The Rosary "compendium of the Gospel".

13/05/2021 | By Arguments

Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae

compendium of the Gospel





John Paul II






Holy Rosary

public life


Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, by John Paul II

"To walk with Mary through the scenes of the Rosario is like going to Mary's 'school' to read Christ, to penetrate his secrets, to understand his message.". (...) "To recite the Rosary is in fact to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.". In his carta">">carta apostólica Rosarium Virginis Mariae (16-X-2002)John Paul II makes a resounding call to the assiduous practice of this prayer. And, to renew this devotion, he completes it with five "mysteries of light", which are added to the traditional fifteen. Here is an excerpt with the main ideas of this precious letter. <a href="[/embed]/">

The Rosary "compendium of the Gospel".

Contemplation of the face of Christ can only be attained by listening, in the Spirit, to the voice of the Father, for "...".no one knows the Son well but the Father"(Mt 11:27). Near Caesarea Philippi, at Peter's confession, Jesus clarifies where this clear intuition about his identity comes from: "..." (Mt. 11:11).Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven."(Mt 16:17). Thus revelation from on high is necessary. But, in order to receive it, it is indispensable to listen to it: "..." (Mt 16:17).Only the experience of silence and prayer offers the adequate horizon in which the most authentic, faithful and coherent knowledge of that mystery can mature and develop.". The Rosary is one of the traditional modalities of Christian prayer oriented towards the contemplation of the face of Christ. This is how Pope Paul VI described it: "A Gospel prayer centered on the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation, the Rosary is thus a prayer with a profoundly Christological orientation. Indeed, its most characteristic element - the litanic repetition of "Hail Mary, Hail Mary" - also becomes a constant praise of Christ, the ultimate conclusion of the Angel's announcement and of the greeting of the Mother of the Baptist: "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (Lk 1:42). We will say more: the repetition of the Hail Mary constitutes the fabric on which the contemplation of the mysteries develops: the Jesus that every Hail Mary recalls is the same one that the succession of the mysteries proposes to us again and again as the Son of God and of the Virgin Mary.".

A timely addition: the Mysteries of Light

Of the many mysteries of Christ's life, the Rosary, as it has been consolidated in the most common practice corroborated by ecclesial authority, considers only a few of them. This selection comes from the original context of this prayer, which was organized taking into account the number 150, which is the same as that of the Psalms. Nevertheless, in order to emphasize the Christological character of the Rosary, I consider it opportune to include an addition which, while left to the free consideration of individuals and the community, allows them to contemplate also the mysteries of the Rosary. the public life of Christ from Baptism to the Passion. Indeed, in these mysteries we contemplate important aspects of the person of Christ as the definitive revealer of God. He is the one who, declared the beloved Son of the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan, announces the coming of the KingdomIt is during public life that the mystery of Christ is manifested in a special way as a mystery of light: "The mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. It is during public life that the mystery of Christ is manifested in a special way as a mystery of light: "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.» (Jn 9, 5). Para que pueda decirse que el Rosario es más plenamente 'compendio del Evangelio', es conveniente pues que, tras haber recordado la encarnación y la vida oculta de Cristo (misterios de gozo), y antes de considerar los sufrimientos de la pasión (misterios de dolor) y el triunfo de la resurrección (misterios de gloria), la meditación se centre también en algunos momentos particularmente significativos de la vida pública (misterios de luz). Esta incorporación de nuevos misterios, sin prejuzgar ningún aspecto esencial de la estructura tradicional de esta oración, se orienta a hacerla vivir con renovado interés en la espiritualidad cristiana, como verdadera introducción a la profundidad del Corazón de Cristo, abismo de gozo y de luz, de dolor y de gloria.

