The rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning “rose garden” or “garland of roses”) is a garland of prayer beads Catholics use to count a series of prayers. The prayers consist of repeated sequences of the Lord’s Prayer followed by ten prayings of the Hail Mary and a single praying of “Glory Be to the Father”. Each of these sequences is known as a decade. The praying of each decade is accompanied by meditation on one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, which recall the life of Jesus Christ.
Here’s my rosary, laid on top of a tile I’d made:
On August 13, 2011, people in Chicago looked up and saw a giant 75-foot rosary with a 6-ft gold cross in the sky:
Judi McLeod reports for Canada Free Press, August 15, 2011, that 20 elementary-school aged girls in a summer camp at a Chicago Catholic Parish made the giant rosary from helium-filled yellow and blue balloons.
The children launched their rosary skyward from Chicago’s Michigan Avenue bridge, claiming the Magnificent Mile for Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus. Believers knew that the floating rosary celebrated the August 15 Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady.
The little girls had to carry their rosary, cross-first, through downtown Chicago’s peak traffic. They met with the same dignity the jeers along with the cheers of pedestrians and motorists watching their progress.
Cameras and cellphones flew into action as people responded to the unexpected sight. Some onlookers, including homeless people, gave the girls high fives. Street preachers burst into the singing of Gospel songs. Semi-truck drivers shook the streets by sounding their truck horns in approval.
One participant said, “I was completely ecstatic the whole time. I loved seeing how many people on a random street corner were thrilled. It is a lot more than we tend to think.” A passerby tweeted, “A balloon rosary in the air. My faith confirmed :)”.
The rosary also bore the word “LIFE”. The girls had first prayed the rosary in front of the Washington Blvd. Family Planning Associates, for an end to abortion. The rosary over Chicago was the latest of a series of spontaneous acts of joy across the United States involving the yellow pro-LIFE balloons.
P.S. Protestants who criticize Catholics for “worshiping” Mary are mistaken. Catholics do not worship Mary; we venerate (df: to regard with respect and admiring deference) and love her because she is the mother of Jesus the Christ.