On this date in 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary made the last of a series of monthly appearances to three children in Fatima, Portugal. This apparition was different from the others, as it included what would become known as the “miracle of the sun,” which was witnessed by tens of thousands of people.
One of the primary messages of our Blessed Mother to Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta was that she wanted people to pray the Rosary daily and with great devotion. She especially called upon the faithful to pray for peace and for the conversion of sinners. If we follow her request, we can be confident that we will experience peace in our hearts, families, communities, and world, and that many people will turn their lives over to Christ.
For centuries the Popes have exhorted the faithful to pray the Rosary, most recently in Pope John Paul II”s apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae. In a particular way, October has been set aside as a month of special devotion to the Rosary, as Pope Leo XIII of happy memory stressed in his encyclical letter on the Rosary (Octobri Mense). Fittingly, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7th.
For that reason, this month at Catholic Hour we are featuring a weekly series on the Rosary. Last week, the focus was on the importance of praying the Rosary as a family. The next installment will be tomorrow, in which I will give some tips on introducing the Rosary to our children.
But while reading articles on the Rosary is good, praying the Rosary is even better! When it comes to the Rosary, I urge people to take the “Nike approach”: Just do it!