Commencement Address to the Graduating Class of 2024 at Thomas Aquinas College

The Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary: May We “Imitate What They Contain and Obtain What They Promise”

Divine Mercy Sunday Reflection

Synodality versus True Identity of the Church as Hierarchical Communion

Notification to Christ’s Faithful (can. 212 § 3) Regarding Dubia Submitted to Pope Francis

Appeal for Prayer for the Armenian People

Discipline and Doctrine: Law in the Service of Truth and Love

Message to the Faithful Priests of the Church in Germany

Death of Cardinal George Pell

Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Purity of Heart and the Holy Family

Advent and the Door of our Hearts

The Exaltation of the Cross

Purity of Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha’s Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Purity of Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Mary the Mirror of Justice

Purity of Heart

Advent and Apocalypse

Christ and the Church: Triumphant, Suffering and Militant

Presentation list

The Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary: May We “Imitate What They Contain and Obtain What They Promise”

Roar of the Rosary

Straz Center, Morsani Hall

Tampa, Florida

10 May 2024


Thank you for the kind introduction. I am very pleased to return to Tampa and to take part in the “Roar of the Rosary,” a manifestation of the dynamism of the Catholic faith in Tampa. I thank His Excellency, Bishop Gregory Parkes, for his most warm welcome to the Diocese of St. Petersburg, and I commend all who have worked so tirelessly and well over many months to prepare such a great spiritual event. The “Roar of the Rosary” is the roar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the “Lion of Juda”[1], to whom His Virgin Mother unites us in a powerful way through the praying of the Most Holy Rosary.

We conclude the praying of the chaplet of the Holy Rosary with the words of the Collect of the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the More Ancient Usage of the Roman Rite:

O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life: grant, we beseech Thee, that, meditating on the mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.[2]

Indeed praying the Holy Rosary, meditating on the mysteries of the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, all of which make up the great Mystery of Faith, the Mystery of the Redemptive Incarnation, we receive actual grace to share in those saving mysteries. We receive actual grace to imitate the holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in her perfect unity of heart with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and thus to attain the fruits of holiness of life both in this life and in the life which is to come.

Reflecting on the prayer with which we conclude the praying of the chaplet of the Holy Rosary, Dom Prosper Guéranger wrote:

The mysteries of the Son and of the Mother are our instruction and our hope. The Church prays … that they may also be our rule of life and our pledge of eternal happiness.[3]

Reflecting on the gift of the Holy Rosary through Saint Dominic Guzman at the time when the Church was struggling against the Albigensian heresy, Dom Guéranger, quoting Pope Leo XIII, great teacher of the Rosary, reminds us of the enduring beauty of this most powerful prayer in the Church:

Before the thirteenth century, popular piety was already familiar with what was called the psalter of the laity, that is, the angelical salutation repeated one hundred and fifty times; it was the distribution of these Hail Marys into decades, each devoted to the consideration of a particular mystery, that constituted the rosary. Such was the divine expedient, simple as the eternal Wisdom that conceived it, and far-reaching in its effects; for while it led wandering man to the Queen of Mercy, it obviated ignorance which is the food of heresy, and taught him to find once more “the paths consecrated by the Blood of the Man-God, and by the tears of His Mother” [Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Magnae Dei Matris, “On the Marian Rosary,” Sept. 8, 1892].[4]

The praying of the Rosary, in fact, finds its fulfillment in union with Our Lord in His Eucharistic Sacrifice and in the reception of its incomparable fruit, Holy Communion. Dom Guéranger reminds us: “[T]he rosary, piously meditated, prepares us for the Sacrifice of the altar, that supereminent and august memorial of the mysteries which it imprints in the heart and mind of the Christian.”[5]

Powerful Prayer of the Church

I shall always remember the first time I was privileged to view the Last Judgment of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Having arrived at the Pontifical North American College in Rome in September of 1971 to begin my last four years of study and formation before priesthood ordination, I could not wait to see so many great works of art, about which, up to that point, I had only read.  Very soon after my arrival, I had the occasion to visit the Vatican Museums. A significant part of the visit is the Sistine Chapel. On the wall behind the altar of sacrifice is the Last Judgment, a wonderful fresco of the artist Michelangelo, depicting the Final Coming of our Lord at which the bodies of the just will be received into Heaven and the bodies of the impenitent will be consigned to Hell. In studying the fresco, I was struck by a figure of two of the just, whose bodies are being drawn into Heaven by the Rosary. This figure recalled to my mind what a powerful prayer the Rosary is in the Church and the many graces which I received through the praying of the Rosary.

