Today we celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. Last year on this feast day I shared some beautiful words by Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen on Our Lady. Today I wanted to share some beautiful words from Saint John Paul II from his 2002 Apostolic Letter ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’:
Against the background of the words Ave Maria the principal events of the life of Jesus Christ pass before the eyes of the soul. They take shape in the complete series of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries, and they put us in living communion with Jesus through – we might say – the heart of his Mother. At the same time our heart can embrace in the decades of the Rosary all the events that make up the lives of individuals, families, nations, the Church, and all mankind. Our personal concerns and those of our neighbour, especially those who are closest to us, who are dearest to us.
And further down in the letter, Saint John Paul II has this to say about the Rosary as a prayer for peace:
The Rosary is also a prayer for peace because of the fruits of charity which it produces. When prayed well in a truly meditative way, 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 in the most afflicted. How could one possibly contemplate the mystery of the Child of Bethlehem, in the joyful mysteries, 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 the Revealer, in the mysteries of light, without resolving to bear witness to his “Beatitudes” in daily life? And 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? Finally, 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?
I invite you to read the full text of ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’ here. It is lengthy but is a wonderful explanation of the beauty of the Rosary. If the Rosary is currently a part of your regular prayer life, it will surely encourage you and inspire you to continue forward in prayer with renewed excitement and joy for this beautiful prayer. And if you are new to the Rosary, this lovely letter by St. John Paul II will not only explain what it is, but how it leads us closer to Christ. Happy Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary to you all!