The Pope began by recalling that, "next Saturday, October 7, we will celebrate the feast day of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary.” The annual celebration of the feast, “is as if, every year, the Virgin invites us to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple and so deep," Benedict said.
Pope Benedict also remembered Pope John Paul II, who he called “a great apostle of the Rosary." It was John Paul’s great devotion to the Marian prayer which led him to write the Apostolic Letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae."
"The Rosary is a contemplative and Christo-centric prayer,” Benedict continued, “inseparable from the Holy Scriptures.”
“It is the prayer of the Christian advancing in his pilgrimage of faith, in the following of Jesus, preceded by Mary," he said.
The Pope invited all to recite the Rosary during the month of October, "in the family, in the community and in the parishes for the Pope's intentions, for the mission of the Church and for world peace".
The Holy Father also spoke about the World Missionary Day, which will be celebrated on October 22nd, asserting that "the Church is, by its nature, missionary."
The intrinsic mission of the Church, he said, is "the continuation of Christ's mission: to bring God's love to all, proclaiming it with words and the concrete testimony of charity.”
The Pope noted that in a message for the upcoming World Missionary Day, he called charity as “the soul of the mission.”
The Holy Father recalled two saints who are patrons of the missions, St. Francis Xavier and St. Therese of Lisieux. The Pope focused on St. Therese, who’s feast it was Sunday, praying that “she, who showed that the 'little' way to holiness is through abandoning oneself in trust to the love of God, might help us in being believable witnesses to the Gospel of Love."
.- Prior to heading back to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI made a final Angelus Address at Castelgandolfo, speaking of two themes central to the month of October – the Rosary and World Missions.