It all started in 1571, when the Catholic League entered into battle against the Ottoman Empire to protect Italy from invasion. The Turks were on a warpath to overthrow all of Europe, killing millions of people and forcing Islamic conversion on survivors. They had conquered the Middle East and Mediterranean islands of Cyrus and Crete.
As the impending battle loomed, Pope Pius V called on various religious communities throughout Europe to join him in praying the rosary, including public recitations, to defeat the Islamic threat. Heading into battle, every man in the Catholic League’s forces carried a rosary. Their fleet was no match for the competition.
Miraculously , the Catholic League returned victorious after a day long battle known as the Battle of Lepanto that took place off the coast of Greece. In thanksgiving for Mary’s intercession and protection, Pope Pius V declared the day October 7th as a feast day for Our Lady of the Rosary.
The Church then proceeded to dedicate the entire month of October to the Holy Rosary so that individuals, families, and communities would pray the Holy Rosary, if possible, on a daily basis for peace in the world.
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