Dear parish family,
October is the month dedicated to the Rosary because the feast day of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary is celebrated on October 7 each year. The feast day was established by Saint Pius V on the anniversary of the naval victory won by the Catholic fleet over Islam at Lepanto on October 7, 1571. This victory was attributed to the direct intervention of the Blessed Mother, through the prayers of the Holy Rosary.
In thanksgiving for this major event in the 16th century that saved Christendom, Pope Leo XII dedicated the entire month of October to the Holy Rosary so that individuals, families, and communities would pray the Holy Rosary daily for peace in the world. “Not only do we earnestly exhort all Christians to give themselves to the recital of the pious devotion of the Rosary publicly, or privately in their own house and family, and that unceasingly, but we also desire that the whole of the month of October should be consecrated to the Holy Queen of the Rosary” (Pope Leo XII; On Devotion of the Rosary, September 1, 1883).
Since that time, the Rosary has proven itself to be a powerful prayer. Countless divine favors and spiritual graces have been granted to those who faithfully recite the Holy Rosary, including the protection from evil and the blessing of a happy death. Today, we desperately need Our Lady’s intervention through the Holy Rosary to turn back the moral, spiritual and physical threats that we are facing as a deeply divided nation. Our Lady will overcome all these threats if we turn to Her in confident prayer and courageous action, just as she had saved Christendom in 1571.
October is also the month dedicated to the protection of all human life. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ whose mission is to help and defend the poor, the weak and the helpless. Many causes taken up by the Church are essentially human rights issues. Defending the unborn children is the preeminent issue among all of them.
Without the right to life, all other human rights would be meaningless. We know that once conception occurs, there is a human being in existence. We now have an individual separate from the person of the mother even though that unborn baby is dependent upon the mother for growth. Through ultrasound technology, we also know that the baby, when sensing the impending threat of an abortion, will try to get away from the instruments that will rip his or her body apart. It’s incredibly hard to believe that a civilized society, which can have so much compassion for weak and troubled people, does not extend the same compassion to the most defenseless among us. Perhaps more education on the science and the dignity of human life is needed. Certainly, more prayer is needed for the protection of the unborn children, and for any expectant mother who are in need of help and support.
This is where the Rosary can come in as a powerful prayer for life and for peace. Prayed together with the family, it will create a cradle of life and a locus of peace in the home. Prayed together as a community, it can strengthen unity and spirituality. The indulgences attached to the Rosary, which can bring about the remission of temporal punishment due to us even if we die in a state of grace, are also a tangible sign of our communion with those who have gone before us, including the innocent aborted children.
I am inspired by many of you who pray the Holy Rosary each day after Mass as a community. The Rosary Society of our parish exists precisely to promote this devotion. I urge everyone to make a commitment to pray the Rosary often, in church, at home, on the move, whenever and wherever you can. Be assured that Our Lady will not fail any of her children when they come to her through this beautiful prayer.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Msgr. Cuong M. Pham