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."

May is Mary's Month: Mary, the "Mystical Rose"

Posted by Jacob

May is Mary’s month.

As Gerard Manley Hopkins writes in his poem May Magnificat, “May is Mary’s month.” While we venerate Our Blessed Mother, Mary, Ever-Virgin, Mother of the Savior, Mistress of the World, and Queen of Heaven and Earth throughout the year, May is particularly special. May signifies the beginning of new life, and as such, it is the perfect month in which to honor Mary, the second Eve, the vessel through which new life—the life of the Savior which leads us to new life—was born.

As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in Seek That Which is Above, “The mood of springtime informs the church's interior; nature's blossoming, the warm air of May evenings, human gladness in a world that is renewing itself -- all these things enter in. Veneration of Mary has its place in this very particular atmosphere, for she, the Virgin, shows us faith under its youthful aspect, as God's new beginning in a world that has grown old. In her we see the Christian life set forth as a youthfulness of the heart, as beauty and a waiting readiness for what is to come."

May is Mary’s month. It brings with it the return of flowers, the sweet fragrance of new life. Our Mother, Mary, is often referred to as “the Mystical Rose,” a title from which the Holy Rosary draws its name, based upon the tradition of adorning statues of the Blessed Virgin with strands of roses. St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote, "our Lord planted all the flowers which adorn the Church in this garden; and amongst others the violet of humility, the lily of purity, and the rose of charity."

"A rose is red, and of a fiery color," echoed Blessed Raymond Jordano, "which denotes love of God and of our neighbor." No man or woman before or since has lived the love of God and neighbor so purely, the charity of which Saint Bernard and Blessed Raymond speak of, than our Holy Mother and advocate in heaven. "We acknowledge," said Saint Augustine of the Blessed Virgin, "that one alone is solicitous for us in heaven."

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church, summarized the role of Mary as a source of new life, saying, ”Eve was a thorn, wounding, bringing death to all; in Mary we see a rose, soothing everybody's hurts, giving the destiny of salvation back to all. Mary was a rose, white for maidenhood, red for love; white in body, red in soul; white in her seeking after virtue, red in treading down vice; white in cleansing her affections, red in mortifying her flesh; white in her love of God, red in compassion for her neighbor"

May is Mary’s month. We thank her for her constant intercession. We venerate her for her role in the salvation of mankind. We love her as a perfect mother, not only to Jesus, but to each one of us. We look to her—the source of new life—for rebirth and renewal in our own lives, faith journeys, and spiritual development. As Saint Louis de Montfort would say, “Through Mary to Jesus.”

May seems like the perfect month for such a journey.

Throughout the month of May, I will be posting some of my favorite poems and hymns to Our Blessed Mother, in honor of her grace and Christian virtues—faith, hope, and love. Holy Mary, pray for us!

May Magnificat by Gerard Manley Hopkins

MAY is Mary's month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season-

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?-
Growth in every thing-

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature's motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring's universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfed cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all-

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.


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