a few things about Rosary prayer during this novena. On the practical side, I learned that I have more opportunities for prayer throughout the day than I thought. When you commit to praying 15 decades every day, you have to be very disciplined and scheduled so you are not left rushing through decades at 11pm.
My schedule typically looked like this. I would wake up early in the morning and say the Joyful Mysteries before getting out of bed. I would aim to have the Sorrowful Mysteries done by early afternoon and finish the day with the Glorious Mysteries. I squeezed in decades while driving, before meals, waiting for my kids to fall asleep, etc. There are so many opportunities for the Rosary if praying it is constantly on your mind.
Talking to God
Because Rosary prayer was constantly on my mind throughout the day, my relationship with God was constantly on my mind too. I was sharing more of my day with God, telling Him the good and the bad as they happened. I asked Him for more help and guidance for the challenging parts of my day and thanked Him for all the good. Instead of waiting to share my day with God in my last few waking moments, praying the Rosary every few hours gave me the opportunity to talk to God as my day unfolded. I was including God in my day in real time instead of running through a highlights clip at night or the next day.
A Spiritual Banquet
Praying all the Rosary mysteries every day was also beneficial. If you think of the Rosary as a balanced spiritual diet, then praying a single set of mysteries each day is only getting you 25% of the necessary vitamin G (God). Now, of course, the Rosary isn’t the only source of daily spirituality. There’s other prayers, meditation, Mass, scripture, etc. But the Rosary is an important part of one’s spiritual diet because it covers so many important Catholic teachings and has so many benefits.
Praying 15 decades (sometimes inserting the Luminous Mysteries too) felt like a more complete daily prayer regiment. It was easier to build on ideas when I visited each mystery every day instead of letting several days pass between mysteries. I really felt like I gained new insights into certain mysteries that I overlooked when I only prayed them twice a week.
Now, many of you might ask the million dollar question — did the Pompeii novena work? Did Mary respond to my petitions? Stay tuned for part 2 on this topic.