Every year the month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary and this is largely due to the fact that we celebrate the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7.
"The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary, the unique contemplative prayer through which, guided by the Lord's Heavenly Mother, we fix our gaze on the face of the Redeemer in order to be conformed to his joyful, light-filled, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.
This ancient prayer is having a providential revival, thanks also to the example and teaching of the beloved Pope John Paul II. I invite you to reread his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae and to put into practice its directions on the personal, family and community levels."
Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus Message, St. Peter’s Square, October 2, 2005
Pope St. Pius V first introduced the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in the year 1571. The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was established to honor our Blessed Virgin Mary for the protection she provides the Church in answer to the faithful who pray the Rosary. It is a way to show our gratitude for her intercession. It was during the papacy of Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) that dedicating the whole month of October to the Holy Rosary was first put into practice. He avidly encouraged devotion to the Blessed Mother through praying the Rosary on a regular basis. Pope Leo XIII wrote a total of eleven encyclicals on the Rosary, and is known as “The Rosary Pope.”
Several other popes have also contributed to an increased devotion in the Holy Rosary through their writings. The Rosary was Pope John Paul II’s favorite prayer, so much so that he introduced the luminous mysteries in 2002.
There are fifteen traditional Mysteries of the Rosary, grouped into three sets – the joyful mysteries, the sorrowful mysteries and the glorious mysteries. These mysteries were decided upon and finalized during the 16th century. With the creation of the luminous mysteries, we now have twenty mysteries within the four different sets.
The mysteries of the Holy Rosary, predominantly a scriptural prayer, are taken from the Good News of the New Testament and focus on the magnificent events of the Incarnation and Redemption.
"The Rosary is experiencing a new Springtime. Without a doubt, this is one of the most eloquent signs of love that the young generation nourish for Jesus and his Mother, Mary. In the current world, so dispersive, this prayer helps to put Christ at the centre, as the Virgin did, who meditated within all that was said about her Son, and also what he did and said. When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived."
Pope Benedict XVI
Address after the Recitation of the Holy Rosary
Basilica of Saint Mary Major, May 3, 2008
By praying the Holy Rosary we can deepen our relationship with Jesus and Mary through these meditations of the great mysteries of our salvation.
In the month of October we also celebrate the feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on October 11, as well as Respect Life Month.
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Peace in Christ,
© Melissa Knoblett-Aman