Posted by: fvbcdm | October 7, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (7 Oct 2011)

This Friday is the feast of the Holy Rosary of Our Lady; for us here at the priory and parish of Holy Rosary in Houston, it is a solemnity because of its importance to us. The reason why the Church celebrates the Rosary on this date is that on October 7 in the year 157l, a great naval battle took place between Christians and Muslims off the coast of Greece near a place called Lepanto. The Muslims were trying to invade and conquer Christian Europe by sea after having failed to do so by land.  Pope Saint Pius V, one of our Dominican confreres, asked for the praying of the Rosary for a victory over the enemies of the Church.  The battle was fought on October 7, and the result was a resounding victory for the Christians.
Almost three hundred years later, on February 11, 1858, the Mother of Jesus appeared to a young girl near the town of Lourdes in southwestern France. When the bashful child saw the beautiful young woman standing in a rocky niche and smiling at her, she didn’t know what to make of this marvelous vision.  She took her rosary out of the pocket in her smock and began to say it. Then she saw that the beautiful young woman in the niche also had a rosary—a beautiful one made of something like pearls which hung over the arm of “the beautiful lady” whose name and identity the child, Bernadette Soubirous, did not know.  The two young women communicated by means of the rosary on that occasion and every other time that the Lady appeared to Bernadette.  About fifteen times, altogether.  On March 25 of that year, the Lady said to Bernadette “I am the Immaculate Conception.”  Pope Pius IX had formally defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception four years previously.
Then, fifty-nine years later, the beautiful Lady of Lourdes appeared again, this time to three peasant children in the Portuguese town of Fatima. During one of her apparitions to them, she told them “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” These two series of apparitions by Our Blessed Mother prove to us her love of the Rosary and her desire that it be used as a powerful prayer by Christians all over the world.
Again, Our Lady of the Rosary has indicated a connection between herself and the world of Islam by appearing in Fatima. The place in Portugal was given the name in honor of one of the daughters of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.  The Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ is now widely called Our Lady of Fatima. I have no doubt that Our Lord’s mother will hear and answer the prayers of her children for the conversion of the Muslim world and the peace which has been so terribly shredded by Islam.  Let us pray the rosary very frequently for that intention. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.




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