On October 16, 2002, Pope Saint John Paul II published his Apostolic Letter “On the Most Holy Rosary” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae). He did so to commend the praying of the Rosary in carrying out the New Evangelization, in studying and living the Catholic faith with new enthusiasm and new energy, with the enthusiasm and energy of the first disciples of our Lord. At the very beginning of the Apostolic Letter, he reminded all the faithful that the Rosary, which was given to the Church early in the Second Christian Millennium, “is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium.”[6] Obviously, the artist Michelangelo understood the great love of the Rosary in the Church and depicted the power of the prayer in his fresco, the Last Judgment.

Pope Saint John Paul II considered the Rosary so important a part of the New Evangelization that he declared October 2002 to October 2003 as the Year of the Rosary. He describes his Apostolic Letter “On the Most Holy Rosary” as a complement to his Apostolic Letter “At the Close of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000" (Novo Millennio Ineunte), which is a most powerful reflection upon the New Evangelization in the life of the Church. In Novo Millennio Ineunte, he reminded us that the New Evangelization can only be accomplished by Christ and, if we are to be His agents, we must first know and love Him by contemplating His face through prayer, devotion, and worship.[7]

In the words of the saintly Pontiff, “To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.”[8] To recite the Rosary is a privileged way of contemplating the face of Christ through prayer, devotion, and worship, by which we are able to bring Christ into our lives and to the world so that He may transform us and the world. Through the Rosary, our Blessed Mother herself assists us to look upon the face of Christ as she did from the moment of His Birth, throughout His public ministry, at His Passion and Death, and in His Resurrection and Ascension to the right hand of the Father.

Our Holy Father aptly notes out that “[t]he Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer.”[9] In other words, although the prayer consists of a repetition of the Hail Mary, it centers on the mystery of the Redemptive Incarnation, the mystery of the coming of God the Son in our human flesh in order to free us from sin and everlasting death. Pope Saint Paul VI rightly called the Rosary a compendium of the Gospel, for the mysteries of the Rosary are the essential events of the work of our Redemption.[10] With Mary, we reflect upon the events of the Redemptive Incarnation and, thereby, look upon the face of Christ, as she did from the moment of His Birth to His appearance to her after His Resurrection. Looking upon the face of Christ, we hear His invitation to unite our hearts to His Sacred Heart, to unite our lives to His, and, with Mary, we give our fiat to our vocation and mission in Christ, which is daily conversion of life and the transformation of our world into a civilization of love.

The Rosary and Our Life in Christ through Mary

Pope Saint John Paul II taught us that praying the Rosary is sitting at the School of Mary, for when we pray the Rosary, our Blessed Mother herself, as she always does, leads us to her Son.  With Mary, we come to know God’s immeasurable love for us in His Son Who is truly her Son, our Lord Jesus. The saintly Pontiff recalled words which he spoke in the Sunday Angelus Address on October 29, 1978, shortly after his election to the See of Peter. Describing the Rosary as his favorite prayer, Pope Saint John Paul II underlined both the simplicity and the great depth of the prayer: simple in its form but profound in its matter. He reminded us:

Against the background of the words Ave Maria the principal events of the life of Jesus Christ pass before the eyes of the soul. They take shape in the complete series of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries, and they put us in living communion with Jesus through – we might say – the heart of his Mother. At the same time our heart can embrace in the decades of the Rosary all the events that make up the lives of individuals, families, nations, the Church, and all mankind – our personal concerns and those of our neighbor, especially those who are closest to us, who are dearest to us. Thus the simple prayer of the Rosary marks the rhythm of human life.[11]

In praying the Rosary, we understand more deeply the mystery of our life in Christ for the glory of God and for our salvation and the salvation of many, especially those closest to us.

The method of prayer of the Rosary is the repetition of words which express our deep love of God. It is not a tedious exercise but rather the repeated expression of deep love. We never tire of the words, and we never tire of repeating them, because through them we draw ever closer to God Whom we love with all our heart. The goal of the method is our ever deeper appreciation of and union with the Mystery, the mysteries, of God’s love for us, upon which we meditate.

