While the Basilica commemorates the Blessed Mother under her title of Immaculate Conception as patroness of the United States, it also honors her under many other beloved titles in its many chapels. Below are two Marian titles – Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady Queen of Missions – which have strengthened the faith of Catholics around the world, as well as the numerous visitors to the Shrine.
Our Lady of the Rosary
Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel is located on the Upper Level of the Basilica, memorializing the popular tradition that the Blessed Mother appeared to Saint Dominic during the 13th century and bestowed on him the devotion of the Rosary. The central chapel displays the Botticino statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, offering her son Jesus to the world. The mosaic dome above has a background of various shades of blue scattered with eight-point stars, one of the recognized symbols of Saint Dominic and the Blessed Mother. The left lateral chapel honors Saint Dominic himself, and the right is dedicated to Saint Catherine of Siena, a Third Order Dominican who fought against many heresies in her time. The chapel itself is a gift of the Dominican Order.
As Pope Benedict XVI shared about the legacy of Saint Dominic and the devotion of the Holy Rosary: “In the very first place is Marian devotion which he fostered tenderly and left as a precious legacy to his spiritual sons who, in the history of the Church, have had the great merit of disseminating the prayer of the Holy Rosary, so dear to the Christian people and so rich in Gospel values: a true school of faith and piety.”
Prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary
In memory of the legacy of Saint Dominic, let us pray:
O God whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has won for us the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we who meditate on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Lady Queen of Missions
The chapel of Mary, Queen of Missions features a Venetian glass mosaic of our Lady, crowned with twelve stars and holding a globe surmounted by a cross, with the moon and the serpent beneath her feet. She is surrounded by people from the many continents and cultures which have been evangelized by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, including land masses in the Asian-Pacific, South America, and the Arctic Circle. The mosaic memorializes the many nations which have been dedicated in her honor. Travertine marble walls carry incised figures of Oblate preachers. The rondel on the left (or north) wall is the Oblate seal and motto, and the mission cross of the Oblates is in the center.
As Pope Saint John Paul II said, “Dearest Brothers and Sisters, let us entrust this commitment to proclaim the Gospel and indeed the whole evangelizing activity of the Church to Most Holy Mary, Queen of Missions. May she accompany us on our journey of discovering, proclaiming and witnessing to the love of God who forgives and gives peace to mankind.”
Prayer to Our Lady Queen of Missions
Praying as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate do, let us pray:
Holy Mary our Mother, today, each day and in our last hour we entrust ourselves entirely to your loving and singular care. We place in your hands our entire hope and happiness, our every anxiety and difficulty, our whole lives. May our every endeavor be directed and guided according to the Will of Your Son, which is your will – by the aid of your prayers and special favor with God. Amen.