A Message from Msgr. Brennan:
October, The Month of the Holy Rosary
Next Saturday is October first, the beginning of the Month of the Holy Rosary. And October seventh is the day the church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. As we begin this month I make a special appeal to all families and individuals to make an attempt to pray the rosary daily during this month or if that seems too much perhaps once or twice a week. Rediscover the power and peace this prayer can bring to your life and to your family.
This October marks the 20th anniversary of pope Saint John Paul 11’s apostolic letter on the rosary entitled Rosarium Virginis Mariae. (RVM) In the introduction the pope describes the rosary as follows; “Simple yet profound, it still remains at the dawn of this third millennium. A prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness”. Though clearly Marian in character, the rosary is at heart a Christocentric prayer. All of the 20 mysteries of the rosary are clearly scripture based and Christ centered, from the Annunciation to the birth of Christ, to the Transfiguration, Crucifixion and Resurrection. The letter proclaims, “With the rosary the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of His love”. Pope John Paul acknowledges, “The rosary is my favorite prayer. A marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and its depth “
For some time now the rosary has been devalued by some and has not been taught to children as in the past. In my home growing up the family rosary was prayed every day, no exception and still is prayed today. Pope John Paul asserts that praying the rosary enables us to enter more deeply into the celebration of the Eucharist and the great mysteries of our redemption. “The rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation “(RVM #5)
The rosary is proposed as a prayer for peace and the family.” At the start of the millennium which began with the terrifying attacks of 11 September 2001, a millennium which witnesses every day in numerous parts of the world fresh scenes of bloodshed and violence, to rediscover the rosary means to immerse oneself in contemplation of the mystery of Christ who “is our peace”, since he made “the two of us one, and broke down the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14) . Consequently, one cannot recite the rosary without feeling caught up in a clear commitment to advancing peace”. On several occasions in recent months Pope Francis ha appealed to Catholics to pray the rosary for peace in Ukraine.
Speaking of the family the letter reads “ A similar need for commitment and prayer arises in relation to another critical contemporary issue; the family, the primary cell of society , increasingly menaced by forces of disintegration on both the ideological and practical planes, so as to make us fear for the future of this fundamental and indispensable institution and , with it , for the future of society as a whole “ (RVM # 6). Since the pope wrote these words the disintegration and pressures on the family has greatly increased.
On October 7th 2020, the feast of the Holy Rosary, Pope Francis invited all Catholics to pray the rosary daily and to carry a rosary beads in their pockets. In part he said “I invite everyone to rediscover, especially during this month of October, the beauty of the prayer of the rosary, which has nourished the faith of the Christian people through the centuries”.
Consider praying the rosary this October as a regular part of your daily prayer. If you are not familiar with how to pray the rosary you will find a prayer card entitled How to pray the Rosary on the bookshelves in church. Please take only one and share with other members of your family. Happy Month of the Holy Rosary and may your praying this powerful prayer bring you many divine blessings.