Saint Julie Billiart (1751-1816) , visionary and virgin of the Church. Born to wealthy farmers in Cuvilly, France, Julie displayed an aptitude and interest in religion from an early age. By age seven, she had reportedly memorized the Catechism, and her local priest allowed her to make her First Eucharist and Confirmation at age nine, well before the expected age of thirteen. At that time, her love for the Lord compelled her to a make a vow of chastity, pledging to remain a virgin in service to God. She became known as the “saint of Cuvilly” by those who encountered her, due to her virtue and grace.
At approximately age 16, Julie’s family suffered a financial crisis, and Julie left school—which she enjoyed deeply—to work in the fields for her parents. During breaks, Julie could often be found sitting in the hay mounds, reciting Scriptures for the other laborers, telling parables, or instructing from the Catechism.
“How good is the good God.”
Julie’s devotion to Catholicism, and her willingness to harbor local and visiting priests attracted the attention of French authorities who prohibited such behaviors. Subsequently, Julie was forced to leave her home (smuggled out by friends covered by hay in a hay cart), and spent the next several years being moved from place to place to avoid detection and arrest. It was during this time of great fear that Julie received a vision from the Lord. In her vision, she witnessed herself and a group of women dressed in religious habit—a habit she had never seen before—standing beside the crucified Christ on Calvary. A voice proclaimed, "Behold these spiritual daughters whom I give you in an Institute marked by the cross."
The life of Saint Julie Billiart reminds us that the love of the Lord enables us to overcome all obstacles. Despite loss, hardship, and paralysis, Julie never lost hope and confidence in the goodness of the Lord. How frequently do we lose site of the love and care of our living God?
Prayer to St. Julie Billiart
Saint Julie, through your great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, you were miraculously cured and favored by many graces. By your powerful intercession, obtain for us above all, great trust in God in all the difficulties of life, the strength to accomplish in all things the adorable will of God, and the special grace we now ardently ask of you. Amen.
Day 98 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Trust in the Lord.
Requested Intentions: Restoration of a marriage (J); For a friend’s daughter, seeking medical treatment for a blood disorder (D); For the grace and conversion of a loved one (Z); For a beloved son’s return to the faith (A); For the improved health and recovery of a mother (G); For health, blessings, and protection (K); For an improvement in a difficult employment situation (T); For a family member’s recovery from surgery (D); For the victims of an automobile accident (D); For peace of mind and health (J); For the love of a romantic partner (S).
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."