For me, that is why today, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary takes on a much deeper meaning. In the many apparitions of our Blessed Mother throughout the centuries, she has repeatedly asked us to pray the Rosary for sinners and for our sinful world. As we look at the world today, especially at our own country, the need for our Blessed Mother’s intercession sought through the prayers of the Rosary, is very great. Let us pray earnestly for those who offend her, and through her, her Son.
A year ago our Holy Father Pope Benedict spoke about the recitation of the Rosary during a pastoral visit to Our Lady’s Shrine in Pompeii, Italy. Here are some excerpts from his meditation:
“…this popular Marian prayer is a precious spiritual means to grow in intimacy with Jesus, and to learn at the school of the Blessed Virgin always to fulfill the divine will.”
“To be apostles of the Rosary…it is necessary to experience personally the beauty and depth of this prayer which is simple and accessible to everyone. It is first of all necessary to let the Blessed Virgin take one by the hand to contemplate the Face of Christ: a joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious Face. Those who, like Mary and with her, cherish and ponder the mysteries of Jesus assiduously, increasingly assimilate his sentiments and are conformed to him.”
“The Rosary is a school of contemplation and silence. At first glance, it could seem a prayer that accumulates words, therefore difficult to reconcile with the silence that is rightly recommended for meditation and contemplation. In fact, this cadent repetition of the Hail Mary does not disturb inner silence but indeed both demands and nourishes it.”
If you want to read the full text of our Holy Father’s talk click on http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/october/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20081019_pompei_en.html
And check out http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13189a.htm for a brief history of the feast.
To read the article mentioned above click on http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=34559