Our Lady of the Rosary is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7 every year in the Catholic Church to celebrate the anniversary of the victory that Christians got at the Gulf of Lepanto in Greece on October 7 1571 against the invading Ottoman Turks in Europe.
Pope Pius V was having a problem with the Turkish Ottoman Empire, an Islamic empire centered in Istanbul, which was expanding rapidly in the Christian regions of Europe. The Turkish empire might have permitted the expansion of Islam deep into Europe.
Pope Pius V organized an alliance called the Holy League who set sail, with around 200 ships, in the Mediterranean to fight a very powerful Ottoman navy that had nearly 300 warships. The Pope knew the military might of the Ottoman Turks, he, therefore, encouraged the Christians throughout Europe to gather in their churches and pray the Holy Rosary to invoke the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary against the powerful Ottoman navy.
On October 7 1571, the Christian fleets battled the Ottoman fleets at the Gulf of Lepanto in Greece and managed to capture and sink all but 13 of the Turkish ships. The Christians won the battle which was attributed to the help of Mary Mother of God through praying of the rosary.
Pope Pius V dedicated October 7 as a thanksgiving day to Our Lady of Victory. The name of the feast was later changed to Our Lady of the Rosary by Pope Gregory XIII.
This feast of Our Lady of the Rosary emphasizes the intercessory power of Mary. It reminds us that when we Christians are in danger, they can pray to our Mother Mary for help.
The Development of the Rosary
According to the Dominicans, in 1206, St. Dominic had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who gave him the rosary to use as a tool to fight the heretics.
The Rosary has its roots in the 150 psalms where people who couldn’t read began praying 150 Hail Marys instead.
In the 16th century, the rosary was developed to have the 5 joyful, 5 sorrowful, and 5 glorious mysteries. The 5 Mysteries of Light were added to the Rosary in 2002, by Pope John Paul II.
Feast of our Lady of the Rosary
After the victory of the Battle of Lepanto, Pope Pius V instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory in 1571.
In 1573, the name of the feast was changed to Feast of the Holy Rosary by Pope Gregory XIII, to be celebrated on the first Sunday of October.
In 1671, Pope Clement X extended the feast to the whole of Spain, and on August 5 1716, Pope Clement XI extended the feast to be celebrated by the universal Church.
In 1913, Pope Pius X changed the feast day to October 7. During the 1969 liturgical reforms, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is listed as a mandatory memorial.
Our Lady of the Rosary is the Patron Saint of
- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Santos, São Paulo, Brazil
- Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
- Roman Catholic Diocese of San Nicolás de los Arroyos, Argentina
- Republic of Guatemala
- Republic of Colombia
- Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador
- Palma Cuata, Zacatecas, Mexico
- Manizales, Colombia
- Lima, Peru
- West Virginia, United States
- The Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, United States
- North Carolina, United States
- Surigao del Norte, Philippines
- Rosario, Cavite, Philippines
- Quezon City, Philippines
- Manila, Philippines
- Bohol, Philippines
- Trujillo, Spain
- Seseña, Spain
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Malaga, Spain
- Ontígola, Spain
- Olías del Rey, Spain
- Montearagón, Toledo, Spain
- Melilla, Spain
- Lagartera, Spain
- Huerta de Valdecarábanos, Spain
- Cáceres, Spain
- Brenes, Spain
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