Anticipating Thursday's celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Holy Father called on the faithful to make an effort to rediscover the prayer. He urged Christians to seek intercession, protection and personal encounter with Christ through the "simple but efficient prayer," especially during the Marian month of October.
Greeting the faithful in 10 different languages during Wednesday's general audience, the Holy Father spoke of the Rosary as "a particular prayer of the Church and a spiritual weapon for each of us."
He prayed that the meditation of Jesus and Mary's life through the Rosary might be, "for all of us, light on the evangelical path of spiritual renewal and conversion of heart."
Speaking in Portuguese, but referring to all people, he invited families to join together with the Virgin Mary so as to cooperate fully with the salvific designs of God. In Croatian, he said to ask for her intercession and protection for each person and family, exhorting prayers also for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
In still other languages, he asked that the faithful "rediscover the value" of the "simple but efficient prayer" of the Rosary "as a way for a personal encounter with Christ."
"October," he said in the Italian greeting that concluded his public words on Wednesday, "is the month of the Holy Rosary, which invites us to value this prayer so dear to the tradition of the Christian people."
Addressing some of the special guests at the audience, he said, "I invite you, dear young people, to make of the Rosary your daily prayer. I encourage you, dear sick, to grow, thanks to the recitation of the Rosary, in the trusting abandonment to the hands of God. I exhort you, dear newlyweds, to make of the Rosary a constant contemplation of the mysteries of Christ."