Instruments of Joy

Today is a great day! This year the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary falls on the first Friday of October, which is also World Smile Day. The two have nothing to do with one another? I think you are mistaken.


Tradition holds that in the early 13th century, Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic and presented to him the prayer of the Rosary. The devotion was to be used to fight evil, increase holiness, and help us grow closer to Her Son, Jesus. The devotion spread throughout the world with the help of saints and Popes that saw how humanity needed such a wonderful gift.


In the early 1960’s, Harvey Ball was asked to create a campaign to boost the morale in the State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, Massachusetts. He then created the Smiley with the intention that it would bring a smile to many a face and lead to just a little bit more happiness around the office. As the years have gone by, this practice of doing just a small act of kindness to make someone smile on the first Friday of October evolved into World Smile Day. In today’s world, it seems more important than ever to try to bring joy into a cynical and angry world.

The point is that we are given instruments all the time by our God to fight the good fight, to repel that which is evil, and to bring the Light of Christ into the world. On this day, one instrument may seem more significant than another, but do not underestimate the value of both. I would never choose a Smiley face pin over the Rosary. However, both have a part to play in the way I interact with my God and His people.

Imagine if today we told 5 people that we wanted to pray for them tonight. It wouldn’t have to be anyone in particular. In fact, it could be 5 random people in your life at the office, in school, or family. You could remember one person for each decade of the rosary you would then pray this evening. I think saying you wanted to remember them in you’re praying of the Rosary might make them smile, especially if they ask, “Why me?” and you then responded, “Because you are a special person.” Wow, WSD and Our Lady of the Rosary in one day! May you find peace and joy on this Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and may it shine forth on your face with a SMILE!

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