October has many traditions. There’s post-season baseball, tailgating at football games, apple picking and, of course, Halloween. But most importantly, there is the Rosary.

As decreed by Pope Leo XIII, October is the Month of the Rosary. For Knights of Columbus, this has a special significance. When a man joins our Order, he receives a Knights of Columbus rosary – at 1.9 million members, that’s a lot of rosaries. And praying the rosary is an activity that our members do communally as part of council life.

According to Catholic traditions, St. Dominic was given the rosary by the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1214 in the Monastery of Prouille.

Since then, it has become one of the Catholic Church’s powerful tools of prayer. But why pray the Rosary? Here are 5 of them. One for every decade.

1) The Blessed Mother gave us 15 Promises if we prayed the rosary

Alanus de Rupe, a 15th century Dominican preacher, claimed that he was visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary, who gave 15 promises to Christians who prayed the rosary, including the Blessed Mother’s special protection and greatest graces, the light of God, a powerful armor against Hell, as well as dominance over misfortune.

2) To obtain world peace

“Continue praying the rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only She can help you.” This is what Our Lady of Fatima said to three children, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto in June 1917.

The Blessed Mother visited the children in Fatima, Portugal from May 13, 1917 to October 13, 1917 a period that culminated in the Miracle of the Sun, otherwise known as, “The Day the Sun Danced.”

3) Time to reflect on the Gospel mysteries

The rosary consists of the Apostle’s Creed, the Hail Mary, the Our Father, the Glory Be, along with other prayers. However, in between each decade, we are invited to reflect on the Mysteries of the Gospel: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous.

In these mysteries, we rediscover, examine, and ponder the stories from the Gospel, and discover the real meaning of those events in the silence of our hearts.

4) Spiritual healing

And speaking of silence, another purpose of praying the rosary is to allow the repetition of the prayers enter into the silence of our hearts, where Christ’s spirit dwells.

It is in that silence, we become more connected with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Not only that, but Jesus reveals to us that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.”

But to do so, we must make time for Him. The rosary is the perfect way to make time to connect with God, and for spiritual healing. Take 15 minutes a day to be one with Him.

5) Prayer works!

The power of prayer is unspeakable. The answer to every prayer is a miracle, in and of itself. It is our lifeline to Him, to our souls, and to each other.

But the reason why October is the Month of the Holy Rosary is due to the power of prayer.

In 1571, Pope St. Pius V organized a group of Christian forces, known as the Holy League, in defense of an imminent invasion by the Ottoman Empire. Before a battle with the Ottoman fleet in the Gulf of Patras, in the Ionian Sea, the pope called on all of Europe to pray the rosary for victory. These prayers was answered, with the Holy League defeating the much larger Ottoman forces on October 7 at the battle of Lepanto.

To commemorate the victory, Pius V established the feast day of “Our Lady of Victory” – also known as Our Lady of the Rosary.

Hundreds of years after the battle of Lepanto, Pope Francis is calling on all Catholics this month to pray the rosary daily to “protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other.”

So, in solidarity, let us pray to our most gracious advocate, the Blessed Mother, for peace throughout the world, and within our souls. It only takes 15 minutes.