|Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary: 7 October
The special feature of the prayer of the Rosary is seen in the fact it is
addressed to Mary. Nevertheless, in this intimate contact with the Mother
of Jesus, we are made to feel the need for a deeper relationship with
Those who pray to Mary realize that their gaze cannot simply stop at
the face of the Mother, for Mary is essentially oriented to her Son and
only in relation to him does she come to play a role in Christian life.
Mary's thoughts were filled with Jesus. If we are to penetrate her
deepest desires and feelings, we must share in her attachment to the One
she adored as her God, admired as the Savior of humanity and loved not
only as her own son but as the Son of the eternal Father.
Mary's love for Jesus, who had been announced by the Angel, was
absolute; it was her consent, a mirror image of total obedience, that
brought him into the world.
By virtue of her totally open "yes", Christ developed in his Mother's
womb and took possession of her, fully committing her to his service. By
offering herself as the "handmaid of the Lord", she made herself available
for the important work of the Messianic kingdom announced by the Angel.
Mary received Jesus as the most desirable guest; he took possession of
her maternal being to involve her in establishing the Kingdom.
Thus, a new approach was impressed on the whole of Mary's life, and
Christ used it in his "mystery".
This mystery is not only an amazing truth to be discovered: when Jesus
said to the Apostles, "to you has been given the secret of the Kingdom of
God" (Mk 4:11), he meant by these words that the mystery refers to the
divine plan of salvation which is fulfilled with the establishment of
God's Kingdom on earth.
If this mystery was given to the Apostles for the full development of
their faith and the fulfillment of their preaching mission, it must first
have been given to Mary, who was the principal cooperator in the plan of
salvation brought about by Christ.
Mary entered fully into the mystery, receiving the superior light of
the divine design; gave her whole self to carrying it out.
One mystery: the Kingdom of God
In the prayer of the Rosary, the meditation on a variety of different
"mysteries" sheds light expressly on the Virgin's relationship with the
mystery of Christ. The variety of mysteries gives us a more vivid picture
of the events lived by Mary and enables us to share deeply in the feelings
that the Mother of God felt, in her union with Christ and in her specific
contribution to the work of redemption.
Traditionally, the mysteries were grouped as joyful, sorrowful, and
glorious. Pope John Paul II suggested adding a new category: the "mysteries of
His addition has the special advantage of proposing the episode of the
miracle of Cana as a topic for meditation. It was an important miracle for
Mary's cooperation in Christ's work and for the effectiveness of her
The importance of this first miracle is emphasized in John's Gospel,
but there was no formal reference to it in the "mysteries" of
The number of mysteries cannot make us forget that they are all an
expression of a unique mystery: "the mystery of the Kingdom of God",
according to Jesus' assertion, set down by Mark.
The Rosary is an invitation to enter deeply with Mary into this
mystery, which is the mystery of Christ.