The very form of the prayer underlines the mystery of the Incarnation. God has taken a human heart, now the glorious Heart of Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father Who receives with great affection our repeated expressions of love. Pope Saint John Paul II recalled how Christ asked Peter three times: “Do you love me?” Christ’s repeated question and Saint Peter’s repeated response help us to understand the beauty of praying the Rosary as a repeated response of our love for God.

The repetition is centered principally upon the Hail Mary, addressed to Mary, but the prayer is directed, with Mary and through her intercession, to her divine Son, our Lord Jesus. It expresses our desire to be ever more fully united to Christ, to become ever more Christlike.  Ultimately, the Rosary is a most wonderful expression of the daily conversion of life by which we grow in holiness.

The method of the Rosary respects our human nature and engages our whole being in prayer. The Rosary expresses our perseverance in seeking Christ above all things. As Pope Saint John Paul II observed, it “embodies the desire for Christ to become the breath, the soul and the ‘all’ of one’s life.”[12]

He noted that the Rosary responds very well to a contemporary interest in meditative prayer, which frequently seeks satisfaction in the practices of other religions, practices which may be based on beliefs contrary to our faith. The Rosary helps us to achieve the meditation desired in a manner which corresponds perfectly to our Catholic faith.[13]

Each of us is called to recognize Christ alive for us in the Church and to contemplate His face. Pope Saint John Paul II reminded us:

To look upon the face of Christ, to recognize its mystery amid the daily events and the sufferings of his human life, and then grasp the divine splendor definitively revealed in the Risen Lord, seated in glory at the right hand of the Father: this is the task of every follower of Christ and therefore the task of each one of us. In contemplating Christ’s face we become open to receiving the mystery of Trinitarian life, experiencing ever anew the love of the Father and delighting in the joy of the Holy Spirit. Saint Paul’s words can then be applied to us: “Beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being changed into his likeness, from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).”[14]

Our contemplation of Christ leads us to accept more fully the mystery of our share in the life of the Holy Trinity, experiencing the love of God the Father and employing the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. There can be no more central or greater desire in our life than the contemplation of Christ through prayer, devotion, and the Sacred Liturgy.

We recognize the Blessed Virgin Mary as our model in looking upon the face of Christ, for she conceived Christ in her womb through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. From the moment of His conception, before she could see Him, Mary began to devote her attention exclusively to Christ. Pope Saint John Paul II observed: “No one has ever devoted himself to the contemplation of the face of Christ as faithfully as Mary.”[15] From the moment that her eyes looked upon Christ for the first time at his Birth, she never ceased to look upon Him. She was indeed His first and best disciple.

As the saintly Pope pointed out, Mary prayed a kind of Rosary from the time of the Annunciation. She was constantly reflecting upon the mystery of the Redemptive Incarnation in the events of the life of her Son, God’s Son, the Redeemer. The Rosary is our way of staying at Mary’s side and gazing upon the various moments of the mystery of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.

The Rosary and Contemplation

In this regard, it must be emphasized that the Rosary can only be prayed effectively, if it is prayed contemplatively. The Rosary must never be reduced to the mere mechanical repetition of prayers. Rather, by “a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace,” the repetition of the prayers helps us to consider deeply the various moments or mysteries of the great mystery of the Redemptive Incarnation. In praying the Rosary, we should place ourselves alongside Mary and view, through her eyes, the mystery of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.[16]

In praying the Rosary, we remember, with Mary, the mysteries of our salvation in the Biblical sense. In other words, the mysteries remembered are not only events of the past but are made present today because Christ rose from the dead and is seated in glory at the right hand of the Father. What Christ did by His Coming, His Public Ministry, His Suffering and Dying, and His Resurrection and Ascension, He continues to do in the Church, above all through the Sacred Liturgy. Here, we are reminded of an important point which was made earlier.  The Rosary sustains our participation in the Sacred Liturgy and helps us to realize the fruits of that participation in holiness of daily living.

