There are several good reasons to present a selection of October poems in honor of Our Lady. First, October is the month of the Holy Rosary. Second, there are two feast days of the Blessed Virgin Mary in October. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. The Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar (Saragossa, Spain) is a feast day celebrated on October 12. Prior to the liturgical reforms of 1969, the Church celebrated four additional Marian feasts in October: The Feast of Mary's Purity (October 16), Mary, Wonderful Mother (October 20), Mary, Mother of the Dying (a moveable feast celebrated on the Fourth Sunday in October), and the Motherhood of Mary (October 11). In this poetry installment, the reader will find images from holy cards which accompany the poems.  Among these images, the reader will see pictorial scenes of Mary presenting the Rosary to St. Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221) and St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380).

Our Lady's Rosary

The Holy Rosary

Autumn Sighs

October's Queen

Our Lady of the Rosary

The Rosary

Queen of the Rosary

An October Rosary

October: Month of the Rosary

October Offering to Mary

October Prayer

Autumn Prayer to Mary

Our Lady of October

Queen of the Holy Rosary

Our Lady's Rosary

Dear Mother, I bring Thee roses
Because they are so sweet,
But lilies, my favorite flowers
I am placing at Thy feet.

Accept with each Hail Mary
A rose for Thy crown so bright;
Please don't forget the lilies,
The lilies so pure and white.

Let them be a bond of love
And understanding rare,
And send a blessing from above
In answer to my prayer.

Loneliness would be unknown
If more people came to Thee,
With their trials and sorrows
And said their Rosary.

With each Hail Mary, they would find
Their load much lighter grow,
And in humility, kiss the cross
In peace, would onward go.

Alice W. Sparks
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.

The Virgin of the Rosary
Murillo, 1618-1682

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The Holy Rosary

Accept, mighty Maid, we beseech thee,
This prayer with its fragrance of flowers;
With one soul we seek thus to reach thee
And hail thee, God's Mother and ours.

Thy heart is made glad by our praying;
Thy bounty is generous and wise;
Thy hands are enriched for conveying
What God's tender Mercy supplies.

We kneel at thy shrines in the churches;
Oh, gently look down from above,
And welcome the heart that then searches
For worthy expressions of love.

Let others present precious caskets
Of gems, or heap altars with gold;
Slight prayer-beads shall serve us for baskets
To bring thee the garland they hold.

With violets lowly we fashion
This wreath, and with these are combined
Red roses--our faith in the Passion
With Chastity's lilies entwined.

Our minds, as the mysteries vary,
Are active; our hands play their part;
And always thy name, Holy Mary,
Oft-uttered, rejoices the heart.

Be with us; we trust thee to guide us
Through life, and when laboring breath
At the last seeks thine aid, be beside us
To help at the hour of our death.

Pope Leo XIII
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.

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Autumn Sighs

In pensive mood I trod
My garden plot one day;
October's smile was weary so!
It's green was gloomy gray.
Where are the strains of summer gone?
Its sun the livelong day?
With sudden sadness I then thought
On how all human things decay.

Two months ago I'd seen
The thrilling joys of earth,
The roses blushing in their glee,
And swallows' mellow mirth.
Then something briny from eye
Fell with the faded leaves;
I wept at beauty gone to shreds,
At naked boughs of wailing trees.

I understood how we,
As mortals here below,
Will flourish for a moment, then
To tryst with death must go.
But when on summer's fruits I mused,
On ripened harvests fair,
On all the wealth from Heaven's store,
On blossomed beauties precious rare.

I knew that for a cause,
A purpose grandly good,
The Lord had minted summer days;
And thus I understood
That we must lead a noble life
With inspiration filled,
To give the living, when we die,
The aims with which our spirit thrilled!

That I, a mortal man
With life divine in me,
Must purify that priceless soul
With God's sweet sanctity;
Must leave to men the heritage
Of virtue and of love,
And help to make a better world,
A bit like Heaven above.

The fight for sanctity,
For virtue's steep-set path,
And ways of love and gentleness
In place of vice and wrath,
Dear Lord, all these You will from me.
I know You give the grace;
I trust You faithfully,
But tell me how my steps to trace.

The breeze was whistling loud,
In havoc with the trees;
And God, who gave the breeze its breath,
And God, who made the leaves,
Was telling of the Masterpiece
Arisen from His hand,
"To Mary, Mother Mine and yours,
Explain, she sure will understand!"

With Mary for my Love,
My Model and my Queen,
Since that October day, she knows
How happy I have been!
I trust in her, and make her loved,
And thus my life's short day,
Will, as a fruitful manna, help
The souls that come, to keep the Way!

Robert, Cyril.
Our Lady's Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.

