From the Rose Garden of Our Lady – Book Review

From the Rose Garden of Our Lady: A Book of Rosary Meditations

By Rev. William Schaeffler – Imprimatur 1929

This is the best Rosary meditation book I’ve ever come across. To quote from the Preface, “It successfully blends narrations from the Gospels, texts from The Imitation of Christ and the Fathers of the Church, and considerations on the Mystery being considered. All this leads to a more fruitful meditation on each Mystery of the Rosary, thus, leading to a more complete understanding and a more perfect imitation of the life of Our Lord.”

This handy pocket-size booklet is great for both adults and children. Other Rosary meditation booklets may have just series of “Bead by Bead” listings of ten points for each Mystery, one for each Hail Mary (and these are very good!), then again others are quite large booklets that have exhaustive readings for every Mystery and are rather cumbersome to use whilst praying the Rosary unless you have a table nearby (yet these have their use too!). I found this one by Fr. Schaeffler to be the ideal in-between. Consequently, it’s gotten much more use over the many years since I bought it than any of the other options – and is the one that I decided to carry in our True Restoration store as being the top choice.

So, why a companion text? Why not always just pray the Rosary meditating without any such aid?

Continuing to quote from the Preface: “The essence of a Christian life is the imitation of Christ…A mere cursory knowledge of the events of Our Lord’s life is not enough to reach the perfection of Christ. A soul must delve deeper into the mysteries of Our Lord’s life if he wishes to allow Our Lord to form him into another Christ. He must be a man of prayer, contemplating the virtues of Our Lord and the truths of His teachings. He must continually meditate on the life of Our Lord in order to effect a transformation in Christ within his very soul.

The Rosary is a powerful meditation on the life and virtues of Christ. It is the perfect combination of vocal and mental prayer, focusing our thoughts and aspirations on the chief mysteries of the life, death and glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ. By praying the Rosary, a Christian soul enters into the mysteries of Our Lord’s life and he turns to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the perfect imitator of Christ, for guidance in his imitation of Christ. Thus, a true imitator of Christ must develop a true devotion to Our Lady and a love for the Rosary.”

Then some quotes are included from St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort and Dom Marmion, and it aptly states: “This present little work should serve as an effective aid in the prayer and meditation of the Rosary. It is imbued with a love for Our Lady and an appreciation for the role that she played in the life of Our Lord.”

It closes with: “May this little book, From the Rose Garden of Our Lady, bring all who read it to a greater appreciation of the mysteries of Our Lord’s life and a more perfect imitation of Christ. May Our Lady, through her Holy Rosary, bring us to this imitation of her Divine Son and, thus, lead us to a life of perfection in Christ.”

For each mystery of the Rosary the format is as follows:

  • On the left-hand page is a very tastefully and well-done drawing about the mystery. As an example, referring to the Third Sorrowful Mystery, it states that designation at the top of the image, then at the base of the image it says, “The Crowning of Jesus with Thorns.”
  • On the opposite page these titles are given with the applicable date/day underneath, i.e. (Good Friday), followed by sections; 1. Gospel Text, wherein, as indicated, a relevant Gospel text to that mystery is supplied; then section 2.Imitation of Christ provides several paragraphs from that book that are pertinent to the subject matter for meditation: then finally section 3. Considerations lists ten points to contemplate. Therefore, this last section is meant to be used for each Hail Mary.
  • The three sections usually span between four and five pages of text.

All up there are 89 pages of material for meditation for the 15 decades. Given there are three sections per mystery, when praying a Rosary, one would usually utilise only one of these sections for the decades, i.e., the bead-by-bead method of 10 considerations could be chosen, or at another time one might prefer to meditate on the Gospel texts or the Imitation of Christ selections, or perhaps some of both, and maybe only part of either. There is ample from which to choose. And in all instances, it is extremely effective at keeping one focused on the subject matter, hence, eliminating the problem of mind-wandering during this very important prayer of our day!

From the Rose Garden of Our Lady is now available in our TR store.


Theresa is Director of True Restoration Press and hostess of the Restoration Radio series, “The Catholic Home.” She is a cradle Catholic, homeschooling mother residing in Australia.

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