The popes on the Rosary

18 October 2020
Pope Francis prays the Rosary. Image: Vatican Media/Vatican News.


Many of the popes have championed the Rosary as a powerful, multifaceted devotion. The theologian Romano Guardini described praying the rosary as “participation in the life of Mary, whose focus was Christ.” Pope Leo XIII also viewed the Rosary as a vital means to participate in the life of Mary and to find the way to Christ.

Meditation on the mysteries of salvation is to lead to conversion of heart and change of actions. Contemplation on the mysteries is essentially an act of gratitude through which the heart is “filled with love…hope enlarged, and the desire increased for those things which Christ has prepared for such as have united themselves to Him in imitation of His example and in participation in His sufferings.” Attentive consideration of the “precious memorials” of our Redeemer leads to “a heart on fire with gratitude to Him.” The popes tell us its essence is “to recall the mysteries of salvation in succession, while the subject of meditation is mingled and interlaced with the Angelic Salutation and prayer to God the Father.”

The popes also teach that the Rosary is intended to influence society as a whole. The holy and powerful life of Jesus Christ is to be a real antidote and remedy for the errors afflicting society.

To continue reading the thoughts of various popes who have endorsed and encouraged the Rosary, click here.

With thanks to the University of Dayton, Ohio, United States, where this article originally appeared.


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