October is the Month of the Rosary - Since 1571
The Rosary is such an important tool for prayer in our lives that the entire month of October has been dedicated to the Rosary. The liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated every year on October 7th.
It was instituted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church in answer to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful. In the month of October, let us consider this beautiful prayer of the Rosary as a means that we too can use in order to draw closer to Jesus and Mary by meditating on the great mysteries of our salvation.
Tradition holds that October has been celebrated as the month of the rosary since 1571, and the victory of the Catholic League (an alliance of Spain, Venice, the Papal States, Genoa, Savoy, and Malta) over the forces of the Ottoman Empire who were seeking to take over Italy in an effort to move into the heart of Europe. It was October 7, 1571 when the battle was fought and the Catholic League was able to overcome the Ottoman forces.
Prior to the ships sailing off towards battle, Pope Pius V prayed the rosary, asking for Our Lady’s intercession in victory, and every man on board carried a rosary. For this reason, as soon as the men returned from the battle, Pope Pius V declared a feast day for Our Lady of Victory. A rosary procession was offered in St. Peter’s square after the victory and in time the whole month became associated with the rosary, rather than just one day. Pope Pius XIII officially established October as the Month of the Rosary in the 1884. That year, he published Superiore Anno, an encyclical which was focused on recitation of the holy rosary. In it, he called for the entire Church to dedicate the whole of the month to the rosary and pray it daily.
Check out what the students of St. Augustine School, Augusta, KY did to celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary!
Source: Messenger of the Covington, KY Diocese, Nov 5, 2010, p. 10.