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."

January 18: Saint Vincenza Mary Lopez y Vicuna

Posted by Jacob

Today, January 18, marks the feast day of Saint Vincenza Mary Lopez y Vicuna (1847-1890) of Spain. Born into a wealthy family in the region of Navarre, Saint Vincenza was highly aware of the plight of the region’s poor. She felt strongly called to the service of others, and despite her parents’ objections (and in direct opposition to a marriage that had been arranged for her), Vincenza took a vow of chastity.

Devoted to the Blessed Virgin, Vincenza founded the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, an order which provided protection to the poor women of the area, many of whom worked as domestic servants. She dedicated her life to mothering such poor working girls. In fact, she declared that the work was “a complete delight,” and insisted that she was ready to suffer anything, even death, rather than abandon this calling.

The Daughters of Mary Immaculate lived by the creed: "Steady employment is the safeguard of virtue." Throughout her short life, Saint Vincenza demonstrated this commitment to hard work. Through begging, she raised money to build homes and hostels for working women. But the work was not easy, and Vincenza was ill for much of her life. She died at the young age of 43. In her own words, "I count myself happier in the service of these my sisters, than the great ones of this world in the service of their lords and kings."

Saint Vincenza Mary Lopez y Vicuna is an inspiration to us, a model of social justice and activism which we might strive to emulate in our lives. How many around us are suffering, being taken advantage of, living lives far less worthy of the human dignity each of us possesses? How can we make a difference in these lives? Today, we pray for the commitment to social justice exemplified by Saint Vincenza. We pray for the fire of virtue, and the courage to risk our own comfort to help those around us. Together, we can change the world!

Today concludes my Novena to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception for the intentions of those who are stuggling to conceive or adopt, are pregnant or expecting children, are new parents, or have suffered pregancy-related loss.  I am confident that Our Blessed Mother has heard these intentions and carried them to Our Lord's heart, filled with unlimited love and mercy.

Day 18 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Social Justice in the world; Courage to help those around us who are suffering; Those suffering in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake
Special Intentions: Those trying to conceive or adopt; Those who are pregnant or expecting children; New parents; Those who have experienced miscarriage or pregnancy complications


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