Let’s Talk About the Rosary Book Summary

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Title: Let’s Talk About the Rosary
Author: Godwin Delali Adadzie

TLDR: This booklet debunks common misconceptions about the Rosary, arguing it’s not pagan, repetitive without meaning, or Mary-worshipping. Adadzie uses history and Scripture to show its deep Christian roots as a meditative prayer focused on Jesus’ life, leading people closer to Him through Mary’s example.

Chapter 1: Is the Rosary from Paganism?

This chapter directly addresses a common misconception about the Rosary’s origin. Many critics, drawing upon superficial similarities with other faiths, accuse the practice of being rooted in paganism. Adadzie firmly refutes this claim by delving into the Rosary’s historical development.

He begins by explaining the term “Rosary” itself. Derived from the Latin “rosarium,” meaning “a garland/wreath/crown of roses,” it signifies a symbolic offering of roses to the Virgin Mary. This connection to Mary, often a point of contention for non-Catholics, is immediately contextualized within Christian tradition.

Adadzie then traces the Rosary’s roots back centuries before its common association with St. Dominic. He highlights the monastic practice of praying all 150 Psalms. Lay brothers, often illiterate, substituted the Psalms with 150 recitations of the “Our Father.” This practice evolved, incorporating the “Hail Mary” and eventually mirroring the Psalms’ structure with 15 decades of prayers. The recent addition of five “Mysteries of Light” by Pope John Paul II in 2002 brought the Rosary to its current form of 20 decades.

By establishing this historical context, Adadzie demonstrates that the Rosary emerged organically from within Christian practice, not from external pagan influences. The evolution of the prayer form reflects adaptations for lay participation and a deepening focus on meditating upon the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Adadzie concludes that the accusation of pagan origins is baseless and misleading.

Chapter 2: Is the Rosary a Repetitious Prayer?

This chapter tackles another frequent criticism: the repetitive nature of the Rosary. Critics often cite Matthew 6:7, which cautions against “heaping up empty phrases” in prayer, as evidence that the Rosary contradicts Jesus’ teachings. Adadzie challenges this interpretation by providing a contextualized understanding of the scripture and highlighting repetitions within the Bible itself.

He begins by posing a relatable analogy: Would anyone be offended by a loved one repeatedly expressing their love? Similarly, Catholics view the Rosary as an expression of love towards Jesus and Mary, repeating the “Hail Mary” and “Our Father” as affirmations of devotion.

Next, Adadzie examines the scripture in question, emphasizing that the Greek term “battologeō,” translated as “heap up empty phrases,” actually means “babble.” He argues that Jesus is not condemning repetition but rather the mindless babbling of pagans who worshipped false gods.

Adadzie draws a parallel to Elijah’s encounter with the prophets of Baal, who frantically cried out to their god with no response. This contrasts with Elijah’s single, fervent prayer to the God of Israel, which was immediately answered. The point, Adadzie posits, is that pagans “heap up empty phrases” because their deities are deaf to their pleas, unlike the living God Christians worship.

Furthermore, Adadzie points out instances of repetition within the Bible itself. He cites Jesus’ threefold prayer in Gethsemane, repeating the same words each time. This example demonstrates that Jesus himself utilized repetition in prayer. Additionally, he brings attention to Psalm 136, which repeats the phrase “for his steadfast love endures forever” throughout its verses. This illustrates that repetition is a feature of biblical prayer and does not inherently contradict scripture.

Through this multi-faceted approach, Adadzie successfully argues that the Rosary, while repetitive, does not constitute the “empty phrases” condemned by Jesus. The Rosary, with its meditative focus on the mysteries of Christ’s life, stands in stark contrast to the mindless babble of pagans. Repetition, as demonstrated by biblical examples, can be a powerful tool for expressing devotion and deepening one’s relationship with God.

Chapter 3: Is the Rosary all about Mary and not Jesus?

This chapter confronts the common misconception that the Rosary elevates Mary above Jesus. Adadzie firmly refutes this, arguing that the Rosary is fundamentally Christocentric, leading individuals towards Jesus through the example and intercession of Mary.

He begins by outlining the three main forms of Christian prayer: vocal, meditative, and contemplative. He then demonstrates how the Rosary beautifully integrates all three forms. The vocal prayers of the Rosary include the Apostles’ Creed (Credo), the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster), the Hail Mary (Ave Maria), and the Glory Be (Gloria).

The inclusion of the Apostles’ Creed, a foundational statement of Christian belief, underscores the Rosary’s grounding in core Christian doctrines. The Lord’s Prayer, taught by Jesus himself, further cements the prayer’s Christological focus.

Adadzie then delves into a detailed examination of the Hail Mary, dissecting it phrase by phrase to demonstrate its scriptural basis.

Chapter 4: Is the Hail Mary Biblical?

This chapter addresses concerns regarding the Hail Mary, analyzing each part to showcase its deep connection to Scripture.