As we recall the mysteries, we open ourselves to receive the grace won for us by Christ.  We receive the grace of Christ, most of all, through the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments.  The praying of the Rosary helps us to receive deeply into our being what the Sacred Liturgy makes present to us, the saving action of Christ.  As Pope Saint John Paul II put it, the Sacred Liturgy is “a saving action par excellence,” while the Rosary is “a salutary contemplation.”[17]

Through the praying of the Rosary, we come to know Christ through Mary. Pope Saint John Paul II reminded us that the Holy Spirit, dwelling within us, leads us to all truth, namely to Christ, the fullness of truth. Yet, among creatures, Mary, above all, can teach us to know Christ more profoundly, for no creature knows Christ better than Mary.

In praying the Rosary, we imitate the wine stewards at the Wedding Feast of Cana who were sent to Christ by Mary who instructed them to do whatever He would tell them. They were blessed to be the beneficiaries of the first miracle of His public ministry. At Cana, our Blessed Mother showed herself to be the best of teachers, to be the one who helps us to look upon the face of Christ, in order to understand Him, His teaching, and His saving work.

With Mary, we ask God about the mysteries which we contemplate, and we ponder them in our hearts through the repetition of the Hail Mary.  Pope Saint John Paul II reminds us that Mary is not only an example of learning Christ but she obtains for us the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit, which makes it possible for us to come to a deeper and fuller knowledge of Christ.

Learning Christ is not some academic exercise, it is coming to know the Vine into which we have been grafted, through Baptism, as living branches. We are called to grow ever more perfect in the likeness of Christ from Whom we draw our spiritual life, as branches draw life from the vine. The saintly Pope called to mind the apt words of Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Philippians, that we are to have “the mind of Christ” [Phil 2, 5]. He also recalled the apt image of Saint Paul, when he writes that we are called “to put on the Lord Jesus Christ” [Rom 13, 14; Gal 3, 27].[18]

Contemplation and Supplication

The praying of the Rosary becomes the way for us to grow closer in friendship with Christ and to become more and more like Him. Growing in the likeness of Christ is clearly a struggle for us, for we battle the effects of original sin in our lives. We look to the maternal care of Mary, we go to her side, in order that she may help us to mold our lives according to the mind and heart of Christ. This is what we mean when we call our Blessed Mother Mediatrix of Grace. Our devotion to Mary is always consecration to Christ, to Whom she faithfully leads us. The Rosary is an outstanding example of how Mary is the mediatrix of the grace by which we become more and more like Christ. Pope Saint John Paul II wrote:

Never as in the Rosary do the life of Jesus and that of Mary appear so deeply joined. Mary lives only in Christ and for Christ!”[19]

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the one Mediator, the Way of our prayer. Mary, by her unique cooperation in the saving work of Christ, leads us to Christ; she shows us the Way. She intercedes for us, as she interceded for the newlyweds at the Wedding Feast of Cana.[20] Mary intercedes for us, making known our needs to her Son. We ask Mary’s intercession, “based on confidence that her maternal intercession can obtain all things from the heart of her Son.”[21]

The Rosary is, therefore, “both meditation and supplication.”[22] With Mary, we meditate upon the saving mysteries and, then, we invoke her intercession. “When in the Rosary we plead with Mary, the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit (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.”[23]

Through the praying of the Rosary, the mystery of Christ is presented to us anew and addresses new aspects of our Christian life. The Rosary provides for us, therefore, “a significant catechetical opportunity.”[24] The ever virgin Mary continues to proclaim Christ through the Rosary, and we grow in our knowledge of Christ by praying the Rosary. Pope Saint John Paul II recalls for us how, in the history of the Church, the Rosary was an effective tool in fortifying the faithful against false teaching.

In our day, there is widespread confusion about the teaching of the faith. The Rosary is a powerful tool for combating such confusion and proclaiming the truth about Christ and the Church.  The saintly Pontiff asks: “Why should we not once more have recourse to the Rosary, with the same faith as those who have gone before us?”[25] He concludes: “The Rosary retains all its power and continues to be a valuable pastoral resource for every good evangelizer.”[26]

In our homes, in our Catholic schools and in our programs of religious education, praying the Rosary will help us to hand on the faith and its practice with integrity. Also, in our programs for adults who are unbaptized or who are baptized and desire to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church or who were baptized Catholic but remain uncatechized, the Rosary can be a most effective tool of evangelization and catechesis. The Rosary, when prayed properly, remains always, in the words of Pope Saint John Paul II, “a salutary contemplation.”

