A Brief History of the Rosary

October has long been the month dedicated to the Rosary. Pope St. Pius V established the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7th) in 1573 to thank God for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto, a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary. Pope Clement XI expanded the feast to the universal Church in 1716. The dedication of the entire month to this devotion was officially established by Pope Pius XII in 1884. While devotion to this prayer form waned a bit in the years immediately after Vatican II, interest in this long-practiced devotion is experiencing a resurgence as the faithful rediscover the beauty and spiritual benefit of this meditative practice. The name “rosary” comes from the Latin “rosarium” which means “rose garden.” A rosary is widely considered a gift of roses to Our Blessed Mother in heaven.

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