THE ROSARY IS THE ‘WEAPON’
OCTOBER is the month during which the Church especially emphasises the importance of the Holy Rosary, largely because the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary falls this month. The feast was instituted to honour Our Lady for the victory of the Christians against the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 who were the enemies of the Church. Pope St Pius V got the whole of Christian Europe to pray the Rosary for victory. After five hours of battle, nearly all the Ottoman galleys lay on the floor of the Mediterranean. At the time, Pope Pius V was in his room in Rome talking business with someone, when he suddenly went into an ecstasy for about three minutes, and then announced to his visitor, “This is not the time for business. Let us give thanks to God for victory over the Turks.” He immediately attributed this unlikely victory to Our Lady and the Rosary. As a result, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was established on October 7th which we still celebrate today.
Our Lady, whenever she appears throughout the world always emphasises the importance of saying the Rosary. All the apparitions at Lourdes began with St Bernadette saying the Rosary with Our Lady. Our Lady told Sister Lucia of Fatima that in these troubled times in which we live, a new power had been given to the recitation of the Holy Rosary, and that there is no problem whether temporal, or above all spiritual, in our own lives or in the life of the whole world that cannot be resolved by the praying of the Rosary. “With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.”
The saints and the popes have always stressed the importance of the daily Rosary. St Padre Pio said, “The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” Pope St John Paul II said the Rosary was his favourite prayer and “How beautiful is the family that recites the Rosary every evening!” If you don’t already say the Rosary, try to begin with one decade a day and then gradually build up to five decades. It becomes easier with practice. Equip yourselves for the daily battle in which we are all engaged – that is the battle for souls!
Fr. Paul Gillham IC