Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Pray for Us

Although today's feast day readings are superseded by the Sunday liturgy, you can still celebrate at home, especially by praying. The Glorious Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Sundays during Ordinary time, but use the mysteries you love best. This book from St. Joseph books is helpful for teaching children as is this coloring book.

The Origin of the the Holy Rosary

by John O'Connell
According to tradition, Our Lady gave the Most Holy Rosary to St. Dominic (1170-121) to combat the errors of the Albigensians in southern France. Albigensianism, a form of the Manichaean heresy, asserted that a good Deity created the spiritual world and an evil Deity created the material world. Albigenians opposed marriage and favored suicide. The heresy proved especially difficult to extirpate until St. Dominic’s holy preaching and promotion of the Rosary prevailed. The Dominicans have down through the centuries been great promoters of Our Lady’s Rosary.

In 1571 a huge Moslem fleet menaced Christendom. Don Juan of Austria led an outnumbered Christian fleet to fight the Moslem navy. Pope St. Pius V, a Dominican, entrusted the Christian fleet to Our Lady. In October of 1571, Don Juan and the Christian fleet won a decisive battle in the Bay of Lepanto as they destroyed almost the entire fleet of their enemies. Pope St. Pius established October 7 as a feast day of Our Lady of Victory in honor of the Blessed Virgin’s assistance in securing the victory and the safety of Christendom.

Two years later Pope Gregory XIII changed the name of the feast day to Our Lady of the Rosary because it was through the praying of the Rosary that the battle had been won. And October became the month of the Most Holy Rosary in the Church’s calendar. Pope Leo XIII added the invocation “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us” to the Litany of Loreto.

Numerous popes and saints have acclaimed the efficacy of the Rosary. It is indeed a most powerful spiritual weapon. Pope John XXIII called the Rosary “the Psalter of the poor.” Theologians have called the Rosary “the school of contemplation” because it introduces the faithful to meditative prayer.

The Rosary combines the recitation of the most profound of vocal prayers—the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, and the Apostles’ Creed with meditation upon fifteen mysteries from the lives of Jesus and Mary. A rosary itself is a sacramental that has a Crucifix attached to it. By now the Rosary has become a sign of devotion to the Blessed Mother and symbol of Catholicism.

Our Lady in her apparitions (those approved by the Church) has over and over again urged Christians to pray the Rosary. At Fatima, the Holy Virgin chose to identify herself to the children as the Lady of the Rosary.

Today the Church finds herself engaged in many, many battles—with the fiercest ones taking place within her fold. Now is the time that Christians need recourse to Our Lady of the Rosary. Now is the time for the devout recitation of the Rosary to win spiritual victories for the Church and souls.

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