Many of the popes have championed the Rosary as a powerful, multifaceted devotion. The theologian Romano Guardini described praying the rosary as "participation in the life of Mary, whose focus was Christ." Pope Leo XIII also viewed the rosary as a vital means to participate in the life of Mary and to find the way to Christ.

Meditation on the mysteries of salvation is to lead to conversion of heart and change of actions. Contemplation on the mysteries is essentially an act of gratitude through which the heart is "filled with love...hope enlarged, and the desire increased for those things which Christ has prepared for such as have united themselves to Him in imitation of His example and in participation in His sufferings." Attentive consideration of the "precious memorials" of our Redeemer leads to "a heart on fire with gratitude to Him." The popes tell us its essence is "to recall the mysteries of salvation in succession, while the subject of meditation is mingled and interlaced with the Angelic Salutation and prayer to God the Father."

The popes also teach that the Rosary is intended to influence society as a whole. The holy and powerful life of Jesus Christ is to be a real antidote and remedy for the errors afflicting society.
"The rosary, and rosary-like prayer, focus on the events of Christ's life, the incarnation, redemption, and the promise of eternal life, and on the Virgin Mary's participation in the mystery of Christ. A person praying must be the agent who actively enters into the mysteries, and not simply one before whom the celebration unfolds. The rosary is an accessible reminder of the constant prayer of the Church, the incessant prayer of God's people throughout the ages. The Psalter of Mary, as the rosary is sometimes called, is a remembrance of the Church's deepest nature as a community of continual prayer." (Pope Leo XIII, 1896)

These pages are devoted to the  words of the popes who have most strongly endorsed and encouraged the Rosary.

The Marian Cross

The Marian Medallion

The Papal Keys

Benedict XIII

Innocent XIII

Clement XI

Benedict XVI

John Paul II

John Paul I

Innocent XII

Paul V

Gregory XIII

Paul VI


Pius XII

Gregory XII

Julius III

Adrian VI

Pius XI

Benedict XV

St. Pius X

Leo X

Innocent VIII

Sixtus IV


Gregory XVI

Benedict XIV

Eugene IV

Gregory XI

Benedict XII


Urban IV



This page is maintained by The Marian Library / International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390.
It was created by Cindy Osborne and last modified March 21, 2012 by Sumithra Kulkarni.
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