Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We Offer Thee Our Roses

Today, October 7, is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Here is a beautiful Marian anthem for the occasion:
Hymn to Our Lady of the Rosary
"Queen of the Holy Rosary! Oh, bless us as we pray
And offer thee our roses, in garlands day by day;
While from our Father's garden, with loving hearts and bold,
We gather to thine honor buds white, and red, and gold.

"Queen of the Holy Rosary! Each mystery blends with thine
The sacred life of Jesus in every step divine.
Thy soul was His fair garden, thy virgin breast his throne,
Thy thoughts His faithful mirror, reflecting Him alone.

"Sweet Lady of the Rosary! White roses let us bring,
And lay them round thy footstool before our Infant King.
For nestling in thy bosom God's Son was fain to be,
The child of thy obedience, and spotless purity."
Here is a short history of the celebration by Jordan Aumann, O.P.:
"This feast derives from the feast of St. Mary of Victory, instituted by the Dominican Pope Pius V after the defeat of the Turkish fleet at Lepanto on October 7, 1571 [the first Sunday of October in 1571]. Pope Gregory XIII made it obligatory for Rome and for the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary in 1573. In 1716 Pope Clement XI inscribed the feast in the Roman Calendar for the first Sunday in October. The Dominicans also celebrated this feast on the first Sunday of October.

". . . . The title of this feast was changed from Holy Rosary to Our Lady of the Rosary in 1960."
And, here is a more detailed early history from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia:
"Apart from the single defeat of the Albigensian heretics at the battle of Muret in 1213 which legend has attributed to the recitation of the Rosary by St. Dominic, it is believed that Heaven has on many occasions rewarded the faith of those who had recourse to this devotion in times of special danger. More particularly, the naval victory of Lepanto gained by Don John of Austria over the Turkish fleet on the first Sunday of October in 1571 responded wonderfully to the processions made at Rome on that same day by the members of the Rosary confraternity. St. Pius V thereupon ordered that a commemoration of the Rosary should be made upon that day, and at the request of the Dominican Order Gregory XIII in 1573 allowed this feast to be kept in all churches which possessed an altar dedicated to the Holy Rosary. In 1671 the observance of this festival was extended by Clement X to the whole of Spain, and somewhat later Clement XI after the important victory over the Turks gained by Prince Eugene on 6 August, 1716 (the feast of Our Lady of the Snows) at Peterwardein in Hungary, commanded the feast of the Rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church. . . . Leo XIII has since raised the feast to the rank of a double of the second class and has added to the Litany of Loreto the invocation 'Queen of the Most Holy Rosary'. On this feast, in every church in which the Rosary confraternity has been duly erected, a plenary indulgence toties quoties is granted upon certain conditions to all who visit therein the Rosary chapel or statute of Our Lady. This has been called the 'Portiuncula' of the Rosary."
Aumann, Jordan, O.P.; and Lodi, Enzo; Saints of the Roman Calendar (Alba House, New York, 1992), p. 302.

Dolan, Dominic, O.P. (Ed.); The Rosarian’s Handbook of the Society of the Rosary Altar (Marchbanks Press, New York, 1942), p. 94 (source for the hymn).

The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.

All material from The Rosarian's Handbook used with the kind permission of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph.

Jacopo de mino Montepulciano's, "The Coronation of the Virgin", from Wikimedia Commons. In the public domain.

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