Pius XII to the Master of the Order of Preachers

To the Most Reverend Master General, Michael Browne, O.P., concerning the Marian Rosary.

Beloved Son, greeting and Apostolic Benediction. We are pleased to know from the reports that you, in a spirit of greatest obedience, have sent Us that the Dominican Order, over which you worthily preside, has been striving zealously and diligently to the utmost that the Marian Rosary might more ardently be recited daily by the faithful in honor of the Virgin Mother of God, and that the pious Sodalities which take their name from it and which are given over to your sedulous and unceasing care might flourish ever more day by day. This comes as most agreeable news, seeing that in this method of prayer a quick and easy means is laid out for the whole Christian people, even the unformed and uninstructed, whereby they may nourish, enkindle and arouse their piety and religious devotion to the greatest possible degree.

For the Marian Rosary is “a marvelous garland woven from the angelic annunciation interspersed with the Lord’s Prayer and joined together with a course of meditation, a most efficacious kind of entreaty…. and most especially fruitful for the attainment of everlasting life”[fn]Leo XIII in his letter Diuturni temporis, 5 Sept. 1898; A.L., vol. XVIII, pp. 154-155.[/fn]. For this reason, in addition to the most excellent prayers of which it is comprised and which are, as it were, plaited into a crown of heavenly roses, it also offers an invitation to stir up one’s faith, a help to devotion and outstanding models of virtue through the mysteries presented for contemplation. It therefore cannot fail to be most pleasing to the Virgin Mother of God and to her Only Son, who undoubtedly considers any praise, honor and glory rendered to his Mother as likewise rendered to Himself. It is also to be maintained as certain that these forms of prayer, whether recited in consecrated places or in domestic gatherings, even if recited in an altogether private manner, avail abundantly for the attainment of divine grace and the amendment of morals among Christians. It is well known that it was above all for this reason that the Roman Pontiffs, and most particularly Our Predecessor of undying memory, Leo XIII, extolled this method of prayer with the highest praises and enriched it with salutary favors. We Ourselves, in Our Encyclical Letter beginning with the words “Ingruentium malorum”[fn]A. A. S., vol. XLIII, 1951, pp. 577 ff.[/fn], have strongly recommended the Marian Rosary to Christians of every degree, as we believed, and do believe, that the most powerful and generous Mother of God, moved by the voices of so many of her children, would obtain as gifts from God that public and private morals should be strengthened with each passing day, that the Catholic religion might engage in the service which is acceptable to God free from all unjust impediments whatsoever, and that its salutary power should extend not merely into the minds of all citizens individually, but likewise into the very veins of the commonwealth; in order that, through mutual respect of all and the order derived from just laws, they may be so governed and united that there may arise among them not rivalry but concord, not hate but love, and not a new encounter with ruin but the growth of prosperity rightly so called.

Continue, then, as you are doing, zealously, diligently and devoutly promoting the Marian Rosary and the various associations that take their name from it; this is a particular mark of your Order, and the pious service of that same Order does not stand in last place in the eyes of the exalted Mother of God, of the Church or of the Catholic religion.

We then, wishing to render fatherly thanks to you for things well done, to inspire in you a resolve to be no less eager in the future pursuit of this cause, and to extend a sign of heavenly graces and a token of Our goodwill, most happily bestow upon you, beloved son, upon each of those associations committed to your care and that of your Order, and most particularly upon those who render assistance to you in carrying this work forward, the Apostolic Benediction.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, on the eleventh day of the month of July, in the year one thousand nine hundred fifty seven, the nineteenth of Our Pontificate.