Pope John Paul II and the rosary

Pope John Paul II “wanted so much for the family, the young, the sick and elderly, deacons and priests and bishops to learn and adopt his new method of praying the rosary so that the rosary would be come more of a contemplative prayer and therein have its true beauty and depth discovered,” author and educator Robert Feeney wrote in a recent note to CNS.

He wanted to make us aware rosaryof a new book he has written, “The Rosary: The John Paul II Method,” released by Aquinas Press and distributed by Ignatius Press. He covers the history of the rosary; writings about Mary by Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict XVI; Our Lady of Fatima and the rosary; and the mysteries of the rosary. But the book’s centerpiece is how Pope John Paul recited the rosary, including his suggestion that after each mystery, a person used a picture or icon to “open up a scenario,” to visualize being part of that mystery.

The pope also suggested a person pray for a virtue with each mystery and pause briefly to meditate “on the word of God and the content of the mystery.”

“The pope always saw the young as the future and hope of the church and wanted to, in spirit, pass the rosary beads on to them,” said Feeney. He added that during the Year of the Rosary, declared by the late pope from October 2002 to October 2003, Feeney taught his own students how the pope prayed the rosary. “They were very impressed with the contemplative dimension and interjections of silence,” he said.

Feeney said he wrote the book because he wants to help the young to discover the rosary to help them “in their trials and tribulations,” like it did for him as a young man serving in the Vietnam War.  He was seriously wounded and nearly died, he said, but he called on Mary, whom he credits for his recovery. 

Feeney’s book on the pope and the rosary follows an earlier one he wrote titled “The Catholic Ideal: Exercise & Sports.” He has been told that it’s being used as a textbook in the PE department at some Catholic colleges and universities.

8 Responses

  1. Thankfully the Holy Ghost is always with us, and modern innovations during the last forty years — the novus ordo liturgy, all of the revised sacraments, the new rite of exorcism and the “luminous mystery” rosary — have been declared optional.

    There was no need for JPII to re-write the perfect rosary, with its 150 Ave Maria prayers based on the 150 Psalms. Saint Dominic knew what he was doing. The traditional rosary won wars during the Crusade. The “luminous mysteries” have merely created confusion.

    Let’s hope all of the optional changes just go away completely under Benedict XVI and we can restore some sanity and tradition to the Church.

  2. i thank God for this site, because it makes one to be current about what is happening in the church, and also help us to grow both spiritually and socially. i must comfess that i am very happy to be a member of this noble family of chatholic church. to be sincier, chatolic church is a unique church and will always remain unique.
    i also thank God for making it possible every thing that has being happenign in my life, i thank God for all the sacramentals we have in the church, expecially the holy rosary, which gives one the orportunity to have a quit time with the blessed vergin mary who is the mother of our lord jesus. i iam also greatfull of the holy communion that help to draw one more closer to God, thereby creating and insied in us. i am realy gratful for this site. i pray that the lord in his infinite mercy will continue to inspire all the people that are working to keep this site current. i pray that your heart desires will be be granted by the lord.
    i love u all
    theresa nnadi

  3. The Rosary is a beautiful series of prayers, showing us the life of Christ. The Mysteries of Life, added to the Rosary, showing us Jesus the years of his public life. By reflecting on each mystery, we have a better understanding of Jesus life on earth, and what he did for mankind. The Rosary is also a beautiful tribute to Mary our Mother. We don’t realize what a beautiful gift Jesus gave to us when looking down from the cross, he said, “Woman behold thy son, son behold thy Mother” making her the Mother of all man kind.

  4. First, a little shameless self-promotion. A couple of years ago, The Word Among Us Press published my book “The Rosary Handbook: A Guide for Newcomers, Old-Timers, and Those In Between.” I was pleasantly surprised at how well the book sold and continues to sell. Those who, following Vatican II, predicted the swift demise of the Rosary were certainly mistaken. At the same time, evidently there are plenty of readers who want to leave behind the sentimental Marian piety that was prevalent during the 1950s and embrace a devotion to the Blessed Mother that is both heart-felt and suits an adult faith.

  5. The Luminous Mysteries fill in the missing links of the Rosary. I think it makes perfect sense. Before the luminous additions, we went from the finding in the temple to the agony in the garden.

  6. Let us not forget Pope John Paul II’s life: look at it and learn how much he followed Our Lord. No need to criticize his Luminous gifts, they open us up. Brilliant is his idea of Lectio Divina, reading a passage of scripture, saying an Our Father and 10 Hail Marys and ending with a Glory Be to the Father; please try it. Peace and Love in the Body of Christ is essential among us. Dan

  7. Does anyone know how I could get a hold of Mr. Feeney?

    I would like to interview him for http://www.OneBillionStories.com.

    Thanks

    Seth J DeMoor

  8. Seth: A few years ago I know he was at Bishop Denis O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA, so you might start there.

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