Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pope Encourages Praying the Rosary


Dear brothers and sisters,

Today, the first day of October, I would like to dwell on two aspects which characterize this month for the ecclesiastical community: the praying of the Rosary and a commitment to the missions.

On October 7th, Saturday, we will celebrate the feast of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, and it is as if every year, Our Lady invites us to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple but so profound. The beloved John Paul II was a great apostle of the Rosary: we remember him on his knees with the rosary in his hands, immersed in the contemplation of Christ, as he himself has invited us to din his apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae.

The rosary is a contemplative, Christ-centered prayer, inseparable from meditation on the Sacred Scriptures. It is the prayer of the Christian who advances along the pilgrimage of faith, following Jesus, preceded by Mary.

I wish to invite you, brothers and sisters, to recite the Rosary this week as a family, in the community and in the parishes for the intentions of the Pope, for the mission of the Church and for peace in the world. October is also missionary month, and on Sunday, October 22, we will celebrate the World Day for Missions.

The Church is by nature missionary. "As the Father sent me, I also send you" (jn 20,21), said the resurrected Jesus to the Apostles in the Cenacle. The mission of the Church is to prolong Christ's mission: to bring to all the love of God, announcing itwith the word and with the concrete testimony of charity. In the message for the coming World Day for Missions, I wanted to present charity as the 'spirit of mission.".

St. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, wrote: "The love of Christ pushes us 92 Cor 5,14). My every Christian make that his own words, in the joyous experience of being a missionary of lovewherever Providence has put us, with humility and courage, serving our neighbor without ultimate purposesand dzrawing from prayer the strength for a happy and hardworking charity. (cf Deus caritas est, 32-39).

The universal patron of missions, along with St. Francis Xavier, is St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Carmelite virgin and doctor of the Church, whom we remember today May she, who indicated as the 'simple' way to holiness a trustful abandon to the love of God, help us to be credible witnesses for the Gospel of charity. Most Blessed Mary, Virgin of the Rosary and Queen of missions, lead us all to Christ the Savior.

After the Angelus, the Holy Father said the following in Italian:

Yesterday I had the joy of meeting with His Beatitude Emmanuel III Dellay, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeas, who told me of the tragic reality that the beloved people of Iraq must face daily, where Muslims and Christians had lived for 14 centuries as children of the same land.
I hope that these links of brotherhood shall not be drawn apart while, with my spiritual nearness to them, I invite everyine to join me in asking almighty God for the gift of peace and concord for that troubled country.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the annual World day for Habitat, dewsignated by the United Nations and dedicated this year to the theme "Cities - magnets of hope". Managing the rapid process of urbanization - which is one of the consequences of growing migration towards the cities, represemts one of the most severe problems that man in the 21st century is called on to confrnt.

I express my encouragement to all those local and international levels who work so that persons living in the neglected peripheriesmay be assured worthy living conditions, thsatisfaction of their primary needs, and the possibility of realizing their own aspirations, particualrly in their family life and in a peaceful social coexistence.

Later, he addressed English-speaking pilgrims: I am pleased to greet the English-speaking visitors gathered here today, including the pilgrims from Rotterdam who are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of their diocese.

In this month of October, dedicated to the Holy Rosary, we ponder with Mary the mysteries of our salvation, and we ask the Lord to help us grow in our understanding of the marvellous things he has done for us. May God fill you with his love and may he bestow upon all those dear to you his blessings of joy and peace.

Papa Ratzi Forum


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