Mysteries of joy

The first cycle, the "joyful mysteriesis indeed characterized by the joy produced by the event of the "event of the incarnation. This is evident from the Annunciation, when Gabriel's greeting to the Virgin of Nazareth is coupled with the invitation to the messianic joy: "Rejoice, Mary". It is to this proclamation that the whole history of salvation points, indeed, in a certain sense, the history of the world itself. Indeed, if the Father's plan is to recapitulate all things in Christ (cf. Eph 1:10), the divine gift with which the Father approaches Mary to make her the Mother of his Son reaches out to the whole universe. In turn, all humanity is as it were involved in the fiat with which she promptly responds to God's will. ">ía-dulce-Madre.jpg">The joy is perceived in the scene of the meeting with Elizabeth, where the very voice of Mary and the presence of Christ in her womb make "...".jump for joy"to John (cf. Lk 1:44). Full of joy is the scene in Bethlehem, where the birth of the divine Child, the Savior of the world, is sung by the angels and announced to the shepherds as "..." (Lk 1:44).a great joy"(Lk 2:10). But already the last two mysteries, while preserving the taste of joy, anticipate hints of the drama. Indeed, the presentation in the temple, while expressing the joy of the consecration and enrapturing old Simeon, also contains the prophecy that the Child will be "..." (Lk 2:10).sign of contradiction"and that a sword will pierce the Mother's soul (cf. Lk 2:34-35). Joyful and dramatic at the same time is also the episode of the 12-year-old Jesus in the temple. He appears with his divine wisdom as he listens and asks questions, and substantially exercising the role of the one who 'teaches'. The revelation of his mystery as Son, entirely dedicated to the things of the Father, announces that evangelical radicality which, in the face of the absolute demands of the Kingdom, questions even the deepest bonds of human affection. Joseph and Mary themselves, startled and anguished, "...".did not understand"His words (Lk 2:50). In this way, meditating on the "joyful" mysteries means entering into the ultimate motives of Christian joy and in its deepest sense. It means to fix one's gaze on the concreteness of the mystery of the Incarnation and on the gloomy preannouncement of the mystery of salvific sorrow. María nos ayuda a aprender el secreto de la alegría cristiana, recordándonos que el cristianismo es ante todo evangelion, 'buena noticia', que tiene su centro o, mejor dicho, su contenido mismo, en la persona de Cristo, el Verbo hecho carne, único Salvador del mundo.

Mysteries of light

Passing from the infancy and the life of Nazareth to the public life of Jesus, contemplation leads us to the mysteries that can be called in a special way "...".mysteries of light". In reality, the whole mystery of Christ is light. He is "the light of the world"(Jn 8:12). But this dimension manifests itself above all in the years of public lifewhen proclaims the gospel of the Kingdom. I would like to point out to the Christian community five significant moments - "luminous" mysteries - of this phase of Christ's life:

  1. his Baptism in the Jordan;
  2. his self-revelation at the wedding feast of Cana;
  3. his proclamation of the Kingdom of God and his invitation to conversion;
  4. his Transfiguration;
  5. institution of the Eucharist, sacramental expression of the paschal mystery.

">"> Each of these mysteries reveals the Kingdom already present in the very person of Jesus. Above all, the Baptism in the Jordan is a mystery of light. In it, as Christ, as the innocent one who becomes 'sin' for us (cf. 2 Cor 5:21), enters the water of the river, heaven opens and the voice of the Father proclaims him the beloved Son (cf. Mt 3:17 par.), and the Spirit descends upon him to invest him with the mission that awaits him. A mystery of light is the beginning of the signs at Cana (cf. Jn 2:1-12), when Christ, transforming water into wine, opens the hearts of the disciples to faith thanks to the intervention of Mary, the first believer. A mystery of light is the preaching with which Jesus announces the coming of the Kingdom of God and invites to conversion (cf. Mk 1:15), forgiving the sins of those who come to him in humble faith (cf. Mk 2:3-13; Lk 7:47-48), thus initiating the ministry of mercy that he will continue to exercise until the end of the world, especially through the sacrament of Reconciliation entrusted to the Church. A mystery of light par excellence is the Transfiguration, which according to tradition took place on Mount Tabor. The glory of the Divinity shines on the face of Christ, while the Father accredits him before the enraptured apostles so that they may "behold him in the light".listen"(cf. Lk 9:35 par.) and prepare themselves to live with him the painful moment of the Passion, so as to arrive with him at the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit. Finally, a mystery of light is the institution of the Eucharist, in which Christ makes himself food with his Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine, bearing witness to his love for humanity".to the extreme"(Jn 13:1) and for whose salvation she will offer herself in sacrifice. Except for the mystery of Cana, Mary's presence in these mysteries remains in the background. The Gospels barely hint at her possible presence at some point in the preaching of Jesus (cf. Mk 3:31-35; Jn 2:12) and say nothing about her presence in the Upper Room at the time of the institution of the Eucharist. But, in a certain way, the role he plays at Cana accompanies the whole mission of Christ. The revelation, which at the Baptism in the Jordan came directly from the Father and resounded in the Baptist, also appears on Mary's lips at Cana and becomes her great maternal invitation addressed to the Church of all times: "Do what he tells you"(Jn 2:5). It is an exhortation that introduces very well the words and signs of Christ during his public life, being like the Marian backdrop of all the "..." (Jn 2:5).mysteries of light".

