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."

Mary, Queen of Apostles

Posted by Jacob

Today, the first Saturday following the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, we celebrate one of the oldest devotions in the Church: Devotion to Mary, Queen of Apostles.

13When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1: 13-14)

In their booklet, Devotion to Mary, Queen of Apostles, the Daughters of Saint Paul express, beautifully, the meaning of this title: "Mary is Queen of Apostles because she was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ and to give Him to the world; she was made the Apostles' Mother and our own by Our Savior on the cross; she was with the Apostles while awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit, obtaining for them the abundance of supernatural graces they received on Pentecost."

We recognize that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, became the mother of the disciple He loved best at the foot of the cross, and in that moment, became mother of all apostles—in fact, she became mother to all of us. Our Blessed Mother remained with the first Apostles, caring for them, encouraging them, praying for them—just as she continues to constantly intercede for us in Heaven with Our Lord. She gathered the apostles together, comforted them, and assisted them in prayer. Together with them she hoped, desired and prayed; with them her petitions were heeded and she received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Our Blessed Mother exercised a universal apostolate-- one so vast that it encompassed all others. In her simple life-- one of mother, teacher, neighbor, and friend-- she fulfilled and exceeded all apostolates: the apostolate of prayer, the apostolate of good example, the apostolate of suffering. Others have practiced the teachings of the Gospel, the virtues of the Christian life, but Mary lived and embodied them all. She was and is full of grace, and from her we draw our strength and abundance. She is the model of Christian virtue. She is the help of the afflicted.  She is the refuge of sinners.

Second only to Christ, but also with Christ, Mary is the preeminent Apostle. Just as God continues to bestow all graces through Mary, He willed that Christ should come to us through Mary. In such, every apostolate and every true apostle has life and action from Mary, beginning in Mary, mediated by Mary, encouraged by Mary. Christ began his apostolate through the encouragement of Mary at Cana. The mission of the apostles was begun through Mary in the Upper Room through her teaching, encouragement, and support. Likewise, through the centuries all apostolates have received their beginning, their nurturance, and their strength through Mary.

In “The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin,” written by the Venerable Mary of Agreda, mystic and visionary, the author describes the role of Mary in the Upper Room, prior to Pentecost: “She [Mary] assembled them together twice a day in the Supper-room, and being commanded by St. John or St. Peter to speak, explained to them for one hour the mysteries of faith, as if she were conversing with them, rather than teaching them as their Mistress and Queen. She explained the mysteries of the Hypostatic Union and all those contained in the ineffable and divine Incarnation. After this she bade them entertain themselves for one hour longer on the counsels, promises and doctrines they had learned from their Divine Master; to consecrate another part of the day to the recital of the Pater Noster, with some psalms; and to employ the rest of the time in mental prayer. In the evening they took some slight nourishment of bread, fruits and fish; thus by prayer and fasting they prepared for the coming of the Holy Spirit. She incited them to mental prayer, teaching them its excellence and necessity, because the noblest occupation of the reasonable creature is to raise his mind above created things to meditate on the divine, and that nothing should be preferred to this holy exercise.

By these holy lessons, the Mother of Wisdom and the Mistress of Charity enlightened the minds and inflamed the hearts of the Apostles and disciples, filling them with fervor and disposing them to receive the precious gifts of the Paraclete.”

Without God nothing exists. Without Mary, nothing in Christ and in the Church exists. Mary is the one who leads every creature to the truth, because she brought forth the light of the world. Through her the apostles announce salvation to the world. Mary gave Jesus to the world and with Jesus came every other blessing. Thus, because of Mary we have the Church: "Mary is the Mother of the Church not only because she is the Mother of Christ and his most intimate associate in 'the new economy when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that he might in the mysteries of his flesh free man from sin,' but also because 'she shines forth to the whole community of the elect as a model of the virtues.'" (Lumen Gentium. 55, 65)

We turn to Mary, Queen of Apostles, praying for her continued support, nurturance, strength, and intercession on our behalf—as we each fulfill our own apostolate in the world by the grace bestowed upon us by Our Lord, through the mediation of Our Blessed Mother.

A prayer to Mary, Queen of Apostles (written by Saint Vincent Pallotti)

Immaculate Mother of God, Queen of the Apostles, we know that God's commandment of love and our vocation to follow Jesus Christ impels us to cooperate in the mission of the Church. Realizing our own weakness, we entrust the renewal of our personal lives and our apostolate to your intercession. We are confident that through God's mercy and the infinite merits of Jesus Christ, you, who are our Mother, will obtain the strength of the Holy Spirit as you obtained it for the community of the apostles gathered in the upper room. Therefore, relying on your maternal intercession, we resolve from this moment to devote our talents, learning, material resources, our health, sickness and trials, and every gift of nature and grace, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of all. We wish to carry on those activities which especially promote the Catholic apostolate for the revival of faith and love of the people of God and so bring all men and women into the faith of Jesus Christ. And if a time should come when we have nothing more to offer serviceable to this end, we will never cease to pray that there will be one fold and one shepherd Jesus Christ. In this way, we hope to enjoy the results of the apostolate of Jesus Christ for all eternity. Amen.


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