Vatican City, Oct 28, 2003 / 22:00 pm
During his usual Wednesday general audience, Pope John Paul II gave thanks to God for the fruits of the "Year of the Rosary," that will officially come to an end on October 31. Due to bad weather, the general audience was moved from St. Peter's Square to St. Peter's Basilica and the Paul VI Hall.
The Pope first greeted pilgrims in the basilica and then proceeded to the Paul VI Hall. John Paul II affirmed that "with the month of October, the Year of the Rosary" -which he proclaimed from October 2002 to October of 2003--"comes to a close."
"I am so grateful to God for this time of grace in which the entire Church community has been able to explore the value and importance of the rosary, which is a Christological and contemplative prayer," he added.
After recalling the motto of the Year of the Rosary, "Contemplating the face of Christ with Mary," John Paul II said that these words, taken from his apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, "concisely express the authentic meaning of this prayer, both simple and profound. At the same time, they highlight the continuity between the proposal of the rosary and the path indicated to the People of God in my previous apostolic letter 'Novo millennio ineunte'."
"If at the beginning of the third millennium, Christians are called to grow as 'contemplators of Christ's face', and the ecclesiastical communities are called to become 'schools of prayer', the rosary is the privileged 'Marian way,' in order to reach this dual objective."