Pray the Rosary often. This was the message from Bishop John Wilson, auxiliary bishop of Westminster, on Sunday.
“As the beads move through our fingers, we pray with Mary as she shows and leads the way to Christ. Moving through the scenes of salvation, Mary guides us into tender intimacy with Jesus,” he said at a Mass in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary at the Rosary Shrine, Haverstock Hill, in north London.
“We come as students to the school of Mary to be taught to pray,” he said. “Our Blessed Lady shows us how to live according to God’s promise. She witnesses how to receive Jesus into our lives and hearts. She mirrors how to follow him as faith-filled disciples.
“Through our prayerful repetition Mary, who received Christ within her womb, invites us to enthrone Him in our heart. The Rosary is the remembrance of God’s promise” – a “lavish promise, cast out from the cross into human history and beyond”.
He added: “No matter how spiritually firm or flimsy we might feel, we continue, with Mary, as the pilgrim people of God’s promise.”
Bishop Wilson said that on the recent ad limina visit of the bishops of England and Wales to the Vatican, he had asked Pope Francis about his devotion to Our Lady, Untier of Knots. In reply, the Pope “spoke movingly about his simple trust in the power of Our Lady’s prayers to untie the knots of life, the difficult situations that affect the world, the Church, other people and ourselves. ‘To some it may sound naïve,’ he said, ‘but I pray.’”
At the end of Mass, plans were announced for a new Rosary Garden of the Luminous Mysteries to be built on derelict land behind the Lady Chapel. The garden will complement the traditional fifteen decades of the Rosary that are represented in each of the Shrine chapels. It will feature a Rosary-shaped path, encircling artistic representations of the Mysteries of Light, plants in honour of Mary, and a newly-commissioned statue of Our Lady. It is hoped the garden will be opened on the feast of St Dominic, May 24 2019.