Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 3, 2003
Pope ends year of the rosary
Keep praying for peace, he tells faithful
By CINDY WOODEN
World tensions "can be stopped through the prayer of the rosary invoked for peace."
- Pope John Paul
The pope read most of his prepared audience talk, but skipped some parts.
The tensions, the pope wrote, "can be stopped through the prayer of the rosary invoked for peace."
In his main audience talk, he said, the family must be "the first place where the peace of Christ is welcomed, cultivated and safeguarded."
In the face of tensions and fear for the future, the pope told the pilgrims, turning to the rosary as a means of contemplating the mystery of Christ, the source of true peace, is a sign of faith.
The pope prayed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would intercede with God "to protect families and to obtain peace for individuals and for the whole world."
The pope began the Year of the Rosary Oct. 16, 2002, by issuing an apostolic letter on the rosary, calling it his favourite prayer and urging Catholics to rediscover its contemplative richness.
The letter, The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, announced the addition of five "mysteries of light" that focus on episodes from Christ's public ministry. The pope said the mysteries would "broaden the rosary's horizon."
These mysteries of light are: 1) Christ's Baptism in the Jordan, 2) his self-manifestation at the wedding feast of Cana, 3) his proclamation of the kingdom of God, with his call to conversion, 4) his Transfiguration, and 5) his institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.
He asked everyone's help in countering "a certain crisis of the rosary" marked by a failure to teach the prayer to children and by a suspicion that it is outdated, superstitious or anti-ecumenical.
Then, in his annual message for World Youth Day, Pope John Paul encouraged young Catholics to pray the rosary in public without shame.
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