A Sneak-Peek At Blessed Mother Mary, the Rosary, and You, A Guided Journal/Coloring Book
Blessed Mother Mary, the Rosary, and You: A Guided Journal, written and illustrated by Rosanne Pallini-Verlezza, is so much more than the title announces. Intended for ages seven to fourteen, this sturdy, white hardcover book is designed in a 6.25 X 9.25 inch, 186 page, journal format, ideal to tote along to church, on car rides, or everywhere a young Catholic might pray the Rosary or jot down thoughts about it. Only half of the book is dedicated to the actual journal with guided meditations and journaling space for each of 20 mysteries of the Rosary. The other half contains a wealth of information, including a detailed history of the Rosary and inspiring ways to deepen one's devotion. By coloring the lovely black and white illustrations, the journal can be personalized. Our teen daughter’s verdict: “Oh this is cool.” Mom’s verdict after perusing the content: “This book is a labor of love.”
Catholics know but sometimes need to be reminded that the Rosary is “a prayer tool that can end wars and work miracles.” It also constitutes a guided bible study that comes with the bonus graces of a sacramental. However, to fully unlock the power of the Rosary, young people need to be taught to reflect and meditate on its mysteries.
The author had the ingenious idea of illustrating the book with black and white line drawings which serve as coloring pages. Coloring is fun. Young journalists will enjoy making the journal their very own in this way. Beyond pleasure, the coloring process also enhances attention to the details of the drawings, imprinting them on the memory. For example, coloring the picture of the Descent of the Holy Spirit will support the journaling prompt: “Imagine yourself being on the scene.” The process is even more enhanced by a blank frame at the end of each journaling section, inviting the child to draw a picture of the fruit of each mystery.
The journal begins with a detailed introduction explaining why we pray the Rosary, what the Rosary looks like, the prayers of the rosary with the full text enclosed by pretty borders to be colored in, how to pray the Rosary, and, my favorite, a spread showing all the 20 mysteries in lovely little tile illustrations.
The journal proper devotes six pages to each mystery, starting with a coloring spread, followed by four guided journaling pages with the blank picture frame for personal artwork at the end. Each mystery is described in simple words and there is an invitation to read the relevant bible passages.
The journaling section is followed by “Tips to Help You Pray the Rosary” and a spread with lists for keeping track of prayers offered and answered. The tips include online resources like YouTube and a Rosary phone app.
The most impressive part of this book is the comprehensive History of the Rosary section, starting with ancient precursors and moving on to the many Saints who have spoken about its importance. There is much emphasis on the Rosary as a spiritual weapon. The history section also comes in the form of a guided journal.
There is much more to support and encourage the habit of praying the Rosary in these pages and much to delight. Some of my favorites are the titles of Our Blessed Mother and a list of flower names honoring Her.
There are many carefully-designed crafts and activities, too many to describe here, which are based on psychologist Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory.
Rosanne Pallini-Verlezza is a professional teacher and catechist with an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. Her book supports the religious curriculum standards for Catholic Schools. The author addresses teachers and parents, laying out learning goals and “Modifications To Meet Special Needs”.
Blessed Mother Mary, the Rosary, and You is sure to inspire young people to delve deeper into the Mysteries of the Rosary and to pray this devotion to Our Lady with love and attention. This guided journal will sharpen the spiritual weapon of the Rosary and arm our children well in the battle for salvation.