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."


Merciful Mother of the Mentally Ill

Posted by Jacob

Earlier today, I wrote about the life of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, the patron saint of the homeless, single men (bachelors), and the mentally ill.  The Guild of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre (www.guildbjlabre.com) has commissioned a beautiful icon of Our Merciful Mother of the Mentally Ill. The artist explains that this icon depicts “The Mercy of God, revealed in His son through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, for all of those who live with and suffer from an emotional or mental disability.


Saint Benedict Joseph Labre is depicted exchanging a crown of thorns—symbolic of the suffering of those with mental illness—for the golden bejeweled crown of the Christ child—the eternal reward for patient endurance of suffering.

Our Blessed Mother, whom Saint Benedict Joseph was extremely devoted to, brings the Lord into our presence, carrying the child Jesus, offering Him to humanity, and joining us in His and our suffering. Despite the heavy walls and the stormy sky, the Blessed Virgin stands among the people, bringing forth the precious love of God to those in need.


Loving Creator, we come before you because we know that you are a God of love and compassion. We come as people of all creeds and all nations seeking your presence, comfort and guidance. We come as consumers, family members, friends, co-workers and mental health professionals. We come this day because we believe that you, Divine One, love each one of us just as we are and you walk with us on our individual journeys through life. You see the ignorance and injustice that divides and separates persons struggling with mental illness and you weep with us.


Give us courage to face our challenges and open us today to the many ways you are already working in our midst. Help us to identify mental illness as the disease it is, that we might have courage and wisdom in the face of ignorance and stigma. Inspire us as we seek to overcome fear, acquire knowledge, and advocate for compassionate and enlightened treatment and services.


Lead us as we open our hearts and homes, our communities and job opportunities, our houses of worship and communities of faith. Enable us to find ways to be inclusive of persons living with mental illness in our everyday lives. Be with doctors, therapists, researchers, social workers, and all those in the helping professions as they seek to overcome ignorance and injustice with care and compassion.


Sometimes, Divine Spirit, we feel discouraged and hopeless in the face of so many challenges. Help us to see ourselves as you see us…persons of value and worth…persons of creativity and potential. May we come to understand the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit in bringing about health and wholeness. And may we go forward into our communities with a renewed sense of vision, hope and possibility for the future. Amen.

(Adapted from NAMI Day of Prayer, 2005)

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