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Rosary: Meaning and Value

Rosary: Meaning and Value

Meaning and Value of the Rosary

– Father Arcangelo Manzi, O. de M.

Solidly Grounded

I have been compelled by the apostolic letter of the Holy Father on the beauty, the wonders and the meaning of the most ancient prayer that honors the Blessed Mother Mary: "The Rosary." The rosary is a prayer with a deep theological basis, well express by Paul VI in his Marialis Cultus (devotion to the Blessed Virgin #56) "The church's norm of faith requires that her norm of prayer should everywhere blossom forth with regard to the mother of Christ. Such devotion to the Blessed Virgin is firmly rooted in the revealed word and has solid dogmatic foundations. It is based on the singular dignity of Mary, Mother, daughter and temple of the Holy spirit." So our fears of promoting some "shaken doctrine" must go away and give space to the hope that the increase of this devotion should lead us to "an enriched understanding of the spiritual need of our culture which cries out for conversion."

Experiencing and Promotive Solidarity

The rosary expresses wonderfully the principle of solidarity because it transcends the boundaries of culture and language and it reflects the spirit of Mary "and her intention to do the work of Christ." As John Paul II emphasizes, "the rosary is a prayer of man for man; it is a prayer of human solidarity, a collegial prayer of the redeemed which reflects the spirit and the intention of the first redeemed, Mary, mother and image of the church. A prayer for all men and women of the world and history called to be, with us, the Body of Christ." It is a covenantal prayer that reflects the beautiful prayer of Christ asking the Father to become one so that the world may believe that the Father sent him.

Christ with Us

The Rosary, then, is a simple evangelical prayer, whose images, words and meaning are taken from the gospel. Its effectiveness resides in the covenant of Christ with us. "I will call you my friends, for I will reveal to you what I received by my Father." Let us cast aside our fears and be opened to "Jesus' invitation to cast out into the deep" so that the rosary may be now, as in the past, a response to the human drama, which is the victim of hate and death. What better answer do we have to this drama than to contemplate the human, divine "face of compassionate Christ." Through his public ministry he brought sight to the blind, healing to the sick, joy to the distressed and light to those who were in darkness and the shadow of death.

A Dialogical Prayer

The profound ecclesiological and Christological meaning of this prayer is enclosed in the choice that God made to "reawaken the desire for a more intense evangelical life, and break open the horizons of dialogue and mission" between Christ and his church. In fact, the rosary is the dialogical prayer of the faithful interacting with God and expresses the feelings of joy, sorrow, healing in the life of Christ as well the mysteries of our salvation.

In recognition of Year of the Rosary, October 2002 - October 2003

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