OUR LADY of the ROSARY
Today, the universal Church honors our Blessed Mother as Our Lady of the Rosary, a feast which dates back to the year 1572, established by Pope Saint Pius V.
The purpose of this feast was to thank God for the naval victory which the Christians realized over the Turks (Muslims) at Lepanto, Greece on October 7, 1571, a triumph in battle which secured Europe against Turkish invasion – a victory attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was invoked in prayer on the day of the battle through a campaign to pray the Rosary throughout Europe. Pope Clement XI extended this feast to the universal Church in the year 1716.
The development of the Rosary has a long history. Due to the heresy of Albigensianism spreading throughout Europe in the beginning of the 13th century, Saint Dominic de Guzman devoted himself to preaching against this heresy, which was leading many of the faithful astray.
He implored the assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary for her assistance and intercession; and tradition tells us that she appeared to Saint Dominic and gave him the Rosary, telling him to pray it daily, teaching the mysteries of each decade to all who would listen, and eventually the true faith would prevail over the heresy, which it eventually did.
From that time forward, the Rosary has been embraced as a daily prayer which helps lead one to live a life of personal sanctity, thereby guiding one to reject sin, a prayer which guides each of us to meditate on the great mysteries of our salvation.
The Rosary appeals to many, since its combination of prayers and meditations are straightforward and uncomplicated. The constant repetition of words helps create an atmosphere in which we are better able to contemplate the mysteries of God.
We sense that Jesus and Mary are with us in the joys and sorrows of life; we journey through its prayers illuminated by the wonders of Christ’s ministry, teaching us the Divine Truth of God’s Love; and we grow in hope of our own glorious resurrection and ascension, sharing in the wonders of eternity with our Lord and our Blessed Mother.
In modern times, successive popes have urged the faithful to pray the Rosary, and it was Pope Saint John Paul II who stated that the Rosary was his favorite prayer.
We commemorate this special feastday of our Blessed Mother on October 7.
(From catholicnewsagency.com, americancatholic.org, infoplease.com/ce6/history, and catholicculture.org)
(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Our Lady of the Rosary)
“Lord, fill our hearts with Your Love, and as You revealed to us by an angel the coming of Your Son as man, so lead us through His suffering and death to the glory of His Resurrection, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”