Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?

Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."

To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."

As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."

September 8: The Nativity of Mary, Our Blessed Mother

Posted by Jacob

Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God,

heralded joy to all the world.
For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice,
Christ our God.

Destroying the curse, He gave blessing;
and damning death, He bestowed on us
life everlasting.

Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
For from thou hast risen of Sun of justice,
Christ our God.

Today, September 8, we celebrate the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Blessed Mother is one of only three people the Church celebrates on the day of their birth (the other two being Christ on Christmas, born without sin, and Saint John the Baptist, free from sin at birth after being cleansed of his sins by Christ during the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth). The remainder of the saints are celebrated on their date of death—their birth into everlasting life with Christ. The Blessed Virgin, however, was conceived without sin because the Lord, in His wisdom, had chosen her to become the Mother of God. Nine months after our celebration of the Immaculate Conception, we celebrate the Nativity of our hope and light of salvation!

As the Liturgy proclaims: "Let us celebrate with joy the birth of the Virgin Mary, of whom was born the Sun of Justice.... Her birth constitutes the hope and the light of salvation for the whole world.... Her image is light for the whole Christian people"

No reference is made to the birth of Mary in Scripture, but the names of her parents, Joachim and Anna, are recorded in the Protoevangelium of James (excerpted below), an apocryphal writing from the 2nd century. We learn from this text that Our Mother’s parents were both beyond the years of conceiving and bearing children, but due to their faith—manifested through prayer and fasting—the Lord granted their request for a child with an extraordinary gift!

We remember today the dawn of our hope—that after the world struggled under the weight of sin, with the birth of the Mother of God, the Theotokos, the sun rises on a new salvation for mankind. She is the New Eve, leading us to her son, leading us to redemption. Through her fiat --her obedience to the will of God-- she opened the doors of redemption and salvation to all her children which had been closed by Eve in her disobedience. As Saint Jerome wrote: "Death through Eve, life through Mary."

Mary draws us to Jesus, into God’s eternal plan for our salvation. As Saint Louis de Montfort said, "She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say "Mary" she says "God.” There is a bond of love between Mary and God like no other."

As the Mother of God, Mary is radiantly beautifully. She is totally pure, modest, chaste, humble, obedient. Her soul is immaculate -- free from the stain of original sin. On Our Lady's birthday, the Church celebrates the first dawning of redemption with the appearance in the world of the Savior's mother, Mary, and anticipates through her the Incarnation of Jesus. The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation, and she has the highest mission ever commended to any creature. We rejoice that the Mother of God is our Mother, too. Let us often call upon the Blessed Virgin as "Cause of our joy,” one of the most beautiful titles in her litany.

"Rejoice, O earth, because from the womb of Anna, as from a fertile vine, has sprung a sweet ripe cluster. To the harvesting of this vineyard all are invited, none are excluded - it is the joy of all." (Saint John Damascene)

Father of mercy,
give your people help and strength from heaven.
The birth of the Virgin Mary's Son
was the dawn of our salvation.
May this celebration of her birthday
bring us closer to lasting peace.
Grant this though our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

From the Protoevangelium of James

The Birth of Mary the Holy Mother of God, and Very Glorious Mother of Jesus Christ.

1. In the records of the twelve tribes of Israel was Joachim, a man rich exceedingly; and he brought his offerings double, saying: There shall be of my superabundance to all the people, and there shall be the offering for my forgiveness to the Lord for a propitiation for me. For the great day of the Lord was at hand, and the sons of Israel were bringing their offerings. And there stood over against him Rubim, saying: It is not meet for you first to bring your offerings, because you have not made seed in Israel. And Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and went away to the registers of the twelve tribes of the people, saying: I shall see the registers of the twelve tribes of Israel, as to whether I alone have not made seed in Israel. And he searched, and found that all the righteous had raised up seed in Israel. And he called to mind the patriarch Abraham, that in the last day God gave him a son Isaac. And Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and did not come into the presence of his wife; but he retired to the desert, and there pitched his tent, and fasted forty days and forty nights, saying in himself: I will not go down either for food or for drink until the Lord my God shall look upon me, and prayer shall be my food and drink.

2. And his wife Anna mourned in two mournings, and lamented in two lamentations, saying: I shall bewail my widowhood; I shall bewail my childlessness. And the great day of the Lord was at hand; and Judith her maid-servant said: How long do you humiliate your soul? Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand, and it is unlawful for you to mourn. But take this head-band, which the woman that made it gave to me; for it is not proper that I should wear it, because I am a maid-servant, and it has a royal appearance. And Anna said: Depart from me; for I have not done such things, and the Lord has brought me very low. I fear that some wicked person has given it to you, and you have come to make me a sharer in your sin. And Judith said: Why should I curse you, seeing that the Lord has shut your womb, so as not to give you fruit in Israel? And Anna was grieved exceedingly, and put off her garments of mourning, and cleaned her head, and put on her wedding garments, and about the ninth hour went down to the garden to walk. And she saw a laurel, and sat under it, and prayed to the Lord, saying: O God of our fathers, bless me and hear my prayer, as You blessed the womb of Sarah, and gave her a son Isaac.

