Why Do Catholics ... ?

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

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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Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.