Popes and the Rosary


Pope Leo X and Pope Pius V

Pope Leo X was the first Pope to give the rosary approbation in 1520.

This was confirmed and officially approved in 1569 by Pope Pius V.

Pope Leo XIII

"The Rosary Pope", issued twelve Encyclicals and five Apostolic Letters on the rosary. Between the dates of 1883 and 1903, he issued at least one Encyclical on the rosary each year, and generally in preparation for the month of October. He also added the invocation “Queen of the most Holy Rosary” to the Litany of Loreto.

Pope Pius XII

Pope Pius XII issued an Encyclical stressing devotion to the rosary and advocating supplication to Mary, Mother of God, by means of the rosary. He actively promoted the veneration of The Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes and Fatima, which is credited with a great resurgence of the rosary within the Catholic Church.

Pope Paul VI

Pope Paul VI restated the role of The Blessed Virgin Mary in the plan of salvation, and said that: “the rosary is an exercise of piety that draws its motivating force from the liturgy and leads naturally back to it…”

Pope Paul VI strongly encouraged devotion to Mary, but he also emphasized Trinitarian worship and the study of Christology. To paraphrase, he gave four guidelines for the devotion to Mary:

  1. Devotions should have a spiritual basis.

  2. Devotions should be in harmony with the liturgy and the liturgical year.

  3. Devotions to Mary should have an ecumenical perspective.

  4. The Blessed Virgin Mary should be regarded as the perfect disciple.


Pope Saint John Paul II

Pope John Paul II tenaciously promoted devotion to the Blessed Mother. He issued the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae which built on the "Total Marian Devotion" pioneered by Saint Louis de Montfort. He also described the rosary as his favorite prayer. He stated that: “The rosary is a marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and in its depth”.

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict recently said that:  “The Rosary is experiencing a new springtime. It is one of the most eloquent signs of love that the young generation nourishes for Jesus and his Mother”. Our Pope is clearly supporting the rosary and devotion to the The Blessed Virgin Mary.

© 2020 by Robert Barnett