Why October? On October 7, 1571, a coalition of Catholic armies won a decisive battle against the Ottoman army which was threatening to conquer the western Mediterranean and beyond. Pope Pius V led a rosary procession in Rome and called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory. The Christian armies prevailed in spite of being hopelessly outnumbered. The feast was instituted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection she gave the Church in answer to the Rosary being prayed by the whole of Europe. Because of this victory celebrated on 7 October, the whole month has been designated the month of the Rosary.
What is a rosary?
A rosary is an aid to prayer; an arrangement of beads that helps to count the Hail Marys and to help focus on the mystery being meditated. There are four groups of mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous.
The Rosary is a combination of vocal prayer (the Our Fathers & Hail Marys) and of mental prayer (the mysteries evoked). It is scriptural and contemplative, -as we meditate with Mary upon the mysteries which she, as a Mother, meditated on in her heart. It is also an active prayer – it is usually prayed aloud, although it can also be prayed in silence or while murmuring the Hail Marys. It may be recited while kneeling, walking, standing, or sitting. All the senses are brought into action.
The Rosary can be prayed by anyone – young or old, illiterate or educated. Illness, mental or physical handicaps may not interfere with the praying of the Rosary.
Over the centuries, praying the Rosary has proven to be of great help to all who have invoked Mary’s aid in this manner.
October is a month during which we can revive and/or deepen our trust in Mary.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and the hour of our death. Amen.
We invite you to say this prayer!
Submitted by Sr. Janice Fournier, pm