The month of October is a unique month for Christians especially Catholics across the globe. It is in the month of October that the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7) in commemoration of a significant event in the church’s history – the victory of the Holy League in the naval battle of Lepanto.
In Luke 1:48, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Mary declared “all generations shall call me blessed.” Every year in the month of October, this prophecy is fulfilled in a special way as we collectively express devotion to the Mother of our Lord by praying and meditating on the mysteries of the holy rosary throughout the month.
October is with us again. What are some of the practical measures we can take to ensure that October becomes a fruitful month of the Rosary? There are many things we can do. Let’s discuss seven of them below.
1. Pray and reflect on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary daily.
The mysteries of the Holy Rosary serve as a compendium of the life and ministry of Jesus. As we pray the Holy Rosary, we reflect on some of the significant events in the life of Jesus as told in the Bible. Join your parish everyday to pray the Rosary in October. Even on days when for some reasons, you can’t join the parish, do well to make time to pray on your own. Let us journey with Jesus and Mary in these 31 days of October one day at a time.
2. Attend Mass daily throughout the entire month.
For some people, due to distance and some other factors, this will be an almost impossible feat to attempt. However, for the great majority of us, with some sacrifices, we can do this. October is a month of prayer and the Mass is the highest and most universal prayer of the Church. Challenge yourself to attend Mass everyday throughout the entire 31 days of the month and experience the beauty of God’s grace at work in your life.
3. Dedicate the month to pray for a particular intention.
Testimonies abound throughout history and even in contemporary times of miracles that happened when people implored the intercession of our Lady. Decide on a particular intention and implore the intercession of our Lady throughout the month. It could be healing for yourself or a friend, conversion of a relative, etc. Whatever it is, as you pray, be mindful that “never was it known that anyone who fled to (her) protection, implored (her) help or sought (her) intercession was left unaided.”
4. Read the Four Gospels.
There are no books that chronicle the life and teachings of our Lord better than the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. No one can become so familiar with the Gospels that he or she needs not read them again. There’s always something new to be learnt from reading the Gospels. Take advantage of this month of prayer to become more acquainted with the life and teaching of Jesus as recounted in these Gospel narratives. There are four weeks in the month. You can choose to read one for each of the four weeks.
5. Practice Fasting.
Fasting is an indispensable part of every fruitful Christian life. However, for most Catholics, the only time we fast in the year is during the season of Lent. Fasting during Lent is good but it shouldn’t end there. Fasting should be a regular practise in the life of every Christian. Remember what Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 17:21, “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” There are some demons and challenges we face in life that we can overcome not just through prayer but by fasting as well. Find a way of adding some fasting to your prayers in this month of October.
6. Teach Someone How to Pray the Rosary
Do you know how to properly pray the holy rosary? If yes, then teach someone how to do it. It could be a catholic friend who doesn’t how to pray the rosary, a child who is yet to learn how to do so or even a non catholic friend who knows little or nothing about the rosary. Teach at least one person how to pray the rosary and you would have done a good job at propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ.
7. Read a Book about Mary.
The mother of our Lord is without doubt one of the most misunderstood and vilified characters in Christian history. Even Catholics sometimes do not appreciate why the church adores her so greatly. There are a number of books that provide intelligent answers to the questions some of us have concerning our Lady. You can choose one to read in the course of the month to learn more about the one who was declared “blessed among women.” Personally, I look forward to reading True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort.
As I’ve stated above, the rosary is a compendium of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus. There are numerous lessons to be learnt and abundance of blessings to be bestowed on those who will faithfully join this spiritual journey of special devotion to our Lady in this month of October. There are many things we can do to make the month ahead of us a spiritually satisfying and fruitful one. I’ve pointed out only seven of them in this article.
Have a plan, prepare well and participate fully.