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Praised be Jesus Christ!

On October 7, 1571, a small Christian naval fleet was fighting against a much larger fleet of Ottoman Muslim invaders who were seeking to push north into Europe in conquest of new territories along the Mediterranean. This Christian fleet of ships, led by Don Juan of Austria, was the final line of defense against the Muslim invasion who would then have gained unhindered access to the coasts of France, Spain and Italy. The stakes were high for Christian Europe and Pope Pius V knew it, so he begged all Christians to join him in praying the rosary during the day of the battle to ask for Our Lady’s intercession on behalf of the soldiers fighting at sea. 

During the Battle of Lepanto, when the fighting became most intense, there was a shift in the wind and with some brilliant maneuvering, the Christians managed to soundly defeat the invading forces and thereby preserve the people of Europe. In honor of the victory, Pope Pius V instituted the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, which we still celebrate today as the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7). Later, in 1883, Pope Leo XIII officially dedicated the entire month of October as the month of the Holy Rosary.

The rosary still remains a powerful tool of prayer available to us in asking Our Lady’s intercession. This year, Bishop Kemme has asked all Catholics in the Diocese to take a moment to join him in praying the Rosary wherever they are this Saturday October 8th at 9:00 am.  Bishop Kemme will be leading the rosary at that time in the Cathedral downtown and he has asked each parish in the diocese to offer a rosary and encourage all parishioners to join in praying the rosary on behalf of our nation during this election year. This is such a critical time in our nation’s history and we can certainly use all the prayer we can get! 

So I ask you to join us this Saturday, October 8th at 9:00 am in the Church to pray the rosary on behalf of our Nation. If you are not able to attend the rosary here, I ask that you take a few moments wherever you might be at 9:00 am and say a rosary in solidarity with our bishop. 

In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Curtis

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