Our Lady of the Rosary
It was St. Dominic in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries who encouraged everyone to say the Rosary. St. Dominic was greatly saddened by the spread of a terrible heresy called Albigensianism. With the members of his new Order of Preachers, he was trying his best to destroy this dangerous heresy. He begged the Blessed Virgin for help, and it is said that she told him to preach devotion to the Holy Rosary. St. Dominic obeyed and he was very successful in stopping the heresy.
The Holy Rosary is a simple devotion which can be practiced by all people-old and young, learned and unlearned. It can be said anywhere, at any time. While we say the Our Father, ten Hail Marys and Glory to the Father, we think about great moments in the lives of Jesus and Mary. In this way, we grow closer and closer to Jesus and his Blessed Mother. We learn to imitate their holy lives.
Mary is very pleased when we say the Holy Rosary often and well. She used to say it with St. Bernadette when she appeared to her at Lourdes. The three little children of Fatima learned from Mary the power of the Rosary. Mary taught them that the Rosary obtains graces and saves sinners from hell.
A Dominican pope, Pius V, established today's feast. It is to show our gratitude to Mary for a military victory over the Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571.
By prayerfully meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, we are able to follow the example of Mary who "heard the Word of God and cherished it in her heart."