On Sunday, October 1, 2006, prior to the recitation of the Angelus with the faithful gathered at the Papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father delivered the following reflection, translated from Italian:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today, the first day of October, I would like to reflect on two aspects which characterize this month in the Ecclesial Community: the prayer of the Rosary and the commitment to the Missions. This Saturday, October 7, we will be celebrating the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and it is as though Our Lady invites us every year to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple and so profound.
Our beloved John Paul II was a great Apostle of the Rosary: we remember him on his knees, his Rosary beads in his hands, immersed in the contemplation of Christ as he himself invited us to do in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
The Rosary is a contemplative and Christocentric prayer, inseparable from meditation on Holy Scripture. It is the prayer of the Christian who advances on his pilgrimage of faith, following Jesus and preceded by Mary.
Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to invite you during this month to recite the Rosary in the family, in the community and in parishes, for the Pope's intentions, for the Church's mission and for world peace.
October is also the missionary month, and on Sunday, the 22nd, we will be celebrating World Mission Day. The Church is, by her very nature, missionary. "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you" (Jn 20: 21), the Risen Jesus said to the Apostles at the Last Supper.
The Church's mission is the extension of Christ's mission: to bring God's love to all, proclaiming it with words and with the concrete testimony of charity.
In my Message for the upcoming World Mission Day, I wanted to present charity precisely as "the soul of the mission". St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, wrote: "The love of Christ impels us" (II Cor 5: 14). May every Christian make these words his own, in the joyful experience of being a missionary of love wherever Providence has placed him, with humility and courage, serving his neighbour with no ulterior motives, and drawing strength from prayer for a cheerful and industrious charity (cf. Deus Caritas Est, nn. 32-39).
St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, the Carmelite virgin and doctor of the Church whom we are commemorating this very day, is universal Co-Patroness of the Missions, together with St. Francis Xavier. May she, who pointed out trusting abandonment to God's love as the "simple" way to holiness, help us to be credible witnesses of the Gospel of charity. May Mary Most Holy, Virgin of the Rosary and Queen of Missions, lead us all to Christ the Saviour.