Today, October 7, Catholics from around the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. Normally, the faithful would celebrate this day by flocking the shrines of the Lady and holding parades in her honor. However, only a few people are well aware of the rich history behind this special day.
A few centuries after the founding of Christianity, the Islamic religion was realized and has spread throughout the Middle East. By the start of the millennium, Moslem Turks began to invade the rest of the Christian world, giving birth to what was known as the Ottoman Empire.
By the year 1571, the Ottoman Turks were out to conquer the rest of Europe. Their plan was a naval attack that would split the Christian world into two, annihilating every bit of Christianity in the region. To stop—or at least, slow down—the attack from happening, the Christian fleet sailed into the seas. And as they were fully convinced that they were sailing to their doom, the sailors of the fleet repeatedly prayed the Rosary. At the same time, the Pope led a Rosary procession in St. Peter’s square and encouraged everyone to pray for the success of the Christian sailors. (Read: Prayers of the Rosary)
Miraculously, on October 7, 1571, the Christian fleet succeeded in their mission. Their triumph was so complete and victorious that the Ottomans were never able to launch an attack against the Christian world again. From there, the Ottoman Empire retreated back to the Middle East.
To celebrate this epic event in Christian history, Pope Pius V established the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary on the 7th day of October. In fact, with the exception of the Holy Mass, the Rosary is one of the most powerful prayers we have been given, since this devotion doesn’t just invoke the intercession of a saint, but it is a meditation on salvation history itself.
Prayer to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, in these times of such brazen impiety, manifest thy power with the signs of thine ancient victories.
From thy throne whence thou dispense pardon and grace, mercifully regard the Church of thy Son, His Vicar on Earth, and every order of clergy, religious, and laity, who are oppressed in this mighty conflict.
Thou who art powerful, the vanquisher of all heresies, hasten the hour of mercy, even though the hour of God’s justice is every day provoked by the countless sins of men, the sons and daughters of Adam.
Obtain for me, the least of men, kneeling before thee in supplication, the grace I need to live righteously upon earth, in order to be numbered among the just in heaven.
In the company of all faithful Christians throughout the world,
I salute thee and acclaim thee as Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
Prayer from vaticansite.com.