3. And gazing towards the heaven, she saw a sparrow's nest in the laurel, Tobit 2:10 and made a lamentation in herself, saying: Alas! Who begot me? And what womb produced me? Because I have become a curse in the presence of the sons of Israel, and I have been reproached, and they have driven me in derision out of the temple of the Lord. Alas! To what have I been likened? I am not like the fowls of the heaven, because even the fowls of the heaven are productive before You, O Lord. Alas! To what have I been likened? I am not like the beasts of the earth, because even the beasts of the earth are productive before You, O Lord. Alas! To what have I been likened? I am not like these waters, because even these waters are productive before You, O Lord. Alas! To what have I been likened? I am not like this earth, because even the earth brings forth its fruits in season, and blesses You, O Lord.

4. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, saying: Anna, Anna, the Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth; and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world. And Anna said: As the Lord my God lives, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life. 1 Samuel 1:11 And, behold, two angels came, saying to her: Behold, Joachim your husband is coming with his flocks. For an angel of the Lord went down to him, saying: Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God has heard your prayer. Go down hence; for, behold, your wife Anna shall conceive. And Joachim went down and called his shepherds, saying: Bring me hither ten she-lambs without spot or blemish, and they shall be for the Lord my God; and bring me twelve tender calves, and they shall be for the priests and the elders; and a hundred goats for all the people. And, behold, Joachim came with his flocks; and Anna stood by the gate, and saw Joachim coming, and she ran and hung upon his neck, saying: Now I know that the Lord God has blessed me exceedingly; for, behold the widow no longer a widow, and I the childless shall conceive. And Joachim rested the first day in his house.

5. And on the following day he brought his offerings, saying in himself: If the Lord God has been rendered gracious to me, the plate on the priest's forehead will make it manifest to me. And Joachim brought his offerings, and observed attentively the priest's plate when he went up to the altar of the Lord, and he saw no sin in himself. And Joachim said: Now I know that the Lord has been gracious unto me, and has remitted all my sins. And he went down from the temple of the Lord justified, and departed to his own house. And her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anna brought forth. And she said to the midwife: What have I brought forth? And she said: A girl. And said Anna: My soul has been magnified this day. And she laid her down. And the days having been fulfilled, Anna was purified, and gave the breast to the child, and called her name Mary.

6. And the child grew strong day by day; and when she was six months old, her mother set her on the ground to try whether she could stand, and she walked seven steps and came into her bosom; and she snatched her up, saying: As the Lord my God lives, you shall not walk on this earth until I bring you into the temple of the Lord. And she made a sanctuary in her bed-chamber, and allowed nothing common or unclean to pass through her. And she called the undefiled daughters of the Hebrews, and they led her astray. And when she was a year old, Joachim made a great feast, and invited the priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and all the people of Israel. And Joachim brought the child to the priests; and they blessed her, saying: O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give her an everlasting name to be named in all generations. And all the people said: So be it, so be it, amen. And he brought her to the chief priests; and they blessed her, saying: O God most high, look upon this child, and bless her with the utmost blessing, which shall be for ever. And her mother snatched her up, and took her into the sanctuary of her bed-chamber, and gave her the breast. And Anna made a song to the Lord God, saying: I will sing a song to the Lord my God, for He has looked upon me, and has taken away the reproach of mine enemies; and the Lord has given the fruit of His righteousness, singular in its kind, and richly endowed before Him. Who will tell the sons of Rubim that Anna gives suck? Hear, hear, you twelve tribes of Israel, that Anna gives suck. And she laid her to rest in the bed-chamber of her sanctuary, and went out and ministered unto them. And when the supper was ended, they went down rejoicing, and glorifying the God of Israel.

7. And her months were added to the child. And the child was two years old, and Joachim said: Let us take her up to the temple of the Lord, that we may pay the vow that we have vowed, lest perchance the Lord send to us, and our offering be not received. And Anna said: Let us wait for the third year, in order that the child may not seek for father or mother. And Joachim said: So let us wait. And the child was three years old, and Joachim said: Invite the daughters of the Hebrews that are undefiled, and let them take each a lamp, and let them stand with the lamps burning, that the child may not turn back, and her heart be captivated from the temple of the Lord. And they did so until they went up into the temple of the Lord. And the priest received her, and kissed her, and blessed her, saying: The Lord has magnified your name in all generations. In you, on the last of the days, the Lord will manifest His redemption to the sons of Israel. And he set her down upon the third step of the altar, and the Lord God sent grace upon her; and she danced with her feet, and all the house of Israel loved her.

