Our Lady of the Rosary? of Victory? Help from readers?

Battle of Lepanto 1571The other day I posted about the upcoming Pontifical Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary which Bishop Joseph Perry (Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago) will celebrate this week, Thursday in Manhattan (6 PM at the Church of the Holy Innocents in Manhattan).  If you haven’t, there is more information here.

Most of you also know the history of this Feast.  It commemorates not just the Rosary but especially the efficacy of the Rosary in obtaining a great naval victory over an Islamic fleet in 1571, the Battle of Lepanto.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has a summary of the history of the Feast:

It is believed that Heaven has on many occasions rewarded the faith of those who had recourse to [the Rosary] in times of special danger. More particularly, the naval victory of Lepanto gained by Don John of Austria over the Turkish fleet on the first Sunday of October in 1571 responded wonderfully to the processions made at Rome on that same day by the members of the Rosary confraternity. St. Pius V thereupon ordered that a commemoration of the Rosary should be made upon that day, and at the request of the Dominican Order, Gregory XIII in 1573 allowed this feast to be kept in all churches which possessed an altar dedicated to the Holy Rosary. In 1671 the observance of this festival was extended by Clement X to the whole of Spain, and somewhat later Clement XI after the important victory over the Turks gained by Prince Eugene on 6 August, 1716 (the feast of our Lady of the Snows), at Peterwardein in Hungary, commanded the feast of the Rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church.

Under St. Pius V, it was called “Our Lady of Victory.”

Speaking of Manhattan, and Our Lady of Victory some of you may know a lovely little church in the Wall Street district that Card. Spellman built to commemorate the Allied Victory in WWII. Here’s a picture of a great plaque from the narthex that I shot last April.

Later, the Feast was renamed the “Feast of the Holy Rosary”.  A 1962 hand missal describes this Feast as “Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.”

This perhaps calls into question the Wikipedia article which claims that Pope Paul VI changed the name in 1969.

I am short on time at the moment.  Perhaps you readers can get to the bottom of this?  When did the name of this feast change and why?

This feast has me thinking….

Consider the news:

The guy who attempted to set off a car bomb in Times Square earlier this year was sentenced to life in prison.  The news media reports that as he entered the courtroom for sentencing, he warned Americans that more attacks were to come:

“Brace yourself [sic]for the war with Islam. This is the first droplet of the flood that will follow.”

The Feast of the Holy Rosary is a feast of victory.  This is a good moment to reflect on times of special danger.

Throughout history, when there have been threats of invasion or attacks, disease or famine, Holy Church has responded with processions and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the prayers of the Rosary.

First we must pray for avoidance of danger and of peace.  But if peace is not to be, then we must pray for victory.

I take this opportunity again to remind anyone around the New York City area – whether you are a great proponent of the Extraordinary Form or not – to come to Holy Innocents in Manhattan and, in solidarity, participate in the Holy Mass being offered on the the Feast of Our Lady of Victory/the Holy Rosary/Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

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  1. Bornacatholic says:

    The Battle of Lepanto was at first celebrated liturgically as “Our Lady of Victory.” Later, the feast of October 7th was renamed “Our Lady of the Rosary” and extended throughout the Universal Church by Pope Clement XI in 1716 (who canonized Pope Pius V in 1712).

  2. pelerin says:

    Yes the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary must have been before 1969. My late husband and I chose this Feast Day for our Wedding Day in 1966.

  3. Fabrizio says:

    The change in the name came when the title “Our Lady of Victory” was associated with another miracolous intercession and another Catholic victory: that of Prague – or of the “White Mountain” of 1620, some decades following Lepanto, only this time for a victory over Protestants.

    The Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome (facade by Carlo Maderno) was built to commemorate that battle and to honor Our Lady (it’s the Carmelite Church with Bernini’s Exctasy of St. Teresa).It was adorned with trophies and memories of the battle. The painting on the main altar had been the standard of the Catholic Imperial troops and had led them to victory. The sacred image had been previously violated and damaged by the Protestants.

