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."

July 23: Saint Bridget of Sweden, "Spokewoman of God"

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 23, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), “Mystic of the North” and “Spokeswoman of God.” Saint Bridget lived a life of special communion with Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord, Jesus Christ. From an early age, she enjoyed the privilege of visions and communication with the Holy Family, which she diligently reported to her confessors, who in turn recorded them, leaving detailed descriptions for the faithful. She is remembered for her astonishing revelations and visions of biblical scenes, especially the nativity and the crucifixion. These descriptions have greatly inspired imagery in Christian art and her devotions have inspired popular piety. Her practical side, especially her charitable heart, led to her canonization and recognition as the patron saint of Europe.

Saint Bridget was born in Finista, Sweden, into the Swedish royal family, the daughter of virtuous Christian parents. Before her birth, her mother was saved from a shipwreck, so as to preserve Bridget for the world. Moreover, prophetic occurrences predicted the birth of Bridget, including her bishop who proclaimed her “voice would be heard with admiration by the entire world.”

Despite the foretelling of great things to come, Bridget failed to speak as an infant for three years, remaining completely mute. At age three, holy legend tells us that she suddenly acquired speech, communicating clearly and eloquently, like that of a mature adult. At age seven, following the death of her mother, Saint Bridget was graced with a vision of Our Blessed Mother, who appeared, presenting Bridget with a beautiful crown. Following this sacred encounter, Bridget embraced the Christian virtues, becoming modest, humble, and peaceful—significantly more so than one would expect for a girl her age.

At age ten, following a sermon at Church in which the priest spoke of the Passion of Our Lord, Bridget began praying to better understand the suffering of Jesus, and was rewarded with a vision of Christ as He appeared on the Cross, His sacred blood fresh and flowing freely. From that moment on, Bridget continuously meditated on the mysteries of the Passion, frequently being moved to tears by the suffering of Jesus.

At age thirteen, Bridget married Ulpho of Sweden, Prince of Nericia, in obedience to her father’s wishes. Together, they parented eight children, four boys and four girls, one of whom, Saint Catherine of Sweden, is honored as a Saint. Saint Bridget and her husband, under her influence, devoted themselves and their family to a life of piety. She occupied her days instructing her children in the ways of the faith. Similarly, she devoted herself zealously to serving the sick and poor, establishing homes for their care, and despite her status as royalty, washing and kissing their feet. Despite harsh penances and fasting she personally practiced, Saint Bridget served meals to twelve individuals each day, selecting the poorest, neediest, and most undesirable for the honor.

Sadly, Bridget and Ulpho’s four sons died quite young, two in childhood, two during the crusades. After some years she and her husband felt drawn to the religious life and separated by mutual consent. Ulpho entered the Cistercian Order, and passed away shortly thereafter. After his death, Bridget’s life became still more austere, and she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, spending much of her time in prayer and penance. She spent her days in prayer and contemplation, as well as continuing her charitable work. Bridget established hospitals and convalescent homes throughout Europe. Following instruction from Our Lord, Saint Bridget founded the Order of the Holy Savior (the Bridgettines), and established a double monastery (for both men and women) at the Abbey of Vadstena in Sweden.

Saint Bridget received a series of sublime revelations, all of which she scrupulously submitted to the judgment of her confessor. Written down for the faithful, these visions often focused on moments of the life of Christ, including the Nativity and Passion.
Bridget on the Crucifixion, speaking of Christ: “He ascended gladly like a meek lamb led to the slaughter (and) extended his arms and opened his right hand and placed it on the cross. Those savage torturers monstrously crucified it, piercing it with a nail through that part where the bone was more solid. And then with a rope, they pulled violently on his left hand and fastened it to the cross in the same manner. Finally they extended his body on the cross beyond all measure; and placing one of his shins on top of the other the fastened to the cross his feet, thus joined, with two nails… Then the crown of thorns, which they had removed from his head when he was being crucified they now put back, fitting it onto his most holy head. It pierced his awesome head with such force that then and there his eyes were filled with flowing blood ad his ears were obstructed… And as I, filled with sorrow, gazed at their cruelty, I then saw his most mournful Mother lying on the earth, as if trembling and half dead. She was being consoled by John and by those others, her sisters, who were then standing not far from the cross on the right side. Then the new sorrow of the compassion of that most holy Mother so transfixed me that I felt, as it were, that a sharp sword of unbearable bitterness was piecing my heart.”

