“Mary does bring us closer to Christ; she does lead us to him provided that we live her mystery in Christ,” wrote St. John Paul II. Throughout the year, the Church offers the faithful countless spiritual paths to live in the mystery of Christ through the feasts and fasts, the seasons and rhythms of the liturgical year. Manifold dimensions of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus’ Life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection unfold in time across the liturgical year. In this way, each day of the liturgical calendar is a renewed opportunity to enter into the life of grace and communion with the Blessed Trinity, who permeates time through the liturgical year to sanctify and transfigure human history.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes, “In celebrating this annual cycle of the mysteries of Christ, Holy Church honors the Blessed Mary, Mother of God, with a special love. She is inseparably linked with the saving work of her Son. In her the Church admires and exalts the most excellent fruit of redemption and joyfully contemplates, as in a faultless image, that which she herself desires and hopes wholly to be.”
Contemplation of the mysteries of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary lead the faithful into contemplation of the mystery of Jesus Christ, her divine Son. A beautiful Netherlandish altarpiece, titled The Fifteen Mysteries and the Virgin of the Rosary, places before our eyes the life of Jesus Christ and his mother Mary so we might imitate her example and experience her spiritual motherhood of the Church. The masterpiece image also invites us to renewed devotion to the Marian prayer of the Rosary, as the Church celebrates the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary each year on the seventh of October.