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."

Excerpt from The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Posted by Jacob

Saint Simon Stock, the feast we celebrate today, demonstrated great sanctity from a young age, reciting the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary as early as age six. This beautiful prayer and reflection is one which is recited at eight separate times throughout the day, beginning in the morning after waking, and ending at night, prior to sleeping. It is a lengthy meditation on the grace and beauty of Our Blessed Mother, containing prayer, readings, reflections, intercessions, responses, and psalms.

During this month of May—Our Blessed Mother’s month—and on this, the feast of Saint Simon Stock, I thought a brief excerpt from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary was appropriate. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us! Intercede for us with Jesus, Our Lord!

Opening Prayer
Open thou my mouth, O lord to bless thy Holy Name,
cleanse my heart also from all vain, perverse, and distracting thoughts,
enlighten my understanding, inflame my affections,
that I may recite this Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary with worthy attention and devotion, and may deserve to be heard in the sight of Thy Divine Majesty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, I offer these hours unto thee, in union with that divine intention wherewith thou didst thyself offer praises to God, whilst thou was on earth.

The Word took our nature from Mary
From a letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop

What was born of Mary was therefore human by nature, in accordance with the inspired Scriptures, and the body of the Lord was a true body: It was a true body because it was the same as ours. Mary, you see, is our sister, for we are all born from Adam.

The words of St John, the Word was made flesh, bear the same meaning, as we may see from a similar turn of phrase in St Paul: Christ was made a curse for our sake. Mary's body has acquired something great through its communion and union with the Word. From being mortal it has been made immortal; though it was a living body it has become a spiritual one; though it was made from the earth it has passed through the gates of heaven.

Even when the Word takes a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, with neither increase nor decrease. It is for ever perfect. In the Trinity we acknowledge one Godhead, and thus one God, the Father of the Word, is proclaimed in the Church.

Mary our mother
From a sermon by Saint Aelred, abbot

She is our mother — the mother of our life, the mother of our incarnation, the mother of our light. As the apostle says of our Lord: He became for us by God's power our wisdom and justice, and holiness and redemption.

She then, as mother of Christ, is the mother of our wisdom and justice, of our holiness and redemption. She is more our mother than the mother of our flesh. Our birth from her is better, for from her is born our holiness, our wisdom, our justice, our sanctification, our redemption

Praise the Lord in his holy ones, say the Scriptures. If our Lord is to be praised in those holy ones through whom he brings to being deeds of power and miracles, how much more is he to be praised in her in whom he fashioned himself, who is wonderful beyond all wonders.

Mary as type of the Church
From the dogmatic constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council

Mary, because she has entered intimately into the history of salvation, in a certain sense gathers up in her own person the great truths of the faith and awakens their resonance when she is the object of preaching and veneration; she summons the faithful to her Son, to his sacrifice and to the Father’s love. In seeking to further the glory of Christ, the Church becomes more and more like Mary, its exalted type, as it continues its progress in faith, hope and charity, seeking and fulfilling the divine will in all things.

So also in its apostolic task the Church rightly looks to the one who bore Christ, Christ who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin in order that he might also be born and grow in the hearts of the faithful. In her whole life this virgin mother showed herself as an example of that motherly love that must animate all who share in the apostolic mission of the Church for the regeneration of mankind.

Concluding Prayer
God our Father,
may we always profit by the prayers of the Virgin Mother Mary, for You bring us life and salvation through Jesus Christ her Son Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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