Thursday, October 7, 1999
First Reading: Malachi 3: 13-20
Psalms: Psalm 1: 1-4, 6; 40: 5
Gospel Reading: Luke 11: 5-13
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY
As a result of the miraculous victory of the Christians over the superior Turk fleet in the landmark Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571 produced through Our Lady's intercession from the reverently praying her Holy Rosary, Pope Pius V proclaimed the date as the feast of Our Lady of Victory. The Rosary had been promulgated since Saint Dominic was given the Rosary in a vision in the early 14th Century. A century and a half later Pius V, a Dominican, realized intuitively that this was a manifestation of the power of the Rosary and declared it a great feast. His successor Pope Gregory XIII in 1573 made it obligatory for Rome and for the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. Pope Clement XI established the feast in the Roman Calendar earmarking it for the first Sunday in October as the Dominicans had been celebrating it. In 1960, Pope John XXIII officially proclaimed October 7 as the set day and changed the name from to Our Lady of the Rosary which it has remained as to this day. Over the past two centuries the Rosary has been emphasized in the Mother of God's many, many apparitions - especially at Fatima and Medjugorje where Mary has stressed the vital importance of praying her Holy Rosary for Peace. She reiterates how it is the most powerful weapon we have, that each bead is a rose forming a beautiful bouquet she presents to God on our behalf and that each bead becomes a firm link in the chain that will bind satan forever. Outside of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary is the most important devotion we have in Holy Mother Church.