Devout Catholics all over the world, often look forward to the month of October (just like May) as a grace-filled period to seek God’s blessings through the special intercession of Mary, the Mother of Christ.
This traditional Catholic “October Devotion,” re-awakens individual and group recitation of the rosary and litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary especially in families. Every evening, Catholics congregate at their places of worship, stations, chaplaincies or parishes to recite the rosary and round off with a benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
We believe that such a devotion, as a means of obtaining God’s favours through Mary, is germane being supported by the fact that her role in the salvific work of her son, Jesus Christ gave her that special privilege.
Recall her intervention at the marriage at Cana in Galilee and how Christ himself entrusted to her, his followers (Represented by St. John the Evangelist) at the foot of the Cross.
Yes, the prime criterion by which the church evaluates devotion is its conformity to revealed truth. In order to achieve its purpose which is the intensification of the soul’s dedication to the service of God, a true devotion must have a human and therefore a sensitive appeal in addition to a sound dogmatic content.
It must be stated clearly that what Catholics do is to honour Mary and not worship her. Interestingly, many of our separated brethren in faith have started to recite the rosary too. Several Muslim scholars during public discussions have declared that their Holy Book, the Koran recorded the life of Mary in several passages, as directed by Prophet Mohammed. They hold her in high esteem as Holy Mother of Jesus Mary’s declaration: “Henceforth every generation shall call me blessed,” attests to this.
The crucial question now is: “To what extent do most Catholics these days take devotion to Mary seriously, given how powerful an intercessor she is? How can our young ones embrace this vital Catholic orientation unless they see their elders doing same?
There is no doubt that we need Mary’s intercession in our world of today characterized by man’s inhumanity to man, hardship and violence caused by greed and bad governance, especially in Nigeria.
It is a statement of a fact that you cannot take away the rosary or devotion to Mary from a true Catholic. We make bold to stress that a devout Catholic, who appreciates the benefits of the rosary does not run from Prayer House to Prayer House or from one Adoration Centre to the other, seeking miracles.
Family devotion rooted in the rosary is important for all Catholics, nay Christians as often revealed by the fact that a family that prays together stays together.
At this time of need, hunger, poverty and seeming lack of political direction in our country, we need to appeal to the compassionate and caring love of Mother Mary to help us.
Let’s put away anything which may seem to hinder us from devoutly saying the rosary. Let’s make it a daily ritual, especially in this month of October and come to the altar of prayer with the help of Mother Mary.