Papal Address on the Rosary as a Weapon of Peace

At Castel Gandolfo

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 29, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today before reciting the midday Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.



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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. We are already at the threshold of the month of October, which, with the liturgical Memorial of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, moves us to rediscover this traditional prayer, which is so simple yet so profound.

The rosary is a contemplative view of the face of Christ carried out, so to speak, through Mary's eyes. Therefore, it is a prayer that is at the very heart of the Gospel, and is in full harmony with the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council and very much in keeping with the indication I gave in the apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte": It is necessary that the Church "go into the deep" of the new millennium beginning with the contemplation of the face of Christ.

Therefore, I wish to suggest the recitation of the rosary to individuals, to families and to Christian communities. To give force to this request, I am also preparing a document, which will help to rediscover the beauty and depth of this prayer.

2. I wish to entrust once again the great cause of peace to the prayer of the rosary. We are faced with an international situation full of tensions, of incandescent dimensions. In some parts of the world, where the confrontation is stronger -- I am thinking in particular of the martyred land of Christ -- we can see that, although always necessary, the political attempts are worth little if spirits remain exacerbated and there is no ability to demonstrate a heartfelt disposition to renew the line of dialogue.

But, who can infuse such sentiments, save God alone? It is more necessary than ever that prayers for peace be raised to him throughout the world. Precisely in this perspective, the rosary reveals itself as a particularly appropriate prayer. It constructs peace also because, while appealing to God's grace, it sows in the one reciting it the seed of good, from which fruits of justice and solidarity in personal and community life can be expected.

I am thinking of nations, but also of families: how much peace would be assured in family relations, if the holy rosary was prayed by the family!

3. [John Paul II then greeted pilgrims in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Italian. In English, he said:]

I extend a warm greeting to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, and invite you to make the month of October a time of special attention to the recitation of the rosary, the great prayer of intercession to Mary. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord.

[Finally, the Pope said in Italian:]

4. The prayer we are about to recite, begins by recalling the Archangel Gabriel's declaration to the Virgin Mary. Indeed, today is the feast of the holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael: May these powerful ministers of God help us to correspond always with generous love to his will.

[Translation by ZENIT]