Again, Pope Calls Faithful to Pray Rosary for Peace

«Who, Better Than Mary, Can Accompany Us»

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ROME, OCT. 14, 2001 ( For the fourth time in two weeks, John Paul II appealed to the faithful to pray the rosary «for peace at this time burdened by grave concerns.»

He made his appeal today before 20,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square for the midday Angelus. The Holy Father mentioned «peace» six times before reciting the Marian prayer.

«Given the present international situation, I have invited individuals and communities to pray the rosary for peace,» he said. «I also renew this appeal today, underlining at the same time that the rosary is the contemplation of Christ in his mysteries, in close union with Mary Most Holy.»

«Contemporary spirituality feels the intense need, so to speak, to focus on the essential,» the Pope continued, from the window of his study. «Because of this, there is at present a promising rediscovery of the true nature of the rosary, as a prayer that helps to be in Christ´s company, to know him better, absorb his teachings and live the mystery.

«And who, better than Mary, can accompany us in this journey of the mind and heart? This is the meaning of the repetition of the Hail Mary, which constitutes the scheme on which the contemplation of the mysteries develops.

«May a constant invocation for peace rise in the Church with the praying of the rosary, either individually or in community, keeping our gaze fixed on
Jesus Christ, our peace.»

With only a week left before World Missions Day, the Pontiff also asked for prayers for «the missionaries of the Gospel,» so that they might be «builders of justice and peace.»

«Such prayer for peace is taking place throughout the world, at this time burdened by grave concerns,» the Pope concluded.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., the Pope has called incessantly for peace.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, a senior Taliban leader, Deputy Prime Minister Haji Abdul Kabir, said the Islamic militia would be willing to hand over Osama bin Laden to a third country if the United States halts the bombing of the country and provides evidence against him, the Associated Press reported today.

U.S. President George W. Bush rejected the offer. Washington has repeatedly rejected any talks or conditions on its demands that the Taliban surrender bin Laden and his al-Qaida terror network.

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