Two Special Intentions

In commending to us the Rosary as a daily prayer, Pope Saint John Paul II asked us to pray for two special intentions, peace and the family: “the cause of peace in the world and the cause of the family.”[27]

He reminded us that the new millennium began with the unspeakable terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and that terrorism, civil strife and warfare are found throughout the world. The Rosary is our means of looking upon Christ Who alone brings us peace. During the last millennium, the Roman Pontiffs frequently urged the faithful to pray the Rosary for peace.  Through the Rosary, peace will be attained in our personal lives and in the world. Recall the tremendous power of the Rosary to spare God’s people at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

For us as individuals, the contemplation of Christ leads naturally to the desire of reconciliation and peace. Christ, by His saving Passion and Death has broken down all walls which divide us, the walls caused by sin. Going, with Mary, to Christ, we find His peace and are enabled to bring His peace to others. The Holy Father asks us to pray the Rosary especially for peace in the Holy Land, the land made sacred by Christ.[28] Especially today, the intention of peace in the Holy Land must be remembered in every praying of the Rosary.

The Rosary is by its nature a prayer for peace, for it aims at an ever closer union with Christ the Prince of Peace. What is more, we experience Christ’s peace in our lives through the praying of the Rosary. One cannot sincerely pray the Rosary without hoping for the lasting peace which Christ came into the world to establish.[29] How fervently we should be praying the Rosary in the present time for peace throughout the world and especially in the Holy Land and in the Ukraine.

Secondly, Pope Saint John Paul II asked the faithful to pray for the family, “the primary cell of society” and the first place in which we come to know, love, and serve God. He reminded us of how family life is under constant attack today and needs the help which comes from praying the Rosary. He commended especially the praying of the family Rosary as an antidote to the many forces which can easily distance family members from one another and even destroy family life.[30] One thinks today of the attacks on the very nature of marriage and of its incomparable fruit, the family. How powerful will be the meditation on the mysteries of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Family in the combat against the many forces hostile to human life, to the sexual identity of man and woman, and to the freedom of religion which makes possible obedience to the good order which God has written in nature and, above all, upon the human heart.

Pope Saint John Paul II also urged the return to the practice of praying the Rosary in the family. He rightly pointed out: “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.”[31] As the Venerable Father Patrick Peyton taught us so powerfully, the heart of the family life apostolate ought to be prayer in the family, especially the praying of the Rosary. It is critically important that we hand on to our children this powerful prayer, so that it will be theirs when they need it most. Pope Saint John Paul exhorted all the faithful with these words:

“I look to all of you, brothers and sisters of every state of life, to you, Christian families, to you, the sick and elderly, and to you, young people: confidently take up the Rosary once again. Rediscover the Rosary in the light of Scripture, in harmony with the liturgy, and in the context of your daily lives.”[32]

How fitting is tonight’s praying of the Holy Rosary in the context of a procession of the Most Blessed Sacrament, asking Our Eucharistic Lord to bless the city and the nation, every household, and every individual.

Two Objections to the Praying of the Holy Rosary

Pope John Paul II also addressed two objections to the praying of the Rosary. The first flows from “a certain crisis of the Rosary,”[33] following upon the emphasis on the Sacred Liturgy at the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. For some, after the Council and yet today, the centrality of the Sacred Liturgy means that the Rosary has lost the importance that it had in our prayer life prior to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Pope John Paul II responded to the objection by referring to the teaching of Pope Paul VI who observed that the Rosary, in no way, conflicts with the Liturgy but, rather, sustains and faithfully echoes it. In other words, praying the Rosary leads to the desire for the grace which comes to us through the Sacraments and sacramentals. At the same time, the mysteries of the Rosary reflect the share in Christ’s Redemptive Incarnation which is ours through participation in the Sacred Liturgy. Praying the Rosary prepares us to participate in the Liturgy and helps us to realize in our daily living the fruits of our liturgical participation.[34]

