consistently stress the value of the Rosary
Everyone knows that the Magisterium of the Bishops of Rome has always
been particularly careful, in the light of the Revelation and of the Tradition
of the Church, to motivate, regulate, foster and guide the
veneration and devotion of the faithful to the Mother of the Lord,
conscious that this ancient and proven custom "is an important and
universal ecclesial phenomenon. Its expressions are manifold and its
motivation profound".1 The Popes have shown great
interest in the prayer of the Rosary or Psalter of the Virgin,
often recommending it to the faithful as a "biblically inspired
prayer which is centred on contemplation of the salvific events of
Christ's life, and their close association with the Virgin Mother. The
value and efficacy of this prayer have often been attested to by saintly
Bishops and those advanced in holiness of life".2 In our
day, despite the renewal of the liturgy and popular piety that took
place as a result of the Second Vatican Council and Marialis Cultus,
this prayer is subjected in some sectors to an unfortunate
"pseudo-democratic" form of marginalization (K. Rahner),
justified by the fear that it might in some way detract from the
centrality of the Liturgy.3 Far from "competing" or
conflicting with the public prayer of the Church, the Rosary is a practice
of devotion,4 a popular prayer relaunched by John Paul II
with his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (The Rosary of
the Virgin Mary), aiming, in the ever timeless words of von Balthasar,
to "free the Rosary from a sort of narrowness that is foreign to
Mary’s spirit, and to nourish it, in conformity with that same spirit,
with the full concept of God's saving work for the world. The essence of
Mary's action in all this is mediation: between God and the world,
between Christ and the Church, between spirit and flesh, between the two
forms of ecclesial existence, between the world of saints and the world
of sinners. She stands at all the crossroads to show the way".5
This phrase is intended to designate those "public or private
expressions of Christian devotion which, although they are not part of
the Liturgy, are in harmony with it, respecting its spirit, norms and
pattern; moreover, in a certain way they draw inspiration from the
Liturgy and must lead the Christian people to it". Exercises of
piety or devotion "always refer to public divine revelation and to
an ecclesial background".
These words effectively sum up the attitude, intention, content and
proposals the Roman Pontiffs have used, from Leo XIII to John Paul II,
to commit themselves and their Magisterium to the Rosary of the Virgin
ROSARY: A PRAYER FOR THE REMISSION OF THE SINS AND ERRORS OF THE MODERN
Leo XIII (1878-1903)
Pope Leo XIII carried out his long and intense papal service in a
difficult time: between tradition and progress. Pope Leo dedicated at
least 16 documents to the Marian Rosary: 11 Encyclicals (from Supremi
Apostolatus, 1 September 1883, to Diuturni Temporis, 5
September 1898); one Apostolic Constitution (Parta Humano Generi,
8 September 1901); three Apostolic Letters (Salutaris Ille
Spiritus, 24 December 1883; Vi è Ben Noto, addressed to the
Italian Bishops, 20 September 1887; Ubi Primum, on the
Confraternity of the Rosary, 2 October 1898); one chirograph sent to
Cardinal Luigi Maria Sincero, Vicar of Rome, of 31 October 1886, so that
the faithful might distinguish themselves in their devotion to the
Blessed Virgin by the recitation of the Rosary. There is no room to
mention other minor Marian documents.6
Leo XIII considered this pious practice a true and proper Christian
prayer since "it consists of an interweaving of angelic greetings,
interspersed by prayer to the Lord combined with meditation. So
composed, the Rosary is the most excellent form of prayer; it offers us
a firm defence of our faith and a sublime model of virtue in the
mysteries proposed for our contemplation".7 Among
"the multiple forms of devotion to Mary, the most esteemed and
practised is the excellent one of the holy Rosary".8
This very simple, popular practice was given the name of
"Rosary" because it "recalls in a fortunately interwoven
combination, the great mysteries of Jesus and Mary: their joys, their
sorrows and their triumphs".9 It is consequently a
prayer that was broadly and authoritatively disseminated by the Popes,10
proposed and tested by the Church,11 at stormy moments in her
history,12 as a remedy to the religious, ideological and
social evils and errors that afflicted and still afflict the Church and
the Christian people.13 Saints, pastors and faithful are
particularly fond of it, since it was inspired, taught and recommended
