Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This past weekend, on October 7th, we celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, a devotion that goes back to the 1500’s. Formerly known as Our Lady of Victory, the feast was first celebrated when our Blessed Mother delivered a great victory to the Christian armies of Europe. The Muslim armies of the Ottoman Turks were sailing for the shores of Europe to conquer, and the Christian fleet was greatly outnumbered. Pope St. Pius V called for the entire continent to pray the Rosary for success in spite of these overwhelming odds, and when the forces met at the Battle of Lepanto, the winds shifted at a crucial moment and the Christians were victorious. Our Blessed Mother had protected Christendom from possible destruction.
While in our own times we do not find ourselves armed for military engagement, we fight our own battles in a war between good and evil that has raged since the beginning of time. The weapons of the enemy today are far more insidious and treacherous though, and so our need for heavenly protection is just as vital. That is why we need the Rosary now more than ever. Our Blessed Mother wants to watch over us and protect us; she waits for us to call upon her so she can come to our aid.
This October, the month of the Holy Rosary, all of us are invited then to ask if we can make this beautiful prayer a part of our lives. Maybe we pray it during our morning commute, or we pray a decade at a time spread out throughout our day. Maybe we stop in the Church to pray in the evening, or we pray it as a family. If we don’t know how, there are plenty of resources to help us, especially on the internet. There is an app for phones Laudate, with a guide and lots of other great materials. FORMED (notredamenhp.formed.org) has powerful videos of the rosary with music and images. Print pamphlets can be found easily too.
If nothing else, I hope everyone is able to join the parish for our celebration of Our Lady of the Rosary at the noon Mass on Sunday, October 28th. After Mass we will pray the rosary and have a procession to the grotto. We will carry images of our Blessed Mother from around the world to celebrate the many faces of Mary in our multi-cultural parish. After concluding our prayer, we will end with a celebration in the auditorium. It will be a beautiful way to come together as a parish family and celebrate Our Blessed Mother, Notre Dame, showing our gratitude for her boundless love for all of us.
Yours in Christ,