The feast of the Holy Rosary was established by Saint Pius V on the anniversary of the naval victory won by the Christian fleet at Lepanto, October 7, 1571. The victory was attributed to the help of the holy Mother of God whose aid was invoked through praying the Rosary.
The celebration of this day invites all to mediate upon the mysteries of Christ, following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was so singularly associated with the incarnation, passion and glorious resurrection of the Son of God.
Pope John Paul II asks us to pray the Rosary :-
On September 30, 2001, after the morning Mass opening the Synod of Bishops, Pope John Paul II asked people to pray the Rosary:
“October is the month in which Mary Most Holy, Queen of the Holy Rosary, is venerated. Within the current international context, I invite all — individuals, families, communities — to pray this Marian prayer, possibly every day, for peace, so that the world can be preserved from the wicked scourge of terrorism.
“The terrible tragedy of September 11th will be remembered as a dark day in the history of humanity. In the face of this, the Church tries to be faithful to her prophetic charism and remind all men about their duty to build a future of peace for the human family. Certainly, peace is not separated from justice, but it must be nourished by mercy and love.
“We cannot forget that Jews, Christians and Muslims adore God as the only God. The three religions, therefore, have the vocation of unity and peace. May God allow the Church’s faithful to be agents of peace, in the front line of the search for justice and the prohibition of violence.
“May the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, intercede for all humanity, so that hate and death never have the last word!”
On September 29, 2002, Pope John Paul II asked that we pray the Rosary for Peace: —
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 29 June 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. We are already on the threshold of the month of October, which, with the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, inspires us to rediscover this traditional prayer, so simple yet so profound.
The Rosary is a way of contemplating the face of Christ seeing him – we may say – with the eyes of Mary. For this reason, it is a prayer that drawing upon the core of the Gospel is in full accord with the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council and very much in keeping with the direction I gave in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte: the Church has to launch out “into the deep” in the new millennium beginning with the contemplation of the face of Christ.
Therefore, I wish to suggest the recitation of the Rosary to individuals, families and Christian communities. To give force to this invitation, I am preparing a document which will help to rediscover the beauty and depth of this prayer.
2. I wish once again to entrust the great cause of peace to the praying of the Rosary. We are facing an international situation that is full of tensions, at times threatening to explode. In some parts of the world, where the confrontation is harsher – I think particularly of the suffering land of Christ – we can realize that, even though they are necessary, political efforts are worth little if one remains exacerbated in his mind and no one cares to demonstrate a new disposition of heart in the hope of reviving the struggle and effort of dialogue.
Who but God alone can infuse such sentiments? It is more necessary than ever that from every part of the earth prayer for peace be made to Him. In this perspective, the Rosary turns out to be the form of prayer most needed. It builds peace because, while it appeals to the grace of God, it sows in the one praying it the seed of good from which we can expect the fruit of justice and solidarity for personal and community life.
I am thinking of nations and also of families. How much peace would flow into family relationships if the family would begin again to pray the Rosary.
John Paul II greeted the pilgrims in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Italian.
To the English-speaking
3. I extend a warm greeting to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, and invite you to make the month of October a time of special attention to the recitation of the Rosary, the great prayer of intercession to Mary. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord.
4. The prayer we are about to pray begins by recalling the annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. In fact, today is the feast of the holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. May these powerful ministers of God obtain for us the grace to correspond always with generous love to his will.
Dear Friends, this is the last Angelus of the vacation period. With affection, I greet once again the townsfolk of Castel Gandolfo: Goodbye until next year. Next Sunday, 6 October, God willing, we shall be in St Peter’s Square.
On October 16, 2002, the 25th year of his pontificate, Pope John Paul II issued an Apostolic Letter on the Rosary and declared the beginning of a Year of the Rosary to end in October 2003.
Pope Benedict XVI
Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI – Angelus Message 10/2/05 …“The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary, the unique contemplative prayer through which, guided by the Lord’s Heavenly Mother, we fix our gaze on the face of the Redeemer in order to be conformed to his joyful, light-filled, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.
This ancient prayer is having a providential revival, thanks also to the example and teaching of the beloved Pope John Paul II. I invite you to reread his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae and to put into practice its directions on the personal, family and community levels.
We entrust the work of the Synod to Mary: may she lead the entire Church to an ever clearer knowledge of the proper mission of service to the Redeemer truly present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. “