by the Mother of God herself,14 and is a prayer and a
meditation on the sound, edifying mysteries of Christ and of Mary,15
a practice that expresses the effectiveness and power of the Co-redemptrix
of the human race, the Mediatrix and Dispenser of heavenly graces.16
For Leo XIII, this beloved Marian practice, which at the end of the 19th
century and the beginning of the 20th "was, by divine disposition,
marvellously affirmed to reawaken the languishing devotion of the
faithful",17 served to encourage people to persevere in
the faith and to experience works of the faith after the example of the
evangelical virtues of the Virgin.18 Understood as a
theological meditation on the love of Christ, the Rosary will bring the
believer to live the faith in an exemplary way,19 inasmuch as
"it is absolutely impossible for one to consider and contemplate
attentively these very beautiful witnesses of love of our Redeemer
without burning with deep gratitude to him. Indeed, authentic faith will
have such great power that, enlightening man's mind and moving his
heart, it will drag him, as it were, to follow in Christ's footsteps,
weaving his way between all the obstacles until he comes to exclaim,
like Paul: 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation, or distress or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or
peril or sword?' (Rom 8:35). '...It is no longer I who live, but Christ
who lives in me' (Gal 2:20)".20 For these indisputable
values and influences for human and Christian life,21 for
their very form that "is excellently suited to common prayer",22
the Rosary can be said to be a prayer for the Church and of the Church,23
and is warmly recommended as a daily practice to parents, children,
young people and families.24 The Psalter of the Virgin
"constitutes the most excellent form of prayer, and the most
effective means to gain eternal life... it offers us a solid defence for
our faith and a sublime model of virtue in the mysteries suggested for
our contemplation. We have also shown that the Rosary is a simple habit
suited to the inclination of the people, to whom it likewise presents,
in recalling the Family of Nazareth, the most perfect ideal of domestic
life. For these reasons, the faithful have always been aware of its
salutary power".25 It is not surprising that Leo XIII
was nicknamed "the Pope of the Rosary", since he strongly
supported this practice which is "a public witness of our love for
the august Mother of God, and at the same time, an incentive and a
reward for the piety of the faithful, so that in the extreme hour of
their lives they may be comforted by her help and gently close their
eyes on her breast".26
Pius X (1903-1914)
Pius X strove to implement his papal motto, "Instaurare omnia in
Christo" (to establish all things in Christ), by making the
Christian people literate in the catechism, promptly dealing with the
Modernist phenomenon and reviving missionary zeal. On 2 August 1914, he
launched a heart-felt, though vain, appeal for peace and expressed
sorrow and horror at the incipient world war. His magisterium was frugal
from the Marian viewpoint, but at least for the times, significant. It
is enough to think of his Encyclical Ad Diem Ilium, of 2 February
1904, for the 50th anniversary of the Dogma of the Immaculate
Conception, in which he deepened the dogma and the doctrine of
mediation. It would appear that, keeping in mind the ample magisterium
of his Predecessor, he reflected on the Rosary in such "minor"
documents as the Apostolic Letter Summa Deus, of 27 November
1907, to observe the 50th anniversary of the Marian apparitions of
Lourdes; in it he stressed the "marvellous fact" that they had
increased the devotion to the Immaculate Virgin and to her "most
Benedict XV (1914-1922)
Benedict XV is remembered as the "Pope of peace" for his
efforts and appeals against the "senseless massacre", although
they unfortunately went unheard. He promulgated the Code of Canon Law;
he worked hard to resolve the "Roman question"; he did his
utmost to put an end to the climate of suspicion and intimidation caused
by the Modernist crisis; he was interested in biblical exegesis, while
at the same time overseeing the improvement of seminary studies. He paid
great attention to the ecumenical movement, especially with the
Christian East; he promoted missionary work; he wrote heartfelt prayers
to implore God for peace, prosperity and unity among the peoples. To
this end, he ordered the invocation, "Queen of Peace, pray for
us",28 to be inserted into the Litany of Loreto . The
Rosary, in the document commemorating the seventh centenary of the death
of St Dominic, is presented as a remedy and comfort in the harsh moments
