I would like to begin by urging everyone to pray for peace in the Holy Land, and for an amicable settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Despite the fact that there are many reasons for war, and justifications for both sides can be found, the truth is, as Pope Francis said, 'wars are always a failure’, affecting particularly the children and women.
The month of October also recalls another war in history. Admittedly, the month-long observance of the Holy Rosary is the spiritual outcome of a battle that ended a historic war. This battle was known as the Battle of Lepanto, which was fought by the Turks against the Christians in 1571. For the Christians, the war that was so decisive, they prayed for Mary's intercession and the rosary as a spiritual weapon. Surprisingly, Christians gained victory, which they believed was due to the miraculous prayer and power of the rosary.
In gratitude for Mother Mary’s intercession, Pope Pius introduced the 'Feast of Our Lady of Victory', later renamed the 'Feast of the Holy Rosary' by Pope Gregory XIII. In his Apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (The Rosary of the Virgin Mary) Saint John Paul II states, "with the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love." In light of these words of the saint, for whom the rosary was his favorite prayer, let us gather together as a family in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and gaze at the face of Jesus and pray with our Mother Mary, 'Father, have mercy on us and on the whole world, giving us everlasting peace and hope.'