The second objection is that emphasis on the Rosary hinders ecumenism. Our Holy Father responds readily and effectively by reminding us that the Rosary is wholly directed to Christ, the center of our faith. Like our Blessed Mother at the Wedding Feast of Cana, the Rosary, her prayer, leads us to contemplate the Face of Christ and to do what Christ asks of us.[35] Inasmuch as the Rosary leads to a deeper understanding and living of the mystery of God’s love of us in Jesus Christ, it is a most effective means of promoting Christian unity.[36]

Christ, as He was dying on the cross, entrusted the Church into His mother’s care and entrusted His mother into the hands of the Church, represented by Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist. The Blessed Mother fulfills her maternal care in a most effective way through the daily praying of the Rosary. How often the Mother of God has made known her desire that we should pray the Rosary for the salvation of the world. Pope Saint John Paul II called to mind, in particular, the apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Lourdes in 1854 and at Fatima in 1917. Lourdes and Fatima remain places of strong devotion to which pilgrims travel from all over the world.  At these shrines, pilgrims learn in a special way the importance of praying the Rosary for holiness of life and the conversion of the world.

I vividly recall my experience as a seminarian during the summer after my first year of theological studies. A classmate from Milwaukee and I made pilgrimage to Lourdes during the month of August. I was struck by the large crowds of faithful who had come to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, seeking solace and hope. On the first evening of our visit, there was the praying of the Rosary and the procession with the blessing of the pilgrims with the Most Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance. As the Blessed Sacrament was coming near to where my classmate and I were standing someone behind me kept pushing forward. Somewhat annoyed, I turned around to discover a young mother holding aloft her child affected by Downs Syndrome to be blessed by our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. I will never forget the radiantly strong faith reflected on her face.


To conclude, Pope Saint John Paul II recalled the saints for whom the Rosary was an altogether special means of growing in holiness of life. He mentioned, in particular, Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort who wrote The Secret of the Rosary. The writings of Saint Louis de Montfort exercised a particularly strong influence on the saintly Pontiff who took his motto from the words of the consecration proposed by Saint Louis: Totus Tuus (Completely Yours).

He mentioned, too, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, who had such a strong devotion to our Blessed Mother and to the praying of the Rosary. Saint Pio is very close to us in time, only having died on September 23, 1968. Just two days before his death, Saint Pio gave again what was his constant instruction:

Love Our Lady and make her loved.  Recite the Rosary and recite it always and as much as you can.[37]

Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio a saint on June 16, 2002.

He also mentioned Blessed Bartolo Longo who had the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary built in Pompei, and who “promoted the Christocentric and contemplative heart of the Rosary,” under the special support of Pope Leo XIII.[38] I have already mentioned the heroic example of the Venerable Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. The example of the saints should convince us of the power for growth in holiness of life found in the daily praying of the Rosary.

If you are not already doing so, I urge you to take up the practice of looking daily upon the face of Christ through the praying of the Rosary. In a particular way, I urge you to offer your daily Rosary for the intention of peace in the world, especially in the Holy Land and the Ukraine, and for the unity and harmony of all Christian families. Think of what powerful grace would come to our nation and world, if families would pray the Rosary together daily.

May tonight’s solemn praying of the Holy Rosary with Exposition, Procession, and Blessing of the Most Blessed Sacrament lead us all to a deeper appreciation of the power, of the roar, of the Holy Rosary, and to the faithful practice of praying daily the Holy Rosary. May we imitate what the Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary contain and obtain what they promise. Amen.

Thank you for your attention. May God bless you and your homes.

Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE

[1] Rev 5, 5.

[2] “Deus, cujus Unigenitus per vitam, mortem et resurrectionem suam nobis salutis aeternae praemia comparavit: concede, quaesumus; ut, haec mysteria sanctissimo beatae Mariae Virginis Rosario recolentes, et imitemur quod continent, et quod promittunt, assequamur.” “Oct. 7 – The Most Holy Rosary of the B.V.M., Prayer,” F. X. Lasance and William R. Kelly, The New Roman Missal In Latin and English (Palmdale, CA: Christian Book Club of America, 1993), p. 1225.

[3] “Les mystères du Fils et de la Mère sont notre enseignement et notre espérance. Qu’ils soient la régle de notre vie mortelle, pour être la garantie de notre éternité : c’est ce que demande 1’Église dans la Collecte.”