">ía-miedo.jpg">Mysteries of pain

The Gospels give great prominence to the mysteries of pain of Christ. Christian piety, especially during Lent, with the practice of the Stations of the Cross, has always dwelt on each of the moments of the cross. the Passionintuiting that they are the culmination of the revelation of love and the source of our salvation. The Rosary chooses certain moments of the Passion, inviting the pray-er to fix the gaze of his heart on them and to relive them. The meditative itinerary opens with Gethsemane, where Christ experiences a particularly anguishing moment in the face of the Father's will, against which the weakness of the flesh would be inclined to rebel. There, Christ puts himself in the place of all the temptations of humanity and in the face of all the sins of mankind, to say to the Father: "Not my will but yours be done"(Lk 22:42 par.). This "yes" of his changes the "no" of his parents in Eden. And how much this adherence to the Father's will would cost him is shown in the following mysteries, in which, with the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the ascent to Calvary and death on the cross, he is plunged into the greatest ignominy: Ecce homo! In this opprobrium is revealed not only the love of God, but the very meaning of man. Ecce homo: whoever wants to know man must know how to discover his meaning, his root and his fulfillment in Christ, God who humbles himself out of love".unto death and death on a cross» (Flp 2, 8). Los misterios de dolor llevan el creyente a revivir la muerte de Jesús poniéndose al pie de la cruz junto a María, para penetrar con ella en la inmensidad del amor de Dios al hombre y sentir toda su fuerza regeneradora.

Mysteries of glory

"Contemplation of the face of Christ cannot be reduced to his crucified image. He is the Risen One!". The Rosary has always expressed this conviction of faith, inviting the believer to overcome the darkness of the Passion in order to fix his attention on the glory of Christ in his Resurrection and Ascension. Contemplating the Risen One, the Christian discovers anew the reasons for his faith (cf. 1 Cor 15:14), and relives the joy not only of those to whom Christ manifested himself-the Apostles, Magdalene, the disciples of Emmaus-but also the joy of Mary, who experienced in an intense way the new life of the glorified Son. To this glory, which with the Ascension places Christ at the right hand of the Father, she herself would be elevated with the Assumption, thus anticipating, by a very special privilege, the destiny reserved for all the just with the resurrection of the flesh. Finally, crowned with glory-as she appears in the last glorious mystery-Mary shines forth as Queen of Angels and Saints, anticipation and culmination of the eschatological condition of the Church. At the center of this itinerary of glory of the Son and the Mother, the Rosary considers, in the third glorious mystery, Pentecost, which shows the face of the Church as a family reunited with Mary, enlivened by the impetuous outpouring of the Spirit and ready for the evangelizing mission. The contemplation of this, as of the others glorious mysteries, ha de llevar a los creyentes a tomar conciencia cada vez más viva de su nueva vida en Cristo, en el seno de la Iglesia; una vida cuyo gran 'icono' es la escena de Pentecostés. De este modo, los misterios gloriosos alimentan en los creyentes la esperanza en la meta escatológica, hacia la cual se encaminan como miembros del Pueblo de Dios peregrino en la historia. Esto les impulsará necesariamente a dar un testimonio valiente de aquel «gozoso anuncio» que da sentido a toda su vida.


