Why the Rosary

The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, which gradually took form in the second millennium under the guidance of the Spirit of God, is a prayer loved by countless saints and encouraged by the Magisterium. Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness. ...

With the Rosary, the Christian people sit at the school of Mary and are led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of His love. Through the Rosary, the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer. ...

The most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery that I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte as a genuine "training in holiness": "What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer." Inasmuch as contemporary culture — even amid so many indications to the contrary — has witnessed the flowering of a new call for spirituality due also to the influence of other religions, it is more urgent than ever that our Christian communities should become "genuine schools of prayer."



"The Rosary is my favorite prayer," says Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC. "It's easy and simple to pray, a meditation on the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of Mary. If you want to know the Son, you go through the mother. That's why I love it, because through the Rosary, the Blessed Mother gives me tremendous insight on how I can lead a better life."

Jesus invited us to turn to God with insistence and the confidence that we will be heard: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Mt 7:7). The basis for this power of prayer is the goodness of the Father, but also the mediation of Christ Himself (cf. 1Jn 2:1) and the working of the Holy Spirit who "intercedes for us" according to the will of God (cf. Rom 8:26-27). For "we do not know how to pray as we ought" (Rom 8:26), and at times we are not heard "because we ask wrongly" (cf. Jas 4:2-3).

In support of the prayer that Christ and the Spirit cause to rise in our hearts, Mary intervenes with her maternal intercession. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary. If Jesus, the one Mediator, is the Way of our prayer, then Mary, His purest and most transparent reflection, shows us the Way. …

When in the Rosary we plead with Mary, the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 1:35), she intercedes for us before the Father who filled her with grace and before the Son born of her womb, praying with us and for us.

— Based on the Apostolic Letter Rosary of the Virgin Mary, by Pope John Paul II, 2002