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."
Today, July 27, we celebrate the feast day of Pope Saint Innocent I (died 417), the 40th Pope of the Church, confessor, and staunch defender of the faith. During his 16 year papacy, Pope Innocent I faced the crumbling of the Roman Empire. Looking forward, he stressed the primacy of the Apostolic See of Rome, not only for the Western (European) Church, but also for the Eastern (African and Asian) Church. He issued instructions regarding the Sacraments of the Eucharist, Penance (Reconciliation), Extreme Unction (Sacrament of the Sick), and Confirmation. In protecting and strengthening the core Sacraments of our faith, Pope Saint Innocent I propelled the Church into a new world position, situated in Rome, but not dependent on Rome.
Prior to his elevation to Pope, little is known about the life of Saint Innocent I. He is believed to have been a native of Albano, Italy, named after his father. He served as a priest, and later a bishop, prior to unanimous election as Bishop of Rome following the death of Anastasius. As written in Butler’s Lives of the Saints, “He ascended it by compulsion, and considering himself in it with trembling, he never ceased to beg of God the spirit of his holy wisdom and prudence, which he stood the more in need of, as the times in which he lived were more difficult.” Throughout his papacy, he demonstrated considerable zeal for the purity of the Catholic faith, the truth of the teachings of great Catholic writers (among them Saint Augustine and Saint John Chrysostom, both of whom he befriended and corresponded with). Moreover, more than any pontiff before him, Innocent acted as head of the entire Church—both East and West—sending his encyclicals throughout the world. Innocent is also remembered for his focus on discipline within the Church, rooting out sin and vice, and along with the Emperor of Rome, passing decrees against heresy and immorality throughout Rome.
"Roma locuta, causa finita est" (Rome has spoken, the matter is ended).
Upon his death, Pope Saint Innocent I was buried in a basilica above the catacomb of Pontianus, next to his father’s tomb, and was venerated as a saint. He is remembered for his strengthening of the Sacraments, his defense of the Church, and the energy and activity he brought to the duties of his office. Let us pray to Pope Saint Innocent I to give us an energy like his to defend the cause of the Catholic Church in these days of opposition in which we live.
From the Letter of Pope Saint Innocent I to Saint John Chrysostom:
To the beloved brother John, Innocent:
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 94: A Warning to Israel’s Oppressors
1 O LORD, the God who avenges,
O God who avenges, shine forth.
2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
3 How long will the wicked, O LORD,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?
4 They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting.
5 They crush your people, O LORD;
they oppress your inheritance.
6 They slay the widow and the alien;
they murder the fatherless.
7 They say, "The LORD does not see;
the God of Jacob pays no heed."
8 Take heed, you senseless ones among the people;
you fools, when will you become wise?
9 Does he who implanted the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches man lack knowledge?
11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man;
he knows that they are futile.
12 Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD,
the man you teach from your law;
13 you grant him relief from days of trouble,
till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the LORD will not reject his people;
he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the LORD had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
your love, O LORD, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.
20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
one that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 They band together against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the LORD has become my fortress,
and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
and destroy them for their wickedness;
the LORD our God will destroy them.
Day 209 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Strengthening of the Church; Reform; Leadership of the Church; Reverence for the Sacraments.
Requested Intentions: End to debt and legal difficulties; immigration success (B); For a mother’s continued employment (S); For continued blessings on a relationship (S); For a sick grandmother (R); For the building of a Catholic community, family, and law practice (M); 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); For a recovery and sanctification (X); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 94: A Warning to Israel’s Oppressors