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Making Belief in Mary

We humans come to believe what we practice, so what we choose to practice is critical. Praying the rosary may be the best practice of all.

Heal
Illustration of woman apparition and woman

Illustration Credit: Apparition by Leslie Barron

When I moved to Woodstock, New York, I never expected to stay more than a couple of years. I’ve been a nomad most of my life, living by the ocean, in a city, on a mountain miles from nowhere, no roots, not a lot of stuff, but always with my rosary beads. When friends told me I’d fit right in to the mecca of unconventionality that is Woodstock, I assumed I’d find other seekers: Buddhists, Sufis, Hindis, clairvoyants, channelers, energy workers. But the odds of finding a rosary group that belongs to no church, has no doctrine, and not a single bona fide practicing Catholic among them seemed the same as the odds of hitting a hole in one—never.I thought rosary groups were strictly Catholics only, yet when I began praying the rosary, I wasn’t a Catholic. I didn’t believe in God, or believe that the Virgin Mary was anything more than a teen who got pregnant out of wedlock, like myself. But then I began collecting Virgin Mary kitsch at yard sales, which gave me the idea to visit Virgin Mary apparition sites for an NPR documentary. There, people told me stories of how they’d hit rock bottom, began praying the r …

Beverly Donofrio is the author of three acclaimed memoirs: Riding in Cars with Boys; Looking for Mary (or the Blessed Mother and Me); and Astonished, a Story of Healing and Finding Grace. beverlydonofrio.com


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