October holds great importance in the Catholic Church, as it is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. Every year, the liturgical Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7th. The Feast is a way of expressing gratitude through the faithful praying of the Rosary to the Blessed Virgin Mary for protecting the Catholic Church.
Pope Saint Pius V (1504-1572) established this feast day in honour of the miraculous victory of Christian forces in the battle at Lepanto, which took place on 7 October 1571. At that time, the Church in Europe achieved a significant victory against the Muslim Turks. The Turks, who controlled vast Muslim lands in the Middle East, were expanding into Europe, which forced Pope Pius V to call on Christians to rally and defeat the Islamic threat. He also asked for special processions and public recitation of the rosary, seeking the intercession of the Virgin Mary. As a result, the Muslim army was defeated at the Battle of Lepanto.
The Church devotes the entire month of October to the Holy Rosary in hope of peace in the world, and it urges Christians to recite this pious devotion daily either individually, with family or within the community. Pope Leo XII expressed his desire for this in his statement “On Devotion of the Rosary”, dated 1 September 1883, which exhorts all Christians to pray unceasingly and consecrate the whole of October to the Holy Queen of the Rosary. Today, Catholics show special reverence to Mother Mary by saying the rosary and reciting the litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, seeking her intercession.
Reflecting on the Marian prayers can help us discover their true meaning as if we were saying them for the very first time. The Hail Mary and Angelus - prayed at 6.00 am, 12.00 pm and 6.00 pm - are loving praises of Mary’s divine motherhood. Praying the Rosary and Angelus daily is important as our Mother Mary deserves our devotion. If we recite the Holy Rosary and the Angelus every day with love and faith, she will guide us far along the path of her Son. It is essential that we should not distance ourselves from Our Lady. We show her our respect and honour by staying close to her, speaking to her, demonstrating our love for her, and sharing with her our challenges, achievements and failures.
Praying the Rosary is a beautiful way of strengthening our relationship with God. For the next 30 days, try to spend 15-30 minutes daily praying the Rosary. As we journey through October, let us reflect on the magnificence of the Rosary, which brings us closer to Jesus and Mary. By contemplating the great mysteries of our salvation, we can enhance our spiritual connection and find inner peace.
St. Therese of Lisieux said that she was especially drawn to Mary, not because she is the Queen of Heaven, but because she is our mother.