The Story of Our Lady of the Rosary
Saint Pius V established this feast in 1573. Originally, the celebration was dedicated to Mary under her title Our Lady of Victories. The aim was to thank God for the great victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto. This victory was attributed to praying the holy rosary.
In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title of the celebration to “Our Lady of the Rosary.” It was only in 1716 that Pope Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church.
For prayer and reflection
The development of the rosary has a long history. First, a practice developed includes praying 150 Our Fathers in imitation of the 150 Psalms. Then, there was a parallel practice of praying 150 Hail Marys. Soon a mystery of Jesus’ life was attached to each Hail Mary. Though Mary’s giving of the rosary to Saint Dominic is recognized as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of Saint Dominic. One of them, Alan de la Roche, was known as “the apostle of the rosary.” He founded the first Confraternity of the Rosary in the 15th century. In the 16th century, the rosary was developed to its present form—with the 15 mysteries: joyful, sorrowful, and glorious. In 2002, Pope John Paul II added the five Mysteries of Light to this devotion.
“With the Rosary, the Christian people sit at the school of Mary and are led to contemplate the beauty of the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.” —Pope Saint John Paul II
Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord,
your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
by his Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)