And I James that wrote this history in Jerusalem, a commotion having arisen when Herod died, withdrew myself to the wilderness until the commotion in Jerusalem ceased, glorifying the Lord God, who had given me the gift and the wisdom to write this history. And grace shall be with them that fear our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory to ages of ages. Amen.

Additional Holy Writings regarding the Nativity of Our Blessed Mother

Saint Andrew of Crete: "The Nativity of Our Lady, the Theotokos"

Saint Anselm: "Prayer in Honor of Our Lady's Nativity"

Saint John Damascene: "On the Dormition of Mary"

Pope Saint Pius X: "Pope of the Blessed Sacrament"

Posted by Jacob

“Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven.”

Today, August 21, we celebrate the feast day of Pope Saint Pius X (1835-1914), Confessor, reformer, and the two hundred-fifty-ninth pope. Referred to as the “Pope of the Blessed Sacrament,” Pope Pius X is perhaps remembered best for his encouragement of frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist, especially for children. He urged all Catholics to look to Our Blessed Mother, and to “Restore all things in Christ” for the betterment of personal lives and of the world—a world plunged into war during his papacy. Throughout his life, Pope Pius X never forgot his humble beginnings, and lived a life of poverty, service, and humility. His last will and testament proclaims this sentiment: "I was born poor, I have lived in poverty, and I wish to die poor."

A contemporary of this great holy man, Baron von Pastor, stated of him: "He was one of those chosen few men whose personality is irresistible. Everyone was moved by his simplicity and his angelic kindness. Yet it was something more that carried him into all hearts: and that 'something' is best defined by saying that all who were ever admitted to his presence had a deep conviction of being face to face with a saint.”

Born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto in the small village of Reise, Venetia, the future pope experienced poverty and demonstrated humility from an early age. Giuseppe’s father was the town postman and with his mother, the couple struggled to financially support ten children. Despite their poverty, both parents highly valued education, and rather than working, Giuseppe walked six kilometers to school each day to receive his education.

As a child, Giuseppe demonstrated aptitude for learning and devotion to the Lord. He studied Latin with a local priest, and through his hard work, secured himself a scholarship to attend Seminary in Padua—something his family could not have afforded. Ordained at the age of twenty-three, he served as curate, and then labored for 17 years as a parish priest. As a priest, Giuseppe sought to prefect his knowledge of theology by assiduously studying Saint Thomas and canon law. At the same time he established a night school for adult students, and devoted himself of the ministry of preaching in other towns to which he was called. Giuseppe was elected bishop of Mantua, and in 1892 was advanced to Cardinal, and appointed to the metropolitan see of Venice with the honorary title of Patriarch. Noted for his keen intelligence, diligent work, and great piety, he was sought out for prestigious positions and advanced rapidly. Through all of his work, Giuseppe obediently answered the call of the Lord, never seeking election or promotion, but accepting that which was thrust upon him.

Giuseppe was elected Pope in 1903, taking the name Pius X, described as "a man of God who knew the unhappiness of the world and the hardships of life, and in the greatness of his heart wanted to comfort everybody." The primary goal and aim of his papacy was to “Renew all things in Christ” ("instaurare omnia in Christo"). He preached frequent reception of Holy Eucharist, a restoration of church music—including Gregorian Chant, encouraged daily Bible reading and renewal and reform of institutions to teach Biblical matters, reorganized the Roman ecclesiastical offices, and codified Canon Law—all in attempts to draw the faithful to Christ and renew the Church in His presence.

As Pope and spiritual director of the Church on earth, he displayed untiring self-sacrifice and great energy. Above all things, he defended the purity of Christian doctrine. He realized to the full the value of the liturgy as the prayer of the Church and the solid basis that it furnishes for the devotion of Christian people. He promoted sacred music so that the congregation may better participate in holy prayer, and had choir books printed for the congregation. Above all, his holiness shone forth conspicuously. From Pius X we learn again that "the folly of the Cross", simplicity of life, and humility of heart are still the highest wisdom and the indispensable conditions of a perfect Christian life, for they are the very source of all apostolic fruitfulness.

