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Magisterial Documents: Christi Matri

Magisterial Documents: Christi Matri

Encyclical: The Rosary During October an Urgent Appeal for Peace Pope Paul VI
15 September 1966

The full document is available on the internet.

Brief History

The background of the appeal is Paul VI's trip to the United Nations on October 4, 1965, one year prior to the publication of Christi Matri Rosarii. The pope refers to the previous year's visit in paragraph five. As he did at the UN visit in 1965, in Christi Matri Rosarii, the pope urged the nations to acquire an attitude of peace like that of Christ, prince of peace. (CMR 12) The issues in 1966: war in East Asia (CMR 2); nuclear weapons, extreme nationalism, "obsession for revolution," segregation, "murder of the innocent" - "potential material for the greatest possible tragedy."(CMR 3)

After describing the evils and calling for peace and justice (CMR 3-12), the pope encourages the bishops and all the faithful to turn to Mary in prayer. In paragraph 15, he asks the bishops "to give a lead and urge by exhortation a more persevering prayer to the gracious Virgin Mary by the devout recitation of the Rosary during the month of October...." (CMR 15)

Mary is addressed in numerous ways including Mother of the Church. Pope Paul VI notes that "Mother of the Church" is "a title acclaimed by the council Fathers and the Catholic world." (CMR 13) He tells the tradition of the title and gives Augustine, Anselm and Leo XIII as sources. (CMR 14)

The Rosary devotion is recommended during this critical time. Pope Paul VI confirms the council's support of the devotion and calls it "a solemn custom of the faithful during the month of October to weave with the prayers of the Rosary a spiritual garland to the Mother of Christ." (CMR 1) October 4, the anniversary of the visit to the UN was to be a day of prayer for peace. (CMR 19) The bishops were given the responsibility to see how this wish for October 4, would be carried out locally. (CMR 19)


AAS 58 (1966): 745-749
NCWC, 1966. [National Bishops Conference]

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2005.

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