Our Lady of the Rosary

“Our Lady of the Rosary”
In commemoration of the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571
Photos from the Mary Garden at the Passionist Monastery in Jamaica, NY
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

From the Liturgy of the Hours for the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary:

This commemorative feast was established by Saint Pius V on the anniversary of the naval victory won by the Christian fleet at Lepanto. The victory was attributed to the help of the holy Mother of God whose aid was invoked through praying the rosary. The celebration of this day invites all to meditate upon the mysteries of Christ, following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was so singularly associated with the incarnation, passion and glorious resurrection of the Son of God.

The captain of the ship on land and sea refer to Pope Pius V, head of the Church, and Don Juan of Austria, commander of the Christian naval forces. The Church is traditionally imagined as a ship at sea (world). On a literal level, Pope Pius V was praying the Rosary on land in Rome, and Don Juan of Austria and his men were praying the Rosary aboard their ships at sea.

“Captain” is singular in this tercet because the two “captains” prayed as one man, one Church, and one Body of Christ. Ultimately, the captain is Christ himself, the supreme intercessor.

In times of distress, prayer to Our Lady unites us to the source of peace and strength.

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved,
in quiet and in trust shall be your strength.

Isaiah 30:15

This memorial on October 7 was originally named for Our Lady of Victory.

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