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."

The Way of the Cross: Lourdes

Posted by Jacob

In Lourdes, pilgrims can participate in the meditations on the Way of the Cross by climbing a mile long path up the Espelugues Mountain, along which life-sized bronze figures mark each of the 15 Stations. At the top of the mountain is Calvary, representing the hill where Jesus drew His last breath. A sixteenth Station has been added, the stone rolled from the entrance of the tomb, with a plaque proclaiming, "He has risen as He said. Alleluia!"

To wander this mountain in solitude, praying and meditating on the final steps of Jesus, was a sorrowing experience. Each step brought me closer to the top of the mountain, and the knowledge of what scene would confront my eyes. Each step brought me closer to the understanding that Christ died because of my sin. And with that knowledge, each step up the mountain was harder to take.

The brutality of the crucifixion is brought to life in this moment, in seeing it “life-sized.” While figures of metal, the humanity and pain sculpted into the faces of Jesus and the women he meets, the indifference and mockery on the faces of the soldiers are not soon forgotten. We identify with Jesus in our own pain, but we rarely think of ourselves like the Roman soldiers when he hurt, humiliate, or degrade others. Coming face to face with the gazes of the soldiers, one has to reconsider, one has to take stock.

The trip down the mountain is one of quicker steps, toward the placing of Jesus in the tomb, through the hopelessness and waiting of Holy Saturday, toward the empty tomb of Easter Morning. He has risen as He said. Alleluia!


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