The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated annually on October 7
“When I pray ‘Hail Mary’, the heavens smile, the angels rejoice, the earth is happy” -St. Francis of Assisi
“I have no better way of knowing if a man is for God than if he likes to say the Hail Mary and the Rosary.” -St. Louis de Montfort
The month of October each year is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. When we pray the Rosary we prayerfully meditate with Mary upon the mysteries which she as a mother meditated on in her heart (Lk. 2:19). This annual liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary held on October 7 was instituted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church for the faithful praying the Rosary. The practice of dedicating the entire month of October to the Holy Rosary developed toward the end of the last century. Pope Leo XIII (papacy: 1878-1903) strongly promoted the increase of devotion to the Blessed Mother by encouraging the constant use of the Rosary. Pope John Paul II called the Rosary his favorite prayer. Popes and countless other saints have become devoted to the habit of praying the Rosary.
To learn more of the history behind the Catholic Church’s dedication of May and October to the Blessed Virgin Mary read Why are May and October Months of Mary?
Here is an interesting article to read written by Robert L. Fastiggi: Mary as the Model of Faithful Love for Families, Spouses, and Consecrated Persons
The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in early October is great timing for kicking off a whole month to celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary. A great way to teach your children about the Blessed Mother is to learn about devotions, apparitions, and her many titles. You may already be familiar with some of the many titles given to the Virgin Mary. These titles are names given to Mary for various reasons most of which have to do with a specific intercession.
Some examples are:
- Our Lady of the Rosary
- Our Lady Star of the Sea
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help
- Our Lady of Mercy
- Our Lady of Grace
- Our Lady of Sorrows
- Our Lady Undoer of Knots
- Our Lady Queen of Peace
- Our Lady of Charity
- Our Lady of Loreto
Many of us have said prayers associated with these Marian titles. You may even have a holy card of one or more of these in your home. Learning more about how these specific titles were given the the Blessed Virgin Mary is a great family activity. You may discover one that appeals to you and add it to your rotation of family prayers.
“There is no question here of confusing our Lady and our Lord; we venerate our Mother, we worship our Lord. We ask of Jesus those things which only God can give: mercy, grace, forgiveness. We ask that Mary should intercede for us with Him, and especially at the hour of our death. Because of her nearness to Jesus which her vocation involves, we know our Lord listens especially to her appeal. To no other saint can we ask as a child to its mother: no other virgin, or martyr, or mother, or confessor has ever suffered as much for us as she has; no one has ever established better claim to our love and patronage than she.”
-Archbishop Fulton Sheen
One of the most well known versions of Mary are her apparitions. A Marian Apparition is defined as an event in which Mary appears to one or more people with a specific message she wants to communicate. There is a very rigorous investigation performed by the Vatican before the Catholic Church approves of a Marian Apparition site. Marian Apparitions have been documented as far back as 39 A.D. to the time of St. James the Great. There are two types of Church approved Marian apparitions to familiarize yourself with: Vatican Recognized and Bishop Approved. Ascension Press has put together a great guide about Marian Apparitions. The Ultimate Guide to Marian Apparitions provides a detailed explanation of both types and lists each of the apparitions.
I have listed below the Vatican Recognized Marian Apparitions:
- Guadalupe, Mexico 1531: Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day December 12
- Lezajsk, Poland 1578: Our Lady of Lezajsk Feast Day
- Siluva, Lithuania 1608: Our Lady of Siluva Feast Day September 8
- Laus, France 1644: Our Lady of Happy Meetings Feast Day September 27
- Rue du Bac Paris, France 1830: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Feast Day November 27
- Rome, Italy 1842: Our Lady of Zion Feast Day November 17
- La Salette, France 1846: Our Lady of La Salette Feast Day September 19
- Lourdes, France 1858: Our Lady of Lourdes Feast Day February 11
- Filippsdorf, Czech Republic 1866: Our Lady Help of Christians Feast Day January 13
- Pontmain, France 1871: Our Lady of Hope Feast Day January 17
- Gietrzwald, Poland 1877: Our Dady of Gietrzwald Feast Day June 27
- Knock, Ireland 1879: Our Lady of Knock Feast Day August 21
- Fatima, Portugal 1917: Our Lady of Fatima Feast Day May 13
- Beauraing, Belgium 1932: Our Lady of the Golden Heart Feast Day August 22
- Banneux, Belgium 1933: Virgin of the Poor Feast Day May 31
- Kibeho, Rwanda 1981: Mother of the Word Feast Day November 28
Marian devotions are inspired by Marian apparitions, Marian titles, or significant events during Mary’s life. The most popular is praying the rosary. Praying the Angelus and Novenas, scapulars, Miraculous Medal, and the May Crowning are some of the many other types of devotions.
In our journey to teach our own children more about the Blessed Mother we found a way to make a meaningful collection using many of the items that have been a part of our home: holy cards, rosaries, pocket statues. Read our post about starting a new tradition for your Domestic Church by creating a family Our Lady Box. An Our Lady Box is a beautiful box (crafted by you or a purchased ornate box) that contains rosaries, holy cards, and miniature statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
What’s a celebration without the food? The Catholic Cuisine blog has an entire post devoted to October: Recipes for October ~ Month Dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary with some delightful ways to enjoy foods associated with The Most Holy Rosary.
If you are looking for more ready to go resources I suggest heading over Katherine Bogner’s website Look to Him and be Radiant. She has a great post on Resources for the Month of the Rosary to use for all ages. You can find Free Printable Mysteries of the Rosary and a Rosary mini-book from Drawn2BCreative. These free to print How to Pray the Rosary sheets for kids double as coloring pages.
Here are some more ways to bring rosary activities in to your home:
- Print Rosary Prayer sheets (good for older kids too)
- Make a pipe cleaner rosary
- Make a Our Lady of the Rosary ornament
- Make a Rosary Mat for Young Children
- Make an indoor Walkable Rosary to pray together. (This can also be done with chalk on a sidewalk.)
Need some tips on how to pray the rosary? With children?
Read: During the 2020-2021 CCD year we came across a great book: Education In Virtue: Let’s Pray Together Meditating On The Mysteries & Virtues Of The Rosary Using Lectio Divina. We found this book on our search for something really good for kids that focused on the Virtues. Teaching virtues can be challenging and often it seems like it is frequently covered briefly in classes and books This book is by far THE best thing out there for kids who need a visual understanding. The book begins with how to pray the rosary and then goes on to explain the virtues in a colorful chart. As you pray the rosary using this book each Mystery is linked to the virtue in the chart. This is so……..amazing! Right there! All at once you can pray and discuss the virtues connecting them together. Really, really, good. If you are new to praying the rosary or old to praying the rosary or infrequent to praying of the rosary: THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU! I’m not sure if excitement is clear (I’m using caps for cheerful excitement voice) but this is such a great resource I can’t encourage its use enough. This is a great gift for young families or even Confirmation kids! (The book link takes you to Ignatius Press. During October all items pertaining to the Rosary are 25% off! A great deal! We do not sponsor anything we only praise things we truly love and find worthy of sharing.)
PS: It’s still the year of St. Joseph the holy spouse of Mary. Why not check out our post March is Dedicated to St. Joseph and add him to some of your prayers and activities this month? St. Joseph is the patron saint of many aspects of life. He is the patron saint of the Universal Church, fathers, unborn children, travelers, immigrants, families, day laborers, workmen, and a happy death.