October is the month of the Holy Rosary. October 7 is the feast
of Our Lady of the Rosary. This feast was introduced by Pope Pius V in 1571.
That year on October 7, Christian forces defeated the Ottoman Empire
in the Battle of Lepanto. It was a decisive naval battle. If the Ottoman Empire
had prevailed, the Mediterranean Sea would have become a Muslim lake making
the invasion of countries like Italy easy.
The Pope attributed the victory to the Rosary.
Two years earlier, in 1569, he had officially approved the Rosary in its present form, with 15 decades each referring to an event in the life of Jesus and Mary.
The Rosary was fostered in monasteries during the Middle Ages. 150 Hail Marys were said instead of the 150 psalms of the Divine Office.
Pope John Paul II added the five Luminous mysteries to the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious, making twenty decades.
The Rosary is a scriptural prayer. Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) said the Rosary is,
"a compendium of the entire Gospel."The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was established in thanksgiving for the defeat of Muslim forces threatening to over run Europe. Today in many European countries there are more practicing Muslims than there are practicing Catholics. It is time to rededicate ourselves to the Rosary.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.