Our Lady of the Rosary

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Our Lady of the Rosary
Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio - Madonna of the Rosary - Google Art Project.jpg
Our Lady of Victory, Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Our Lady of Victory Basilica,
Basilica of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Paris
Feast 7 October
Attributes Blessed Virgin Mary, Infant Jesus, crown, rosary
Patronage Rosary, Roman Catholic Diocese of Malaga, Toledo, Rosario, Santa Fe, Roman Catholic Diocese of San Nicolás de los Arroyos, Santos, Melilla, Trujillo, Cáceres, Colombia, Manizales, Puyo, Pastaza, North Carolina, Bohol, Guatemala, Surigao del Norte, Manila, Quezon City, West Virginia, Seseña, Ontígola, Olías del Rey, Montearagón, Toledo, Lagartera, Huerta de Valdecarábanos, Brenes Palma Cuata, Zacatecas Lima, Peru
Tradition or genre
Marian apparition

Our Lady of the Rosary, also known as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to the Rosary.

Titles of Mary designation for Mary, mother of Jesus Christ

Mary is known by many different titles, epithets, invocations and other names.

Rosary Roman Catholic sacramental and Marian devotion to prayer

The Holy Rosary, also known as the Dominican Rosary, refers to a form of prayer used in the Catholic Church and to the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers. When used for the prayer, the word is usually capitalized, as is customary for other names of prayers, such as "the Lord's Prayer", and "the Hail Mary"; when referring to the beads, it is written with a lower-case initial letter.


The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, formerly known as Our Lady of Victory and Feast of the Holy Rosary, is a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church, celebrated on 7 October, the anniversary of the decisive victory of the combined fleet of the Holy League of 1571 over the Ottoman navy at the Battle of Lepanto.

Holy League (1571) alliance of European countries from 1571

The Holy League of 1571 was arranged by Pope Pius V and included the major Catholic maritime states in the Mediterranean except France. It was intended to break the Ottoman Empire’s control of the eastern Mediterranean Sea and was formally concluded on 25 May 1571. Its members were:

Battle of Lepanto 1572 naval battle between Holy League and Ottomans

The Battle of Lepanto was a naval engagement that took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, led by the Venetian Republic and the Spanish Empire, inflicted a major defeat on the fleet of the Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras. The Ottoman forces were sailing westward from their naval station in Lepanto when they met the fleet of the Holy League which was sailing east from Messina, Sicily. The Holy League was a coalition of European Catholic maritime states which was arranged by Pope Pius V and led by John of Austria. The league was largely financed by Philip II of Spain, and the Venetian Republic was the main contributor of ships.

Our Lady of the Rosary

According to Dominican tradition, in 1206, St. Dominic was in Prouille, France, attempting to convert the Albigensians back to the Catholic faith. The young priest had little success until one day he received a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who gave him the Rosary as a tool against heretics. [1] While Mary's giving the rosary to St. Dominic is generally acknowledged as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of St. Dominic, including the 15th-century priest and teacher, Alanus de Rupe. [2]

Catharism Christian dualist movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe

Catharism was a Christian dualist or Gnostic revival movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe, particularly what is now northern Italy and southern France, between the 12th and 14th centuries. The followers were known as Cathars and are now mainly remembered for a prolonged period of persecution by the Catholic Church, which did not recognise their belief as being Christian. Catharism appeared in Europe in the Languedoc region of France in the 11th century and this is when the name first appears. The adherents were sometimes known as Albigensians, after the city Albi in southern France where the movement first took hold. The belief system may have originated in Persia or the Byzantine Empire. Catharism was initially taught by ascetic leaders who set few guidelines, and, thus, some Catharist practices and beliefs varied by region and over time. The Catholic Church denounced its practices including the Consolamentum ritual, by which Cathar individuals were baptized and raised to the status of "perfect".

Alanus de Rupe Dominican theologian

Alanus de Rupe ; was a Roman Catholic theologian noted for his views on prayer. Some writers claim him as a native of Germany, others of Belgium; but his disciple, Cornelius Sneek, says that he was born in Brittany. He died at Zwolle.

Our Lady of Victory

In 1571, Pope Pius V organized a coalition of forces from Spain and smaller Christian kingdoms, republics and military orders, to rescue Christian outposts in Cyprus, particularly the Venetian outpost at Famagusta which, however, surrendered after a long siege on August 1 before the Christian forces set sail. On October 7, 1571, the Holy League, a coalition of southern European Catholic maritime states, sailed from Messina, Sicily, and met a powerful Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto. Knowing that the Christian forces were at a distinct materiel disadvantage, the holy pontiff, Pope Pius V, called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory, [3] [4] and led a rosary procession in Rome. [5]

Pope Pius V 16th-century Catholic pope

Pope Pius V, born Antonio Ghislieri, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 8 January 1566 to his death in 1572. He is venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Famagusta Place in Famagusta District, Cyprus

Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus. It is located east of Nicosia and possesses the deepest harbour of the island. During the medieval period, Famagusta was the island's most important port city and a gateway to trade with the ports of the Levant, from where the Silk Road merchants carried their goods to Western Europe. The old walled city and parts of the modern city presently fall within the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in Gazimağusa District, of which it is the capital.

