Castel Gandolfo (Fides Service) – “A month today exactly, on Sunday October 7, God willing, I will be at the Shrine of Pompei. It will be a highly significant event in this Year of the Rosary which opened on 16 October last year with the signing in St Peter’s square of the Apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae”. Pope John Paul II made this announcement on Sunday 7 September before praying the Angelus prayer with visitors gathered in the courtyard of his Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo. In view of his pilgrimage to Pompei, the Holy Father said he was beginning “ a spiritual pilgrimage to that Marian shrine, centre of the spirituality of the Rosary, contemplating with Mary the face of Christ in his joyful sorrowful, glorious and luminous mysteries. The liturgical feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which falls tomorrow, September 8, is an appropriate date to start this spiritual journey. Her birth in fact is a sort of ‘prologue’ to the Incarnation: Mary, like the dawn, precedes the Son, sun of the ‘new day’, pre-announcing the joy of the Redeemer”.
“Rejoice! The happy call of the Angel sheds a beam of light on all five of the joyful mysteries – the Holy Father said -. In these mysteries Mary helps us discover the secret of Christian joy, reminding us that Christianity is first of all euangelion Good News, which has at its centre, indeed as its content, the person of Christ”. Lastly the Pope encouraged those present to rediscover the rosary prayer “simple but of great profundity” which “introduces us to the living experience of the divine mystery and brings to hearts, families and whole communities the peace we all need”. SL (Fides Service 8/9/2003 EM lines 2 Words: 277).