CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, OCT. 1, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI invited all families to pray the rosary for the intentions of the Pope, the mission of the Church and peace.
The Holy Father said this today to the crowds gathered in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo to pray the Angelus, on the first day of October, the month the Church traditionally dedicates to the rosary and the missions.
“It is as if every year Our Lady invited us to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple and profound,” said the Pope, referring to the feast of the Virgin of the Rosary, observed on Oct. 7.
The rosary, a “contemplative and Christocentric prayer, inseparable from the meditation of sacred Scripture,” is “the prayer of the Christian who advances in the pilgrimage of faith, in the following of Jesus, preceded by Mary,” continued the Pontiff.
Benedict XVI invited the faithful “to pray the rosary as a family during this month,” and in larger spiritual families, “in communities and parishes,” “for the intentions of the Pope, for the mission of the Church, and for peace in the world.”
The Holy Father also highlighted the “great apostle of the rosary,” his predecessor, “our beloved” Pope John Paul II.
Benedict XVI continued: “We remember him kneeling with the beads in his hands, immersed in the contemplation of Christ, as he himself invited us to do with the apostolic letter ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae'” (The Rosary of the Virgin Mary).
On Oct. 16, 2002, John Paul II celebrated 24 years as Pope with the proclamation of the Year of the Rosary and the publication of the apostolic letter on the Marian prayer.
In the letter the then Pontiff added another five mysteries to the prayer, and called them the “Mysteries of Light.”