Today is October 1st, and traditionally October is the month of the Holy Rosary. At least part of the reason for this is that October 7th is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto), the commemoration of a day on which a great many of the faithful praying the rosary is believed, by the intervention of God and the answer to those prayers, to have saved Christian civilization in the West. October the 13th is the anniversary of the final apparition to the three shepherd children of Our Lady of Fatima (1917), during which the great miracle of the sun moving in the sky took place. While the Church does not require people to believe that praying the Holy Rosary saved us all from forced submission to an Islamic Caliphate in 1571, or that Our Lady of Fatima, whose prayer so many of us say at the end of every decade of the rosary that we pray, really appeared to three little children in 1917, (and prophesied the rise of Marxism as an ideological power (i.e. “Russia will spread her errors,” etc…), the end of the First World War, the beginning and the carnage of the Second, showed them a terrifying vision of Hell), and promised great graces to souls who devoutly prayed the Holy Rosary, many do believe this and the Church has declared the apparitions of Fatima “worthy of belief.”
Pope St. John Paul II certainly believed in Fatima and in the power of praying the Holy Rosary. He placed the bullet which shot him in the crown on the head of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, believing that the intercession of the Blessed Mother saved his life. Further, he issued the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, in which he not only strongly encouraged and promoted prayerful devotion to the rosary, but added a new set of mysteries of the faith for us to meditate upon when praying the rosary, the Luminous Mysteries, or Mysteries of Light.
Bishop Stika is also encouraging the faithful of the Diocese of Knoxville to foster a devotion to praying the Holy Rosary, and he has a special message for us this month about prayer, especially praying the Holy Rosary.
I read and view a lot of Catholic blogs, YouTube channels, websites, and even Facebook pages, and most of these are quite good. However, I have recently noticed a growing tendency on the part of some people to be quite negative on their sites. They feel very badly about the state of affairs in the world today with the seeming rapid advance of secularism in our society. Some even complain about the state of affairs in the Church for various reasons. While voicing one’s opinion or prayerfully calling a spade a spade (something I have done myself from time to time) is not always a bad thing, it should be remembered that many of the difficulties that Catholic Christians who are serious about their faith face in the world today are not things that we can overcome individually or that we can effectively deal with complaining in some public forum. The most effective way to address the situation in the world is to go to the only One who ultimately has the power to change it, and also ask for the intercession of his Mother.
If you want to change the world for the better, pray the Holy Rosary every day. You may never know whose lives were touched because of the time you took to pray.