On the eleventh anniversary of his election as pope, Europe was thrust into the first World War. Taking ill with bronchitis, he wrote, “This is the last affliction the Lord will visit on me. I would gladly give my life to save my poor children from this ghastly scourge.” Pope Saint Pius X died a few days later, on August 20, 1914. His sanctity and power to work miracles had already been recognized. He was the first Pope canonized since Saint Pius V in 1672.

Selected Quotations of Pope Saint Pius X:

“Truly we are passing through disastrous times, when we may well make our own the lamentation of the Prophet: “There is no truth, and there is no mercy, and there is no knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1). Yet in the midst of this tide of evil, the Virgin Most Merciful rises before our eyes like a rainbow, as the arbiter of peace between God and man.”

“God could have given us the Redeemer of the human race, and the Founder of the Faiths in another way than through the Virgin, but since Divine Providence has been pleased that we should have the Man-God through Mary, who conceived Him by the Holy Spirit and bore Him in her womb, it only remains for us to receive Christ from the hands of Mary.”

“Sanctity alone makes us what our divine vocation demands, men crucified to the world and to whom the world has been crucified, men walking in newness of life who, in the words of St. Paul, show themselves as ministers of God in labors, in vigils, in fasting, in chastity, in knowledge, in long-suffering, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere charity, in the word of truth; men who seek only heavenly things and strive by every means to lead others to them.”

“My hope is in Christ, who strengthens the weakest by His Divine help. I can do all in Him who strengthens me. His Power is infinite, and if I lean on him, it will be mine. His Wisdom is infinite, and if I look to Him for counsel, I shall not be deceived. His Goodness is infinite, and if my trust is stayed in Him, I shall not be abandoned.”

“Let the storm rage and the sky darken – not for that shall we be dismayed. If we trust as we should in Mary, we shall recognize in her, the Virgin Most Powerful “who with virginal foot did crush the head of the serpent.”

“The collection of psalms found in Scripture, composed as it was under divine inspiration, has, from the very beginnings of the Church, shown a wonderful power of fostering devotion among Christians as they offer “to God a continuous sacrifice of praise, the harvest of lips blessing his name.” Following a custom already established in the Old Law, the psalms have played a conspicuous part in the sacred liturgy itself, and in the divine office. Augustine expresses this well when he says: “God praised himself so that man might give him fitting praise; because God chose to praise himself man found the way in which to bless God.” The psalms have also a wonderful power to awaken in our hearts the desire for every virtue. Athanasius says: “The psalms seem to me to be like a mirror, in which the person using them can see himself, and the stirrings of his own heart; he can recite them against the background of his own emotions.” Augustine says in his Confessions: “How I wept when I heard you hymns and canticles, being deeply moved by the sweet singing of your Church. Those voices flowed into my ears, truth filtered into my heart, and from my heart surged waves of devotion.” Indeed, who could fail to be moved by those many passages in the psalms which set forth so profoundly the infinite majesty of God, his omnipotence, his justice and goodness and clemency, too deep for words, and all the other infinite qualities of his that deserve our praise? Who could fail to be roused to the same emotions by the prayers of thanksgiving to God for blessings received by the petitions, so humble and confident, for blessings still awaited, by the cries of a soul in sorrow for sin committed? Who would not be fired with love as he looks on the likeness of Christ, the redeemer, here so lovingly foretold? His was “the voice” Augustine heard in every psalm, the voice of praise, of suffering, of joyful expectation, of present distress.”

From AD DIEM ILLUM LAETISSIMUM (On the Immaculate Conception), Papal Encyclical:

10. For is not Mary the Mother of Christ? Then she is our Mother also. And we must in truth hold that Christ, the Word made Flesh, is also the Savior of mankind. He had a physical body like that of any other man: and again as Savior of the human family, he had a spiritual and mystical body, the society, namely, of those who believe in Christ. "We are many, but one sole body in Christ" (Rom. xii., 5). Now the Blessed Virgin did not conceive the Eternal Son of God merely in order that He might be made man taking His human nature from her, but also in order that by means of the nature assumed from her He might be the Redeemer of men. For which reason the Angel said to the Shepherds: "To-day there is born to you a Savior who is Christ the Lord" (Luke ii., 11). Wherefore in the same holy bosom of his most chaste Mother Christ took to Himself flesh, and united to Himself the spiritual body formed by those who were to believe in Him. Hence Mary, carrying the Savior within her, may be said to have also carried all those whose life was contained in the life of the Savior. Therefore all we who are united to Christ, and as the Apostle says are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones (Ephes. v., 30), have issued from the womb of Mary like a body united to its head. Hence, though in a spiritual and mystical fashion, we are all children of Mary, and she is Mother of us all. Mother, spiritually indeed, but truly Mother of the members of Christ, who are we (S. Aug. L. de S. Virginitate, c. 6).

