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Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary

Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary (or Our Lady of the Rosary).  This feast was instituted by Pope Pius V in 1571 to celebrate the great victory at the Battle of Lepanto, a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary.  The battle is generally believed to have saved Europe from conquest by the invading Muslim army; it is a sad statement that most people do not even know where Lepanto is let alone what it was and how crucial it was for the rest of subsequent history.  The great G.K. Chesterton even wrote a poem dedicated to this battle – it is a history lesson in poetry.

As for the rosary itself, I think it’s pretty simple.  If you’re not praying it, start.  If you are, rededicate yourself to it.  The rosary, being the prayer of the Gospels, has power and it is a power we desperately need in this world as we seem to be hurtling toward several Lepantos simultaneously.  Do your non-Catholic friends suggest it is “vain repetition”?  Remind them you are contemplating on the very moments of the life of our Savior, not merely repeating words.  Do you have a problem maintaining your focus?  Attack that in one of two ways – either start small, one or two decades at a time, or just offer up even your distractedness so that even that becomes an offering to God.  The world needs prayer, it needs your prayer.  Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, ora pro nobis.

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