of trial, being a prayer "marvellously suited to nourishing and to
giving rise in all souls to charity and the virtues".29
The Virgin, who "has such great power with her divine Son that of
all the graces granted to men... she is always the intermediary and
arbiter...", has always revealed herself as such, "especially
when people have had recourse to the Holy Rosary. Therefore, the Popes
never missed an opportunity to exalt the Rosary with the greatest of
praise... and to enrich it with the treasures of an apostolic
indulgence".30 This regular practice was warmly
recommended by Benedict XV, especially in this "period that is so
Pius XI (1922-1939)
Pius XI was a Pontiff with a strong character who, in the turmoil of the
20th century, affirmed the appropriateness and truth of the
"Kingdom of Christ", to which he dedicated all his energy and
pastoral action. From a Marian perspective, let us recall his Encyclical
Lux Veritatis, of 25 December 1931 for the 15th centenary of the
Dogma of the Theotokos.32 In 1937, after recovering
from a serious illness, Pope Pius XI recalls how, in the face of the
errors and serious evils of that time, the Church and the Pontiff
himself took comfort and an incentive in childlike confidence in the
Mother of the Redeemer and in the daily recitation of the Rosary33,
The Rosary, the true "Psalter of the Virgin, Breviary of the Gospel
and of Christian life", is a "mystical wreath",34
a "mystical chaplet"35 beloved by Catholics
regardless of their background;36 a practice of devotion
which, through contemplation of the mysteries of Christ and of his
Mother, is an incentive to practise the evangelical virtues and revives
hope in the eternal reward. The Rosary is a prayer which, while it
inculcates love for God, also suggests charity for one's neighbour,
which in recent years seems to have weakened and grown cold in the
hearts of many men and women; consequently, priests must encourage it
among young people and in families, among adults and in "Catholic
Pius XII (1939-1958)
Pius XII, the Bishop of Rome acclaimed as the Pastor Angelicus and
insulted as "Hitler's Pope"; the Pontiff of firm doctrine and
of outstanding magisterium that was both tradition and prophecy,
is remembered as the "Pope of the Assumption of Our Lady", of
the consecration of the Church and the human race to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary and of the institution of the liturgical memorial of the
Queenship of Mary. The Marian Letters he sent during the war (1939-1944)
to Cardinal Luigi Maglione, Secretary of State, calling for a crusade of
prayer to the Virgin to implore the gift of peace and justice among the
peoples, also deserve mention. Pope Pius XII dedicated to the Rosary one
address on 16 October 1940 and another on 8 October 1941: in them he
invites Christian families to give it a place of honour among other
prayers. In the Encyclical Ingruentium Malorum of 15 September
1951, the Pope invites the faithful to trust in the protection of Mary,
whom God made the vehicle of salvation for the whole human race, to
dispel the serious dissent between the countries and the persecution of
the Church in various States and to shield youth from threats.38
To pursue these noble ends, Pius XII asked people to pray the Rosary,
conscious of "its powerful efficacy in obtaining the motherly help
of the Virgin".39 The mysteries of the redemption,
contemplated and prayed by the believer, especially by families, in
revealing the splendid examples of Jesus and Mary, increase the zeal of
good Christians and rekindle the hope of the Church against the enemies
of religion, because they remind those who have strayed that the Lord
does not save with the sword but with his name alone.40 The
prayer dear to the Virgin Mary inspires compassion for the sufferings of
the world: "Do not forget... while you slip the beads of the small
Rosary in your fingers, do not forget, we repeat, those who are
suffering harshly in prison, in detention centres, in concentration
camps. Among them there are... even bishops...; there are children and
the fathers and mothers of families.... Just as we love and surround
them all with fatherly affection, so you too, motivated by that
fraternal charity which the Christian religion fosters and nurtures,
should join your prayers with ours... and commend them to her motherly
ROSARY: A COMPENDIUM OF THE WHOLE GOSPEL: CONCILIAR AND POST-CONCILIAR
John XXIII (1958-1963)
John XXIII is the "Pope of the Council", an event that marked a
positive turning-point in the Church, in Christian communities and in
ecclesial relations with the world and with people today. His
traditional Marian piety was to accompany him throughout his long life.
