October: Month of the Rosary and Respect Life Month:
The month of October brings to mind many things, especially as autumn
sets in, and we are reminded of the cycle of life with the falling of the
leaves. But for Catholics, it is the month that has, for centuries, been
dedicated to the Holy Rosary. Why? On October 7, 1572, the combined
Christian navies of Venice, Genoa, Spain, Naples, and the Holy Roman
Empire (Germany) won a spectacular naval battle against a far superior
navy of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. Outnumbered and outgunned,
the Christian warriors went to confession, attended Mass on each of their
ships, and went into battle, while the Pope and the Catholics of Europe
prayed the rosary for them. The Turkish Navy was soundly defeated, and
Muslim attempts to conquer Christian Europe were thwarted once again.
In honor of that victory, the Church celebrates October 7th every year as
“Our Lady of the Rosary” (or “Our Lady of Victory”). And so, the entire
month of October is a time for us to be reminded of the great power of
the rosary for the spiritual warfare that we are engaged in during this life,
when each of us is part of the “Church Militant” (the Church in the
In more recent years, October has also become the official “Respect Life
Month” for the Church, particularly here in the United States. Why
October? Maybe it is partially because this is the great battle in our
times: the battle to defend the sacred gift of human life from all attacks,
but especially from attacks on children in the womb. Every human being
is created in the “Image and Likeness of God” — rational and free — and is
called to have a relationship with God both in this life, and for all
eternity. But children cannot begin to have that relationship if we don’t
protect them, if we don’t give them the chance to be born and to come
to know God the Father and Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s pick up our rosaries again, and use it as our weapon as we engage in
this spiritual warfare in our time!
October 3, 2021 – Month of the Rosary and Respect Life Month
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