11. If then the most Blessed Virgin is the Mother at once of God and men, who can doubt that she will work with all diligence to procure that Christ, Head of the Body of the Church (Coloss. i., 18), may transfuse His gifts into us, His members, and above all that of knowing Him and living through Him (I John iv., 9)?

12. Moreover it was not only the prerogative of the Most Holy Mother to have furnished the material of His flesh to the Only Son of God, Who was to be born with human members (S. Bede Ven. L. Iv. in Luc. xl.), of which material should be prepared the Victim for the salvation of men; but hers was also the office of tending and nourishing that Victim, and at the appointed time presenting Him for the sacrifice. Hence that uninterrupted community of life and labors of the Son and the Mother, so that of both might have been uttered the words of the Psalmist “My life is consumed in sorrow and my years in groans" (Ps xxx., 11). When the supreme hour of the Son came, beside the Cross of Jesus there stood Mary His Mother, not merely occupied in contemplating the cruel spectacle, but rejoicing that her Only Son was offered for the salvation of mankind, and so entirely participating in His Passion, that if it had been possible she would have gladly borne all the torments that her Son bore (S. Bonav. 1. Sent d. 48, ad Litt. dub. 4). And from this community of will and suffering between Christ and Mary she merited to become most worthily the Reparatrix of the lost world (Eadmeri Mon. De Excellentia Virg. Mariae, c. 9) and Dispensatrix of all the gifts that Our Savior purchased for us by His Death and by His Blood.

13. It cannot, of course, be denied that the dispensation of these treasures is the particular and peculiar right of Jesus Christ, for they are the exclusive fruit of His Death, who by His nature is the mediator between God and man. Nevertheless, by this companionship in sorrow and suffering already mentioned between the Mother and the Son, it has been allowed to the august Virgin to be the most powerful mediatrix and advocate of the whole world with her Divine Son (Pius IX. Ineffabilis). The source, then, is Jesus Christ "of whose fullness we have all received" (John i., 16), "from whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly joined together by what every joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in charity" (Ephesians iv., 16). But Mary, as St. Bernard justly remarks, is the channel (Serm. de temp on the Nativ. B. V. De Aquaeductu n. 4); or, if you will, the connecting portion the function of which is to join the body to the head and to transmit to the body the influences and volitions of the head - We mean the neck. Yes, says St. Bernardine of Sienna, "she is the neck of Our Head, by which He communicates to His mystical body all spiritual gifts" (Quadrag. de Evangel. aetern. Serm. x., a. 3, c. iii.).

14. We are then, it will be seen, very far from attributing to the Mother of God a productive power of grace - a power which belongs to God alone. Yet, since Mary carries it over all in holiness and union with Jesus Christ, and has been associated by Jesus Christ in the work of redemption, she merits for us de congruo, in the language of theologians, what Jesus Christ merits for us de condigno, and she is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces. Jesus "sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high" (Hebrews i. b.). Mary sitteth at the right hand of her Son - a refuge so secure and a help so trusty against all dangers that we have nothing to fear or to despair of under her guidance, her patronage, her protection. (Pius IX. in Bull Ineffabilis).

Glorious Pope of the Eucharist, Saint Pius X, you sought "to restore all things in Christ." Obtain for me a true love of Jesus so that I may live only for Him. Help me to acquire a lively fervor and a sincere will to strive for sanctity of life, and that I may avail myself of the riches of the Holy Eucharist in sacrifice and sacrament. By your love for Mary, mother and queen of all, inflame my heart with tender devotion to her.

Blessed model of the priesthood, obtain for us holy, dedicated priests, and increase vocations to the religious life. Dispel confusion and hatred and anxiety, and incline our hearts to peace and concord. so that all nations will place themselves under the sweet reign of Christ. Amen.

Saint Pius X, pray for me.

to defend the Catholic faith
and to make all things new in Christ,
You filled St. Pius X
with heavenly wisdom and apostolic courage.
May his example and teaching
lead us to the reward of eternal life.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Rosary Construction Milestone Reached: 2000 Rosaries!

Posted by Jacob

This week, we reached an exciting milestone in our Rosary Construction mission:  2,000 Holy Rosaries constructed.  As you know, spiritual aids are distributed to those in need around the world, as well as military personnel stationed overseas.

These Rosaries (picture above, in progress) are for military personnel.  All black, and constructed of soft plastic and cord, they are able to be taken into the field without worry of injury or difficulty.  We pray for all military personnel, regardless of nationality, that these Rosaries bring hope, peace, encouragement, and safe returns home to loved ones.

