October 7, 2019
A happy and most glorious feast of Our Lady of the Rosary! This feast day has its origins in the famous victory at Lepanto on October 7th, 1571, when the Christian naval forces led by John of Austria defended Catholic Christendom from the invading Moslem Turks of the Ottoman Empire when the Rosary was prayed for victory. St. Pius V subsequently commanded that this feast, first called Our Lady of Victory, be kept on October 7th in commemoration of Our Lady’s intercession through her Most Holy Rosary.
About this time last year, FSSP pilgrims visited the beautiful Pontifical Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei in Pompei, Italy. It was built by Blessed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926), a lawyer and former Satanic priest who became the “Apostle of the Rosary.” After his conversion, Blessed Bartolo still suffered from terrible guilt and depression in regards to his previous life, unable to escape the idea that he was still consecrated to Satan. He was in such despair that he contemplated suicide, but then he remembered the words of a Dominican priest who had been instrumental in his conversion, that anyone who propagated devotion to the Rosary would be saved. So for the rest of his life, that’s just what Bartolo did. He commissioned the Shrine after an image of Our Lady of the Rosary, first installed in a smaller church, proved to be miraculous, and the Bishop of Nola recommended he build a bigger church for it.
We too should cultivate devotion to the Rosary in ourselves and our families. Our Lady of Fatima asked us to recite it daily, so let us endeavor to obey her and offer her this devotion which is most pleasing to her. Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us! +