Celebrating Our Lady of the Rosary

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

Tomorrow, October 7, the annual Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary will be celebrated throughout the world.

For several centuries, this feast was alternately known as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory “in honor of a naval victory (the famous Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571) which secured Europe against Turkish invasion and which Pope St. Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, invoked on the day of the battle through a campaign to pray the Rosary throughout Europe.”

Pope St. Pius V instituted this feast celebrated universally in honor of our Lady of the Rosary.

It is interesting to learn that this feast come a week “after the similar Byzantine celebration of the Protection of the Mother of God, which most Eastern Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics celebrate on October 1 in memory of a 10th-century military victory which protected Constantinople against invasion after a reported Marian apparition.”

There are those who note the role of Saint Dominic, who died in 1221, for the popularity of the Rosary which he encouraged as “a remedy to heresy” and “as an antidote to sin.”

For those interested, rosary comes from the Latin rosarius, which means “garland” or “bouquet of flowers,” an apt word for a bouquet of prayers offered to God.

In the Middle Ages, Mama Mary was associated with roses/rose gardens, hence the name, Rosary.

Each bead of the rosary is intended to be a prayer, bead being an Old English term that originally meant “a prayer.”

While referred to as Our Lady of Fatima, whose feast we will celebrate a week from now, on October 13, at Fatima in Portugal, our Lady revealed herself to the 3 children as the Lady of the Rosary.

At Fatima, Our Lady urgently “desired for all of faithful to pray daily for the salvation of poor sinners and for the whole world, to continue to pray the Rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”

This reminder to pray the rosary is coming in very timely in the midst of the Ukraine crisis, the recent missile launch of North Korea over Japan, the continued territorial claims of China and escalating economic, food, health crises and more throughout the world.

Yes, let us remember to pray, pray, pray and pray the Rosary for world peace and end of wars on many fronts.

Did you know that “by the end of the fifteenth century the basic structure of the rosary was in place: Our Fathers dividing decades of Hail Marys, with meditations on the life of Christ and Mary, that in the sixteenth century, the sets of five Joyful, five Sorrowful, and five Glorious Mysteries as we know them today began to emerge, and, that in 1569, Pope Saint Pius V officially approved the rosary in this form: fifteen decades of Hail Marys introduced by the Our Father and concluded with the Glory Be?”

In 2002, Pope Saint John Paul II proposed the “Mysteries of Light” or “Luminous Mysteries, to include the mysteries of Christ’s public ministry between his Baptism and his passion.”

“Apart from the Eucharist, there is no more popular prayer in all the world than the Rosary.” (Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C)

Rosary prayer beads help keep track of the number of prayers that have been said and also help focus on the deeper meaning of the prayers themselves.

To those who criticize the Rosary “as vain repetition” Archbishop Fulton Sheen replied,

 “do you ever tire of hearing someone you love say ‘I love you'?”

“The rosary is an incredibly rich practice of prayer” where we are connected to God, through Mama Mary.


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