Thank you to all of you who have contributed to our mission through your continued prayers and financial donations.  We couldn't do it without you!  With your help, we will reach 3000!

In the peace of Christ-
jacob @ 365Rosaries

Novena to Saint Cajetan, Prayers for the Unemployed

Posted by Jacob

Today, August 7, we celebrate the feast of Saint Cajetan of Thiene (also known as Saint Gaetano, 1480-1547), zealous reformer of the clergy, founder of the Theatine Order, and patron saint of the unemployed. As many of the prayer requests that I receive involve prayers for those who are unemployed or seeking work, I will pray this novena to Saint Cajetan beginning today, for the next nine days—for all those who are seeking employment, both requested on this blog and maintained in the quiet of their hearts.

For those of you who wish to join me in this novena to Saint Cajetan, each day of the novena begins with the prayer for that day, followed by saying the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and Doxology (Glory Be) three times each. The intercession, “Saint Cajetan, pray for us” is prayed three times, followed by the daily prayer (below).

Saint Cajetan, pray for us. Intercede for us with Jesus Our Lord!

Daily Prayer (said each day)

O glorious St. Cajetan, you studied to be a lawyer, but when you felt that the Lord was calling you to his service, you abandoned everything and became a priest. You excelled in virtues, shunning all material rewards for your labor, helping the many unemployed people of your time. You provided loans without interest and you attracted a lot of benefactors who donated to your resources so that you could go on with your activities. Look on us with mercy. We wish to find employment that could help us and our families live with dignity. Listen to our petitions, dear saint; you who could easily give up the food on your table for the needy, bring our petitions to Jesus (here make your request). Amen.

First Day

You were a model of virtue among the priests of your time, O St. Cajetan. You sought not to receive payments from your ministry, and you taught people how to pray the rosary and develop devotions to saints. You were truly a spiritual shepherd, and your concern was always focused on the salvation of souls. But despite this, you were also aware that with hungry stomachs, the faithful would have difficulty in understanding God’s Word. You embarked to help them, not just by giving them bread but helping them gain their living by work. Look on us with pity, O glorious saint. We have many unemployed people in our midst and their families go hungry. We ask you to guide the fathers and mothers who are looking for work. Amen.

Second Day

Despite your busy schedule, dear saint, you spent eight hours a day in prayer. Your happiness consists in being united with Jesus, to savor his presence in the Eucharist. Guide us to be like you by giving priority to prayer in our life. Enable us to savor Jesus’ presence and help us become contemplatives like you. Inspire us to understand that prayer is not just asking Jesus for our needs, but being with him, delighting in his presence. We ask you, dear saint, to lead us in this direction that we may learn to delight in Jesus’ presence. Amen.

Third Day

Since your death, dear St. Cajetan, the unemployed people of the world had sought your intercession. Work is the key to a happy life. Look with pity on the millions of people in our country who wake up each morning without certainty of finding food because they don’t have work. These people become victims of desperation and some even resort to crimes to survive. Help our government leaders formulate policies that will bring about employment. You who established a bank for the needy inspire our leaders to extend loans for the poor so that they may provide for the needs of their families. Amen.

Fourth day

O glorious St. Cajetan, like the society where you lived, we are also beset by the same economic set up where the poor are becoming poorer and the rich, richer. You fasted so that the money you saved could be used to buy food for the poor, you did not accept any payment for your ministries because you wanted people to help the needy. You lived very frugally because you wanted to teach the rich about the need to share. Look with pity on our society where resources are wasted in buying useless goods, while the poor and the needy among us have not received the basic necessities. Inspire us to share that nobody among us would go hungry, and that everybody may live with dignity. Amen.

Fifth day

O glorious St. Cajetan, you spent long hours helping the sick and worked yourself to exhaustion in helping victims of plagues which were frequent in your time. You cared for the sick not just to heal them, but to guide them to a happy death. You wanted their souls, not their bodies. Help us to understand that we have to prepare ourselves to a happy death. May we likewise see that the most terrible sickness is our sinfulness, and we always have to examine ourselves for the sins we commit daily. Inspire us to have repentant hearts that we may always be prepared to meet the Lord. Amen.

Sixth Day

O humble St. Cajetan, you spoke with rulers and kings, but you never gave them much importance. You know that prestige, honor, and positions in society could only be good if they are use to help the needy and the poor. For this reason, you also confronted tyrants and stood against armies that looted, killed, and raped. Your humility did not prevent you from becoming a prophet. You only feared Jesus. Help us to remain humble and self-effacing, knowing that before God, we remain nothing. We can only be someone if we stand close to Jesus. Inspire us to follow your footsteps so that we, too, may fight for justice and help stop corruption in our government. Amen.

