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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
The month of October is dedicated to the rosary primarily because the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated Oct. 7. Tradition holds that Mary gave the rosary to St. Dominic (1170-1221) to assist him in combating the Albigensian heresy in southern France in 1206. The devotion became widely popular and by 1569, Pope St. Pius V officially approved the rosary in its present form with the papal bull, "Consueverunt Romani Pontifices." By then the rosary included the second half of the "Hail Mary" and the "Glory be to the Father" at the conclusion of each mystery. Learn more by visiting the Marian Library at the University of Dayton. See How to Pray the Rosary Guide.
Since then popes throughout the centuries have called upon the faithful to turn to the rosary in times in trouble. Pope Francis has done this in the month of the rosary recently in 2018. He also asked Catholics to pray the rosary for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Archbishop José H. Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), later invited American Catholics to pray a virtual rosary on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in 2020 for the same reason. Pope Francis also invited the faithful to pray a daily rosary for peace in May to bring an end to the war and the suffering of the people of Ukraine.