After about five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Corinth, off western Greece, the combined navies of the Papal States, Venice and Spain managed to stop the Ottoman navy, slowing the Ottoman advance to the west and denying them access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Americas. [6] If the Ottomans had won then there was a real possibility that an invasion of Italy could have followed so that the Ottoman sultan, already claiming to be emperor of the Romans, would have been in possession of both New and Old Rome. [7] Combined with the unfolding events in Morocco where the Sa’adids successfully spurned the Ottoman advances, it confined Turkish naval power to the eastern Mediterranean. [6] Although the Ottoman Empire was able to build more ships, it never fully recovered from the loss of trained sailors and marines, and was never again the Mediterranean naval power it had become the century before when Constantinople fell.

Feast day

The Madonna of the Rosary by Anthony van Dyck Van Dyck - Madonna del Rosario - Palermo.jpg
The Madonna of the Rosary by Anthony van Dyck

Pius V instituted "Our Lady of Victory" as an annual feast to commemorate the victory at Lepanto, which he attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. [5]

Dedications to Our Lady of Victory had preceded this papal declaration. In particular, Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester built the first shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Victory in thanks for the Catholic victory over the Albigensians at the Battle of Muret on September 12, 1213. [5] In thanksgiving for victory at the Battle of Bouvines in July 1214, Philip Augustus of France founded the Abbey of Notre Dame de la Victoire, between Senlis and Mont l'Evêque. [8]

In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title of the "Feast of Our Lady of Victory" to "Feast of the Holy Rosary", to be celebrated on the first Sunday of October. [9] Dominican friar Juan Lopez in his 1584 book on the rosary states that the feast of the rosary was offered "in memory and in perpetual gratitude of the miraculous victory that the Lord gave to his Christian people that day against the Turkish armada". [10]

In 1671 the observance of this festival was extended by Clement X to the whole of Spain, and somewhat later Clement XI, after the victory over the Turks gained by Prince Eugene in the Battle of Petrovaradin on 5 August 1716 (the feast of Our Lady of the Snows), commanded the feast of the Rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church. [2]

Leo XIII raised the feast to the rank of a double of the second class and 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 statue of Our Lady. This has been called the "Portiuncula" of the Rosary.

The vision of Saint Dominic by Bernardo Cavallino, 1640 Bernardo Cavallino - La Visione di San Domenico (anni 1640).jpg
The vision of Saint Dominic by Bernardo Cavallino, 1640

Pius X in 1913 changed the date to 7 October, as part of his effort to restore celebration of the liturgy of the Sundays. In 1960 under Pope John XXIII it is listed under the title "Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary"; and under the 1969 liturgical reforms of Pope Paul VI "Our Lady of the Rosary" is mentioned as a mandatory memorial. [11]


Our Lady of the Rosary is the patron saint of several places around the world. The diocese of Malaga, Spain (which, however celebrates her patronage on September 8), and the Spanish cities of Melilla and Trujillo celebrate Our Lady of Victories as their patroness. Furthermore, María del Rosario is a common female Spanish name (colloquially abbreviated to Rosario or Charo). Rosario can also be used as a male first name, particularly in Italian. The cathedral for the Diocese of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio is named after Our Lady Of the Rosary.

Churches named for Our Lady of the Rosary

The cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary is located in Duluth, Minnesota. [12] The cathedral church of the Diocese of San Bernardino, California, is also named in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. [13] The church of Our Lady of the Rosary on State Street in New York City began in 1883 as the Mission of Our Lady of the Rosary for the protection of Irish immigrant girls; it houses the shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. [14] A new Sanctuary was erected in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás and apparitions and locations were approved "worthy of belief" by the local ordinary in May 2006. [15] Our Lady of the Rosary church is in Jashpur, Chhattisgarh, India. It is the second largest church in Asia, by seating capacity which can accommodate 10,000 worshippers. [16]

Churches named for Our Lady of Victory

Our Lady of Victory, NYC.Downtown, William St. & Chase Plaza 20110121.17.NYC.Downtown.WmSt.ChasePlaza.OurLadyofVictory.1945-5.d.Eggers&Higgins taken by James Russiello.jpg
Our Lady of Victory, NYC.Downtown, William St. & Chase Plaza

Although the title Our Lady of Victory has been superseded to some extent by that of Our Lady of the Rosary, the former is still in popular use at a number of parishes and schools.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Marian litany originally approved in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V. It is also known as the Litany of Loreto, for its first-known place of origin, the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto (Italy), where its usage was recorded as early as 1558.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help title of Maria

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Our Lady of Prompt Succor

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Shrine of Our Lady of Europe

The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe is a Roman Catholic parish church and national shrine of Gibraltar located at Europa Point. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Europe, the Catholic patroness of Gibraltar.

