The month of October is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary, including the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in honor of the Blessed Mother on Wednesday, Oct. 7, according to a news release from Dave Guthro, communications director, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

October was also the month in which Mary appeared for the last time to shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, urging them to “say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world.”

In celebration of the month, parishes in the Diocese of Portland plan to hold Rosary gatherings. Any additional gatherings will be listed at

Saturday, Oct. 10
• Bangor
St. Mary Church, 768 Ohio St., at 11:30 a.m.

• Belfast
Kirby Lake, Corner of Lincolnville Avenue and Miller Street, at noon

• Brewer
St. Teresa Church, 425 South Main St., at noon

• Cape Elizabeth
St. Bartholomew Church, 8 Two Lights Road (near Mary’s Garden), at noon

• Ellsworth
St. Joseph Church, 231 Main St. (Fatima Shrine), at noon

• Grand Isle
St. Gerard-Mount Carmel Church, 363 Main St. (parking lot), at noon

• Gray
St. Gregory Church, 24 North Raymond Road, at noon

• Millinocket
Millinocket Bandstand, sponsored by Knights of Columbus Council 680, at noon.

• Norway
St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 32 Paris St. (front sidewalk), at noon

• Portland
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St. (lawn), at noon

• South Berwick
Our Lady of the Angels Church, 162 Agamenticus Road, at noon

• Winthrop
St. Francis Xavier Church, 130 Route 133 in Winthrop (parking lot) at noon

• Yarmouth
Sacred Heart Church, 326 Main St., at noon

Sunday, Oct. 11
• Wells
Wells Harbor Park Pavilion, 331 Harbor Road (hosted by Holy Spirit Parish), at 3 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 17
• Gorham**
St. Anne Church, 299 Main St. (parking lot) at noon
**In addition, outdoor confessions will be offered from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and an outdoor Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m.

According to the release, The Rosary is an invitation to experience the grace of Mary’s spiritual motherhood as she leads us to her Son, Jesus. Devotion to the Rosary was especially promoted in the 13th century by St. Dominic and in the 16th century by St. Peter Canisius. It was Pope Leo XIII who dedicated October at the Month of the Holy Rosary and who, in 1895, wrote an encylical, Adiutricem, on the Rosary. An invocation known as the Fatima Prayer was commonly added in the early 20th century. In 2002, Saint John Paul II, who called the Rosary his favorite prayer, added a new set of five reflections called the luminous mysteries. They join the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries, in providing opportunities to reflect on the lives of Jesus and his Blessed Mother.

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