National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

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Why is October called the month of the Rosary, and what is the importance of Marian devotions?

BY The Editors

Oct. 9-22, 2011 Issue | Posted 10/3/11 at 4:11 PM


October’s theme comes from a feast day this month: The Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on Oct. 7; that is the day of the Christian victory at the Battle of Lepanto.

As we recalled in our 2006 editorial “Benedict’s Lepanto,” “As Ottoman invaders threatened to round the Gulf of Corinth into the western Mediterranean and threaten Europe, Pope Pius V (1504-1572) called for two kinds of action. One was a military defense, but just as important was his call for Christians to reform themselves. On the day of the decisive Battle of Lepanto, the Holy Father led a Rosary procession in Rome and called for all Christendom to pray. It worked — the would-be invaders turned back in defeat. …

“Our job is to do what Catholics in Pius V’s day did. Listen to the voice of Peter and act. If we turn to Jesus as they did, we’ll be just as gratified with the results.”

Marian devotion is central to our faith. As the Catechism states, “The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the Rosary, an ‘epitome of the whole Gospel,’ express this devotion to the Virgin Mary” (971).

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