Sunday, 21 September 2008

Feast of the Most Holy Rosary

Good day 'Pro Papa League', and all who sail therein.

In just over two weeks time (7th October), we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary.

This coincides with the feast of Our Lady of Victories, instigated in honour of and gratitude to Our Lady after the naval battle of Lepanto (1571), when the fleet of the Ottoman Empire was defeated in one of the great sea battles of history. Prior to the battle, the Holy League fleet under Don Juan of Austria, had been dedicated to the special protection of Our Blessed Lady, with particular recourse to the prayer of the Holy Rosary.

Pope Pius V (later Saint) immediately instituted a new feast day of Our Lady of Victory to commemorate the victory, which dedication was changed two years later by Pope Gregory XIIIth to Our Lady of the Rosary, in recognition of the powerful efficacy of the Holy Rosary.

St Alphonsus has this to say ------- "There is no devotion so generally practised by the faithful of all classes as that of the Rosary. The immense good that this noble devotion has done to the world is well known. How many, by its means, have been delivered from sin! How many led to a holy life! How many to a good death and heaven!" (October 7th)

Very, very briefly, the Rosary prayer as we know it, dates back to the 13th century, the time of St Dominic, when its powerful spiritual efficacy was utilised and reflected in the destruction of the Albigensian heresy. Prior to that date and going back over many centuries, even to the Desert Fathers in the 4th century, there is evidence of the psalter prayers (Psalms) being recited in a numerical format, rather in the manner of the Rosary, but with stones or other counting devices being utilised. In more recent times the apparitions and words of Our Lady at Fatima, have emphasised not only the immeasurable spiritual value and graces attached to the praying of the Rosary, but also the absolute need for all to spread devotion to the Holy Rosary and the practice of penance, to be offered up in reparation for our sins.

Traditionally, fifteen promises were made by Our Lady to devotees of the Rosary, a tradition promulgated particularly by the Dominicans:-

  • Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary shall receive signal graces.

  • I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.

  • The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.

  • It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

  • The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary shall not perish.

  • Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God and become worthy of eternal life.

  • Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

  • Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death, they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

  • I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

  • The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

  • You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.

  • All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

  • I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

  • All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.

  • Devotion to my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

N.B. There are several excellent web-sites dealing with Lepanto, Rosary, 15 Promises of Our Lady, St Dominic, etc.. accessible through Google.


Our second extract from 'Thoughts from St Alphonsus', is salutary indeed:-

"Dearly beloved reader, though you should live as many years as you expect, a day will come, and on that day an hour, which will be the last for you. For me, who am now writing, and for you who read this little book, the day and the moment have been decreed when I shall no longer write and you will no longer read" (August 7th)

'Our Lady of the Rosary - pray for us, and protect our Holy Father from all evil'.


Jane said...


Many thanks for this preparatory post well in time for this wonderful feast. I love October!

I now have my blog up and running.
'Thoughts from an Oasis in French Catholicism', quick link on Confiteor's Flagship.

Please may I ask your support. An ongoing feature will be the gathering of a monthly spiritual bouquet for our Holy Father. (Do please visit and see how it works. Very simple and will only take a couple of minutes. Perhaps during October we could concentrate on gathering as many Rosary offerings as possible. As we know Papa is devoted to the Rosary.

Another feature of my blog is grass roots updating on French Catholicism but it will concentrate on the English/Welsh situation as well.

As you probably know it's difficult to get noticed on the catholic blogosphere and we must do everything we can to help each other, and therefore Papa. I'm about to put all the Armada blogs on my favourites, you first.

Thanks and God bless,

In Christo pro Papa


Confiteor said...


Thank you for this wonderful post and reminder of the graces of the Most Holy Rosary. You have probably noticed the image of the Battle of Lepanto that graces the PPL Flagship!

My favorite of our Lady's fifteen promises is this one:

All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.

As always, thank you for the quotations from St. Alphonsus.

God bless!

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