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Scott P. Richert

The Month of the Holy Rosary

By October 1, 2011

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On September 1, 1883, Pope Leo XIII released the first in a series of encyclicals on the rosary. (He would issue 11 such encyclicals throughout his reign.) Entitled Supremi apostolatus officio ("The supreme Apostolic office"), this encyclical urged Catholics to increase their devotion to the Virgin Mary, especially through the use of the rosary. To foster such devotion, Pope Leo dedicated the month of October to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

The following year, Pope Leo, in his encyclical Superiore anno ("Last year"), decreed that:

from the 1st of October to the 2nd of November following in all the parish churches, in all public churches dedicated to the Mother of God, or in such as are appointed by the Ordinary, five decades at least of the Rosary be recited, together with the Litany. If in the morning, the Holy Sacrifice [of the Mass] will take place during these prayers; if in the evening, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for the adoration of the faithful; after which those present will receive the customary Benediction.

For most of the next century, the Holy Father's wishes were followed, but devotion to the rosary has fallen in the past few decades. Many traditional parishes still maintain the custom, but in other churches, even those dedicated to St. Mary, the rosary is no longer prayed publicly during the month of October.

What about your parish? Are public devotions to Mary planned for this month? Leave a comment to let us know what your church is doing!

(A statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, Italy. Photo © Scott P. Richert)

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Comments
October 2, 2007 at 1:34 am
(1) ROBERT LAPOINTE says:

THIS A GREAT THING I LOVE SAYING THE HOLY ROSARY IT MAKES ME FEEL HOLE AND WITH OUR HOLY MOTHER MARY,AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST SON OF THE LIVING GOD.I THINK WE NEED TO BRING OUR MOTHER CHURCH TOGETHER AND BE STROUGE AND PRAY FOR GODS HELP TO DEFEND OUR MOTHER CHURCH FROM EVIEL ONES WHO TRY TO PULL OUR CHURCH DOWN,THANK YOU MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

October 2, 2007 at 7:04 am
(2) Mthandazo says:

i attend st peter and paul parish in mpopoma, bulawayo, zimbabwe. at our parish we usually pray the rosary in groups. we do this at our homes hence we rotate. this takes place everyday from 1 october to 31 october.

October 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm
(3) Fungai Mabhiza says:

This very true my rosary make me a proud catholic Muthandazo i used to be at St Puis it was nice to read your comment

October 2, 2007 at 11:45 am
(4) Sarmstrong says:

At my parish, St. Raphael’s in Duluth, MN we will be saying the rosary prior to each mass this month.

October 5, 2007 at 12:12 pm
(5) JeffreyMark says:

WE at my Parish say the Rosary before Mass and a few groups Pray it after Mass on the Weekdays.

October 5, 2007 at 12:18 pm
(6) Pope Benedict#16 says:

Well,i pray the Blessed Holy Rosary each day sometimes twice a day at a Chapel in a Monastary of Comtemplative Nuns.October is very Special cause of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Fatima Revealation.

October 11, 2007 at 4:07 pm
(7) Dennis says:

My parish is St. Margarets in Bel Air, Md. We have a rosary prayer group that meets and prays the rosary daily during the week throughout the year.

In celebration of the month of the rosary, the various parishes will be holding a public saying of the rosary this Sat. morning Oct. 13th at a major intersection on one of the main routes in our county. On the same Sat. at 7 P M, one of the parishes in NE Balto. will be holding a living rosary prayer celebration for all the surrounding parishes.
Dennis

August 29, 2008 at 11:32 pm
(8) Juanita says:

This year the Filipino members of our parish, St. Bartholomew in San Mateo, along with the morning prayer group and the Rosary making group will celebrate the month of the Holy Rosary by having a celebration of the Rosary each Thursday evening in October. On the last day we will have a Marian Mass followed by a living International Rosary for peace with each decade representing the world nations. The decade beads will be prayed in the language of our many international parishoners. Our youth will lead us in the Our Fathers and Glory Be’s.

September 26, 2008 at 7:27 am
(9) Mary McCafferty says:

We have a devoted group of parishioners who pray the rosary every day after the 9:00 daily Mass. After returning from Medjugorje, two years ago, 3 of us began praying daily. Now, sometimes, we have over 20 people praying the rosary and singing “Ave, Ave, Ave Maria” … Also, on October 11, 2008 we will be praying the rosary along a main road in our county with a banner that says, “Pray for Peace in our Country through the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. There is so much joy in our prayer. Peace, Peace and only peace must reign between God and man and man and each other.

