Knights during the middle ages wore many layers of leather, plate armor, and chainmail to protect themselves from harm during the dangers of battle and close combat. Should not we, who are confirmed soldiers of Christ, do the same? Ephesians 6:11 tells us to “put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” God has given us our own set of armor to protect us from the devil’s attacks, and to defend ourselves accordingly: the virtues and His Church. Through the Sacraments the Church so lovingly offers to us, we are able to become children of God and knights of Christ. We are given the Food for the journey, absolution from our sins, consolation and strength in our last hours.
Many times, however, armor and weapons were not the only things a knight would carry into battle. Often he would have worn on some conspicuous spot of his armor a ribbon, a piece of jewelry, or some other sort of lady’s trinket. This was a favor, given to the knight by some noble woman who held him in high esteem.
During the bloody French Revolution, there arose up out of a devoutly Catholic region, the Vendee, many men opposed to the Revolutionaries and the atrocities committed against their God and their king. This became their battle cry: “For God and king!” They wore no uniforms, only the clothing their wore every day, but pinned to their breasts was a badge of the Sacred Heart, and slung across many of their chests was a rosary. These brave martyrs of the Vendee knew where true honor lay, and they bore proudly on their breasts this favor of their most holy and noble Lady, even to death on the battlefield.
Many of us are not called to a martyr’s death, or to die on the field of battle for our faith. Knights in shining armor are no more. But that does not make us any less of a soldier; it does not lessen in any way the importance of this favor, the Holy Rosary, that the Blessed Mother daily stretches out to us, beseeching us to take it up. She wants us to not only become soldiers of her Son, but knights of her Immaculate Heart. It is the ideal weapon! The devil once admitted that the things he fears most are the name of God, that of His Blessed Mother, and the Brown Scapular. In just praying the five-decade chaplet of the rosary, you speak the name of Mary over one hundred times!
All of you, take up this spiritual weapon, before which Satan and his minions retreat furiously.Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
During these present times of turmoil, where evil and corruption abound, now seemingly closer to home than ever, we need to turn to the Blessed Virgin. Perhaps it is because so many put their trust in the world rather than in God and His mother that things have reached such a terrible state. Blessed Pope Pius IX said, “Give me an army praying the Rosary, and I will conquer the world.” Are we not God’s solders?
You have the honor and privilege of being able to participate in the victory of this spiritual battle, to wield the powerful weapon of the Holy Rosary as our fathers did at Lepanto to repel the enemy armies.Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
We should rejoice daily for the gift of the Holy Rosary, Our Lady’s favor, and for every soldier willing to take it up. Truly, if we all knew the power of this beautiful prayer, we would all be shouting from the rooftops, “Through the Holy Rosary, God has made me His soldier. Whom shall I fear?”
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
“May the Lord grant that one single, devout, and faithful voice rise from your homes, your churches, and your streets.”
– Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò