October, a brilliant season when the cool crisp days encourage the trees to turn yellow, red, and gold, brightens our spirits. Have you realized that our two loveliest months, May and October, are dedicated to Mary? Fittingly, during this beautiful month we celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary with a special day on October 7.
Dominican tradition tells us that when Dominic was having difficulties with the heretics in 1206, Our Lady appeared to him and gave the Rosary to him as a way of praying and preaching. Dominican followers have continued to preach the Rosary as a simple way of telling the events of Jesus’ and Mary’s lives, while asking for her intercession in our causes of concern.
Pope Pius V in 1571 gave Mary the title of Our Lady of Victory, after Italy was saved from an invasion by the Ottoman Empire. In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII, changed this title to Our Lady of the Rosary. Over the years Mary has been called on in time of war by people praying the Rosary and many battles were won. These signs of Mary’s intercession helped to spread the practice of praying of the Rosary around the world. However, these victories are not the whole story.
Mary was given to us as our heavenly mother when Jesus gave her to John on Good Friday. Since then, Mary has been a faithful and loving mother to us in our good times and our bad times. Our use of the title “Lady” follows the idea of a lady being one who gives what is needed to those who are suffering. From her appearances over the years, she has shown that she wants us to pray the Rosary both in times of distress and in times of thanksgiving. Oh, Mary! Did you ever imagine how many children you would have asking for your help? And yet, she continues to pray for us as a loving mother does.
In these special times, Our Lady of the Rosary is listening to our requests as we ask for help by praying the Rosary. Our families, friends, newspapers, and TV newscasts give us many intentions for Mary’s help. Troubled family life, illnesses, pandemic, fires, floods, racial injustice, political discord, poverty, and many more call to us for aid. Yet, our prayers are more powerful than we can imagine.
In this lovely month of October may the green, red, orange, and golden trees remind us to pray the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous Mysteries to Our Lady of the Rosary. Miracles have happened before! We pray for more to come.
Holy Mary, pray for us…
– Carolyn Wolfbauer, OP
Sister Carolyn resides in Dominican Convent
in Sparkill and volunteers in the Office of Mission Advancement.