    After the battle of Vienna of 1683 the Church was donated some of the standards taken from the defeated Turks. Viva Maria!

    Semo o nun semo? :-))

  4. Tom in NY says:

    Cf . article on “Our Lady of the Rosary” via http://www.newadvent.org. When working near Wall Street, OLV was generally the most convenient church.

    Salutationes omnibus.

  5. Hans says:

    Speaking of Manhattan, and Our Lady of Victory some of you may know a lovely little church in the Wall Street district that Card.

    The one I know is Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in lower Quebec City built on either side of 1700.

    Of course, their victories were over the heretic English.

  6. mike cliffson says:

    I believe “Tribunus” is a more rigorous historian than I , and admire this summary of events Lepanto thru Viena + Our Lady of Guadalupe -> Our Lady of Victory -> Our Lady of the Rosary:
    I don’t know if the flagship at Lepanto carried a copy of the Telma from mexico, Or of the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Spain,(itself one of the many statues of our Lady hidden after sevn hundred and something to avoid moorish desecration, and later rediscovered perfectly possibly miraculously, and certainly the shrine was validated by miracles) or both, which would not be at all unusual.(Where I sit is within 10 ft.of an icon of Our Lady, Our lady of Lourdes, Ourlady of Cisne, and Our Lady of Walsingham, one standard cruxifix, and we’ve given Christ reigning in glory from the cross to my daughter – why should a Spanish flagship be less?)Certainly, that “she who crushes the serpant” sounded like “Guadalupe” to Spanish ears amazed Spaniards, just in time for Lepanto.

  7. Jerry says:

    _The Church’s Year_, published in 1874, list the Feast of the Holy Rosary on the first Sunday in October. _The Liturgical Year_ (1927) lists the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary on the same date.

    The 1945 St. Andrew Daily Missal gives the name of the feast as “The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary” on October 7.

  8. Jakub says:

    My second edition (’52) of the Monastic Diurnal and The New Marian Missal (’55) also lists “The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary” on October 7 , my 3rd edition (’62) of a Short Breviary and Lauds, Vespers, Compline (’65) have “Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary”.

    It appears that B.V.M was deleted from the title sometime after 1965…hmmm

  9. Emilio III says:

    My 1958 Missal says that St. Pius V instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory in 1571 and two years later Gregory XIII the feast of the Most Holy Rosary.

  10. Clevelander says:

    It seems rather odd that none of the proper prayers of the Mass in the Ordinary Form for October 7th even mentions the Rosary. (Or at least, not in the lame-duck English translation.) Is this an accident? Perhaps the Latin typical edition mentions the Rosary but “dynamic equivalence” has airbrushed it out of the picture these past 40 years? Father Z, please tell us, what does the prayer really say?

    Contrast this situation with the beautiful propers for this feast in the Extraordinary Form, including the Collect which gives us the familiar concluding prayer of the Rosary itself: “O God, whose only-begotten Son by His life, death and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” Beautiful!

    And they called this liturgical reform?

  11. Pius says:

    From the Encyclical Letter Supremi Apostolatus Officio , by His Holineess, Pope Leo XIII:

    “And it was to preserve the memory of this great boon thus granted, that the same Most Holy Pontiff [Pope St. Pius V] desired that a feast in honour of Our Lady of Victories should celebrate the anniversary of so memorable a struggle, the feast which Gregory XIII dedicated under the title of ‘The Holy Rosary.'”

  12. Ben says:

    Tomorrow’s Mass at Holy Innocents will be my first Tridentine mass.
    I have only attended one mass away from my home parish at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Northern Manhattan. Anything I might be confused by wondering about in the Tridentine form as a newbie?

  13. marthawrites says:

    Each year on this date I reread The Battle of Lepanto by G.K. Chesterton in thanksgiving for the peace brought about by recitations of the rosary. In addition, it is the anniversary (1964) of my father-in-law’s death. He died fingering his rosary as he examined his newly purchased car, so I connect praying the rosary and the souls in Purgatory on October 7th.