Part 1: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”

Adadzie highlights that this phrase originates from the Angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary in Luke 1:28. He emphasizes the accurate translation of the Greek word “kecharitōmenē” as “full of grace,” signifying Mary’s unique and profound relationship with God. This “fullness of grace,” Adadzie clarifies, is not an independent attribute but a reflection of God’s presence within her, emphasized by the angel’s statement, “the Lord is with you.”

He draws parallels to biblical figures described as “full of the Spirit” or “full of grace and power,” highlighting that Mary, chosen to bear the Son of God, would undoubtedly possess an even greater measure of grace. Adadzie uses the analogy of the moon reflecting the sun’s light; Mary, while not diminishing Christ’s glory, reflects his light by her very nature.

Part 2: “Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”

This segment draws from Elizabeth’s exclamation upon Mary’s arrival, as recorded in Luke 1:41-42. It’s crucial to note, as Adadzie points out, that Elizabeth, “filled with the Holy Spirit” at that moment, spoke these words under divine inspiration. Her proclamation underscores both Mary’s blessedness and the significance of the child she carries.

Part 3: “Holy Mary”

While not a direct biblical quote, Adadzie defends the inclusion of “Holy Mary,” building upon the previous analysis. He argues that since Mary is “full of grace,” she is inherently holy. He backs this claim by referencing various biblical figures and objects deemed holy due to their proximity to God. Examples include John the Baptist, the prophets, believers, and even inanimate objects like the Ark of the Covenant. He concludes that if these individuals and objects are considered “holy” due to their association with God, then Mary, who carried God within her womb, is undoubtedly worthy of the title “Holy.”

Part 4: “Mother of God”

This title, often met with resistance, is defended by referring back to Elizabeth’s divinely inspired proclamation, “the mother of my Lord should come to me” (Luke 1:43). Adadzie points out the significance of Elizabeth, a Jewish woman, using the term “Lord” (Adonai) instead of the forbidden name of God (Yahweh), clearly recognizing the divine nature of the child Mary carries.

He strengthens this argument by citing prophecies and biblical passages affirming Jesus’ divinity and his conception by the Holy Spirit. These include Isaiah’s prophecy of a virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), the angel’s message to Mary (Luke 1:35), and the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 1:18, Galatians 4:4-5).

Part 5: “Pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.”

This final section, often considered the most controversial, is explained through the concept of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. Adadzie draws upon passages from Corinthians and Ephesians to establish this concept, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all believers as members of Christ’s body.

He uses the example of Saul’s persecution of the early Christians, where Jesus reveals to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:3-5) to demonstrate that harming a member of the Church is equivalent to harming Christ himself.

Adadzie then addresses the issue of praying to saints, including Mary. He argues that since Scripture affirms the existence of the living God and that “He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:32), the saints are alive in Christ. He further supports this claim by referencing the Transfiguration, where Moses and Elijah, both deceased, appear alongside Jesus.

Adadzie emphasizes that requesting Mary’s intercession does not diminish Jesus’ role as the sole mediator. Instead, he compares it to asking a fellow Christian for prayer, with Mary being uniquely positioned due to her closeness to Jesus and her motherhood within the Church, his Mystical Body. He cites James 5:16, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” to reinforce the efficacy of such intercession.

Finally, Adadzie connects honoring Mary with the commandment to honor one’s father and mother. He contends that if Jesus, in his perfect obedience, honored his earthly mother, Christians are likewise called to honor her. He reminds readers of Mary’s own prophecy, “For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).

Through this meticulous examination, Adadzie dismantles misconceptions surrounding the Hail Mary, revealing its foundation in Scripture and its theological depth within the context of Christian faith and practice. He demonstrates that the prayer, far from being a deviation, serves as a powerful expression of core Christian beliefs.

Chapter 5: The Contemplative Power of the Rosary

This chapter focuses on the Rosary’s contemplative aspect, highlighting its structure as a meditative journey through the life of Christ. Adadzie lists the four sets of mysteries: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious. Each mystery corresponds to a specific event in Jesus’ life, drawn directly from Scripture.

By meditating on these mysteries during each decade of the Rosary, individuals are invited to contemplate the depth of Jesus’ life, sacrifice, and triumph. This contemplative practice, Adadzie suggests, draws individuals closer to Christ, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for his mission and message.


Through this concise yet comprehensive booklet, Godwin Delali Adadzie effectively dismantles common misconceptions surrounding the Rosary. By providing historical context, scriptural analysis, and theological explanations, he refutes accusations of pagan origins, mindless repetition, and Mariolatry.

He presents the Rosary as a beautiful and powerful prayer form deeply rooted in Scripture and Christian tradition. The booklet serves as a valuable resource for Catholics seeking to deepen their understanding of the Rosary and for non-Catholics who desire to approach this ancient practice with an open mind, free from prejudice and misinformation.


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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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