The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Lady of the Rosary: Birthdays and Anniversary

Today, the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, would be a wonderful day for everyone to pray a rosary, asking our Blessed Mother to intercede for our nation in these challenging times. The feast was inaugurated by Pope Pius V in thanksgiving for the victory over Islamic forces in the great naval battle of Lepanto in 1571. This victory was largely responsible for halting the spread of Islam into Europe, and in that sense saved the Christian nations of Europe from being overrun. It was the people's recitation of the rosary that led to the victory and the Pope's subsequent institution of the feast.

For centuries October has been dedicated to the praying of the Rosary, and in a few days, on October 13, we will celebrate the miraculous appearance of Our Lady of Fatima in 1916. On that day Our Blessed Mother appearing "more brilliant than the sun" said to the three children, "I am the Lady of the Rosary. I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for he is already too grievously offended by the sins of men. People must say the Rosary. Let them continue saying it every day." Today our world needs prayer more than ever, and what better prayer to offer than the Rosary.

October 7th is also a special day for our family. Our second daughter, Siobhan, was born on this day in 1972, 401 years after the famous battle; and her elder sister, Erin, was married to her wonderful husband, Airton, on this day in 2000. The girlfriend of our younger son, Brendan, was also born on this day. Because of our multiple connections with this date, I like to think that Our Lady of the Rosary has always watched over this family of ours. I certainly pray that she continues to do so.

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