October 8, 2008 at 9:15 am
(10) Anne says:

HAPPY FEAST DAY TO ALL MARIAN DOVOTEES & FRIENDS OF FATIMA! October is a special month for me! i come from kenya, our lady of lourdes cathedral, machakos diocese.
At the cathedral we recite the rosary everyday after the morning mass! The marian devotion here is so strong!
The rosary is Gospel cast in prayer!
Lets spread the devotion by offering rosaries to friends, and praying the rosary everywhere, our Lady has promised many Graces to those who pray and spread the devotion to the rosary!
Be blessed all;
Anne mwithiga
ciku26@hotmail.com

November 1, 2008 at 3:41 am
(11) Jonathan Da-al says:

I am a Filipino devoted to our blessed mother. It is so good to pray the Holy Rosary especially if you did it everyday. Since I continousely praying the rosary eversince, many unexplain graces came to my life especially during my toubled days. I can’t explain how did I overcome different trials in life. As of now I am in New Zealand, working at the Dairy Farm here. This is one of my fruit in my devotion to the Holy Rosary. I am alone here away from family, to my wife and 2 yr old son but still happy and contented because I feel that the Blessed Virgin Mary is always here watching and guiding me. Hope you also experience my happy life with our Holy Mother…

March 5, 2009 at 12:53 am
(12) Joe says:

I attend daily Mass at Saint Peter Chanel parish in Hawaiian Gardens, California. It is staffed by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. There are four daily Masses offered each day plus additional Masses on Sunday. The Holy Rosary as well as the Divine Mercy Chaplet is recited by the priest and congregation after every Mass.

October 1, 2009 at 6:56 am
(13) Spencer David Joubert says:

The Rosary is one of the cornerstones of our Faith as Catholics.I attend Mass every Sunday at St Joseph’s in Hatfield, Harare and everyday in my office I recite my online rosary and read the scriptures for the day.I find all this very enriching and uplifting spiritually.

October 7, 2009 at 2:38 am
(14) RAVINDRAN GOVINDAN says:

we at holy cross parish kurla mumbai, india, fervently pray the rosary on regular basis.
we have staunch believers in the rosary

October 10, 2009 at 9:20 am
(15) bianca ragos says:

we pray in the school of st peters academy i am so happy because we pray the rosary

September 22, 2010 at 8:28 am
(16) Doris Savoy says:

At Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, the Rosary is prayed before our three weekend Masses and we have a Rosary Group who meets every Thursday. Information will be published in our bulletin regarding the month of October as a reminder.

September 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm
(17) Elaine Miller says:

The rosary is indeed a blessing,as I said it reflect on each decect. There seems to be a better understanding why Christ and or Mary did the different responds in the gospels. There is more gaces I have obtain than anything I can express. It is endeed a treasure of great wealth!

September 30, 2010 at 2:18 pm
(18) ANNE says:

At st. christopher school community, we pray the rosary every saturday morning;
During this month we shall start praying the rosary every evening;
Personally i want to recite atleast 2 rosaries a day and the devotion also to 1000 rosaries atleast once a week;
am proud to be a marian devotee;
anna
machakos
kenya
facebook; ‘st. christopher school community’

October 8, 2010 at 7:12 pm
(19) R. Pulickeel says:

WE PRAY THE ROSARY EVERY EVENING FOR 31 DAYS IN OUR HOMES STARTING ON OCTOBER 01. MORE AND MORE PEOPLE JOIN THE ROSARY AND SHOWING INTEREST IN HOSTING ROSARY PRAYER IN THEIR HOMES. WE BELIEVE MOTHER MARY IS TRULY PRESENT AND WE COULD FEEL MOTHER’S BLESSINGS DURING THE PRAYER. PLEASE PRAY THAT EVERY MANKIND ENJOY THE PRESENCE AND BLESSINGS OF MOTHER MARY AND HIS SON OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST THROUGH THE DEVOTION TO MOTHER MARY AND THE ROSARY.

October 12, 2010 at 8:52 am
(20) Bahati Agostine says:

The Rosary works Miracles! Just that..Lets all have confidence in the Motherhood of Mary, the mother of our saviour Jesus Christ and us all.

October 6, 2011 at 11:42 am
(21) emmanuel says:

We always organize public October Devotion (praying at least five decades of the rosary) in my parish – ALL SAINTS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PORT HARCOURT, NIGERIA.

However, there’s no Adoration or Benediction in the evenings.

