VATICAN CITY, MAY 15, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Catholics prayed the rosary with Pope John Paul II thanks to recordings of the Polish Pontiff leading the Marian prayer. According to a Vatican spokesman, this desire to pray with the Pope was renewed with Benedict XVI’s election.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said requests from the faithful motivated Vatican Radio to release a four-CD set with all 20 mysteries of the rosary led by Benedict XVI in Latin.
Father Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, explained on the radio station that faithful accustomed to praying the rosary with CDs featuring John Paul II wanted the same thing with the German Pontiff.
“During his last years, Pope John Paul II was not able to pray the rosary live, but since there were various recordings, the listeners, the faithful, could use their cassettes of the rosary led by the Pope, thus facilitating their prayer and devotion,” Father Lombardi said. “With the new pontificate, there was renewed interest in praying the rosary with the Holy Father.”
Father Lombardi said Benedict XVI decided to record the CDs in Latin because “we have received requests not only from Italy but from places such as Germany and other countries. So we have used this language for the rosary which everyone understands easily and because it is the universal language of the Church.”
Benedict XVI has a deep devotion to Mary, the spokesman said, noting that the Pontiff prays the rosary walking every day with his secretaries.
He “invites us to us this prayer,” Father Lombardi affirmed, “simple, humble, daily, which everyone can pray with devotion and which helps us also to meditate on the mysteries of the life of Christ together with Mary, who is obviously the person closest to Christ.”
The €15 ($23) set will initially be available from the Vatican’s official bookstore in St Peter’s Square.