Seventh Day

O glorious St. Cajetan, your unceasing fasting and penance help people understand that God must be loved above all things and above all persons. You sacrificed anything or anyone that could block you from loving God with your whole soul, mind, heart and body. By eating little, you showed to others that man does not live on bread alone. You renewed the faith of many people, touched their hearts, and helped much in the reformation of the Church. Inspire us to fast and do penance for our sins. Instill on us the spirit of sacrifice that we, too, may love God intensely as you did. Amen.

Eighth Day

O glorious St. Cajetan, it pained you to see the Catholic Church divided into hostile groups. You always prayed for unity in the Church, asking laypersons, priests, and bishops to support the Pope through preaching, prayer, and sacrifices. You see the Church as the bride of Christ, the sacrament by which men and women can become holy. You worked hard for the return of the Protestants to the Catholic Church, and you preached against Protestant reformers who were attacking the heart of Catholic teachings. Teach us then to work for unity in our Church and at the same time, to defend her from sects and religious movements that attack her. Inspire us to follow your path. Amen.

Ninth day

O glorious St. Cajetan, you received many special blessings from Jesus, visions and mystical experiences because of your union with him. While contemplating the mystery of incarnation, Mary appeared to you and put on your lap the baby Jesus. You held on to the baby and made your heart his dwelling place. Jesus truly loved you and his Mother trusted you. Listen then to our petitions on this last day of our novena and bring them to Jesus. Prove to us that now in heaven you are closer to Jesus and he listens to you. Amen.

Feast of Saint Cajetan, Patron Saint of the Unemployed

Posted by Jacob

Today, August 7, we celebrate the feast of Saint Cajetan of Thiene (also known as Saint Gaetano, 1480-1547), zealous reformer of the clergy, founder of the Theatine Order, and patron saint of the unemployed. Throughout his life, Saint Cajetan demonstrated concern and care for those less fortunate than himself, speaking out against exploitation of workers, poor wages, and unhealthy working conditions. Such zeal did he show for the salvation of his fellowmen that he was surnamed the "huntsman for souls." Deeply devoted to Our Blessed Mother, Saint Cajetan was graced by numerous visions of Mary, including at the hour of his death.
Born in Vincenza Italy, of pious and noble parents, Cajetan was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin at birth. From childhood, he was recognized as a saint, given his obedience, temperance, and charity. A distinguished student, he served as a model for his peers in academic achievement and morality, achieving a law degree in Padua. Even as a university student, however, all he wished was to enter the priesthood, although as his diary entries suggest, he did not consider himself worthy:
“I know too well, o Lord, that I am not worthy to be admitted among the consortium of these earthly angels [his way of viewing the priesthood], I wish even so to merit it. You can see my burning desire to bind myself to you forever with priestly promises. Why therefore do you not console me, my dearest goodness? Anyway, my desire is not to want my way but your way. Accept at least these my heart’s desires which in front of you become so real even when they cannot become a reality for me.”

Following his graduation as an attorney, he left that city to seek out humble obscurity in Rome. However, once arriving, he was “invited” by Pope Julius II to accept the position of apostolic protonotary, a high office. Reluctantly, Cajetan accepted the offer, and subsequently joined the Confraternity of Divine Love. Working with his fellow members, Cajetan introduced the concept of frequent Communion, and elsewhere through their influence.

Pope Julius II saw to Cajetan’s ordination, after which he offered many fervent Masses. He was reported to spend at least eight hours each day in solitary prayer. On Christmas Eve at the Church of Saint Mary Major he was greeted with his first vision of Our Blessed mother. When he entered the church he saw the Mary, radiant with light, who came to him and placed Her divine Infant in his arms. These are the words he used to describe his vision: “....I boldly found myself, at the time of the Holy Nativity, in this crib; to give me courage I had with me Saint Jerome my father, who had the crib so close to his heart and whose remains were placed at the entrance of the same crib; and with a little bit of encouragement from the old man (St. Joseph), from the hands of the Virgin Mary, I took into my arms that little Baby: the Eternal Word Who became flesh. My heart was really hard, you must believe me, because if it were not as hard as a diamond, it was sure to liquefy at that moment... patience...” Later in his life, Saint Cajetan would introduce the Forty Hours’ Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as an antidote to the heresy of Calvin.

On the death of Pope Julius II, as well as the death of his mother, Cajetan returned to Vincenza. There he sought out the poorest and sick, transporting them to the Hospital of the Incurables, and joining the Confraternity of Divine Love with that of the Confraternity of Saint Jerome whose members were drawn from the lowest classes. His noble family was appalled by his association with the lower class, but Cajetan paid them no heed, spending his fortune in building hospitals and nursing the plague-stricken. He told his brothers, "In this oratory we try to serve God by worship; in our hospital we may say that we actually find him."

