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 16: Saint Aninus

Posted by Jacob

Today, March 16, we commemorate the feast day of Saint Aninus, the Wonder-Worker (dates unknown).  Little is known about the life of this great saint, a hermit who lived a reverently austere life in Syria, and is remembered for his miracles. What is known was recorded in ancient text, and may be the stuff of pious legend.

Aninus was born in Chalcedon, an ancient maritime town of Bithynia in Asia Minor, part of the Roman Empire at the time, and today, part of the modern city of Istanbul. Despite a short stature and young age, Aninus demonstrated a great zeal for God, and was recognized to have pious faith and confidence in the Lord. At the young age of 15, he left his parents’ home, moving far away, and settling in a small hut near the Euphrates river. There, he spent his days in prayer and penance for his sins, embracing a life of solitude with the Lord.

Word of his piety spread, and local residents and those who traveled great distances came to call upon him for spiritual counsel and advice. It is said the through the power of his prayer alone, he worked many miracles. Saint Aninus is said to have replenished a dry well with water in the midst of a great drought, healed the sick of various incurable illnesses, and tamed wild beasts that threatened the lives of man. When her traveled, it is said that a trained lion accompanied him and was at his service at all times. He was also known to discern the future, possessing the gift of prophecy.

Despite his hermitage, the charity of Saint Aninus was without limits. He would frequently find himself in position to love others without reserve, giving all that he had, and generally going without himself in the process. A local bishop presented Aninus with a donkey, after observing him struggle to carry water from the river, but Aninus promptly gave the donkey to someone more in need. The bishop presented Aninus with a second donkey, but the same pattern was repeated. Finally, in exasperation, the bishop gave Aninus a third donkey, indicating that he was to care for it and return it to the bishop. Only then did Aninus keep the beast for himself.

When Aninus was 110 years old, he had a prophetic vision of his death in which Moses, Arron, and Or called out to him. “Aninus,” Moses said, “the Lord is calling you to arise and come with us.” Saint Aninus recounted his vision to his disciples and peacefully went to meet his Maker.

The life of Saint Aninus may seem somewhat fanciful, as the earliest writings of the lives of the saints frequently due. Looking closer, however, we see the faithfulness and charity of Aninus, which does not seem fanciful at all. Rather, his faith and charity, stemming from the Lord, remind us that we need not have the gift of prophecy or the ability to tame wild animals to do God’s will. We need faith in His gifts to us, and charity toward those around us. We need to give away our donkeys. Is this Lenten season the time to make that change in our lives?

Day 75 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Faith and charity; The courage to change.
Requested Intentions: For a return to good health (A); 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 a restorative, faith-deepening Lent for all those who are struggling (L).
Special Intentions (Day 34 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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