  14. PadreOP says:

    The collect in the Novus Ordo is the familiar prayer that concludes the Angelus, though the translation of it in the current English missal is rather different from the form of that prayer most of us are used to praying when we pray the Angelus.

    I, too, find it strange that the word “rosary” does not appear in any of the Mass prayers for this feast day.

  15. ejcmartin says:

    Our little outport parish church, Holy Rosary, plans to celebrate a special Mass Thursday. If you find yourself in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland rather than NYC that day I am sure you will be most welcome.

  16. irishgirl says:

    I have the 1945 St. Andrew’s Daily Missal, and October 7 is called ‘The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary’. In fact, at the TLM chapel I go to, the Mass for this past Sunday was a Votive Mass in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. The priest saying the Mass used the Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost and the Feast of St. Therese (Traditional Roman Calendar). He read as the Last Gospel the Gospel for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost.

    Remember Lepanto!

  17. Animadversor says:

    It is here interesting to note that, also in Lower Manhattan, and not far from Our Lady of Victory at 60 William Street, is Our Lady of the Rosary at 7 State Street, near the southern tip if the island. This church is well worth a visit; it is quite lovely, and has also the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. There is also nearby St. Peter’s Church, at 22 Barclay Street, the oldest, I believe, parish in the city, where she was received.

  18. Supertradmum says:

    Absolutely, this is the Feast of Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary.

    If we do not remember Lepanto, history will repeat.

  19. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    To supplement the info in the links already given (if mostly for future celebrations, by this time of day!) – my handy (non-English, alas) source from 1936 tells me:

    Gregory XIII in the Bull ‘Monet Apostolus’ (1 Apr. 1573) gave it the designation “of the Rosary” and (as 7 Oct. 1571 was a Sunday) called for the celebration (as duplex maius) to be on the 1st Sunday of October – throughout the world, but only in those churches with an altar or Chapel of the Rosary, including the Office of th Blessed Virgin with 9 Lessons.

    On the first centenary of Lepanto (1671), it was extended, for Spain and its dominions alone, to all churches.

    Circa 1695, Emperor Leopold I and the General of the Dominicans asked for its universal extension, but the sickness and death of Innocent XII intervened.

    The request was renewed under Clement XI, but – for whatever reasons – not acted upon – until, in another war, the Turks were first defeated in one battle on 5 August 1716, the Feast of Our Lady of the Snow, and then, a couple weeks later, on the Octave of the Assumption (22 Aug.), in the struggle for Korfu. So, on 3 Oct. 1716, Clement XI prescribed it for the whole church.

    In 1887, it was elevated to duplex second class. With the breviary reform of Pius X, it was returned to 7 October.

    Leo XIII prescribed its own prayers for the Mass on 5 August 1888.

    And the Office? Originally, the Hours of 8 September, with a substitution for the word “Birth”, were used, with for the Lessons for the Second Nocturn the later addition of an historical overview of Lepanto, composed by the future Benedict XIV.

    But the Dominicans developed their own Office, until a new one was adopted by them in 1756, to which new hymns were added in 1825. This was the source of the Office in the Roman Breviary, with the hymns being added by Leo XIII in 1888.

    Unfortunately the Fourth Lesson for the Second Nocturn contained historically inaccurate information about St. Dominic and the Rosary.

    The Sixth Lesson noted that Leo XIII “additque litaniis Laurentanis Reginae sacratissimi Rosarii invocatione” and ends, notably, “Sanctissimam ergo Dei Genetricem cultu hoc eidem gratissimo jugiter veneremur, ut quae toties Christi fidelibus, Rosarii precibus exorata, terrenos hostes profligare dedit ac perdere, infernos pariter superare concedat.”

    Unfortunately I do not have a contemporary Breviary to hand: are there any on line, anywhere?

  20. joan ellen says:

    Thank you Fr., et al, for referring to this day as the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic calendar for this year, in our area, lists this day as a memorial.

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