7 October, 2013. Monday) Our Lady of the Rosary
Ac 1:12-14. Mary praying with the first Christians, when the Holy Spirit came.
Lk 1:46-55. Annunciation: Mary’s spirit of total openness to God.
First Reading: Acts 1:12-14.
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
Gospel: Luke 1:46-55.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel as sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Our Lady of the Rosary
This feast was instituted by Pope St. Pius V in thanksgiving for the great naval victory of a Christian army over the Turks at the battle of Lepanto on this day, a favor attributed to the recitation of the Rosary. This victory saved Europe from being overrun by the forces of Islam.
The battle of Lepanto, a major victory over the Ottoman Empire, on October 7, 1571, is commemorated by the invocation “Help of Christians,” inserted in the Litany of Loreto. At Belgrade the Turks were defeated on the Feast of Our Lady ad Nives in 1716. A second victory gained that year on the Octave of the Assumption impelled Pope Clement XI to order the Feast of the Rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church. Leo XIII added the invocation “Queen of the most Holy Rosary, pray for us,” to the Litany of Loreto.
In modern times successive popes have urged the faithful to pray the Rosary. It is a form of contemplative prayer, mental and vocal prayer, which brings down God’s blessing on the Church. It is biblically inspired because centred on meditation on the saving mysteries of Christ and Mary’s close association with her Son in his mission.