Saint Crescentia Hoess (1682-1744), a woman of deep piety and humility, who despite persecution at the hands of her Franciscan sisters, remained cheerful and warm.
Born in a small town near Augsburg, Bavaria, Crescentia survived a poor childhood with grace and joy. Her father, a weaver, had little money to support the family, and yet Crescentia was renowned in the area for her cheerful disposition, and her willingness to give the little she had to those who needed it more. She spent her days at the local church praying, and received her first Holy Eucharist at the unusually young age of seven due to her knowledge of the catechism and her demonstrated love for the Lord. Residents of the town, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, referred to her as “the little angel.” At this time, around age seven, while praying in the chapel of the Franciscan convent, she heard a voice which said, “this shall be your dwelling place.”
However, life was not easy for Crescentia once she took the veil. Rather, her sisters, under the direction of the Superior, treated her poorly, referring to her as “beggar,” and expecting her to perform the most menial tasks. She was not provided with her own cell, forced to beg her sisters to sleep in a corner each night. All of these things, as prior to her monastic life, she suffered with piety and grace—so much so, that her sisters would accuse her of hypocrisy. But Crescentia’s faith would not be dampened, nor would her sprits. She performed the menial tasks given to her better than anyone else could have, praying constantly while she did, and thanking the Lord for the opportunity. Following reception of the Holy Eucharist, she began experiencing visions of the Lord, which at first concerned her, and later brought her comfort.
Word of Crescentia’s piety and grace spread, as did her humility. Local nobles, heads of state, and learned scholars consulted with Crescentia for spiritual direction. She became known for practical solutions to problems and a common-sense approach. Her advice to her visitors always stressed the need for prayer but also encouraged the petitioner to do everything possible to resolve the issue.
Crescentia and her community demonstrated great kindness to the poor and those in need. She welcomed all as brothers and sisters of Christ, and treated them with respect, dignity, and charity. To her sisters she recommended observing silence, recollection, and spiritual reading, especially the Gospels. The teacher of their religious life had to be Jesus on the Cross.
Prayer of Love to God (written by Saint Crescentia Hoess)
Grant, O God, that love and suffering may grow hand in hand in me, so that I may love you more and more with the cheerful disposition which is the fruit of love. O Lord, only grant me love for you, and I shall be rich enough. I desire only that you leave me to my nothingness and that you alone, if I may say so, be all in all and loved and honored by everybody. I wish to take pleasure in nothing but only in you and your love.
Day 96 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Acceptance and love for all; Patient suffering.
Requested Intentions: For Healing (A); The blessing of children (S); Safety of travelers (J); Improved family relationship with the Lord, using gifts for His glory (L); For a restorative, faith-deepening Lent for all those who are struggling (L).
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."