The month of October each year is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. This is primarily due to the fact that the liturgical Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated annually on October 7th. It was instituted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church in answer to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful.
Feast of the Holy Rosary
The feast of the Holy Rosary was established by Saint Pius V on the anniversary of the naval victory won by the Christian fleet at Lepanto, October 7, 1571. The victory was attributed to the help of the holy Mother of God whose aid was invoked through praying the rosary. The celebration of this day invites all to mediate upon the mysteries of Christ, following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was so singularly associated with the incarnation, passion and glorious resurrection of the Son of God.
The feast was introduced by Pope St. Pius V (1504-1572) in the year 1571 to commemorate the miraculous victory of the Christian forces in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. The Pope attributed more to the “arms” of the Rosary than the power of cannons and the valor of the soldiers who fought there.
Legend tells us that the Rosary as a form of prayer was given to St. Dominic (1170-1221) by Mary, the Mother of Our Lord, who entrusted it to him as an aid in the conflicts with the Albigensians.
The Dominican pope, St. Pius V, did much to further the spread of the Rosary and it thereafter became one of the most popular devotions in Christendom. It was the same Pope St. Pius V, who in 1569 officially approved the Rosary in its present form with the Papal Bull, CONSUEVERUNT ROMANI PONTIFECES. It had been completed by the addition of the second half of the “Hail Mary” and the “Glory be to the Father” at the conclusion of each mystery.
The Rosary is primarily a scriptural prayer. This can be summarized by the traditional phrase used by Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) that the Rosary is “a compendium of the entire Gospel”. The Rosary draws its mysteries from the New Testament and is centered on the great events of the Incarnation and Redemption.
Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II has called the Rosary his favorite prayer, in which we meditate with Mary upon the mysteries which she as a mother meditated on in her heart (Luke 2:19).
|Madonna of the Rosary (with Mysteries of the Rosary) – by Lorenzo Lotto|
In this month of October, let us consider this beautiful prayer of the Rosary as a means that we too can use in order to draw closer to Jesus and Mary by meditating on the great Pope Benedict XVI
Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI – Angelus Message 10/2/05 …”The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary, the unique contemplative prayer through which, guided by the Lord’s Heavenly Mother, we fix our gaze on the face of the Redeemer in order to be conformed to his joyful, light-filled, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.
This ancient prayer is having a providential revival, thanks also to the example and teaching of the beloved Pope John Paul II. I invite you to reread his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae and to put into practice its directions on the personal, family and community levels.
We entrust the work of the Synod to Mary: may she lead the entire Church to an ever clearer knowledge of the proper mission of service to the Redeemer truly present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. “ of our salvation.