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“With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love” —Pope St. John Paul II (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002, p. 1).

In October the Church honors one important cause and another powerful, prayerful response to support those in need. It is both Respect Life Month and the month dedicated to honoring the Most Holy Rosary. Respect Life is set aside to draw our awareness to the necessity of protecting the poor and vulnerable in our communities from the youngest to the oldest, and everyone in between.

As Pope St. John Paul II shares, the school of Mary also teaches us to care for those in need at all stages of life. This is particularly evident in the second Joyful mystery – The Visitation. This mystery, like every mystery of the rosary, is rooted in Christ and has Him at the center of the entire prayer. Mary, who has just given her ‘fiat’ or ‘yes’ to be the bearer of Christ, is moved to visit her older cousin, Elizabeth, who is expecting. Mary’s quiet compassion, mixed with her humble desire to be of service, and to share the good news of Who she carries, to Elizabeth is a shining example of how we are called to serve the poor and vulnerable in our communities.

Prayer of Radical Solidarity

O Blessed Mother, at the angel’s word you went in haste to the aid of your cousin Elizabeth. Although pregnant yourself, you placed her needs before your own.

By your example of radical solidarity, teach us to reverence and protect those in need, without conditions or expectations. Ask your Son to give us unfailing determination to witness the profound dignity of every person, at every stage and in every circumstance.

In that first Eucharistic procession, you carried Jesus to Elizabeth in her time of need. Obtain for us the grace to bring Christ to any expectant mother who is alone and afraid.

May our support help them to find hope and strength in the Lord. Amen.

©2023, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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