Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI on the Rosary

In the last days of the month of October, here comes an insight from our Papa about the Rosary (emphases mine):

Rosary Is Anchored in Holy Scripture

VATICAN CITY, 19 OCT 2008 (VIS) - Before praying the Rosary at 5 p.m. today with faithful gathered at the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary at Pompeii, Italy, Benedict XVI paused for a few moments in the chapel of Blessed Bartolo Longo. Subsequently, in remarks he made following the Marian prayer, the Pope asked: "Where did this great apostle of Mary find the energy and constancy necessary to achieve such an important enterprise? Was it not in the Rosary which he welcomed as a true and heartfelt gift from the Virgin?

"Yes," he cried, "that is how it was! ... This popular Marian prayer is a vital spiritual means to increase our intimacy with Jesus and to learn, in the school of the Blessed Virgin, always to carry out the divine will."

"Yet in order to be apostles of the Rosary, it is necessary to gain a personal experience of the beauty and profundity of this prayer, so simple and universally accessible. ... The Rosary is a school of contemplation and of silence. At first sight it may seem like a prayerful accumulation of words and hence not easily compatible with the silence which is rightly recommended for meditation and contemplation. In reality though, this regular repetition of the Ave Maria does not disturb inner silence, rather it ... nourishes it."

The Pope recalled that, as in the case of the Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours, "silence rises up through the words and phrases, not as a vacuum but as a presence of ultimate meaning which transcends the words themselves and, together with them, speaks to the heart. ... Even when prayed in large groups ... the Rosary must be seen as a contemplative prayer, and this cannot come about if an atmosphere of inner silence is lacking." Furthermore, he went on, the Rosary "is interwoven with elements from Holy Scripture" such as "the enunciation of the mystery using ... words taken from the Bible. ... The first part of the Ave Maria comes from the Gospel; ... the second part ... rings out like the response of children who, addressing themselves imploringly to their mother, express their own adherence to the plan of salvation. ... Thus the minds of those who pray remain anchored in Scripture and in the mysteries it contains."

Finally, Pope Benedict spoke of World Mission Day, which is being celebrated today. Once again he evoked the figure of Barotlo Longo who, famous for his spirit of charity, wished the shrine of Pompeii to be "open to the whole world as a centre whence to irradiate the prayer of the Rosary and a place of intercession for peace among peoples. Dear friends," the Pope concluded, "I wish to confirm both these goals - the apostolate of charity and the prayer of peace - and entrust them once more to your spiritual and pastoral efforts."

The prayer over, Benedict XVI departed from the shrine of Pompeii and at 6.30 p.m. began his return journey to the Vatican by helicopter.

And.. you don't have to believe this, but tradition held that there are 15 promises made by the Blessed Virgin to St. Dominic and Alan de Roche concerning the rosary:

1. To all those who recite my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and very great graces.

2. Those who will persevere in the recitation of my Rosary shall receive some signal grace.

3. The Rosary shall be a very powerful armor against hell; it shall destroy vice, deliver from sin, and shall dispel heresy.

4. The Rosary shall make virtue and good works flourish, and shall obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies; it shall substitute in hearts love of God for love of the world, elevate them to desire heavenly and eternal goods. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!

5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary, shall not perish.

6. Those who will recite my Rosary piously, considering its Mysteries, shall not be overwhelmed by misfortune nor die a bad death. The sinner shall be converted; the just shall grow in grace and become worthy of eternal life.

7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the consolations of the Church, or without grace.

8. Those who will recite my Rosary shall find during their life and at their death the light of God, the fullness of His grace, and shall share in the merits of the blessed.

9. I will deliver very promptly from purgatory the souls devoted to my Rosary.

10. The true children of my Rosary shall enjoy great glory in heaven.

11. What you ask through my Rosary, you shall obtain.

12. Those who propagate my Rosary shall obtain through me aid in all their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my son that all the confreres of the Rosary shall have for their brethren in life and death the saints of heaven.

14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are all my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.

Now, go and pray the rosary! Even if you're busy and desk-(and computer-)bound, let rosary widgets help you to pray! (Just doin' my part to spread the rosary!)

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