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Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,

As September ends, and we begin a new month, we remember that October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. This is due in part to the fact that we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7. This feast of Our Lady, also celebrated as Our Lady of Victory, was established by Pope Saint Pius V in 1571 to celebrate the miraculous victory of the Christian forces in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7 of that year. Before this decisive battle, Pius V implored Christians to pray the Rosary; thus, he attributed the victory to the power of the Marian prayer rather than the power of ships and weapons.

The roots of this Marian devotion are connected to Saint Dominic, to whom, according to tradition, Our Blessed Mother appeared in 1206. Dominic had been praying and doing penance because of his lack of success in combating heretics. Mary praised him for his efforts and then gave him the Rosary as a mighty weapon and told him to preach it to others.

Many other saints have attested to the power of Rosary. Saint John Paul II called the Rosary his favorite prayer, “in which we meditate with Mary upon the mysteries which she as a Mother meditated on in her heart (Luke 2:19).” Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, whose feast we celebrated last Saturday, September 23, said, “The Rosary is the weapon for these times.” Personally, I have encountered some Protestants who have converted to the Catholic faith because of the Rosary.

As we begin this month of the Holy Rosary, I encourage our parishioners to make a commitment to pray this powerful prayer daily! Pray on your way to work, pray as go for a walk, or even better, pray as a family. Maybe we get bored by the “monotony” of the repetition that the Rosary entails, but allow yourselves to get lost in the mystery of the “Mysteries” ( Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous), and let each Hail Mary be a “rose” we give to Our Blessed Mother.

And to help us grow in this Marian devotion, our Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima are organizing a special event, “Mary: Mother and Model of Disciple of Christ,” where we will learn to imitate Mary in her fiat (her “yes”) to the will of God. Join us on Monday evenings, October 2, 16, and 30, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm in the church.

At Fatima, Our Blessed Mother said, “Pray the Rosary every day to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.” Let us heed Our Blessed Mother’s call!

To Jesus through Mary,

Fr. Patrick

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