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 7

Posted by Jacob

Saint Raymond of Peñafort (1875-1275) was born near Barcelona, Spain into a wealthy noble family. During his youth, Raymond received the finest education available at the time, working as a professor of philosophy, and earning a doctorate in both civil and canon law. From an early age, Raymond had a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother, and after meeting some brothers of the Dominican Order in Italy, gave up his wealth and worldly status to become a Dominican.

Throughout his life, St. Raymond was a reluctant leader, first as Archbishop of Tarragona, and later as Master General of the Dominicans. As Spiritual Father, he instilled in the Dominican brothers a love of contemplation, solitude, studies, and apostolic works. St. Raymond was also confessor to both the pope and king at that time, was commissioned to organize church cannon law and "cases of conscience," and is best remembered as a wise and holy spiritual advisor who respected the law as a tool for the common good.

St. Raymond is frequently depicted crossing the ocean, using his Dominican cloak as a boat. King James had traveled to the island of Majorca, a trip on which Raymond had accompanied the king in the hope of strengthening Christianity there. They had been on the island only a short time when Raymond discovered that the king was involved in a sinful love affair with a woman of the court. The king refused to listen to Raymond's protests, and when Raymond threatened to leave the island, the king threatened with death anyone who would give him passage. Raymond spread his cloak on the water, set up his staff as a mast, and, having rigged up a corner of the cloak as a sail, boarded this miraculous "boat," setting his course for Barcelona. He arrived there the same day, having covered 140 miles in approximately six hours. A great crowd assembled at the waterfront witnessed the end of this marvelous voyage, which inspired numerous conversions.

St. Raymond was famous for his preaching to Moors and Christians throughout Spain. and was convinced that Christians could only convert others if their own lives set an example of selflessness and holiness. With King James of Aragon and Saint Peter Nolasco he founded the Order of Our Lady of Ransom. The brave religious of this Order devoted themselves to saving poor Christians who were captured by the Moors, and unable to purchase their freedom.

St. Raymond reminds us of the importance of knowledge of God’s laws, virtue, study, examination of our conscience, and contemplation. Through his devotion to the Blessed Mother, we are reminded to reach out to the poor—both the poor in spirit, and those who lack necessary material goods. Lastly, even when we are reluctant, we are inspired to listen for and answer God’s call in our lives.

Day 7 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Those making and interpreting the law, those serving the poor
Requested Intention: Personal intentions for family (A)


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