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October's Queen

When the grass was springing,
When the fields were gay,
When the winds were singing
All the happy day,
Then we gathered 'round thee,
Mother dear, and crown'd thee
With the brightest blossoms
Of the meads of May.

Now that the winds are grieving
Over the summer dead,
All the woodlands reaving
Of their riches red,
Once again we're kneeling,
To thy heart appealing,
Twining other garlands
For thy holy head.

Rosy crowns we wrought thee
In thy month of flow'rs,
Rosy crowns we brought thee
From the Maytime bow'rs.
But when roses fail us,
Rosaries avail us;
'Tis with these we crown thee
In October hours.

Denis A. McCarthy
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.

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Our Lady of the Rosary

Through thee, to us, our Savior came,
Through thee, to Him, we fain would go.
Our lives are marred by wrong and shame,
Yet, confidence in thee we know.
The friendship thou dost give to all
Who love thy name, shall ever be
Assurance thou wilt hear our call,
Sweet Lady of the Rosary!

Thou art our Strength upon the way,
Our Morning Star, to cheer and guide;
Our Beacon Light to show the day,
And lead us to the Savior's Side;
A Comforter in ev'ry pain
We find, O Mother blest, in thee,
And seek we, never, thee in vain,
Fair Lady of the Rosary!

Thy praises, Mary, we would sing,
And all our faculties employ,
That unto thee our hearts might bring
A glory-crown of love and joy.
Bless thou each humble effort made
In thy regard, and grant that we
May by thy influence be swayed,
Our Lady of the Rosary!

Amadeus
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.

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The Rosary

The gladness of thy Motherhood,
The anguish of thy suffering,
The glory now that crowns thy brow,
O Virgin-Mother, we would sing.

Hail, blessed Mother, full of joy
In thy consent, thy visit too;
Joy in the birth of Christ on earth,
Joy in Him lost and found anew.

Hail, sorrowing in His agony
The blows, the thorns that pierced His brow;
The heavy wood, the shameful Rood,
Yea! Queen and chief of martyrs thou.

Hail, in the triumph of thy Son,
The quickening flames of Pentecost;
Shining a Queen in light serene,
When all the world is tempest-tost.

O come, ye nations, roses bring,
Culled from these mysteries divine,
And for the Mother of your King
With loving hands your chaplets twine.

We lay our homage at Thy feet,
Lord Jesus, Thou the Virgin's Son,
With the Father and with the Paraclete,
Reigning while endless ages run.

Augustine Ricchini
David Oswald Hunter-Blair, translator.
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

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Queen of the Rosary

Fondly my thoughts to the old home are stealing
At eve when the lingering shadows appear,
For now Erin's children are fervently kneeling,
Telling their Paters and Aves so dear.

Tho' sad be the story their rosary unchaining,
Musical cadence their murmuring tone,
Heart-broken creatures, yet never complaining,
Moaning God's sorrow--forgetting their own.

O Mother, give ear to their passionate pleading,
"No one," they tell us, "besought thee in vain!"
Queen of the Rosary, Erin is bleeding
War and dissension have torn her atwain!

From mountain and valley, O hear the Gael sighing,
Mingling his sorrow with thy night of woe;
Ave Maria ! On thee we're relying
Peace to our own little island bestow.

Liam O'Moore
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

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An October Rosary

I. Joy
The waiting hours creep silently across the shining skies;
Beneath their soft and dusky shade a deeper mystery lies:
Beneath the stars of Bethlehem, lo! Other Lights arise.

"Glory to God in heaven above; on earth good-will to men!"
Hark! All about the sleeping world the angels sing again.
How joyful now the Mother kneels, heaven in her happy eyes,
Under the stars on Bethlehem, beneath the open skies!

II. Pain
If thou hadst known, when on thy heart the Babe of Bethlehem lay,
How sharp the pang thou shouldst be called to bear one woeful day;
For all thy blessedness gone by--alas, O Mother true!
When on the cross His heart was pierced, thine own was riven too!

III. Glory
The heavens beneath her feet are spread, the suns die dim before;
Love hath been given to love again, and Grief hath died of its own pain:
Above the starry skies
The Mother, glorious, reigneth o'er the courts of Paradise.

M.J. Malloy
Catholic World, volume 58, page 110.
October 1893

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October: Month of the Rosary

Say, dearest Mother Mary, can it be
That, having May, thou claim'st
October, too?
The flowers of spring we plucked and
gave to thee,
And these sad leaves of autumn wilt
thou sue?

When evenings first were lengthening,
calm and warm,
We lit thy altars gay with lily-bloom;
Now falls the night full swift, with
lowering storm,
And still thy tapers stay the advancing
gloom.