After becoming Bishop of Rome, he made frequent addresses encouraging
the faithful, by praying the Rosary, the Angelus and observing the
practice of the month of May, to implore the intercession of the Mother
of Jesus, whom he proclaimed as Heavenly Patroness of the Council,42
to ensure the successful outcome of the ecumenical council which he had
desired "with humble determination". This was a non-formal and
episodic act, given that it was to have an influence on the drafting of
the "Mariology" of the Second Vatican Council, concisely
expressed in Chapter VIII of De Ecclesia.
In his brief but intense pontificate, John XXIII dedicated two important
documents to Marian practice: the Encyclical Grata Recordatio, on
the recitation of the Rosary for the missions and for peace, of 26
September 1959, and the Apostolic Letter Il Religioso Convegno,
of 29 September 1961, to which he added an example of meditation for
this practice. In his Encyclical, the Pope begins with his youthful
memories of Marian devotion prompted by the Encyclicals of Leo XIII, a
teaching that served "to make very dear to Our spirit the holy
Rosary which we never neglect to recite in its entirety every day of the
year".43 He asked the clergy and faithful to practise
this act of Marian devotion with special fervour at least during the
month of October for the following reasons: the first anniversary of the
passing of Pius XII and his election to the supreme pontificate;44
the presentation of the crucifix to a large group of young missionaries;
and the commemoration of the first centenary of the foundation of the
North American College. "We therefore warmly desire that, during
the coming month of October, all these our sons be commended with
fervent prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary";45 so that
the leaders of nations, small or large, may keep intact the spiritual
rights and riches of the members of their communities, adapting
legislation to the needs of progress and religious freedom, given that
certain philosophical and practical attitudes have spread which are
irreconcilable with the Christian faith. The prayer, commitment and hope
of the Church that truth, justice, peace and charity between nations may
triumph, is promoted by the beloved Mother of Christ.46 At
the end of Grata Recordatio, John XXIII asks for the recitation
of the Rosary also for the success of the Roman Synod and for the
ecumenical Council which had been announced.47
The Apostolic Letter which, with the approach of the month of October,
John XXIII sent to the Church, sprang from the convention for peace
which he had called for at Castel Gandolfo on 10 September 1961 and from
the visit in this context to the Roman catacombs of St Callistus to pray
for peace in the world.48 In line with the teaching of Leo
XIII and his Successors, Pope John XXIII expresses and recommends the
pious practice, exalting its mystical contemplation, intimate
reflection and pious intention, despite accusations of
repetitiveness and the lack of originality. The Rosary is a social,
public and universal prayer for the ordinary and extraordinary needs of
the Church, of nations and of the world. Lastly, the Pope, with true
modesty, humbly offers some of his own "simple and spontaneous
notes" for every decade of the Rosary, with reference to its
threefold dimension: mystery, reflection, intention.49
Paul VI (1963-1978)
Paul VI, the tenacious promoter of the Second Vatican Council,
intelligently carried out its directions in the difficult but fruitful
time of its reception. He addressed the Marian question with
great congruity and originality. We recall three documents of his
magisterium on the Rosary: the Encyclical Mense Maio, of
29 April 1965, in which, underlining the Marian character of the month
of May, he recalls that Mary is the way to Christ and this means
that continuous recourse to her involves seeking Christ the Saviour to
whom we must always turn, in her, through her, and with her.50 Paul
VI asks for prayers for the historical period in which the Church, in
the process of concluding the Council, was living; due to the tense
international situation on account of hostilities; for the alarming
increase of attacks on the sacred and inviolable character of human
life; to implore the divine gift of peace.51 He urges pastors
to "take great pains" to inculcate "the practice of the
holy Rosary, the prayer so dear to the Blessed Virgin and so strongly
recommended by the Supreme Pontiffs".52 The Encyclical Christi
Matri of 15 September 1966, invites the Catholic community to
implore from God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin with
her Rosary, the heavenly and precious gift of peace.53
"Not only is this fruitful prayer most effective in averting evils
and in keeping disasters at bay, as the history of the Church clearly
shows, but it also abundantly fosters Christian life".54
In the Apostolic Exhortation Recurrens Mensis Octobris of 7
October 1969, the Pope urges people to pray for peace among individuals
and peoples, given that deadly conflicts were still being fought, new
"trouble spots" were appearing and "even Christians who
identify with the Gospel of love itself [were] involved in
fighting".55 Misunderstandings that also arise between
members of the Church make it necessary to invoke peace and
reconciliation from God through the Mother of the Prince of Peace, he
who proclaimed the beatitude of peace (cf. Mt 5:9). The Church of the
