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."


Our Lady of Fatima: The Fourth Apparition

Posted by Jacob


In May 1917, Our Blessed Mother began a series of visits with three Portuguese shepherd children: Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta. During the months that followed the initial visitation, the three visionaries were graced with six messages from the Blessed Virgin, as well as three apparitions of the “Angel of Portugal,” all of which culminated in the spectacular “Miracle of the Sun,” witnessed by tens of thousands of the faithful. Each month, on the 13th day, Our Lady of Fatima delivered a message to the children-- a message of the importance of devotion to the Immaculate Heart and praying the Rosary—through which the ruinous course of humanity could be converted and redeemed.

Following the last apparition, the children had been placed under great scrutiny by both the Church and the local government. As the date of Our Lady’s August apparition (August 13) approached, the local district administrator, Artur de Oliveira Santos, imprisoned the children, driving them nine miles to a nearby town. Against their families’ wishes, he held Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia for two days, during which time he threatened them with various tortures (including boiling them in oil) to procure the release of the secrets of Fatima. Each of the three seers demonstrated great courage, refusing to reveal any of the truths sworn to them, and withstanding all threats and fears. All three—but Francisco in particular—believing themselves to be killed during interrogation, were filled with joy at the thought of being reunited with Our Blessed Mother in heaven.

Two days after it began, on the 15th of August, the "trial" of the children was completed. On the Feast of the Assumption, the Administrator had the three visionaries driven back to Fátima and deposited on the steps of the rectory. When the congregation exited the church after Mass, they angrily demanded an apology from the Mayor, who did so, and never interfered with the events of Fatima following. It would effectively be the only serious effort of the civil authorities to interfere with the Lady of Fátima.

On Sunday the 19th, Lucia, her brother John, and Francisco, were out in the pasture, grazing the sheep. At about 4 o'clock, sensing that Our Lady was about to appear, Lucia was saddened that Jacinta was not present to witness the vision of Our Blessed Mother. She convinced John to fetch Jacinta, paying him a few pennies for the errand. From her memoirs:
“I felt that something supernatural was approaching and enveloping us. Suspecting that Our Lady was going to appear to us, and feeling sorry that Jacinta would not be there to see Her, we asked her brother John to go and get her.”

As she and Francisco waited, they witnessed the characteristic flash of light in the sky. The moment Jacinta arrived the Lady appeared, radiant in appearance, and dressed as during previous apparitions.

As she recounted it, Lucy humbly asked, "What does your Grace want of me?"

Our Blessed Mother gently replied, “I want you to continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th of every month, and that you continue praying the Rosary every day. On the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe. If they had not taken you to the town (referring to the questioning of the children by the Administrator in a nearby town), the miracle would have been greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will come also.”

Lucy continued, after a moment, What do You want them to do with the money the people leave at the Cova da Iria?”

Our Lady of Fatima answered, “Have two litters made. You will carry one with Jacinta and two other girls dressed in white; the other one Francisco is to carry, with three boys, like him, dressed in white. It will be for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built.”

“I should like to ask You to cure some sick persons,” Lucy asked timidly.

Smiling, Our Lady of the Rosary replied, “Yes, I will cure some of them during the year.” Then becoming sad, Our Lady said: “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and pray for them.”

And with that, Our Lady began to ascend towards the east, disappearing from view over the helm-oak tree.

Following the August apparition, Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco prayed their Rosary more fervently each day, and looked for additional means of mortification and penance by which to make sacrifices for sinners: "for His love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offenses against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

In her memoirs, Lucy described one such method of penance:

“Some days after [the apparition of August 19], we were following a path with our sheep and I found a piece of rope which had fallen from a cart. I took it and amused myself by attaching it to one of my arms. I did not take long to notice that the rope hurt me. I then said to my cousins: ‘Look, that hurts! We could attach it around our waist and offer this sacrifice to God.’ The poor children accepted my idea immediately and we then decided to share that rope among the three of us. A sharp stone, rubbing on another, served as a knife. Whether because of the size and roughness of the rope, or because sometimes we squeezed it too much, that instrument made us suffer horribly. Sometimes Jacinta shed some tears because of the discomfort which the rope caused her. I told her on several occasions to take it off, and she replied, ‘No! I want to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord in reparation and for the conversion of sinners.’”

Our Lady of Fatima would return on the thirteenth day of September, as promised, continuing her message of penance and reparation, sacrifice, and conversion of sinners. Through prayers of adoration and reparation, we turn to Our Lady of Fatima—to whom God has entrusted our redemption through her grace and cooperation with her divine spouse—to rectify the state of the world, reduce the influence of evil, save the sinful, and draw ourselves closer to Our God through devotion to the Immaculate Heart.


Oh my Jesus,
Forgive us our sins.
Save us from the fires of Hell.
Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Your Mercy.
Amen.

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