(5)Apostolic letter of thesupreme pontiff JohnPaul II on the Most HolyRosary Rosarium Virginis Mariae Oct. 16. 2002
“The Church has always attributed particular efficacy to this prayer,entrusting to the Rosary the most difficult problems. At times whenChristianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed tothe power of this prayer, and Our Lady was acclaimed as the onewhose intercession brought salvation.” In Her many Apparitions onearth, like in Lourdes and Fatima, the Virgin Mary always recommendedthe recitation of the Rosary to obtain peace, and to stop heresies. St.Dominic received the revelation of the Rosary at a time when the Churchwas in a critical battle against the heresy of Albegensians. It was atProuille in France in 1208 that Dominic suddenly experienced anApparition of the Blessed Mother, who said, “Wonder not that you haveobtained so little fruit by your labors. You have spent them on barrensoil, not yet watered with the dew of Divine grace. When God willed torenew the face of the earth, He began by sending down on it fertilizingrain of the Angelic Salutation. Therefore preach my psalter composedof 150 Angelic Salutations and fifteen Our Fathers, and you willobtain an abundant harvest.”
1. With the Rosary, the Christian peoplesits at the school of Mary, and is led tocontemplate the beauty on the face ofJesus and to experience the depths ofhis love.2. The Rosary is an effective weaponagainst the evil afflicting society. -------Pope Leo XIII3. How many graces have I receivedthese years from the Blessed Virginthrough the Rosary.My motto: Totus Tuus!(Totally yours) -----Pope John Paul II4. The Rosary goes to the very heart ofChristian life; it offers spiritual andeducational opportunity for personalcontemplation, the formation of Peopleof God, and the new evangelization.
5. The Rosary is a genuine “training in holiness”. What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer. It is more urgent than ever that our Christian communities should become “genuine schools of prayer.” 6. Learning Christ from Mary: No one knows Christ better than Mary; no one can introduce us to a profound knowledge of his mystery better than his Mother. The School of Mary is all the more effective if we consider that she teaches by obtaining for us in abundance the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 7. To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary, the face of Christ. In a unique way, the face of the Son to belongs to Mary. Mary constantly sets before the faithful, the” Mysteries” of her Son, with the desire that the contemplation of those mysteries will release all their saving powers. 8. The Rosary mystically transports us to Mary’s side. This enables her to train us and to mould us with the same care, until Christ is “fully formed” in us. “Think of Mary, Call on Mary” ------St. Bernard’s homily & Motto of Oblates of the Virgin Mary
9. The Rosary is both meditation and supplication. Insistent prayer to the Mother of God is based on confidence that her maternal intercession can obtain all things from the heart of her Son. The wedding of Cana clearly shows the power of Mary’s intercession as she makes known to Jesus the needs of others: “They have no wine left.” 10 .The simple prayer of the Rosary marks the “ rhythm of human life”. It becomes natural to bring to this encounter with the sacred humanity of the Redeemer all the problems, anxieties, labours and endeavours which go to make up our lives. “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you”. To pray the Rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful hearts of Christ and his Mother. 11. Christians, while they are called to prayer in common, must also go to their own rooms to pray to their Father in secret. Indeed, according to the teaching of the Apostle, they must pray without ceasing.
12.The Rosary has been proposed as a prayer for peace. To rediscover the Rosary means to contemplate the mystery of Christ who is “our peace”, since he made “the two of us one, and broke down the dividing wall of hostility.” The Rosary has a peaceful effect on those who pray it, disposing them to receive and experience in their innermost depths, and to spread around them the true peace. The rosary leads to an encounter with Christ in his mysteries and so cannot fail to draw attention to the face of Christ in others, especially the most afflicted. How could one possibly contemplate the mystery of the Child of Bethlehem without experiencing the desire to welcome defend and promote life, and to shoulder the burdens of suffering children all over the world ? How could one possibly follow in the footsteps of Christ without resolving to bear witness to his “Beatitudes” in daily life? How could one contemplate Christ carrying the Cross and Christ Crucified, without feeling the need to act as a “Simon of Cyrene” for our brothers and sisters weighed down by grief or crushed by despair? How could one possibly gaze upon the glory of the Risen Christ or of Mary Queen of Heaven, without yearning to make this world more beautiful, more just, more closely conformed to God’s plan ?
13.The Rosary is also a prayer of and for the family. We need to return to the practice of family prayer and prayer for families. The family that prays together stays together. Individual family members, in turning their eyes towards Jesus. Also regain the ability to look one another in the eye, to communicate, to show solidarity, to forgive one another and to see their covenant of love renewed in the Spirit of God. How beautiful is the family that recites the Rosary every evening.14.The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre; they draw from him the hope and strength to go on.15. We need to pray the Rosary for children and even more, with children.
16. The Rosary is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning, as Pope Paul VI clearly pointed out: “Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas in violation of the admonition of Christ: ‘In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their many words’.17. Announcing each mystery, and perhaps even using a suitable icon to portray it, is as it were to open up a scenario on which to focus our attention, and direct the imagination and the mind towards a particular episode or moment in the life of Christ. In the Church’s traditional spirituality, the veneration of icons and the many devotions appealing to the senses, as well as the method of prayer proposed by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual exercises, make use of visual and imaginative elements, judged to be of great help in concentrating the mind on the particular mystery. This methodology moreover, corresponds to the inner logic of the Incarnation: in Jesus, God wanted to take on human features. It is through his bodily reality that we are led into contact with the mystery of his divinity. --------APOSTOLIC LETTER OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF JOHN PAUL II. 16th October. 2002.
She also taught it to Blessed Alan de la Roche and said to him in a vision, "When people say 150 Hail Marys, that prayer is very helpful to them and a most pleasing tribute to me. But they will do better still and will please me more if they say these salutations while meditating on the life, death, and passion of Jesus Christ, for this meditation is the soul of this prayer." For the Rosary said without the meditation on the sacred mysteries of our salvation would almost be a body without a soul, excellent matter, but without the form, which is the meditation, and which distinguishes it from
We learn to imitate the mysteries and the virtues of the life, death, passion and glory of Jesus and Mary. . For the Rosary teaches people about the virtues of Jesus and Mary, and leads them to mental prayer, to the imitation of Jesus Christ, to the frequentation of the sacraments, the practice of genuine virtue and of all kinds of good works. It also helps us to gain many wonderful indulgences, which people are unaware of. St. Louis de Montfort