top of page

What is the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary?

The Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7. On this day, we celebrate the Holy League’s defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. Even though the Turkish forces were very powerful, the Christians won due to the intercession of Mary and the prayer of the Most Holy Rosary.

What happened at the Battle of Lepanto?

(Continue below)


What happened at the Battle of Lepanto?

At the time when the battle of Lepanto was fought, the Ottoman Empire had not lost a major battle since the previous century. Pope St. Pius V realized that the Holy League needed great spiritual assistance, so he asked the Holy League, as well as all of the faithful, to pray the Rosary, asking Our Lady’s intercession for a victory in the upcoming battle. The evening before the famous battle, the sailors prayed the Rosary on their knees. On October 7, 1571, the Christian fleet went into battle carrying a banner blessed by the Pope. Some evidence also suggests they carried a painting sent to the King of Spain from Mexico depicting the miraculous image known as Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Holy League encountered the Ottoman warships deployed in the shape of a crescent, the symbol of Islam. The Holy League’s ships took the shape of a cross. Between the two forces, there were more than 400 warships, making this one of the largest naval battles in history. After five hours of battle, the Holy League won.

“Go to the Madonna. Love her! Always say the Rosary. Say it well. Say it as often as you can! Be souls of prayer. Never tire of praying, it is what is essential. Prayer shakes the Heart of God, it obtains necessary graces!” – St. Padre Pio

Who fought in the Battle of Lepanto?

The Holy League, a coalition of Catholic maritime states promoted by Pope St. Pius V, fought against the Ottomans, an Islamic empire centered in Istanbul. The “Turks” were trying to extend their influence beyond Southeast Europe. A Turkish victory might have permitted the expansion of Islam deep into Europe.

Where did the Battle of Lepanto take place?

The battle took place in the Gulf of Patras, on the western coast of the Greek peninsula.

What was the significance of the Battle of Lepanto?

Due to the Holy League’s defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Lepanto, the Turks did not advance into Europe. Many historians have said that this was one of the most significant battles in history.

“You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy. If there is no other time, say it in the street without letting anybody notice it. It will, moreover, help you to have presence of God.” – St. Josemaria Escriva

Why do we celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary?

Pope St. Pius V knew that Our Lady had interceded for the Holy League, ensuring their victory. In fact, the day of the Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571, he saw the Blessed Mother in a vision, and she revealed the victory to him. As an offering of thanksgiving, the Pope declared this day as the feast day of Our Lady of Victory, later known as Our Lady of the Rosary.

Why is Mary called Queen of the Holy Rosary?

Mary is the Queen Mother because her Son is Christ the King. The rosary, as given to St. Dominic, is a mediation on the mysteries of the Incarnate King, and thus on the sorrows and joys of His Mother, as well. Thus, Mary is so deeply entwined with the rosary that one cannot think of the rosary without thinking of Mary.

Whom did Mary give the Rosary to?

In the 13th century, the Blessed Mother appeared in visions to St. Dominic and inspired him to create the rosary as we know it today.

“You know what Our Lady said about the Rosary? That the whole world would change if everybody said it…. If my Mother says, ‘Say it,’ I’m gonna say it.” – Mother Angelica

How do you pray the rosary?

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

  2. Say the Creed.

  3. Say one Our Father, three Hail Marys, and one Glory Be.

  4. Announce the first Mystery. If possible, make a short meditation on the subject of the mystery. Then pray an Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and the Glory Be. While it is not a formal part of the Rosary, it has become usual to

  5. This pattern is then repeated on the decades for each of the subsequent mysteries of the Rosary.

  6. After you have completed all the decades, it is usual to say the Hail, Holy Queen, and other prayers according to custom, though these are not formally part of the Rosary, nor obligatory.

  7. Make the Sign of the Cross and say, “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Fátima Prayer: "O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy."

What is the purpose of praying the Rosary?

Like any prayer, the purpose of the Rosary is to bring us closer to the Lord. Unlike most “vocal prayer”, the Rosary is also meant to be a meditation on the subject matter of the mysteries. As a vocal prayer, the Rosary serves the usual purposes of such prayer, often described in the mnemonic A.C.T.S. – Adoration of God, Contrition for our sins, Thanksgiving for His Gifts and Supplication for ourselves and others. We can thus offer, and intend, the Rosary for any and all of these intentions. Many Catholics even make a different intention for each decade. Which leads us to the Rosary as a meditation. All of these same elements can be drawn out of the Rosary by meditating on its mysteries. Contemplating the mysteries we see the reasons to adore and give thanks in the greatness of God and the greatness of His love for us. We see the evil of our sins and the reasons for contrition, and in Jesus and Mary the models of holiness to which we ought to aspire, so that we may share in the joys and glory of eternal life with the Holy Trinity. Thus, the Rosary leads us to a deepening of Faith, of Hope and of Charity. It is, as many saints have testified, the door of the faithful to a deeper prayer life and a deeper union with God.

For the Mysteries of the Rosary, go to the following links:






“The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.” – Pope St. Pius X