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Scott P. Richert

October: The Month of the Holy Rosary

By October 1, 2013

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As fall descends on the Northern Hemisphere, the Catholic liturgical year draws to a close. In the traditional calendar, many of the feasts between mid-September and the First Sunday in Advent make reference to conflicts between Christianity and Islam, and great victories in battles in which the Church--and, more broadly, Christendom--was threatened. The memory of these events turns our thoughts to the end times, when the Church will undergo trials and tribulations before the return of Christ the King.

It may not be obvious how dedicating the month of October to the Holy Rosary fits into this pattern. But the rosary--and, more specifically, Our Lady of the Rosary--is credited with victory in a number of the battles that those feasts celebrate. Chief among these is the Battle of Lepanto (October 7, 1571), in which a Christian fleet defeated a superior Ottoman Muslim fleet and stopped the westward expansion of Islam in the Mediterranean.

In honor of the victory, Pope Pius V instituted the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, which is still celebrated today as the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7). And, in 1883, when Pope Leo XIII officially dedicated the month of October to the Holy Rosary, he made reference to the battle and the feast.

The best way to celebrate the Month of the Holy Rosary is, of course, to pray the rosary daily; but we can also add other prayers to our daily prayers this month, especially those that encourage the daily recitation of the rosary.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!

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

More on October, the Month of the Holy Rosary:

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October 7, 2008 at 9:28 am
(1) Tom says:

Scott I can’t get through on you other email
catholicism.guide@about.com. so I am trying this.


I am having a little difficulty with the precept that says you have to go to confession once a year. Can you help?

I will copy you my emails and Marty Barrack’s response. Please contact Marty and tell me what you guys come up with.

Thank you

tom meyer


Thanks for getting back to me. Apparently, you and I aren’t the only ones who don’t know that the mortal and venial sins have been removed from the USCCB. Check out: http://catholicism.about.com/od/catholicliving/tp/Precepts-Church.htm

Which says “Strictly speaking, we only need to take part in the Sacrament of Confession if we have committed a mortal sin,…” That is the way I was taught.

One would hope if the Bishops made a change they would let the congregation know, especially if we are to follow the precepts.

I hope you have the time to look into this a bit more.

Thank you for the info. I am 65 and went to Catholic grade school, high school and DePaul University where they made you take six hours of theology. If I don’t know the change who does?

—– Original Message —–
From: Marty Barrack
To: Tom & Sundy Meyer
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 8:24 PM
Subject: Precepts of the Church

Hi Tom & Sundy,

Thanks for this astute question on the Precepts of the Church. You were right, my page was confusing. I’m always grateful when visitors help me keep my site in absolute alignment with the Church.

When I reviewed Church teaching on this I decided to use on my precepts page the five precepts listed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2041, 2042 and 2043.

When I looked for the precept list that had been on the USCCB site I could not find them , which led me to conclude that they were removed and therefore are no longer in force, so I removed them from the page.

CCC 2042 says: “The second precept (‘You shall confess your sins at least once a year’) ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.”

I see nothing in it referring to venial vs mortal sin. If I recall, the bishops’ earlier version, now apparently withdrawn, included it. In any case, Holy Mother Church is now clear that the requirement for sacramental confession at least once a year applies regardless of the sins to be confessed. It looks as if the Church is focused on the grace to be obtained from the sacrament.

If you still believe that the precept requiring at least annual confession applies only in the case of a mortal sin, please send me a link to a Vatican or USCCB document that says so, and we can re-visit the question.

God bless you!

Marty wrote:

I am having a disagreement with my pastor. I believe that the precept pertaining to confession applies only to people who are in mortal sin. Easter Duty is to receive Holy Communion in order to do that you have to be in a state of grace, hence Confession. I read your page on precepts and you stated that annual confession is obligatory only if serious sin is involved. However, at the bottom of the page you state, “The precepts requiring ‘once a year’ Confession and Holy Communiion refer to cases in which it is not practical for a Catholic to attend more often.” This seems to confuse the issue.

October 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm
(2) Mary says:

Mr. Richert, I am trying to follow this argument and I am at a loss why it should arise in the first instance. I was taught to believe this precept applies to those Catholics who seldom attend Sunday Masses and are,to all intents and purposes, lapsed Catholics. My understanding is that anyone who is serious about their Spiritual growth should ensure they attend frequent Confession, Weeday Masses – where possible – and certainly the Sunday Mass and Mass on Days of Obligation. I have also been taught when one attends Mass one must receive Holy Communion to reap maximum benefits in Graces. Which means, one must be in a State of Grace to avoid adding a Sacrilegious Sin upon an unconfessed Mortal Sin by receiving Holy Communion unworthly. I am 72 years to-day and there is nothing am I committed to like Daily Holy Hour Adoration, followed by assisting in the Eucharist and receiving Holy Communion. I make a point of going to Confession every two weeks, even when I don’t have a mortal sin to confess. This has also been encouraged by our Cardinal here in Kenya and most Catholics who work in Nairobi City, do attend Mid-day Weekday Masses at our Minor Basilica.

The Eucharistic Apostolate of the Divine Mercy Devotion particularly recommends this commitment to nourish and strengthen our Faith and Spiritual Growth. In one of our 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the Month Prayer and Teaching Sessions, while we were being exhorted to take these Sacraments seriously, the Patron Priest of our Kenyan Cenacle, informed us that Pope John Paul II used to go to Confession every week. To me, that a practice is worth emulating by anyone who is serious about their salvation!!!!!!

May I hear your comment Mr. Richert on this one?

October 8, 2013 at 7:43 am
(3) Samidoss Paulraj says:


The teaching of the Church and the Popes:
1. The Rosary is a Gospel prayer centred on Jesus, the Way to the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
2. Without meditating on the mysteries, saying the Our Fathers and Hail Marys of the Rosary is
like a corpse without a soul. The Our Fathers and Hail Marys are the body, meditation is the soul,the life.
3. Reciting the Rosary during Holy Mass is a mistake.
Do we celebrate Christmas only once in a year and not every time we meditate on the Joyful
Mysteries? Do we celebrate His Baptism,Transfiguration and the Institution of the Eucharist only
once in a year and not each time we meditate on the Luminous Mysteries? It is the same with the Sorrowful Mysteries and the Glorious Mysteries too.
Is not everyday, every week and every month, a Rosary day,week and month?
Every Rosary must not just be recited but prayed properly and perfectly by meditating on the
Will not the Heavens rejoice if every Rosary recited is prayed properly and perfectly?
Prayer: LORD JESUS grant that we pray the Rosary properly.Our Lady of Fatima pray for us.
Our Lady taught Jacinta how to meditate on the Mysteries of CHRIST while reciting 10 Hail
Marys of the decade of the Rosary.(Fatima & the family Rosary – SOUL magazine, 1993 )

The Living Rosary is a continuation of the Rosary given to St. Dominic by Our Blessed Mother while he was combating the Albigensian heresy in the South of France during the thirteenth century. Our Blessed Mother asked St. Dominic to spread devotion to Christ by praying the Rosary and meditating on the life of Christ, each and every day.

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