A Victory —Thanks to Mary
You know that on feast days we celebrate saints’ birthdays and other events such as Jesus’ baptism. But have you ever heard of a holy feast that’s about a battle? The Feast of Our Lady of Victory celebrates a sea battle in 1571 between Catholic countries and the Ottoman Empire, a kingdom whose rulers were famous for their cruelty toward Christians.
Before the battle, Catholic sailors prayed the Rosary. The pope kept churches open day and night so everyone could pray the Rosary and ask for Mary’s help. The Catholic side won, and the pope was so grateful to God that he created a feast day to honor Our Lady of Victory. Over the years, the name has changed a bit: Today we celebrate it on October 7 as the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
It might seem strange to ask Jesus’ kind and gentle mom for help in a battle. But actually the Bible is full of battle stories. Even today, we still have to fight temptation. So it’s good to know that Mary is always on our side — and that the Rosary is a powerful way
to pray. But Mary wants peace for us, too. This year we also celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mary’s appearance to three children in Fatima, Portugal. “I am the Lady of the Rosary,” Mary said. She asked the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace.
A great way to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is to pray the Rosary each day in October. You could pray for peace, to fight temptation, for a special intention, or simply to get to know Jesus and Mary better. As you pray, think about events in the life of Mary and Jesus. We call these events mysteries because God speaks to us through them. What is God saying to you? Pray the Rosary and listen!
BONUS: Download this page in a PDF format with activities to help celebrate this feast day. Click here: CAT.Oct2017_LivingtheLiturgicalYear
CONNIE CLARK is editor of Living Faith Kids, a quarterly magazine of daily Catholic devotions for children. To learn more, visit LivingFaithKids.com.
This article originally appeared in Catechist magazine in October 2017.
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