October 3, 2015

Liturgical Guide: Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

PROPER OF SAINTS - The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated every October 7, the anniversary of the 1571 Battle of Lepanto, which saw the Holy League, a coalition of European Catholic maritime states arranged by Pope Pius V win a pivotal and decisive navel victory over the Ottoman fleet. The victory is associated with Our Lady because Pius V  had led a special Rosary procession through Rome and called on the all the faithful to pray the Rosary for victory. Originally called the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, the Feast Day was eventually extended to the General Roman Calendar in 1716.

The Rosary has a special relationship with the Liturgy of the Hours. Sometimes referred to as 'Our Lady’s Psalter', the 150 Hail Marys of the traditional 15 decade Rosary correspond to the 150 Psalms of the Psalter. Beginning in the late Middle Ages, the devotion was encouraged by the Church especially among the laity and illiterate as a means of uniting themselves in the daily prayer life of the Church.

Paragraph #971 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains why the Church honours the Blessed Virgin with such devotion: "This very special devotion differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration. The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary (an epitome of the whole Gospel), express this devotion to the Virgin Mary." John Paul II in his 2002 encylical Rosarium Virginis Mariae further expounds: "the Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer". It is "a compendium of the Gospel" in which we are "praying to Christ with Mary".

73. Virgin-Born, We Bow Before You
79. Joy to You
80. O Mary, of All Women
156. Mary, Crowned with Living Light
157. Mary Immaculate, Star of the Morning
158. Holy Mary, Now We Crown You
159. Mother of Christ
160. Hail, This Festival Day
161. Rejoice, O Virgin Mary
162. Hail, Holy Queen (Deiss)
163. The God Whom Earth and Sea and Sky
164. Mother of Holy Hope
165. Mary the Dawn
166. Praise to Mary, Heaven's Gate
167. Queen of Heaven

42. Star of Sea and Ocean
43. Maiden Yet a Mother
44. Mary Crowned with Living Light
45. Hail Queen of Heaven the Ocean Star
46. God Who Made the Earth and Sky
47. Queen on WhoseStarry Brow DothRest

Caelestis Aulae Nuntius
In Monte Olivis Consito
Iam Morte, Victor, Obruta
Te Gestientem Gaudiis

Reflection by the Apostleship of Prayer

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