Our Lady of the Rosary

By Amelia Hamilton Published on October 7, 2015

Today, Catholics celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary.

In 1573, St Pius V established this feast in gratitude for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto, when Christians prayed the Rosary that they would be victorious over Islam. Perhaps this is why this day was known for many centuries as “Our Lady of Victory.” In 1716, Clement XI made this feast universal to the church, and Pope Benedict XVI asks that we pray it still, saying, “It is as if every year Our Lady invited us to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple and profound.”

The Rosary is inexorably linked with the holy mother. The word itself means “Crown of roses,” in reference to a spiritual bouquet given to the blessed mother. If you know (or learn) just a few simple prayers, it is easy to learn to pray the Rosary.

As Pope John Paul II said, in his apostolic letter The Rosary of the Virgin Mary:

The rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christ-centered prayer. It has all the depth of the gospel messge in its entirety. It is an echo of the
prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb.  … It can be said that the rosary is, in some sense, a prayer-commentary on the final chapter of the Vatican II Constitution Lumen Gentium, a chapter that discusses the wondrous presence of the Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and the Church.”

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