Bridget on the Nativity, described seeing Mary giving birth, as if “light passed through her body.” Joseph had provided a candle, to illuminate the dark stable in the night. With the birth of the Savior, however, the candlelight was overcome by a divine light which bathed the Holy Family: “Her [Mary's] back was turned against the manger. Verily though all of a sudden, I saw the glorious Infant lying on the ground naked and shining… Then I heard also the singing of the angels, which was of miraculous sweetness and great beauty … When therefore the Virgin felt that she had already born her Child, she immediately worshipped him, her head bent down and her hands clasped, with great honor and reverence and said to him: Be welcome my God, my Lord, and my Son."

As she grew older, Bridget felt a call to pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land, at the command of Jesus. Drawn to the site of the Passion, she traveled Rome, and then to Jerusalem. During this pilgrimage, the Lord dictated to her the Fifteen Prayers of Saint Bridget,” in honor of His Passion. Our Lord made the following promises to those who would pray these fifteen prayers each day for one year:

1) “I will deliver fifteen souls of his lineage from Purgatory.”
2) “Fourteen souls of his lineage will be confirmed and preserved in grace.”
3) “Fifteen sinners of his lineage will be converted.”
4) “Whoever recites these prayers will obtain the first degree of perfection.”
5) “Fifteen days before his death, I will give him My Precious Blood to drink lest he thirst eternally.”
6) “Fifteen days before his death he will conceive a deep contrition for all his sins and a perfect knowledge of them.”
7) “I will place before him My Victorious Cross for his help and defense against the attacks of his enemies.”
8) “Before his death I will come with My Dearest and Beloved Mother.”
9) “I will graciously receive his soul, and will lead it into Eternal Joys.”
10) “And having led it there, I will give him a special draught from the fountain of my deity, something I will not do for those who have not recited My Prayers.”
11) “Let it be known that whoever may have been living in a state of mortal sin for thirty years, but who will recite devoutly, or have the intention to recite these prayers, I, the Lord will forgive him all of his sins.”
12) “I will defend him against evil temptations.”
13) “I will preserve and guard his five senses.”
14) “I will preserve him from a sudden death.”
15) “His soul will be delivered from eternal death.”
16) “He will obtain all he asks for from God and the Blessed Virgin.”
17) “If he has lived all his life doing his own will, and he is to die the next day, his life will be prolonged.”
18) “Every time one recites these prayers he will gain a hundred days indulgences.”
19) “He will be assured of being joined to the Supreme Choir of Angels.”
20) “Whoever teaches these prayers to another will have continual joy and merit which will last throughout eternity.”
21) “There, where these prayers are being said or may be said in the future, God will be present there by His Grace.”

Upon on her return from Jerusalem to Rome, Saint Bridget was overcome by fever, and suffered in Rome for one year. Having foretold her own death, she died peacefully. Her body was translated to her monastery of Vadstena, where multiple miracles have been recorded at her intercession.

Saint Bridget leaves a legacy of charity, visions, and prayer. Having dedicated herself to Our Lord, and struggling to understand His suffering and passion, Saint Bridget continues to glorify the Lord from her rightful place in heaven. We pray for her intercession, her faith, and her heart of service.

Prayer of St. Bridget
We pray thee, O most clement Virgin Mary,
Queen of the world and of angels, to obtain relief
for those whom the fire of Purgatory tries,
pardon for sinners, perseverance in good for the just,
and also defend us weak brethren from menacing danger.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord who lives and reigns with The Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.

Today’s Psalm: Psalm 89: Prayer for the Fulfillment of God’s Promises to David

1 I will sing of the LORD's great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
3 You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,
4 'I will establish your line forever
and make your throne firm through all generations.' "
5 The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,
your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD ?
Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?
7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
he is more awesome than all who surround him.
8 O LORD God Almighty, who is like you?
You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
9 You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;
with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
11 The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
you founded the world and all that is in it.
12 You created the north and the south;
Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
13 Your arm is endued with power;
your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long;
they exult in your righteousness.
17 For you are their glory and strength,
and by your favor you exalt our horn.
18 Indeed, our shield belongs to the LORD,
our king to the Holy One of Israel. (Psalm 89: 1-18)

Day 204 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Deeper faith; Lives of charity and service; Suffering united with Christ.
Requested Intentions: For healing of friends and family (B); For healing of an aunt with kidney disease (S); For the total deliverance of P (S); To know and follow the Will of God (M); Employment for husband and wife (K); Wisdom; Closer walk with Jesus (R); For successful conception (I); Thanksgiving for blessings received (K); Healing and financial assistance (F); Employment; Discernment of God’s will (A); Healing of illness (P); Small business assistance, blessings on jobs, financial aid for college student (M); Financial assistance (F); For a recovery and sanctification (X); For a daughter struggling with disease and illness (T); For all lost children (I); Prosperity, health, healing, and conversion for a family (M); Health and healing of a mother (A); Healing of heart and mind (T); Health for an ailing nephew (A); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 89: Prayer for the Fulfillment of God’s Promises to David


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