Friday October 7th is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
Pius V instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory in order to commemorate the victory at Lepanto, which he attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1571, Pope Pius V organized a coalition of forces from Spain and smaller Christian kingdoms, republics, and military orders to rescue Christian outposts in Cyprus. On 7 October of that year, the Holy League coalition met a powerful Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto. Knowing that the Christian forces were at a distinct materiel disadvantage, Pope Pius V called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory and led a rosary procession in Rome. The Christian fleet was victorious and managed to stop the Ottoman navy, which slowed the Ottoman advance to the west and a possible invasion of Italy and greater Europe.
Mother Mary is a powerful intercessor. She wants all to come to her Son, Jesus. She wants all those who profess Jesus as Lord to be kept free from danger – those of world and those of the evil one. The Rosary has long been held up as an effective “weapon” in our spiritual battle to fend off attacks to our faith and spiritual well-being. Regular mediation upon the Mysteries of Christ’s life through the intercession of Mother Mary who was present for many of those great moments strengthens our faith, instills greater hope, and enlarges charity within us. The recitation of the Rosary fosters devotion and a willingness to walk with Christ on the Way of the Cross to Resurrection glory. In many of Mary’s approved apparitions, she has encouraged the praying of the Rosary for our sake and for that of the whole world. For example, in the Marian apparition at Fatima, Portugal, Mary asked the children Jacinta Marto, Lucia dos Santos and Francisco Marto “to pray the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.” In fact, a former title of that apparition was Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fátima given her emphasis on praying the Rosary. Fifteen to twenty minutes of quiet mediation and prayer is good for our souls and opens a space for the Lord to speak to our hearts. I’m encouraged by so many who regularly and faithfully pray the Rosary. Thank you. For those who haven’t participated in this devotion in a while, this week would make a wonderful time to rediscover it once again. October is a month dedicated to the Rosary and Mary and ultimately Jesus Christ whose wondrous life is celebrated in those prayers.
Given the Eucharistic Revival underway with the United States Bishops, you might particularly benefit from the Luminous Mysteries promulgated by Saint John Paul II in 2002 given their focus upon the Eucharist.
Five Luminous Mysteries
- Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist
By our own Baptisms, we personally share in the death of Christ upon the Cross so as to share in His glorified resurrection. Scripture: Luke 3:21-22; Matthew 3:13-17; Spiritual Fruit of this Mystery: Openness to the Holy Spirit
- The Miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana
The changing of water into wine prefigures and foreshadows the changing of wine into the Lord’s Precious Blood. All is possible at His Word. Scripture: John 2:1-12; Spiritual Fruit of this Mystery: To Jesus through Mary
- The Proclamation of the Coming of the Kingdom of God and call to continuing Conversion
The effect and power of the Word of God to change us from sinners into saints remind us of the purpose of the Eucharistic change of ordinary bread into the Bread of Life. Scripture: Matthew 4:12-17; Spiritual Fruit of Mystery: Christian Witness and Conversion
- The Transfiguration of Jesus on Mt Tabor
The glorification of the Body & Blood of Jesus highlights the glorious change the Father desires to work in all of His children. Scripture: Luke 9:28-36; Spiritual Fruit of the Mystery: Spiritual Courage
- The Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist
Jesus desired from the start to “Remain with us always”, and He does so, especially in the Eucharist. Scripture: Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22: 14-23; Spiritual Fruit of the Mystery: The Love of the Eucharistic Lord
+ Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God. +
Holy Family, Saintly Father, Blessed Mother, Divine Son, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries