As we already find ourselves in October, it is worth noting that this week, the Church celebrates a feast day that is very important to our diocese. On Wednesday, we celebrate the feast day of Our Lady as Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, the patronal feast of our diocese because our cathedral in Toledo is dedicated to Mary under this title.
The feast day actually dates back to 1571. A handful of European countries joined naval forces so as to put together a fleet that could successfully defend against an impending attack from the Ottoman Empire. In the days leading up to the sea battle, Pope Pius V ordered all the churches in the city of Rome to be open for prayer day and night. He asked everyone to pray the rosary, imploring Mary’s intercession and protection over Europe. When word reached the pope that the Ottoman fleet was defeated in battle and that peace was once again restored, he instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory, to thank Our Lady for her powerful prayers. Shortly thereafter, one of his successors renamed the feast day to Our Lady of the Rosary.
Since that time, October has always been revered as the month of the rosary. Although it might seem a bit strange to present-day sensibilities to associate the rosary with a battle, there is a spiritual reminder for us in this feast day. In particular, we are reminded with this feast that we are all engaged in a spiritual battle against sin and evil. With all that we see going awry in the world today, I am often inspired by the words of St. Pio (Padre Pio): “Love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today.” What a timely reminder! How much we need this prayer and need Mary’s powerful intercession before Jesus’ heavenly throne! Please join me, especially this month, in praying the rosary for our parish, our diocese, the Church, and our country.
On a completely different note, because I have received a few questions regarding the wind damage on the Payne church roof, I want to provide one last update. The total cost for the repairs came to $7,300. This was a little more than we anticipated, but still not high enough to claim it on our insurance. We paid the entire amount from our Maintenance Fund, which means that the Fund currently has a little over $10,000 remaining in it. I offer a special “thank you” to those who contribute to this fund, and a renewed request for continued donations to this fund. We usually save the money in this fund for unexpected projects such as this one, which are not large expenses (for a maintenance project anyway).