Rosary and scapular

The exact origins of both the rosary and scapular are subject to debate among scholars. Pious tradition maintains that both the rosary and the brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel were given by the Virgin Mary to saints Dominic and Simon Stock respectively during the 13th century. Historical records document their growth during the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe. By the early 20th century they had gained such a strong following among Catholics worldwide that Josef Hilgers, writing in the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1914 stated: "Like the Rosary, the Brown scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic."

History of the Rosary

There are differing views on the history of the Rosary. The exact origin of the Rosary as a prayer is less than clear and subject to debate among scholars. The use of knotted prayer ropes in Christianity goes back to the Desert Fathers in the 3rd and early 4th centuries. These counting devices were used for prayers such as the Jesus prayer in Christian monasticism. The period after the First Council of Ephesus in 431 witnessed a gradual growth in the use of Marian prayers during the Middle Ages.

Our Lady of Victory or Our Lady of Victories is one of several titles for the Blessed Virgin Mary, discussed at Our Lady of the Rosary.

Our Lady of the Cape

Our Lady of the Cape is a title given to Mary the Mother of God in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec Canada. The title refers specifically to a statue of the Blessed Mother which is currently located in the Old Shrine.

Our Lady of La Naval de Manila

The Great Lady of the Philippines, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary- La Naval de Manila, is a venerated title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with the same image in the Philippines.

Our Lady of Most Holy Rosary Parish Church (Makinabang) Church in Bulacan, Philippines

The Our Lady of Most Holy Rosary Parish Church, commonly known as Makinabang Church or Bisitang Pula, is a Roman Catholic Marian church in Barangay Makinabang, Baliuag, Bulacan, Philippines. It is one of four Roman Catholic parish churches in the municipality and is the focus of one of its largest processions each year on October 7. The other nearby Baliuag parishes which bound the church are: Saint Augustine Church (Población); Holy Family Parish (Tangos); and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Sabang). The church is also about 2 miles from its neighbor, Sub-Parish Church of Sto. Cristo in barangay Santo Cristo.

Orani Church Church in Bataan, Philippines

The Roman Catholic church of Orani, declared as an independent parish on April 21, 1714, and also known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish Church is a Neoclassical (heritage) Diocesan Marian Shrine and Pilgrimage church located in the center of Orani, Bataan in the Philippines.


  1. "Promoters of the Rosary", Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia
  2. 1 2 Foley O.F.M., Leonard. Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons, and Feast, Franciscan Media, ISBN 978-0-86716-887-7
  3. Chesterton, Gilbert.Lepanto, Ignatius Press, 2004, ISBN   1-58617-030-9
  4. Butler's Lives Of The Saints (April) by Alban Butler (1999) ISBN   0-86012-253-0 page 222
  5. 1 2 3 Thurston, Herbert. "Feast of the Holy Rosary." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 2 May 2013
  6. 1 2 Ahmed PhD., Prof. Nazeer. "Lepanto, the Battle of", History of Islam
  7. Melleuish, Gregory. "The significance of Lepanto", Quadrant, April 1, 2008
  8. Auguste Morel, De Paris à Cologne, à Bruxelles, à Senlis, à Laon... itinéraire descriptif et historique, Libr. de L. Hachette et Cie., 1864, p. 280
  9. Roten S.M., Johann. "Our Lady of Victory", International Marian Research Institute, University of Dayton
  10. Libro en que se tratea de la importancia y exercicio del santo rosario, Zaragoza: Domingo Portonariis y Ursino (1584), cited after Lorenzo F. Candelaria, The Rosary Cantoral: Ritual and Social Design in a Chantbook from Early Renaissance Toledo, University Rochester Press (2008), p. 109.
  11. Roten S.M., Johann. "Our Lady of the Rosary, Origins", International Marian Research Institute, University of Dayton
  12. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, Duluth, MN
  13. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, San Bernardino, CA
  14. Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, State Street, NYC
  15. Marian apparition has been approved in Argentina Catholic News Agency bulletin published online June 4, 2016
  16. Asia's 2nd largest church all decked-up for X'mas bash - Times of India
  17. "Notre-Dame de Victoires", Eymardian Places
  18. Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica
  19. Our Lady of Victory Cathedral
  20. Our Lady of Victory Church, Manhattan
  21. "Our Lady of Victory Chapel", St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota Archived 2012-05-10 at the Wayback Machine
  22. "Historic St Mary of Victories Hungarian Catholic Church". smov.info. Retrieved 2015-10-13.