Council never ceases to recall and to seek to obtain the intercession of
the Virgin, as she did at Cana (cf. Jn 2:1-11) beside the Son on behalf
of men. Indeed, "meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, we
will learn, after the example of Mary, to become souls of peace, through
loving, constant contact with Jesus and with the mysteries of his
redeeming life".56 The members of the Church, the Pope
concludes, are honour-bound to recite frequently this "meditation
on the mysteries of salvation", now an established Marian practice
of ecclesial devotion.57
The true turning point in the nature, content and goal of pious
exercises, already announced by the Council (cf. Sacrosanctum
Concilium, n. 13; Lumen Gentium, nn. 66-67), came with the
Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, of 2 February 1974.58
Pope Paul VI, in continuity with the doctrine expounded by the Council
and by the Apostolic Exhortation Signum Magnum of 13 May 1967,
proposed a theological-liturgical treatment that aimed to shed light on
the place Mary occupies in ecclesial devotion, especially with regard to
the teaching on the presence and celebration of Mary in the context of
the annual cycle of the mystery of Christ (cf. Marialis Cultus,
nn. 2-15), and Mary's example with regard to divine worship (cf. Marialis
Cultus, nn. 16-23). The papal exhortation, moreover, is intended to
offer valid guidelines for the revision and development of liturgical
devotion, of the practice of devotion of the Angelus and of the
Rosary.59 Marialis Cultus, in the practice of the
Rosary that is very different from "liturgical rites"
sacramental by their nature, virtue and saving aims and action (Marialis
Cultus, n. 48), singles out three fundamental themes: theological,
liturgical and pastoral. The theological theme explains the
evangelical character that derives from the presentation of the
mysteries of the redeeming Incarnation, which is why this practice is a
Christological and soteriological prayer in which the participation of
the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord is highlighted. The liturgical
theme presents the Psalter of the Virgin as a prayer of praise,
supplication and above all, contemplation. The pastoral theme is
characterized by encouragement to propose anew the use of the recitation
of the Rosary in the context of the family. The recitation of the
Rosary, one of the most excellent "community" prayers, must
flourish anew (cf. Marialis Cultus, nn. 52-54) in the
Christian family. These elements taken together make this treatment of
the practice of the Rosary a remarkable synthesis of doctrine, which not
only sums up the doctrine already expounded in other documents by Paul VI and by his Predecessors, but also applies
to and develops it as well as the general norms and principles spelled
out by the Second Vatican Council.
John Paul II
John Paul II, elected Bishop of Rome on 16 October 1978, the Pope of the Totus
Tuus, has been advocating from the beginning of his Pontificate this
practice, and on various occasions has taken the time to
illustrate its values, timeliness and objective. It is enough to recall
the Angelus Addresses in October 1983,60 in which he
highlighted the evangelical, ecclesial and human value of the prayer of
the Rosary: a Christian prayer that exalts human sentiments and
affections, in which "we relive the Christian's hopes: for eternal
life, which involve God's omnipotence, and the expectations of the
present time, which involve men and women's collaboration with
God".61 In his Marian catechesis of 5 November 1997,
John Paul II underlines how the Rosary "has taken on an important
role. By repeating the ‘Hail Mary', it leads us to contemplate the
mysteries of faith. In nourishing the Christian people's love for the
Mother of God, this simple prayer also orients Marian prayer in a
clearer way to its goal: the glorification of Christ".62
In the recent Rosarium Virginis Mariae, the Holy Father recalls
how in the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin, which is both meditation and
supplication, the merciful One in prayer, the Deesis, as she is
popularly called in the East, stands praying with us and for us before
the Father, who with his Spirit has filled her with grace, and before
the Son, born of her virginal womb. For these reasons, John Paul II
says, "The Rosary is my favourite prayer.... It can be said that
the Rosary is, in some sense, a prayer-commentary on the final chapter
of the Vatican II Constitution Lumen Gentium, a chapter which
discusses the wondrous presence of the Mother of God in the mystery of
Christ and the Church.... At the same time our heart can embrace in the
decades of the Rosary all the events that make up the lives of
individuals, families, nations, the Church and all mankind: our personal
concerns and those of our neighbour, especially those who are closest to
us, who are dearest to us. Thus, the simple prayer of the Rosary marks
the rhythm of human life".63
If it is properly prayed and meditated upon in the community or in
the family, the Rosary truly becomes a spiritual journey in which Mary
is our Mother, sister, teacher and guide to God the Trinity, who
sustains us with her mediation and intercession which is powerful, true
1 Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Directory
on Popular Piety, Liturgy, Principles and Guidelines. LEV, Vatican
City 2002, n. 183, p. 152.