Out of obedience to his spiritual director, Saint Cajetan traveled to Venice, enacting immediate reform in the lives of the clergy there. He realized that to reform the Church, a obedient and zealous clergy was the manner in which to inspire the congregation. Along with Paul Caraffa, then Bishop of Theata in the kingdom of Naples (who later would become Pope Paul IV), and two other fervent Christians, he instituted the first community of Regular Clarks, known as Theatines. They devoted themselves to preaching, the administration of the Sacraments, and the careful performance of the Church's rites and ceremonies. Members of the Order lived apostolic lives, looking with disdain upon all earthly belongings, receiving no income, and accepting no salaries from the faithful. Only from that which was freely offered were they allowed to retain the means of livelihood. Thus they were to rely unreservedly upon Divine Providence.

The patron saint of the unemployed, Saint Cajetan further demonstrated considerable care for the livelihood of his parishioners. Not only did he work for wage reform, he founded a bank to help the poor and offer an alternative to usurers (loan sharks). This bank later became the Bank of Naples. Today also known as the patron saint of gamblers, he is remembered for a gentle game he played with parishioners in which he would bet prayers, rosaries or devotional candles on whether he would perform some service for them. Of course, he always performed the service, and the parishioners always had to “pay” by saying the prayers they had bet against him.

Having returned to Rome, Cajetan was captured and scourged by the invading Germans, who were hoping to discover where he had hidden his “riches.” Of course, Saint Cajetan had long since spent all that he had in service to the poor and struggling. Once let out of prison, he never recovered from the vicious torture. Having returned home, his doctors tried to get him to rest on a softer bed then the boards he slept on, but Cajetan answered: "My savior died on a cross. Let me die on wood at least." It was then, when St. Cajetan was on his death-bed, that he again beheld the Blessed Virgin, surrounded by ministering seraphim. In profound veneration, he said, "Lady, bless me!”

Mary replied, "Cajetan, receive the blessing of my Son, and know that I am here as a reward for the sincerity of your love, and to lead you to paradise." She then exhorted him to patience in fighting an evil spirit who troubled him, and gave orders to the choirs of angels to escort his soul in triumph to heaven. Then, turning her countenance full of majesty and sweetness upon him, she said, "Cajetan, my Son calls thee. Let us go in peace." Saint Cajetan died peacefully, surrounded by the choirs of heaven. His relics are interred in the church of San Paolo Maggiore in Naples, outside of which is located the Piazza San Gaetano, with a statue of the saint.

Saint Cajetan sought first and foremost the will of the Lord in his life. Dedicated not only to Church reform, but to also reform of the evils of the world he encountered on a daily basis, this humble saint gave all that he had to service of those around him. He worked with the poorest of the poor, the sickest of the sick, the most undesirable souls he could find—nursing them physically back to help, assisting with their finances, and saving and converting their souls. Saint Cajetan is a model of obedience, service, and Christian charity—three virtues we can all ascribe to. We pray for the intercession of saint Cajetan, that we, too, may turn our gaze from our own lives to those around us in greater need.

Selected Quotations of Saint Cajetan:
“I am a sinner and do not think much of myself; I have recourse to the greatest servants of the Lord, that they may pray for you to the blessed Christ and his Mother. But do not forget that all the saints cannot endear you to Christ as much as you can yourself. It is entirely up to you. If you want Christ to love you and help you, you must love Him and always make an effort to please Him. Do not waver in your purpose, because even if all the saints and every single creature should abandon you, He will always be near you, whatever your needs.”
“There is no one, O Most Holy Mary, who can know God except through thee; no one who can be saved or redeemed but through thee, O Mother of God; no one who can be delivered from dangers but through thee, O Virgin Mother; no one who obtains mercy but through thee, O Filled-With-All-Grace!”

Prayer of Saint Cajetan

Look down, O Lord, from Your sanctuary, from Your dwelling in heaven on high, and behold this sacred Victim which our great High Priest, Your Holy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, offers up to You for the sins of His brethren and be appeased despite the multitude of our sins. Behold, the voice of the Blood of Jesus, our Brother, cries to You from the cross. Listen, O Lord. Be appeased, O Lord. Hearken and do not delay for Your own sake, O my God; for Your Name is invoked upon this city and upon Your people and deal with us according to Your mercy. Amen.

You helped Saint Cajetan
to imitate the apostolic way of life.
By his example and prayers
may we trust in You always
and be faithful in seeking Your kingdom.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.