VATICAN - ROSARY AND MISSION: AT THE START OF THE MARIAN MONTH OF MAY IN THE YEAR OF THE ROSARY WE PRESENT A REFLECTION BY REV. FERNANDO GALBIATI, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE PONTIFICAL MISSIONARY UNION

Friday, 2 May 2003

Vatican City (Fides Service) – “The meditation of the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (RVM) offers several points for missionary reflection. Indeed it opens the mind to the universal dimension that the mysteries of the life of Christ reveal to the world and radiate upon the Christian people, who are led «to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love» (RVM 1). In fact, the Rosary, «reclaimed in its full meaning, goes to the very heart of Christian life; it offers a familiar yet fruitful spiritual and educational opportunity for personal contemplation, the formation of the People of God, and the new evangelisation» (RVM 3). This dimension of new spiritual life in Christ and of renewed missionary commitment recalls the watchword of the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte: «Start afresh from Christ» (NMI 29), almost an echo in our own time of Jesus’ command to the Apostles: «Go... and preach...» (Mk 16:15). In order to «start afresh from Christ», the Pope points out that it is necessary to «learn Christ from Mary», because «among creatures no one knows Christ better than Mary...» (RVM 14).
The Pope indicates the Rosary as «a prayer for peace because of the fruits of charity which it produces» (RVM 40). In its various mysteries - joyful, of light, sorrowful and the glory of Christ with Mary - the Rosary reminds us what the signs of the Kingdom now present on earth are, and as a result it imposes on us a Christian life-style (…).
The Pope emphasises the social value of the Rosary and the doctrine proposed and contemplated in its Mysteries. The Rosary is Salvation, Liberation, Charity, in a word, it is Redemption; the «Good News» announced in the world through the Mission of the «the Church on earth by its very nature missionary» (AG 2). «In a word, by focusing our eyes on Christ, the Rosary also makes us peacemakers in the world... Far from offering an escape from the problems of the world, the Rosary obliges us to see them with responsible and generous eyes, and obtains for us the strength to face them with the certainty of God's help and the firm intention of bearing witness in every situation to “love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14)» (RVM 40).
“We recognise with the Holy Father that the Rosary and Mission have advanced at the same rate in the Church’s age-old history and that the lay movement to help Mission found its inspiration and its force in the Rosary. Proposing the recitation of the Holy Rosary in his Pastoral Letter, the Holy Father merely indicates once again in our difficult times the means and instruments for the Church’s Mission: «The history of the Rosary shows how this prayer was used in particular by the Dominicans at a difficult time for the Church due to the spread of heresy. Today we are facing new challenges. Why should we not once more have recourse to the Rosary, with the same faith as those who have gone before us? The Rosary retains all its power and continues to be a valuable pastoral resource for every good evangeliser» (RVM 17).”SL (Fides Service 2/5/2003 EM lines 34 Words: 500) .


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