2 Ibid., n. 197, p. 163. Cf. the entire section
dedicated to the Rosary in nn. 197-202, of pp. 163-166.
3 Cf. John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 4,
Apostolic Letter of 16 October 2002. ORE, 23 October 2002, p. II.
4 Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the
Sacraments, Directory on Popular Piety, Liturgy, Principles and
Guidelines, n. 7, p. 20; on the nature, content and purpose
of practice of devotion of a Marian kind, cf. ibid., nn. 183-207,
5 H. Urs von Balthasar, The Rosary. The
salvation of the world in Marian Prayer. Jaca Book, Milan 1984, p. 107.
6 Refer to the many direct and indirect interventions on
the Rosary by Leo XIII, cf. Le Encicliche Mariane [The Marian
Encyclicals], by Mons. Amleto Tondini. Angelo Belardetti, Rome 1954,
7 Diuturni Temporis, in Enchiridion delle
Encicliche [EE]. EDB, Bologna 1997, vol. 3, n. 1419.
8 Adiutricem Populi, in EE, 3, n. 1217.
9 Octobri Mense, in EE, 3, n. 953.
10 Cf. Superiore Anno, in EE, 3, n. 433;
Supremi Apostolatus, in EE, 3, nn. 352, 353; Adiutricem
Populi, in EE, nn. 1230, 1419; Augustissimae Virginis,
in EE, 3, nn. 1349, 1353; Diuturni Temporis, in EE,
3, nn. 1420, 1421.
11 Cf. Supremi Apostolatus, in EE, 3, n.
350; Magnae Dei Matris, in EE, 3, nn. 1034-1035.
12 Cf. Superiore Anno, in EE, 3, nn.
435437; Octobri Mense, in EE, 3, nn. 939, 952; Magni
Dei Matris, in EE, 3, n. 1033.
13 Cf. Octobri Mense, in EE, 3, nn. 940943;
Laetitiae Sanctae, in EE, 3, nn. 10951098; lucunda
Semper, in EE, 3, nn. 12041207; Vi e Ben Noto, in EE,
3, n. 1772.
14 Cf. Octobri Mense, in EE, 3, n. 954;
Magnae Dei Matris, in EE, 3, n. 1035; Adiutricem Populi,
in EE, 3, n. 1217.
15 Cf. Octobri Mense, in EE, 3, n. 953;
Magnae Dei Matris, in EE, 3, n. 1039; lucunda Semper,
in EE, 3, nn. 1193-1196.
16 Cf. Supremi Apostolatus, in EE, 3, nn.
344-346, 352; Superiore Anno, in EE, 3, nn. 434-439; Octobri
Mense, in EE, 3, nn. 948-952; Magnae Dei Matris, in EE,
3, n. 1036; Laetitiae Sanctae, in EE, 3, n. 1094; lucunda
Semper, in EE, 3, nn. 1192, 1200; Adiutricem Populi,
in EE, 3, nn. 1217, 1220, 1232; Fidentem Piumque, in
EE, 3, nn. 1289-1290; Diuturni Temporis, in EE, 3,
nn. 1417, 1422; Vi e Ben Noto, in EE, 3, n. 1774; Diurturni
Temporis, in EE, 3, n. 1417.
17 Augustissimae Virginis, in EE, 3, n.
18 Cf. Magnae Dei Matris, in EE, 3, nn.
19 The Rosary "produces another notable fruit,
adapted to the needs of our times. Since, in an age in which the virtues
of faith in God are exposed day after day to serious danger and
assaults, the Christian finds in the Rosary abundant means to nourish it
and reinforce it" (Fidentem Piumque, in EE, 3, n.
