October 5th is the liturgical memorial of Blessed Bartolo Longo, founder of the Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Rosary of Pompei. Pope John Paul II beatified the Italian layman in 1980, calling him the man of the Madonna. On October 7, 2003, Pope John Paul went in pilgrimage to Pompei. There he recited the Rosary and prayed Blessed Longo’s touching “supplication” to the Madonna of the Rosary. The pilgrimage to Pompeii marked the close of Pope John Paul II’s Year of the Rosary.
“What actually is the Rosary? A compendium of the Gospel. It brings us back again and again to the most important scenes of Christ’s life, almost as if to let us “breathe” his mystery. The Rosary is the privileged path to contemplation. It is, so to speak, Mary’s way. Is there anyone who knows and loves Christ better than she?
Bl. Bartolo Longo, Apostle of the Rosary, was convinced of this; he paid special attention to the contemplative and Christological character of the Rosary. Thanks to this Blessed, Pompei has become an international centre for the spirituality of the Rosary.