Emmanuel Ologu-Ogbangwo
All Saints Catholic

October 7, 2011 at 1:46 am
(22) Richard Maddox Combs says:

I disagree with your comments respecting Steve Jobs. Aside from the creation by Microsoft of the windows operating system which has made work more efficient, and the creation of the internet which has further made work and personal interchange more efficient, the negative effects of all of the distraction computer, telephone and internet use has caused in society has created a generation of generally introverted, non personal communicators. Society in the main, has and will be negatively affected by the growth of high technology causing people to devote more of their time to their I-Phones, I-Pods, Interenet communication, text messaging etc., than actually learning something that will benefit their self development or inner awareness of their relationship with God. The Internet has distracted a large part of Western Civilization from gathering in their churches to worship and make contact with their fellow parisioners. Look at most churches on Sunday and you will most likely see only a few grey haired parisioners present. The tech titans such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs ect., in m,y opinion have been sent by the devil to distract society from thinking of God or praising God. The fact that the majority of Tech Titans are agnostic non believers in God, is in ireself testament to who their God is. The author of the article in your publication respecting Steve Jobs does not see the negative implications of the distraction of high tech on Christians and the ensuing problems these tools create in their personal live with God

October 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm
(23) Patricia Carroll says:

As a Catholic Christian homeschooling mother of 4 children aged between 8 and 17 years, I agree with Richard that the information and communication technologies en masse have had a profoundly negative effect on people’s ability or motivation to have personal contact and meaningful communication with each other, and must have a profound effect on relationship with God through Christ. My 2 teenage daughters see it so clearly in their peers who go to mainstream school. Text messaging has been an effective means of organising groups for bullying, or other highly damaging activities. Here in New Zealand, text ‘language’ is part of the national curriculum and it seems to have had a general dumbing-down effect on young peoples’ ability to use language.
On the other hand, I know of a local Christian pastor who uses his iPhone to organise prayer chain intentions and action. He is instantly in contact for any pastoral need in his faith community, which impressed me. Also, having numerous medical health issues, my eMac computer is a way I and my family can keep connected with global and national Catholic news, information, meditations, prayers etc and keep in email contact, at least, with those we can’t physically visit. Being connected to this site is an example.
I am disturbed by the general destructive effective on people’s interaction caused by those who choose to have their lives and actions dictated by information and communication technologies, rather than using it for particular needs as a tool.
I pray for greater insight by those seduced by the ‘freedoms’ of these technologies. And I’m left wondering how I can use the technologies for mission as we’re each called…indeed, we should be challenged…to do after each Mass.
Faith Convert NZ

October 9, 2011 at 1:38 am
(24) mary lourdes says:

Our Parish , Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Ipoh Perak in Malaysia has for many years conducted rosary prayer meetings in every home in our Bec’s. Every Bec has about 12 – 15 families. We have about 150 Bec. On the last date in October, we have a get-to-gether pot luck dinner.

October 9, 2011 at 9:04 pm
(25) The Rosary Foundation says:

To help promote rosary prayer and to raise awareness for the many benefits and miracles associated with this devotion, The Rosary Foundation is sponsoring a “October is Rosary Month” contest giveaway.

The winner of the contest will win a luxury rosary! But the best part of the contest is the fact that thousands of people will get a chance to learn more about the rosary and how it can help their lives!

October 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm
(26) Loretta Rakai says:

I would like to share that we say the rosary as a family everyday @ 7pm.
our lady has never let my family down since we have dedicated our family to saying the rosary.Our lady of Fatima parish Nadera Fiji Island for the month of October, we had a Fatima observant program me.

October 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm
(27) Eric Ordeneaux says:

The Knights of Columbus have been leading a rosary every Thursday throughout the months of October and May for the past several years at Blessed Trinity in Ocala, Florida. Sadly only a handful of the faithful joins us.

October 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm
(28) George Alexa says:

As a member of the Knights of Columbus – we meet twice a month and the rosary always begins before the meeting. My wife and I just started saying the rosary between us as we are recently did the 33 days for Total Consecration. Our Parish does it before all the Masses once a month.

October 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm
(29) Lolita says:

We just finished doing the Living Rosary @ St. Dorothy-Glendora, Ca
a lot of kids joined. Last year when we did it one parent whose two kids were participating in the Rosary said that when Our Lady’s Statue was being carried inside the Church to place close to the Altar, He felt that Our Mother was above all the parishioners looking over us with a Big Smile on her face. So He came and asked told me that he hope that we will be doing it again. I said we will.

We have fifty kids lined up at the end of each pews with a handmade Rosary bid around their neck for her or him to pray and a Legion of Mary member carries the microphone to each kids, for their turn to pray. It was really a success that one of our priest was inspire to have Family rosary every qtr..

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