October is the month of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, also known as Old Lady of the Rosary, which is the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to the Rosary. The month of October is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary because the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated every year on October 7.
This feast was instituted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church in answer to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful. The history of the feast goes back to 1571, when it was introduced by Pope St. Pius V (1504 – 1572) to commemorate the miraculous victory of the Christian forces in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. The victory was attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a rosary procession had been offered on that day in St. Peter’s Square in Rome for the success of the mission of the Holy League to hold back Muslim forces from overrunning Western Europe.
In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the name of this feast day to “Feast of the Holy Rosary”. Pope Clement XI extended this feast to the whole of the Latin Rite and inserted it into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints in 1716. He assigned it to the first Sunday in October. The date of the feast was changed by Pope Pius X to October 7 in 1913, as part of his effort to restore celebration of the liturgy of the Sundays.
The practice of dedicating the entire month of October to the Most Holy Rosary developed toward the end of the last century. Many other popes have contributed to help increase devotion to the Rosary by their writings, including Pope Paul VI. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary has become the patron saint of numerous places all around the world.
Here is a list of other Catholic saints celebrated in October:
- October 01: St. Theresa of the Child Jesus
- October 02: Guardian Angels
- October 03: St. Gerard of Brogne
- October 04: St. Francis of Assisi
- October 05: St. Flora of Beaulieu
- October 06: St. Bruno
- October 07: Our Lady of the Rosary
- October 08: St. Simeon
- October 09: St. Denis and Companions
- October 10: Eleven Martyrs of Almeria, Spain
- October 11: St. Kenneth
- October 12: St. Felix and St. Cyprian
- October 13: St. Edward
- October 14: St. Callistus I
- October 15: St. Teresa of Avila
- October 16: St. Margaret Mary
- October 17: St. Ignatius of Antioch
- October 18: St. Luke
- October 19: St. Isaac Jogues, St. John De Brebeuf and companions
- October 20: St. Paul of the Cross
- October 21: St. Hilarion
- October 22: Blessed Timothy Giaccardo
- October 23: St. John Capistrano
- October 24: St. Anthony Claret
- October 25: Blessed Richard Gwyn
- October 26: St. Evaristus
- October 27: Blessed Contardo Ferrini
- October 28: St. Simon and St. Jude
- October 29: St. Narcissus
- October 30: St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
- October 31: St. Foillan
In the month of October, let us all consider the beautiful prayer of the Rosary as a way to get closer to Jesus and Virgin Mary.