is an encyclical
of Pope Pius XII
on reciting the rosary
, Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, the 15th day of September, the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary, in the Year 1951, the 13th of his pontificate.
The encyclical states that from the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Pius XII
entrusted to the Mother of God
the destiny of the human family. Six years after the Second World War
, fraternal harmony among nations had not yet been re-established. Church "persecution in many parts of the world make the blood of martyrs flow again and again" The encyclical states that the Holy Rosary is the most convenient and most fruitful means to learn about the faith itself:
- As is clearly suggested by the very origin of this practice, heavenly rather than human, and by its nature. What prayers are better adapted and more beautiful than the Lord's prayer and the angelic salutation, which are the flowers with which this mystical crown is formed? With meditation of the Sacred Mysteries added to the vocal prayers, there emerges another very great advantage, so that all, even the most simple and least educated, have in this a prompt and easy way to nourish and preserve their own faith.
The Pope argues that the repeating of identical formulas has a great impact on those who pray, giving them confidence and on Mary. “The recitation of identical formulas repeated so many times, rather than rendering the prayer sterile and boring, has on the contrary the admirable quality of infusing confidence in him who prays and brings to bear a gentle compulsion on the motherly Heart of Mary.
He strongly supports the idea, that Catholic families should pray the rosary together. The family that prays together, stays together. The rosary praying family will become a place of sanctity, where the Holy Rosary will not only be the particular prayer, but will also become a school of Christian discipline and Christian virtue. As a meditation on the Divine Mysteries of the Redemption the rosary teaches adults to live, while admiring daily the shining examples of Jesus and Mary, and to draw from these examples comfort in adversity.
- The custom of the family recitation of the Holy Rosary is a most efficacious means. What a sweet sight - most pleasing to God - when, at eventide, the Christian home resounds with the frequent repetition of praises in honor of the High Queen of Heaven! Then the Rosary, recited in the family, assembled before the image of the Virgin, in an admirable union of hearts, the parents and their children, who come back from their daily work. It unites them piously with those absent and those dead. It links all more tightly in a sweet bond of love, with the most Holy Virgin, who, like a loving mother, in the circle of her children, will be there bestowing upon them an abundance of the gifts of concord and family peace.
Pope Pius XII puts great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer He states that while reciting the Rosary, Catholics should not forget those who languish in prison camps, jails, and concentration camps. “There are among them, as you know, also Bishops dismissed from their Sees solely for having heroically defended the sacred rights of God and the Church. There are sons, fathers and mothers, wrested from their homes and compelled to lead unhappy lives far away in unknown lands and strange climates”. The Pope imparts, to each reader and particularly to those who, during the month of October, will recite the holy Rosary his Apostolic Blessing.