1291; cf. ibid., n. 1292).
20 Gal 2:20; Magnae Dei Matris, in EE, 3,
21 The mysteries of the Rosary show the harmony of the
human and Christian virtues, lived by the holy members of the Family of
Nazareth (cf. ibid., Magnae Dei Matris, in EE, 3,
nn. 1047-1048; Laetitiae Sanctae, in EE, 3, nn. 10991110).
22 Fidentem Piumque, in EE, 3, n. 1286.
23 Cf. Octobri Mense, in EE, 3, nn. 959960.
24 Cf. Octobri Mense, in EE, 3, n. 957.
25 Diuturni Temporis, in EE, 3, n. 1419.
26 Diuturni Temporis, in EE, 3, n. 1422.
Pope Leo's special attention to the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompei is
attested to in some of his writings: Quotquot Religionis of 28
March 1890, in which a protector Cardinal is appointed to increase the
shrine's beauty; Qua Providentia of 13 March 1894, with which the
rights and property of the shrine and annexed institutions were
transferred to the Apostolic See; lam Nemini of 4 May 1901, which
raised the Shrine of Pompei to a "minor basilica".
27 Cf. Pii Pontificis Maximi Acta. Vatican
Printing Press 1908, vol. 5, p. 129. On the Pontiff's various Marian
interventions, cf. Le Encicliche Mariane, op. cit. pp.
28 Cf. the Letter to Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, Secretary
of State, of 5 May 1917.
29 Fausto Appetente, in EE, 4, n. 579.
31Ibid., in EE, 4, n. 581.
32 Cf. EE, 5, nn. 820-878.
33 Cf. Ingravescentibus Mails, in EE, 5, nn.
34 Ibid., n. 1331.
35 Ibid., n. 1333.
36 Cf. ibid.
37 Cf. ibid., nn. 1338-1339.
38 Cf. EE, 6, nn. 873-876.
39 Ingruentium Malorum, in EE, 6, n. 877;
cf. ibid., n. 879.
40 Cf. ibid., nn. 880-881.
41 Ibid., n. 884.
42 John XXIII, Celebrandi Concilii, Apostolic
Letter of 11 April 1961, in Discourses, Messages,
Colloquia of the Holy Father John XXIII, Polyglot Vatican Printing
Press, 1962, Vatican City, vol. 3, p. 784.
43 Grata Recordatio, in EE, 7, n. 150.
44 Ibid., n. 152.
45 Ibid., n. 160; cf. also nn. 156-159.
46 Cf. ibid., in EE, 7, nn. 161-165.
47 Cf. ibid., in EE, 7, n. 166.
48 Cf. Discourses by the Holy Father John XXIII,
The Polyglot Vatican Printing Press 1962, vol. 3, pp. 753-761,
49 This brief essay is entitled "Elevazioni sui
quindici Misteri dell'aurea Corona", cf. ibid., pp.
50 Cf. Mense Maio, in EE, 7, nn. 831-832.
51 Cf. ibid., nn. 834-841.
52 Ibid., n. 843.
53 Cf. Christi Matri, in EE, 7, nn.
54 Cf. ibid., n. 926.
55 Recurrens Mensis Octobris, in Enchiridion
Vaticanum (EV), EDB, Bologna 1997, vol. 3, n. 1609-1610.
56 Ibid., in EV, 3, n. 1615.
57 Ibid., in EV, 3, n. 1617.
58 Cf. EV, 5, nn. 13-97.
59 Cf. Marialis Cultus, nn. 40-55, in EV,
2, nn. 71-87.
60 Cf. Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II. LEV,
Città del Vaticano, vol. V1/2 (9 October 1983, ORE,
17 October, p. 1; 16 October, ORE, 24 October, p. 2; 23 October,
ORE, 31 October, p. 1; 1 November, ORE, 7 November, p. 3;
6 November, ORE, 14 November, p. 2).
61 Ibid. (Angel us, 6 November 1983, ORE,
14 November 1983, p. 2).
62 General Audience, 5 November 1997, n. 2; ORE,
12 November, p. 11.
63 John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, op.
cit., n. 2.