The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is one of the most renowned Marian festivities of the Roman Church. We call rosary both the religious article as well as the exercise of prayer. The practice of praying a rosary is popular in every major religion. In Catholicism, the rosary is generally devoted to the Blessed Virgin and requires the recitation of fifteen decades of Hail Mary prayer. The etymology of the term “rosary” comes from the beautiful Latin word rosarium, which translates “garden of roses”. The rosary beads is nothing short of a spiritual version of the floral tribute to the Virgin.
Holy Rosary Church in Prati, Rome.
OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY
The origin of this feast dates back to the 16th century. Pope Pius V instituted it to celebrate the victory of Christians over the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto (1570), although at the time the feast was named differently (Our Lady of Victory). The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary falls on October 8. In fact, the month of October is celebrated as the month of the rosary.
Nowadays, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary is the Patron Saint of Pompei, where the Pontifical Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary is situated. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis visited the shrine to show devotion to Our Lady of Rosary.
Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Rosary. Pompeii.
A must-read book about this devotional tool is the Rosarium Virginis Mariae, written by Pope John Paul II in conjunction with the the Year of the Rosary (2003).