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."


March 10: Saint John Ogilvie

Posted by Jacob

Today, March 10, we remember Saint John Ogilvie (1579-1615) on his feast day. John was a man of tremendous courage, pleading to be sent to the most dangerous of missionary assignments, and martyred there for his unwavering faith. In the process, he suffered torture and ridicule, only to be rewarded the privilege of a martyr’s death.


Born the son of a wealthy land owner and Scottish noble, John was raised in a Calvinist family near Keith in Banffshire, during the great time of trial in the Catholic Church of Scotland (after 1560, it had been made illegal, under penalty of treason, to preach the Catholic faith in Scotland). John was sent by his father to be educated in mainland Europe, with him studying under the Benedictines in Germany and the Jesuits the Czech Republic. During this time, John was frequently troubled by the scholars of the Catholic Church, whose faith and Scriptural acumen was difficult to argue. Following reflection on the Scriptures, especially the passages “God wills all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4) and “Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you” (Matthew 11:28), he converted to Catholicism at age 17.

Upon ordination, John requested assignment in Scotland, after hearing of the active persecution of Catholics at home from returning Jesuit missionaries. Wholesale massacres of Catholics were taking place in Scotland at that time, but these persecutions were concentrated on priests who openly attended and celebrated Mass. The Jesuits were determined to minister to the oppressed Catholic congregation, but at great peril to themselves. If captured, they were likely to be tortured for information, then hanged, drawn, and quartered. "Send only those," wrote a Scottish Catholic sympathizer and noble to the Jesuit General, "who wish for this mission and are strong enough to bear the heat of the day, for they will be in exceeding danger."

John’s request was granted after numerous requests, but his ministry would last only 11 months. Returning to Scotland disguised as a horse trader, John ministered to the faithful, celebrating private Masses in the homes of Catholics in hiding. Eventually, he was betrayed, and put on trial. The trial, biased by all accounts, lasted for 9 days, during which he was prevented from sleeping, fed less than once a day, poked with sharp sticks, and had his hair pulled out in torture. Yet he would not reveal the names of any other believers. He said to his persecutors, "Your threats cheer me; I mind them no more than the cackling of geese." And when they mocked him, asking him if he were afraid to die, he responded, "No more than you do to dine."

John refused to renounce his Lord, and repeatedly stated the spiritual authority of the pope, rather than the king. In his own words, during trial, John stated, “In all that concerns the king, I will be slavishly obedient; if any attack his temporal power, I will shed my last drop of blood for him. But in the things of spiritual jurisdiction which a king unjustly seizes I cannot and must not obey." He was sentenced to death for high treason against the king, and at age 36, was publicly hanged and disemboweled. His last words were recorded by the crowd: "If there be here any hidden Roman Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.” At the moment of his death, it is said that he threw his Holy Rosary beads into the crowd, with one of his persecutors catching them. Pious legend tells us that the recipient of those beads converted and remained a devout Catholic the remainder of his life.

Saint John Ogilvie’s body was buried in the cemetery at Glasgow Cathedral. He was canonized in 1976, the first Scottish saint to be canonized in nearly 700 years, and the only post-Reformation Scottish saint. His courage and zeal for preaching the word of God, even at great physical peril to himself, continues to inspire us today. Fearing a righteous death for the Lord no more than his enemies feared their tasks of daily living, John resolutely defended the Church at a time when it was suffering great persecution. The parallels between Saint John Ogilvie’s persecution and the persecution of the Church today are clear… but are we clear defenders of the faith and the Church?



Day 69 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courage and zeal to defend our Church and faith.
Requested Intentions: The blessing of children (S); Safety of travelers (J); Improved family relationship with the Lord, using gifts for His glory (L); For the orphans of Saint Francis Xavier in India (Fr. B); For the health of a family member with Rett’s Disorder (C); For the restoration of hearing (L); For a restorative, faith-deepening Lent for all those who are struggling (L).
Special Intentions (Day 28 of 45-day Novena to Our Blessed Lady of Lourdes): The intentions of all those who read this blog, whether submitted or retained in the quiet of their hearts; Penance, Penance, Penance for sinners; For all those who are suffering.

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