Encyclical Of Pope Leo XIII on the Rosary, 5 September 1895.
Abridged from sections 8-16.
The power thus put into her hands is all but unlimited. How unerringly right, then, are
Christian souls when they turn to Mary for help as though impelled by an instinct of
nature, confidently sharing with her their future hopes and past achievements, their
sorrows and joys, commending themselves like children to the care of a bountiful mother.
How rightly, too, has every nation and every liturgy without exception acclaimed her great
renown, which has grown greater with the voice of each succeeding century. Among her many
other titles we find her hailed as "our Lady, our Mediatrix," "the
Reparatrix of the whole world," "the Dispenser of all heavenly
Since faith is the foundation, the source, of the gifts of God by which man is raised
above the order of nature and is endowed with the dispositions requisite for life eternal,
we are in justice bound to recognize the hidden influence of Mary in obtaining the gift of
faith and its salutary cultivation-of Mary who brought the "author of faith"
into this world and who, because of her own great faith, was called
"blessed.""O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except
through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives
a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee."
It is no exaggeration to say that it is due chiefly to her leadership and help that the
wisdom and teachings of the Gospel spread so rapidly to all the nations of the world in
spite of the most obstinate difficulties and most cruel persecutions, and brought
everywhere in their train a new reign of justice and peace. This it was that stirred the
soul of St. Cyril of Alexandria to the following prayerful address to the Blessed Virgin:
"Through you the Apostles have preached salvation to the nations . . . through you
the priceless Cross is everywhere honored and venerated; through you the demons have been
put to rout and mankind has been summoned back to Heaven; through you every misguided
creature held in the thrall of idols is led to recognize the truth; through you have the
faithful been brought to the laver of holy Baptism and churches been founded among every
Hence it is that the Church and the Fathers have given expression to their joy in Mary
in words whose beauty equals their truth: "Hail, voice of the Apostles forever
eloquent, solid foundation of the faith,unshakable prop of the Church."
"Hail, thou through whom we have been enrolled as citizens of the One, Holy, Catholic
and Apostolic Church.""Hail, thou fountain springing forth by God's design,
whose rivers flowing over in pure and unsullied waves of orthodoxy put to flight the hosts
of error." "Rejoice, because thou alone hast destroyed all the heresies in
That the one self same profession of faith may unite the minds of Christian nations in
peace and harmony, that the one and only bond of perfect charity may gather their hearts
within its embrace--such is our prayerful hope! And may Mary, by her powerful help, bring
this ardently desired gift into our possession! And remembering that her only begotten Son
prayed so earnestly to His heavenly Father for the closest union among the nations whom He
has called by the one Baptism to the one inheritance of salvation bought for an infinite
price, will she not, for that reason, see to it that all in His marvelous light will
strive as with one mind for unity? And will it not be her wish to employ her goodness and
providence to console the Spouse of Christ, the Church, through her long-sustained efforts
in this enterprise, as well as to bring to full perfection the boon of unity among the
members of the Christian family, which is the illustrious fruit of her motherhood?
3. St. Bernard, Serm. II in Adv.
4. St. Tharasius, Orat. in Praesentatione.
5. On Off. Graec., 8 Dec.
6. Hebr. 12:1.
7. St. Germ. Constantinop., Orat. 11, in Dormitione B.M.V.
8. St. Cyril Alex., Homil. contra Nestor.
10. Ex hymno Graecorum.
11. St. John Damasc., in Annuntiatione Deigenitricis, n. 9.
12. St. German. Constantinop., Orat. in Praesentatione B.M.V.
13. In Officio B.M.V.
Excerpted from Leo XIII's encylical letter on the Rosary, Adiutricem , 5
View the complete text
of Adiutricem from the EWTN Online Services ftp site.
Electronic text (c) Copyright EWTN 1996. All rights reserved.