'Tis thine, and ten times welcome,
Mother dear!
This ripe and crisp October month is
thine,
What though our flowers and leaves be
scant and sere?
The Calendar of Love knows no
decline.
Accept these autumn wreaths, our
chaplets bright
With crimson, yellow-stained, like
sunset skies.
O Star of Morn! Be still our star at night,
And bless our fading years, as thou
didst bless their rise.

Ryan Tipperary
Catholic School Journal, volume 50, page 245
October 1950

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October Offering to Mary

Madonna of the Rosary
II Sassoferrato, 1609-1685

In spring, we laid a blossom at your feet,
The lovely May, O dearest Lady. Now
We offer you October, ripe and sweet,
A ruddy apple from the spirit's bough!
It is our love which gives this fruit its glow;
Its flavor is our daily rosary;
Our Masses nourished it and helped it grow:
It sprang from our joined hearts as from a tree.

Kind Mother, take within your hands today
This apple of devotion we have grown,
And as you give it to your dear Son say
That it is fruit from seed His hand has sown.
We offer you October, bright and firm:
Oh, may this apple hold no blight, no worm!

Virginia Moran Evans
The Magnificat
October 1953

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October Prayer

Mother, at thy feet is kneeling
One who loves thee--it's thy child
Who has sighed so oft' to see thee;
Bless me, Mother, Mother mild.
And when storms are raging round me,
And when tempests hover near,
In thy own sweet arms enfold me;
Shield me, Mother, Mother dear.
Mother, when my Savior calls me
From this world of sin and strife,
Clasp me upon thy spotless bosom;
Let me bid farewell to life.
Plead for me when Jesus judges,
Answer for me when He asks
How I've spent so many moments,
How performed so many tasks.
Tell Him I was weak and feeble;
Yes, that I so often strayed
From the thorny path of virtue
To the one with roses laid.
Yet, O Mother, tell my Jesus
That I loved Him fond and true;
And, O Mother, dearest Mother,
Tell Him I belong to you.
Then He'll place me (yes, I feel it)
Close to thee, O Mother dear;
Then I'll praise and bless and thank thee
Thru eternity's long years.

Catholic Telegraph Register
October 4, 1957

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Autumn Prayer to Mary

I came to thee when life's sweet maybells rang
And bright-eyed daisies in the field were seen,
When youthland's thrush its morning carol sang
And bridal birch trees in festive green;
I whispered prayers in deep childlike trust:
My soul was unsoiled by sin's gray dust.

I came to thee again in life's high noon,
When heart and eye burned in ambition's glow,
When first success set up its gay festoon,
And distant stars appeared so near and low;
I spoke my prayers loud, triumphantly,
Yet with a secret fear that haunted me.

I come once more now that life's dusk is nigh
And offer thee my weary heart's last love;
My eyes grow dimmer and more dark the sky,
All earth's enchantments vanish while above
I see thy face and hear thee beckon me:
Come, rest thy head upon thy mother's knee.

Frederick M. Lynk
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944

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Our Lady of October

Our Lady of October!
How fitting such a name,
Now when the woods in grandeur
Put on their cloaks of flame.

It is to do you honor,
Before woods come to die;
They celebrate love's token:
Your holy Rosary.

We seem to see you standing
Down each dim, golden lane,
By the harvest moon enhaloed,
In nature's forest-fane,

While mellow earth soft raises
Its evening prayer on high,
And we repeat the Aves
Of your dear Rosary.

Charles J. Quirk
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

O Lady of October,
When death's autumn time is nigh,
May our golden key to Heaven
Be your holy Rosary.

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Queen of the Holy Rosary

Queen of the Holy Rosary!
Thee as our Queen we greet,
And lay our lowly, loving prayers
Like roses at thy feet.
Would that these blossoms of our souls
Were far more fair and sweet.

Queen of the Joyful Mysteries!
Glad news God's envoy bore.
The Baptist's mother thou didst tend;
Angels thy Babe adore,
Whom with two doves thou ransomest;
Lost, He is found once more.

Queen of the Dolorous Mysteries!
Christ 'mid the olives bled,
Scourged at the pillar, crowned with thorns,
Beneath His Cross He sped
Up the steep hill; and there once more
Thine arms embraced Him--dead!

Queen of the Glorious Mysteries!
Christ from the tomb has flown,
Has mounted to the highest heaven
And sent His Spirit down
And soon He raises thee on high
To wear thy heavenly crown.

Queen of the Holy Rosary!
We, too, have joys and woes.
May they, like thine, to triumph lead!
May labor earn repose,
And may life's sorrows and life's joys
In heavenly glory close.

Cyril Robert
Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

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