Prosper Guéranger, L’Année liturgique, Le temps après le Pentecôte, Tome V, 12ème éd.  (Tours: Maison Alfred Mame et Fils, 1925), p. 344. [Guéranger]. English translation: Prosper Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, Time after Pentecost, Book V, tr. The Benedictines of Stanbrook Abbey (Fitwilliam, NH: Loreto Publications, 2000), p. 298. [GuérangerEng].

[4] “Dès avant le XIII siècle, la piété populaire connaissait l’usage de ce qu’elle se plut à nommer le psautier laïque, à savoir la Salutation angélique cent cinquante fois répétée; mais ce fut le partage de ces Ave Maria en dizaines, attribuées à la considération d’un mystère particulier pour chacune, qui constitua le Rosaire. Divin expédient, simple comme l’éternelle Sagesse qu1’avait conçu, et dont la portée fut grande ; car en même temps qu’il amenait à la Reine de miséricorde l’humanité dévoyée, il écartait d’elle l’ignorance, nourricière d’hérésie, et lui réapprenait « les sentiers consacres par le sang de 1’Homme-Dieu et les larmes de sa Mère » [Léon XIII. Epist. encycl. Magnæ Dei Matris, de Rosario Mariali, 8 sept. 1892).” Guéranger, p. 341. English translation: GuérangerEng, p. 296.

[5] “… [L]e Rosaire pieusement médité nous prépare dignement au Sacrifice de l’autel, mémorial auguste et suréminent des mystères dont il a pour but d'entretenir la pensée au cœur du chrétien.” Guéranger, p. 347. English translation: GuérangerEng, p. 302.

[6] “… pluribus Sanctis precatio amatissima exsistit atque ipso Magisterio Ecclesiae adiuta.” Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Epistula Apostolica Rosarium Virginis Mariae, “De Mariali Rosario,” 16 Octobris 2002, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 95 (2003), p. 5, n. 1. [Rosarium]. English translation: Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, “On the Most Holy Rosary,” 16 October 2002, Vatican translation (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 2002), p. 7, no. 1. [RosariumEng].

[7] Cf. Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Epistula Apostolica Novo Millennio Ineunte, “Magni Iubilaei anni MM sub exitum,” 6 Ianuarii 2001, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 93 (2001), p. 285, no. 29. English translation: Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, “At the Close of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000,” 6 January 2001, Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 2001, p. 39, no. 29.

[8] “Persolvere enim Rosarium Mariale nihil aliud plane est nisi Christi vultum una cum Maria contueri.” Rosarium, p. 7, n. 3. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 10, no. 3.

[9] “[e]tenim quantumvis figura mariali sua signetur Rosarium, precatio tamen ex animo oritur christologico.” Rosarium, p. 5, n.1. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 7, no. 1.

[10] Cf. Rosarium, p. 5, n. 1. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 7, no. 1.

[11] “ « Etenim post Ave Maria sonitum ante oculos animi principales vitae Iesu Christi transeunt eventus. Colliguntur enim in summa mysteriorum gaudiosorum, dolorosorum et gloriosorum nosque consociant vivo modo cum Iesu ipso per Matris Eius Cor – si ita loqui licet – . Eodem autem tempore concludere potest animus noster in has Rosarii decades cuncta eventa quae vitam singulorum hominum et familiae, nationis ipsius, Ecclesiae et totius hominum generis constituunt: uniuscuiusque hominis eventus tum etiam proximi atque praesertim eorum qui nobis proximi sunt magisque sunt cordi. Simplex igitur Rosarii precatio eundem ictum ac vitae humanae pulsat ».” Rosarium, p. 6, n. 2. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 9, no. 2.

[12] “… veluti corpoream soliditatem illi desiderio adiungit ut Christus ipse spiritus et anima et ‘summa’ totius fiat vitae.” Rosarium, p. 25, n. 27. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 39, no. 27.

[13] Cf. Rosarium, pp. 25-26, n. 28. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 39, no. 28.

