October is flying away from us at an enormous speed, and it is almost too late to Post this information. Your Administrator is recovering from surgery and has not had access to this portal during recuperation. I have (almost) been living in our local hospital for the past two months, given all the clinics I have to attend there.
The Month of the holy Rosary – Reverend Matthew R. Mauriello
Contemporary scholarship traces the development of the Rosary to the High Middle Ages period. The month of October each year is devoted to the Most Holy Rosary. This is largely due to the fact that the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated annually on October 7. It was instituted to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratefulness for the protection that she gives the Church in response to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful.
The feast was introduced by Pope St. Pius V (1504-1572) in the year 1571 to pay tribute to the incredible victory of the Christian forces in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. The pope attributed more to the “arms” of the Rosary than the power of cannons and the valour of the soldiers who fought there.
Legend tells us that the Rosary as a form of prayer was given to St. Dominic (1170-1221) by Mary, the Mother of Our Lord, who entrusted it to him as an aid in the conflicts with the Albigensians. The Dominican pope, St. Pius V, did much to further the spread of the Rosary and it subsequently became one of the most popular devotions in Christendom. It was the same Pope St. Pius V, who in 1569 officially approved the Rosary in its present form with the Papal Bull, Consueverunt Romani Pontifices. It had been completed by the addition of the second half of the “Hail Mary” and the “Glory be to the Father” at the end of each mystery.
During the Middle Ages, it came into being in various medieval monasteries as a substitute for the Divine Office for the lay monks and devout lay persons who did not know how to read. As an alternative to the 150 psalms, they would pray 150 “Our Fathers” counting them on a ring of beads known as the crown or “corona.” With the growth of recognition of Marian devotion in the twelfth century, the “Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary” developed now replacing the 150 “Our Fathers.” with 150 “Hail Marys”.
The 150 “Hail Marys” were then subdivided into fifteen decades by the young Dominican friar, Henry Kalkar (1328-1408), with each decade referring to an event in the life of Jesus and Mary. The Dominican, Alanus de Rupe (1428-1478) further divided the episodes in the history of salvation into joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries. He also credited the origin of the Rosary, then known as the “Psalter of the Blessed Virgin” to St. Dominic and thus encouraged the Dominican Order to make the Apostolate of the Rosary their special concern. The Dominicans have, since then, propagated the Rosary with notable results.
The custom of dedicating the whole month of October to the Holy Rosary established itself toward the end of the last century. Pope Leo XIII (papacy: 1878-1903) persuasively promoted the growth of devotion to the Blessed Mother by reinforcing and emphasizing the constant use of the Rosary.
Beginning on September 1, 1883, with Supremo Apostolatus Officio, he wrote a total of eleven encyclicals on the Rosary, ending with Diuturni Temporis in 1898. We are currently celebrating the 124th year of these papal encyclicals.
Numerous other popes have contributed to help increase devotion to the Rosary through their writings. In the recent past, Pope Paul VI (papacy: 1963-1978) devoted the last segment of his Apostolic Exhortation MARIALIS CULTUS to the Angelus and the Rosary (MC 40-55). In this document, he wrote that “the Rosary retains an unaltered value and intact freshness.” (MC, 41) (Paraphrased)
Go to All About Mary to read the remainder of this article on the Holy Rosary, there are other Marian resources to be sourced there on that website.
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