Pope Leo XIII:
In Mary, God has given us the most zealous guardian of Christian unity. There are, of course, more ways than one to win her protection by prayer, but as for Us, We think that the best and most effective way to her favour lies in the Rosary. We have elsewhere brought it to the attention of the devout Christian and not least among the advantages of the Rosary is the ready and easy means it puts in his hands to nurture his faith, and to keep him from ignorance of his religion and the danger of error.
The very origin of the Rosary makes that plain. When such faith is exercised by vocally repeating the Our Father and Hail Mary of the Rosary prayers, or better still in the contemplation of the mysteries, it is evident how close we are brought to Mary. For every time we devoutly say the Rosary in supplication before her, we are once more brought face to face with the marvel of our salvation; we watch the mysteries of our Redemption as though they were unfolding before our eyes; and as one follows another, Mary stands revealed at once as God’s Mother and our Mother.
The sublimity of that double dignity, the fruits of her twofold ministry, appear in vivid light when in devout meditation we think of Mary’s share in the joyful, the sorrowful, the glorious mysteries of her Son. The heart is inflamed by these reflections with a feeling of grateful love toward her and, esteeming everything beneath her as so much worthless chaff, strives with manful purpose to prove worthy of such a Mother and the gifts she bestows. Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, often repeated in the spirit of faith, cannot help but please her and move her, the fondest of mothers, to show mercy to her children.
For that reason We say that the Rosary is by far the best prayer by which to plead before her the cause of our separated brethren. To grant a favourable hearing belongs properly to her office of spiritual Mother. For Mary has not brought forth – nor could she – those who are of Christ except in the one same Faith and in the one same love; for “Can Christ be divided?” All must live the life of Christ in an organic unity in order to “bring forth fruit to God” in the one same body. Every one of the multitudes, therefore, whom the mischief of calamitous events has stolen away from that unity, must be born again to Christ of that same Mother whom God has endowed with a never failing fertility to bring forth a holy people. And this Mary, for her part, longs to do. Adorned by us with garlands of her favourite prayer, she will obtain by her entreaties help in abundance from the Spirit that quickeneth. God grant that they refuse not to comply with the burning desire of their merciful Mother but, on the contrary, give ear, like men of good will, with a proper regard for their eternal salvation, to the voice, gently persuasive, which calls to them: “My little children, of whom I am in labour again, until Christ be formed in you.”
May the peoples of the East and West, and all the others wherever they may be, profit by the suppliant voice of Catholics united in prayer, and by our voice which will cry to Our last breath: Show thyself a Mother.
Excerpts from Adiutricem, an Encyclical on the Holy Rosary by Pope Leo XIII, September 5, 1895
Reblogged this on Nati Lux and commented:
A great post to look at.
The graces bestowed upon those who regularly pray the Rosary are amazing! If good Popes and holy saints have urged the faithful to pray this ‘compendium’ of the Gospel, and Our Blessed Lady herself in all her apparitions has implored her ‘children’ to pray it without ceasing “for the conversion of sinners”, why, I wonder, is there still such resistance among some Catholics to do so?
I know Catholics who complain that they find it difficult, monotonous, and suchlike… and while it may well be true that those who are not brought up to pray it may find this, at least at first, in time all these problems are dissolved in the heavenly blessings poured upon those who pray it with regularity. Even Catholic children (like me and my siblings) who were brought up to pray it, get very distracted and have to learn to try and stay concentrated, will then invariably grow to love it.
With time and perseverance the Rosary can become a very important part of our daily devotions. As the rhythm of the decades, meditated and prayed on, flow past, we enter ever more deeply into the life of Christ through Mary. We may discover, to our joy, how pondering each sacred mystery Our Lady gradually reveals surprising insights into the heart.
N.B. On Saturday 11th October there is the annual Rosary Crusade and Procession taking part in London, starting off from Westminster Cathedral and eventually arriving at Brompton Oratory. I am delighted that I shall be able to take part this year. 🙂 There is always an enormous turn out I am told – a great witness to our Catholic Faith in our secular world today!