as Gaeilge Po polsku

O my Jesus,
forgive us our sins.
Save us from the fires of hell.
Lead all souls to Heaven,
especially those
in most need of Thy mercy.

The Rosary

If the "Our Father" is Jesus' gift to us, then most certainly the Rosary is Our Lady's gift to us, her children. A beautiful prayer which concentrates on meditating upon the mysteries of the life of Jesus in the company of Mary. It is an entirely Scriptural prayer, whose simplicity is deceptive in that it hides profound depths of meaning: A prayer beloved by the great saints and highly recommended by popes. Pope John Paul ll has brought out a letter on the rosary, called Rosarium Virginis Mariae (RVM), and we quote from it.

"The Rosary", precisely because it starts with Mary's own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning, as Pope Paul VI clearly pointed out: "Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ: 'In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard for their many words" (Mt 6:7). By its nature the recitation of the rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord's life as seen through the eyes of her who was closest to the Lord. In this way the unfathomable riches of these mysteries are disclosed" (Marialis Cultus 47: AAS, 156) It is worth pausing to consider this profound insight of Paul VI, in order to bring out certain aspects of the Rosary which show that it is really a form of Christocentric contemplation." (RVM 14)

With regard to praying for peace and for our families, Pope John Paul has the following to say:

As a prayer for peace, the Rosary is also, and always has been, a prayer of and for the family. The family that prays together stays together. The Holy Rosary, by age-old tradition, has shown itself particularly effective as a prayer which brings the family together. Individual family members, in turning their eyes towards Jesus, also regain the ability to look one another in the eye, to communicate, to show solidarity, to forgive one another and to see their covenant of love renewed in the Spirit of God. Many of the problems facing contemporary families, especially in economically developed societies, result from their increasing difficulty in communicating. Families seldom manage to come together, and the rare occasions when they do are often taken up with watching television. To return to the recitation of the family Rosary means filling daily life with very different images, images of the mystery of salvation: the image of the redeemer, the image of his most Blessed Mother. The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre, they share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his hands, they draw from him the hope and the strength to go on. (RVM 41)

In reference to the Mysteries of Light we read:

"In these mysteries, apart from the miracle at Cana, the presence of Mary remains in the background. The Gospels make only the briefest reference to her occasional presence at one moment or other during the preaching of Jesus(cf. Mk 3:31-3; Jn 2:12), and they give no indication that she was present at the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. Yet the role she assumed at Cana in some way accompanies Christ throughout his ministry. The revelation made directly by the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan and echoed by John the Baptist is placed upon Mary's lips at Cana, and it becomes the great maternal counsel which Mary addresses to the Church of every age: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5). This counsel is a fitting introduction to the words and signs of Christ's public ministry and it forms the Marian foundation of all the "mysteries of light". (RVM21)

For details on how to pray the Rosary see How to pray the Rosary

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