From 'Mysteries' to 'Mystery': Mary's journey

The meditation cycles proposed in the Holy Rosary are certainly not exhaustive, but they draw attention to what is essential, preparing the mind to savor a knowledge of Christ that is continually nourished by the pure source of the Gospel text. Every feature of Christ's life, as narrated by the Evangelists, reflects that Mystery which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Eph 3:19). It is the Mystery of the Word made flesh, in whom "..." is the Mystery of Christ.resides all the Fullness of the Divinity corporeally"(Col 2:9). This is why the Catechism of the Catholic Church insists so much on the mysteries of Christ, reminding us that "everything in the life of Jesus is a sign of his Mystery". The "duc in altumThe Church in the third millennium is based on the ability of Christians to reach "...".in all its richness the full intelligence and perfect knowledge of the Mystery of God, in which are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col 2:2-3). The Letter to the Ephesians ardently wishes all the baptized: "..." (Col 2:2-3).May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, rooted and grounded in love [...], you may know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the fullness of God." (3, 17-19). The Rosary promotes this ideal, offering the 'secret' to open more easily to a deep and committed knowledge of Christ. We could call it the way of Mary. It is the way of the example of the Virgin of Nazareth, a woman of faith, silence and listening. It is at the same time the way of a Marian devotion conscious of the inseparable relationship that unites Christ with his Holy Mother: the mysteries of Christ are also, in a certain sense, the mysteries of his Mother, even when she is not directly involved, by the very fact that she lives from him and through him. Making our own in the Hail Mary the words of the Angel Gabriel and of St. Elizabeth, we feel impelled to seek always anew in Mary, in her arms and in her heart, the "...".blessed fruit of her womb" (cf. Lk 1:42).

Mystery of Christ, 'mystery' of mankind

"Ehe simple recitation of the Rosary marks the rhythm of human life.". In the light of the reflections made so far on the mysteries of Christ, it is not difficult to go deeper into this anthropological consideration of the Rosary. A more radical consideration than it may seem at first glance. Whoever contemplates Christ as he goes through the stages of his life also discovers in him the truth about mankind.. This is the great affirmation of the Second Vatican Council, which I have so often made the subject of my magisterium, beginning with the Encyclical Letter Redemptor hominis: "Truly, the mystery of man is only clarified in the mystery of the Incarnate Word.". The Rosary helps to open oneself to this light. By following the path of Christ, who "recapitulates" the path of man, unveiled and redeemed, the believer stands before the image of the true man. Contemplating his birth, he learns the sacredness of life; looking at the house of Nazareth, he becomes aware of the original truth of the family according to God's plan; listening to the Master in the mysteries of his public life, he finds the light to enter the Kingdom of God; and, following his steps towards Calvary, he understands the meaning of saving suffering. Finally, contemplating Christ and his Mother in glory, he sees the goal to which each of us is called, if we allow ourselves to be healed and transfigured by the Holy Spirit. In this way, it can be said that each mystery of the Rosary, properly meditated, illumines the mystery of man. At the same time, it is natural to present in this encounter with the holy humanity of the Redeemer so many problems, cares, fatigues and projects that mark our life. "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee."(Ps 55:23). Meditating with the Rosary means to place our efforts in the merciful hearts of Christ and his Mother. After many years, recalling the difficulties that have not been lacking in the exercise of the Petrine ministry, I wish to repeat, almost as a cordial invitation to everyone to make it a personal experience: "Yes, truly, the Rosary" (Ps 55:23).sets the pace of human life"We must harmonize it with the rhythm of divine life, in joyful communion with the Most Holy Trinity, the destiny and longing of our existence.

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