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 2: Saint Agnes of Bohemia

Posted by Jacob

Saint Agnes of Bohemia (also known as Saint Agnes of Prague, 1205-1282) is the saint whose feast day we celebrate today, March 2. As did many saints, Saint Agnes was born into royalty, with endless wealth, privilege, and opportunity placed before her. Instead, she chose poverty and service to others based in her love for the Lord.

Born the daughter of Queen Constance and King Ottokar I of Bohemia, Agnes was also the elder cousin of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. She grew up in the royal court of Bohemia, and was engaged via arranged marriage to numerous royals from Germany and the Holy Roman empire. Her first engagement occurred at age three, her second at age six, but these arranged marriages were not enforced due to political reasons.

Educated by the Cistercian Order at Trzebnica, a enclosed cell of monks also known as “white monks” and later as “trappists,” Saint Agnes was instructed in the ways of God. She demonstrated great piety from this early age, and concern for the poor, sick, and those in need. As she matured, she received a marriage proposal from Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor at that time. Having decided that she would prefer to devote her life to Christ and enter a religious order, Agnes sought audience with Pope Gregory IX, appealing to him for help in her sticky political predicament. The pope met with the emperor, and was able to persuade him to rescind his proposal. It is said that Frederick acquiesced, stating: “If she had left me for a mortal man, I would have taken vengeance with the sword, but I cannot take offence because in preference to me she has chosen the King of Heaven."

Saint Agnes, finally free from the political manipulations of arranged marriages entered the Order of Poor Clares, moving to the monastery of Saint Savior in Prague. It was there that she received the veil, and grew in love and service to others. It was also there that she began a two-decade long correspondence with Saint Clare of Assisi. Although the two never met in person, their letters survive.

During her time in Prague, Saint Agnes build a Franciscan hospital, as well as a monastery and convent for the sisters and monks who worked there. She initiated the formation of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, a religious order dedicated to serving the poor in medical settings. Pressured to become abbess by the pope, a position she reluctantly agreed to, Agnes never tired of cooking for her sisters, attending to the poor and ill, mending clothes of lepers, and generally living a life of profound humility and service. She preferred to be called “senior sister,” and the only sign of her authority was her unwavering expectation that her sisters follow the rule of poverty espoused by the Poor Clares.

Saint Agnes is reported to have had miraculous healing properties and ecstatic visions. She died in 1282, and was buried in Prague at the convent she built. She remained much loved, ironically appearing on currency! Saint Agnes inspires us to turn away from selfishness, greed, and pride, and to instead embrace the suffering of others with charity, generosity, and humility. She is a model of virtue which we can learn from during our Lenten period of self-examination and contrition.

Day 61 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Charity, Generosity, and Humility in service to others.
Requested Intentions: 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 20 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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