…I wish to draw your attention to the rosary. In fact, throughout the whole Church, October is the month dedicated to the rosary.

The rosary is my favorite prayer. A marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and in its depth. In this prayer we repeat many times the words that the Virgin Mary heard from the Archangel, and from her kinswoman Elizabeth. The whole Church joins in these words. It can be said that the rosary is, in a certain way, a prayer-commentary on the last chapter of the Constitution Lumen gentium of Vatican II, a chapter which deals with the wonderful presence of the Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and the Church.

In fact, against the background of the words “Ave Maria” there pass before the eyes of the soul the main episodes in the life of Jesus Christ. They are composed altogether of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries, and they put us in living communion with Jesus through—we could say—His Mother’s heart.

At the same time our heart can enclose in these decades of the rosary all the facts that make up the life of the individual, the family, the nation, the Church and mankind. Personal matters and those of one’s neighbor, and particularly of those who are closest to us, who are dearest to us. Thus in the simple prayer of the rosary beats the rhythm of human life.

During the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to meet many persons, representatives of various nations and of different environments as well as of various Christian Churches and communities. I wish to assure you that I have not failed to translate these relations into the language of the rosary prayer, in order that everyone might find himself at the heart of the prayer which gives a full dimension to everything.

In these last weeks both I and the Holy See have had numerous proofs of good will from people in the whole world. I wish to translate my gratitude into decades of the rosary in order to express it in prayer, as well as in the human manner; in this prayer so simple and so rich.

Angelus Address of Pope John Paul II, October 29, 1978.