Yes it is October already! The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. October 7th is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Church celebrates the month of October to honor Our Lady of the Rosary.
The Feast is in honor of a great victory that took place on October 7, 1571. The Muslim Turks had already conquered the Middle East forcing all to convert to Islam. They then moved across the Mediterranean Sea and set their sights on the Christian kingdoms of Europe.
Pope Pius V called on the Christian princes of Europe to rally to defeat the Islamic threat. In addition, he called on Rosary Confraternities in Rome and all over Europe to undertake special processions and public recitation of the Rosary, asking the intercession of the Blessed Mother. What ensued was the historic Battle of Lepanto. The Christian fleet was outnumbered and appeared to have no human hope of winning. On the first Sunday of October 1571, the Christian fleet met the invading Muslims off the coast of Greece in the Gulf of Lepanto.
As Christians all across Europe prayed for Our Lady’s intercession, the Turks soon surrounded the Christian ships. But the European fleet broke through. By days’ end, almost all of the Turks were driven to shore or drowned. Europe was saved. Pope Pius established an annual commemoration to honor Our Lady of Victory, and his successor, Pope Gregory XIII, decreed that the first Sunday in October would be the feast of the Holy Rosary.
We are to continue this tradition of honoring our Blessed Mother in this month with Devotions on Mondays at 7:00PM. As we continue to celebrate this Diocesan Year of Mary, we once again celebrate her titles with a guest preacher. A complete schedule is in the bulletin and I invite you to join us in praying the Rosary each Monday.
We had a grand and glorious celebration of Mercy last week in honor of our Patronal Feast. The solemn Mass last Sunday was a fitting start to celebrate our Parish Patroness, Our Lady of Mercy. Of course, God gave us beautiful weather for our OLM Annual Picnic on Sunday. It was an afternoon of good food and great fun for our parish family! I am grateful to all who joined us and helped us celebrate our Parish Feast Day.
Also as part of our Mercy celebration, on Monday we had two hours of Confessions and a Holy Hour dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy. Fr. Joseph Brice, one of our new and talented young priests of the Diocese, did an outstanding job as our guest preacher. It was a trulyterrific way to prayerfully celebrate Mercy as a parish family.
On Tuesday our wonderful parish choirs along with our talented OLM musicians, Henri St. Louis and Deirdre Donovan, performed a concert in honor of Our Lady of Mercy. Listening to the beautiful sacred music in honor of Our Lady was truly inspirational. We thank them for the joyful and prayerful concert.
On Wednesday night we gathered as a parish family once again. This time to help those who are so less fortunate than ourselves. In this Act of Mercy, we prepared meals for the hungry and homeless of our state. It was a modest Act of Mercy in light of the great problem of homelessness, hunger and poverty that exists in our state. Nonetheless, it was a powerful witness to the charity and mercy that exist in our parish. I offer my deep gratitude to those who took the time to join us to help feed the hungry and homeless.
On Thursday, Fr. Barrow and hundreds of priests, friends and family members gathered at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to celebrate the Ordination Mass of 42 young men as Transitional Deacons. Among these new Deacons was Philip Dufour, a young man from Bristol who studied with Fr. Barrow. He is to be ordained a priest by Bishop Tobin next June. We offer our congratulations to Deacon Dufour and his classmates. Let us pray for them as they continue the path toward priesthood.
It’s October so take up your beads and pray the Rosary! Come to Marian Devotions on Mondays and honor the Mother of God! Do good. Be well. God Bless! Go Sox! Go Pats!