By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service     6/19/2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians who pray the rosary unite their own lives with Christ by meditating on his life, ministry and death, Pope Francis said.

“This simple prayer, in fact, helps us to contemplate all that God in his love has done for us and for our salvation and helps us understand that our life is united to Christ’s,” the pope said in a video message June 18 to pilgrims of the Ta Pinu Marian Shrine in Gozo, Malta.

The shrine inaugurated several new mosaics designed by Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik that were erected around the church square depicting the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the rosary.

In his video message, the pope said that the artistic depiction of the rosary’s mysteries “lays before our eyes the beauty of a simple contemplative prayer” that is “accessible to everyone, great and small.”

“I, too, often recite the rosary in front of a mosaic: a small mosaic of Our Lady with the child where Mary seems to be in the center when in reality she, using her hands, becomes a kind of ladder through which Jesus can descend in our midst,” the pope said.

Through the prayer of the rosary, he continued, Mary brings Christians closer to Jesus and the meditation of the mysteries of Christ’s life is “also our life because we walk with the Lord.”

Pope Francis said the prayer of the rosary allows “God to enter into our time, to welcome and transfigure” not only the “struggles, wounds and fears but also the joys, the gifts and loved ones” in one’s life.

“Use this powerful instrument, which is the prayer of the holy rosary, often so that it may bring peace to hearts, and families to the church and to the world,” the pope said.