[14] “Etenim in Christi vultum oculos figere, ipsius mysterium in communi et acerbo humanitatis eius itinere agoscere, ita ut divinus splendor in perpetuum ostentatus apud Resuscitatum ad dexteram Patris sedentem comprehenatur, munus euiusvis Christi discipipuli est; nostrum propterea etiam officium. Hanc namque contemplantes faciem aperimus nos ipsos ad vitae trinitariae suscipiendum mysterium, ut nova semper ratione Patris amorem experiamur Spiritusque Sancti laetitia efferamur. Ita etiam nobis sancti Pauli affirmatio impletur: « Gloriam Domini speculantes, in eandem imaginem transformamur a claritate in claritatem tamquam a Domini Spiritu » (2 Cor 3, 18).”  Rosarium, pp. 10-11, n. 9. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 15, no. 9.

[15] “Nemo tanto impendio umquam se quanto Maria Christi vultui contemplando dedidit.” Rosarium, p. 11, n. 10. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 16, no. 10.

[16] Cf. Rosarium, p. 12, n. 12. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 17, no. 12.

[17] “… salutifera ante omnia actio … contemplatio salutaris.” Rosarium, p. 13, n. 13. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 19, no. 13.

[18] Cf. Rosarium, p. 14, n. 15. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 20, no. 15.

[19] “Numquam sic uti in Rosario ipso Christi via atque Mariae ita alte cohaerere videntur. Non enim vivit Maria nisi in Christo ac pro Christo.” Rosarium, p. 15, n. 15. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 22, no. 15.

[20] Cf. Jn 2, 3.

[21] “… ex illa oritur fiducia, ipsius nempe maternam intercessionem omnia in Filii corde efficere posse.” Rosarium, p. 16, n. 16. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 23, no. 16.

[22] “[m]editatio simul et supplicatio.” Rosarium, p. 16, n. 16. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 23, no. 16.

[23] “Sancti Spiritus mulier (cfr Lc 1, 35) in Rosario Maria, cum a nobis imploratur, ante Patrem pro nobis statuitur qui gratia eam cumulavit et ante Filium suo natum ex gremio nobiscum precans atque pro nobis.” Rosarium, p. 16, n. 16. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 23, no. 16.

[24] “… significans opportunitas catechetica.” Rosarium, p. 16, n. 17. English translation: RosariumEng, pp. 23-24, no. 17.

[25] “Cur igitur Coronam precatoriam in manum non sumimus cum eorum fide qui nos antecesserunt?” Rosarium, p. 17, n. 17. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 24, no. 17.

[26] “Suam universam virtutem serva Rosarium manetque vis et ops non negligenda pastorali in intrumento omnis probati evangelizatoris.” Rosarium, p. 17, n. 17. English translation: Rosarium, p. 24, no. 17.

[27] “ … causam … pacis in orbe necnon omnium familiarum.” Rosarium, p. 32, n. 39. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 49, no. 39.

[28] Cf. Rosarium, p. 9, n. 6. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 12, no. 6.

[29] Cf. Rosarium, pp. 32-33, n. 40. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 50, no. 40.

[30] Cf. Rosarium, p. 9, n. 6. English translation: RosariumEng, p. pp.12-13, no. 6.

[31] “Eius enim singula membra, Iesum nempe unum spectantia, facultatem etiam recuperant ut inter se denuo respiciant, ut communicant, consentient, mutuo ignoscant, ut ex foedere amoris a Dei Spiritu renovato iterum procedant.” Rosarium, p. 34, n. 41. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 51, no. 41.

[32] “Vos omnes, cuiuslibet condicionis fratres sororesque, spectamus, sicut etiam vos, familiae christianae, tum etiam aegrotantes et senes ac vos iuvenes respicimus: in manus fidenter sumite denuo Rosarii coronam, sub Sacrarum Scripturarum lumine eam rursum invenientes, cum Liturgia sacra congruentem atque cum vita cotidiana consentientem.” Rosarium, pp. 35-36, n. 43. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 54, no. 43.

[33] “… certo huius precationis discrimini.” Rosarium, p. 8, n. 4. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 11, no. 4.

[34] Cf. Rosarium, p. 8, n. 4. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 11, no. 4.

[35] Cf. Jn 2, 1-11.

[36] Cf. Rosarium, p. 8, n. 4. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 11, no. 4.

[37] Francis Mary Kalvelage, ed., Padre Pio: The Wonder Worker (New Bedford, MA: Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, 1999), p. 89.

[38] “… mentem christologicam et Rosarii contemplativam enodavit.” Rosarium, p. 10, n. 8. English translation: RosariumEng, p. 14, no. 8.