Posted by: liturgicalyear | October 7, 2010

The Feast of the Holy Rosary

Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.  One of my faves!  Here’s a brief history from EWTN’s website:

The rosary gained greater popularity in the 1500s, when Moslem Turks were ravaging Eastern Europe. Recall that in 1453, Constantinople had fallen to the Moslems, leaving the Balkans and Hungary open to conquest. With Moslems raiding even the coast of Italy, the control of the Mediterranean was now at stake.

In 1571, Pope Pius V organized a fleet under the command of Don Juan of Austria the half-brother of King Philip II of Spain. While preparations were underway, the Holy Father asked all of the faithful to say the rosary and implore our Blessed Mother’s prayers, under the title Our Lady of Victory, that our Lord would grant victory to the Christians. Although the Moslem fleet outnumbered that of the Christians in both vessels and sailors, the forces were ready to meet in battle. The Christian flagship flew a blue banner depicting Christ crucified. On October 7, 1571, the Moslems were defeated at the Battle of Lepanto. The following year, Pope St. Pius V established the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7, where the faithful would not only remember this victory, but also give thanks to the Lord for all of His benefits and remember the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother.

The fact that our Church continues to include the Feast of the Holy Rosary on the liturgical calendar testifies to the importance and goodness of this form of prayer. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.”

Fulton Sheen’s words sum it up perfectly! “The power of the rosary is beyond description.” 

This story defies description.  It is the story of the Rosary of Hiroshima, which I first read about many years ago in a booklet called The Power of the Rosary.

There was a home about 1 kilometer from where the atomic bomb went off in Hiroshima, Japan. A church was attached to the home.  The church, but not the home, was completely destroyed by the blast.  The eight German missionaries who lived in the home survived.  They believe, “…we survived because we were living the Message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the Rosary daily in that home.”

Not only did they all survive with relatively minor injuries, but they did not experience radiation sickness, loss of hearing, or any other long term physical effects of the blast.

They were interviewed many times by scientists and medical professionals and they stick to their belief that it was the prayer of rosary that invoked Our Lady’s protection upon them.

Quite an amazing story!  There are many more big and little, public and private.  Anyone who prays the rosary knows of the rosary miracles in their own life.

All I can say from my own experience, is that something happens when you pray the rosary.  I can’t quite put it into words, but something wonderful happens.

So today, would you join me in praying the rosary in thanksgiving for Our Lady’s intercession in Our World and in begging her continued intercession and protection.

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!  Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!  Anne

Besides the indulgences attached to the Rosary, Our Lady told of additional benefits for those who devoutly pray the Rosary. Our Lady made 15 promises to Christians who pray the rosary (through St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche)

If you’re looking for a good book to read to your children about the Battle of Lepanto, I recommend a terrific historical fiction novel, The Blood Red Crescent (also in paperback)

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