The Popes and The Rosary
Pope Saint Pius IX
'Give me an army praying the Rosary and I will conquer the world'
Pope Pius was the Holy Father in the middle of the 19th Century. He had great devotion to the Rosary. When asked on his deathbed what he was thinking he said:
Actually I am contemplating the 15 mysteries of the Rosary depicted on the walls of this room. If only you knew how encouraging they are to me! Considering them is most comforting. Meditating on the Joyful mysteries, I forget about my pain. Considering the different phases of the Passion I am greatly heartened, since I tread the path of suffering in the company of Christ who went before me. When I bring the Glorious Mysteries to mind,I am filled with joy. It is veru clear to me that all my pain is going to be converted into glory. What great solace the Rosary has been on my deathbead!.... The Rosary is like an abridged version of the Gospel. It provides 'rivers of peace' to those who say it well. By far, it is the richest devotion and the one most abundant in graces. It is certainly the most pleasing to the heart of Mary. Remember me, my sons, by this final testimony I am giving now.
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo was Pope Pius IX successor, it was he that made October the Month of the Holy Rosary.
"The Rosary is composed of two parts, distinct but inseparable â€Â the meditation on the mysteries and the recitation of the prayers. It is thus a kind of prayer that requires not only some raising of the soul to God, but also a particular and explicit attention" (Incunda semper)
Between 1883 and 1898 he wrote 16 encyclicals on the Rosary
We earnestly exhort all Christians to give themselves to the recital of the pious devotion of the Rosary publicly, or privately in their own house and family, and that unceasingly.
Pope Benedict XV
In his encyclical, Fausto appentente dei, 29th June 1921 talking about St Dominic's use of the Rosary, he said:
On the one hand, he knew of Mary's enormous influence with her Son, who always dispenses his graces through her hands. On the other, she is so naturally inclined to mercy and kindness, and so used to spontaneously helping those in need, that she cannot withhold her help from those who ask it. The Church always finds her to be "Mother of divine grace" and "Mother most merciful", and has long had the custom of greeting her as such, above all through the Holy Rosary. For this reason, the Roman pontiffs have extolled devotion to the Marian Rosary with the highest praise, and have enriched it with indulgences.
The prayer of the Rosary is perfect,because of the praises it offers,the lessons it teaches,the graces it obtains,and the victories it achieves.
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI spoke on many occassions about his high regard for the Rosary.
"There is no doubt that, after the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, the high point which family prayer can reach, the Rosary should be considered as one of the best and most efficacious prayers in common that the Christian family is invited to recite."
He dedicated a large part of his Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, 1974 to outlining the reasons why the Rosary preserves its perennial in the modern church.
"If evils increase, the devotion of the People of God should also increase. ...Pray ardently to our most merciful mother Mary by saying the Rosary during the month of October, as We have already indicated. This prayer is well-suited to the devotion of the People of God, most pleasing to the Mother of God and most effective in gaining heaven's blessings.
Pope John Paul I
"The Rosary even if it should be shortened and adapted recited in the evening by the parents together with the children, is a form of family liturgy"
Pope John Paul reigned for only 33 days in 1978. He gave 4 rosaries to his brother who was going to Australia and told him to give them to 4 women he said "Tell these people to say the rosary Pray to Our Lady as we are still doing in our family"
The Rosary is an impoverished prayer? What then would be a 'rich prayer'? The Rosary is a procession of Paters, the prayer taught by Jesus; of Aves, the salutation of God to the Virgin by means of the Angel; of Glorias, the praise of the Most Holy Trinity.
Pope Saint John Paul II
John Paul II, the Great Pope, was well known for his love of the Rosary
"The Rosary is my favourite prayer. Marvellous in its simplicity and its depth" Angelus address, 29th October 1978.
When he resumed public life after his attempted assassination in May 1981, he said: "In the last few weeks I have had numerous proofs of kindness on the part of people all over the world. I want to express my gratitude in decades of the Rosary, in order to be able to express it in prayer, as well as in a human way; in the prayer, so simple and so rich, that the Rosary is. I cordially exhort everyone to recite it."
â€œI would therefore ask those who devote themselves to the pastoral care of families to recommend heartily the recitation of the Rosary."
Pope Francis and the Rosary
Pope Francis is a great advocate for the Rosary and has a deep devotion to Our Blessed Mother.
After seeing Pope Saint John Paul II on his knees in prayer he later reflected: â€œI became aware of the density of the words of the Mother of Guadalupe to St Juan Diego: "Don't be afraid, am I not perhaps your mother?" From that day onwards he has prayed 15 decades of the Rosary Daily since 1985!
He Urges Catholic to Pray the Rosary, regularly.
He also has a great devotion to Our Lady Undo-er of Knots - Our Patron!
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Today, Together we confirm that the Holy Rosary is not a pious practise banished to the past, like prayers of other times thought of with nostalgia. Instead, the Rosary is experiencing a new Springtime. Without a doubt, this is one of the most eloquent signs of love that the young generation nourish for Jesus and his Mother, Mary. In the current world, so dispersive this prayer helps to put Christ at the centre, as the Virgin did, who mediatated within all that was said about her Son, and also what he did and said. When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived. The various steps of Christ's mission are traced. With Mary the heart is oriented towards the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of Joy, Light, Sorrow and Glory. May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace emanating from these mysteries, so that through us we can 'water' society,beginning with our daily relationships, and purifying them from so many negative forces, thus opening them to the newness of God. The Rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic way, not mechanical and superficial but profoundly, brings, in fact peace and reconciliation. It contains within itself the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the centre of each "Hail Mary".