Our Lady of the Rosary

Feast Day: October 7

Catholic tradition holds that our Blessed Mother Mary gave the Rosary to Dominic of Osma in 1214 in the Monastery of Our Lady of Prouille, in France. There are other historical references which indicate the Rosary was known from the ninth century, but it is clear that the development of the Rosary as a prayer form, well-loved by many Catholics, owes much to the followers of Saint Dominic. 

The Dominican Alan de la Roche, known as “the apostle of the Rosary,” founded the first Confraternity of the Rosary in the 15th century.

In the 16th century Pope Pius V declared the Feast of Our Lady of Victory after a significant naval battle in which the Ottoman Turks, who were terrorizing Christians, were defeated in the Gulf of Lepanto on Oct. 7, 1571. The victory was attributed to the intercessory power of the Blessed Mother, since the Rosary Confraternity of Rome were praying the Rosary at the Dominican headquarters while the battle was underway.

Pope Gregory XIII changed the name to Feast of the Holy Rosary–originally celebrated on the first Sunday in October–in 1573. Pope Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716. In 1913, Saint Pius X set the date for the feast we observe today on Oct. 7.

The story of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary raises our awareness of the intercessory power of Mary. Throughout history, the Blessed Mother tells us again and again that we can turn to her when we are experiencing sorrow, pain, disillusionment, or feeling alone and distant from God and others. Mary, our Blessed Mother, prays with us when we pray the Rosary. 

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ you Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!

Sources: Franciscan Media, Loyola Press, Wikipedia

Images used with permissions from Getty Images.