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."

Our Lady of Banneux: The Second Apparition

Posted by Jacob

Today marks the anniversary of the second apparition of Our Blessed Mother at Banneux, Belgium, to eleven year old Mariette Beco in 1933. On January 15, I recounted the first apparition, when Mariette saw a woman “made of light” smiling at her through her kitchen window. While no one believed what she saw was true, Mariette’s faith was unshaken.

The following evening, January 18, Mariette (who was afraid of the dark) ventured into the family garden in the evening, kneeling in the snow to pray the Rosary. It should be noted that January in Belgium is very cold, especially at night! After moments of solitary prayer, Mariette was observed to stretch out her arms as Our Blessed Virgin appeared in the night sky, some distance away. As Our Lady was quite far away, Mariette stood, still praying, moving toward the Holy Mother. The figure of Mary, dressed luminously in a similar manner as the previous evening, smiled, lips moving in prayer. They prayed the Rosary in silence together for approximately 20 minutes, although Our Lady did not touch the Rosary beads which hung from her arm.

After being beckoned to follow her, Mariette followed the Virgin Mary onto the main road in town, stopping at her direction three times to kneel in prayer on the road, prior to kneeling by the side of the road in front of a drainage ditch running beside it. In the ditch, a small stream was running. Our Blessed Mother stood directly above Mariette on the bank of the road and said, “Stretch out your hands into the water.” Despite the cold, Mariette obeyed, doing as she was instructed, placing her hands into the freezing water. The Virgin Mary smiled, head inclined toward Mariette, stating, “This stream is especially for me,” and then, “Good Evening.” With that, she disappeared. Bystanders who had observed Mariette, heard her repeat these two phrases aloud, although she appeared as if walking and speaking in a trance. Mariette came back to herself, returning home to share her latest encounter with Our Blessed Mother with her family, and be questioned by Church authorities. They were yet to believe her.

Our Lady of Banneux, the Virgin of the Poor, would appear to Mariette six more times over the course of the next month. Her message each time was to pray for the poor, for the sick, and for sinners.

Mary, Virgin of the Poor,
You lead us to Jesus, source of grace, and you come to alleviate our suffering.
We implore you with confidence: Help us to folow you Son with generosity, and to belong to Him unreservedly.
Help us to welcome the Holy Spirit Who guides and sanctifies us.
Obtain us the grace to look like Jesus everyday more, so that our life will glorify the Father and contribute to the salvation of our Brothers.


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