Our Lady of the Rosary

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Our Lady of the Rosary
2017-03 Brescia Mattes Pana (111).JPG
Our Lady of Victory, Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Major shrineOur Lady of Victory Basilica,
Basilica of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Paris
Feast7 October
AttributesBlessed Virgin Mary, Infant Jesus, crown, rosary
PatronageRosary, Roman Catholic Diocese of Malaga, Toledo, Rosario, Santa Fe, Rosario, Cavite, 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.

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.

Our Lady of the Rosary[edit]

Illustration The Madonna 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]

Our Lady of Victory[edit]

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 1 August before the Christian forces set sail. On 7 October 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 Pope Pius V, called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory,[3][4] and led a rosary procession in Rome.[5]

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[edit]

Pius V instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory in order 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 name of the feast to Feast of the Holy Rosary, to be celebrated on the first Sunday of October.[9] The 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.

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 Victory as their patroness.

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.

Churches named for Our Lady of the Rosary[edit]

  • The cathedral for the Diocese of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio is under the patronage of Our Lady Of the Rosary as well as the cathedral of Duluth, Minnesota[12] and the Diocese of San Bernardino.[13]

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Sanctuary of Fátima (or Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima) in Cova da Iria, in the city of Fátima, Portugal, is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary.

The Chapel of the Virgin of the Rosary in Puebla City, Mexico, is a chapel that was described in its time as the Eighth Wonder of the World[14] in a print of 1690,[15] regarded like this for a long time in the New Spain.[16] It is one of the most prominent examples of the New Spanish Baroque. It was built between 1531–1690.

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.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] The Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary or Holy Rosary Cathedral is located in Vancouver, Canada.

Churches named for Our Lady of Victory[edit]

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.

  • Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Paris is an historic Marian shrine and place of pilgrimage. Augustinian friars built it in 1629 with financial assistance from Louis XIII, who named the church Notre-Dame des Victoires in gratitude for the victory of French forces over the Huguenots at the Siege of La Rochelle (1627-8).[20]
  • The Church of Our Lady of Victory (Kostel Panny Marie Vítězné) in Prague, housing the 16th-century Infant Jesus of Prague.
  • Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, San Francisco was founded in 1856 to serve French Catholic immigrants to California. In 1887, Pope Leo signed the decree putting l'Eglise Notre Dame des Victoires in charge of the Marists, and making it a French National Church. The church was rebuilt in 1915 after the earthquake and fire of 1906, and was declared an historical landmark in 1984.
  • Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica is located in Lackawanna, New York.[21] Our Lady of Victory is the cathedral church for the Diocese of Victoria, Texas.[22]
  • The church of Our Lady of Victory, also known as the War Memorial Church, in the financial district of Manhattan, New York City, was dedicated to Our Lady of Victory by Francis Cardinal Spellman, archbishop of New York and apostolic vicar for the U.S. Armed Forces on June 23, 1947 " ... in Thanksgiving for Victory won by our valiant dead, our soldiers' blood, our country’s tears, shed to defend men’s rights and win back men’s hearts to God."[23]
  • The chapel at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota, is named for Our Lady of Victory, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[24]
  • St. Mary of Victories Hungarian Catholic Church is located in St. Louis, Missouri.[25] St. Mary's was built in 1843, and is the second oldest Catholic Church within the city limits. Originally home to German immigrants, the parish became home to the Hungarian Community in 1957 and is the official Hungarian Church for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
  • Our Lady of Victories, Kensington is located in London, England. The Church was at one point the Pro-Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Westminster, and was heavily bombed in World War II.
  • The Chapel of Our Lady of Victory, an abandoned 18th-century chapel located in São Francisco do Conde, Bahia, Brazil[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ""Promoters of the Rosary", Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia". Archived from the original on 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  2. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c Thurston, Herbert. "Feast of the Holy Rosary." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 2 May 2013
  6. ^ a b 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. ^ Philadelphia Museum of Art (1908). Bulletin - Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  15. ^ Octava maravilla del Nuevo Mundo en la gran Capilla del Rosario dedicada y aplaudida en el Convento de N.P.S. Domingo de la Ciudad de los Angeles el día 16 del mes de abril de 1690 al illusmo. y revmo señor D.D. Manuel Fernández de Santa Cruz, Obispo de la Puebla, del Consejo de su Majestad [Eighth wonder of the New World in the great Chapel of the Rosary dedicated and applauded in the Convent of N.P.S. Sunday of the City of Los Angeles on April 16, 1690 to the most illustrious. and reverend Mr. D.D. Manuel Fernández de Santa Cruz, Bishop of the Puebla, of the Council of His Majesty.]. Imprenta Platiniana de Diego Fernández de León. 1690. OCLC 970590076.
  16. ^ "Cúpula de la Capilla del Rosario, vista general" [Dome of the Chapel of the Rosario, general view]. Multimedia library of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (in Spanish).
  17. ^ Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, State Street, NYC
  18. ^ Marian apparition has been approved in Argentina Catholic News Agency bulletin published online June 4, 2016
  19. ^ Asia's 2nd largest church all decked-up for X'mas bash - Times of India
  20. ^ "Notre-Dame de Victoires", Eymardian Places
  21. ^ Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica
  22. ^ Our Lady of Victory Cathedral
  23. ^ Our Lady of Victory Church, Manhattan
  24. ^ "Our Lady of Victory Chapel", St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota Archived 2012-05-10 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Historic St Mary of Victories Hungarian Catholic Church". smov.info. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  26. ^ Azevedo, Esterzilda Berenstein (2012). "Chapel of Our Lady of Victory". Lisbon, Portugal: Heritage of Portuguese Influence/Património de Influência Portuguesa. Retrieved 2019-07-10.

External links[edit]