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."


September 26: Saints Cosmas and Damian

Posted by Jacob

Today, September 26, we celebrate the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian (died 283), Christian doctors, patron saints of physicians and pharmacists, and martyrs for the faith. Of learned skill in medicine, brothers Cosmas and Damian helped those in need our of Christian charity and love, never accepting payment in return. For this reason, they are often referred to as anargyroi, meaning "the silverless" or “the moneyless.” Through their deep love and charity, they brought many to Christ. Numerous miracles of healing, including that of Emperor Justinian, are attributed to their powerful intercession.


Little is known of the true history of Saints Cosmas and Damian, but the legend that has come down to us is of very early origin. According to the legend, they were twin brothers, born in Arabia, who studied in Syria and became skilled physicians. They were supposed to have lived on the Aegean Sea, practicing on the gulf of Iskanderun in Cilicia, in what is now Turkey. Since they were prominent Christians, they were among the first arrested when the great persecution under Diocletian began. Lysias, the governor of Cilicia, ordered their arrest as “Christians who cured various illnesses and delivered possessed persons in the name of the one called Christ; they do not permit others to go to the temple to honor the gods by sacrifices.”

Upon questioning, the twins (along with their three brothers Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius), refused to recant their faith. Standing boldly before the governor, they stated, “We have done evil to no one. We are not involved with the magic or sorcery of which you accuse us. We treat the infirm by the power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and we take no payment for rendering aid to the sick, because our Lord commanded His disciples: Freely have you received, freely give.”

This enraged Cilicia, and he ordered them tortured and executed. In response, they prayed, “We rejoice, Lord, to follow the path of Your commandments, as in the midst of immense riches; and even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil.” Saints Cosmas and Damian remained constant under all forms of torture, and miraculously, suffered no injury from water, fire, air, nor on the cross raked with iron hooks. They were finally beheaded with the sword, and their bodies were carried to Syria and buried at Cyrrhus.

The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honor. Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage. In Rome, Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honor, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city.

Saints Cosmas and Damian were not only ideal Christians by their practice of medicine without fee, they also symbolized God's blessing upon the art of healing and respect for science, which is an important part of Christian tradition. We pray today that we may be as charitable and loving as Saints Cosmas and Damian, and that through their intercession, we may be steadfast in our faith.


Lord,
we honor the memory of Saints Cosmas and Damian.
Accept our grateful praise
for raising them to eternal glory
and for giving us your fatherly care.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



From the Golden Legend:


Cosmas and Damian were brethren germane, that is of one father and of one mother, and were of the city Egea, and born of a religious mother named Theodora. They were learned in the art of medicine, and of leechcraft, and received so great grace of God that they healed all maladies and languors, not only of men but also cured and healed beasts. And did all for the love of God without taking of any reward.


When Lysias heard of their rekonwn he made them to be called before him, and demanded their names and their country. And then the holy martyrs said: Our names be Cosmo and Damian, and we have three other brethren which be named Antimas, Leontius, and Euprepius. Our country is Arabia, but Christian men know not fortune.


Then the proconsul or judge commanded them that they should bring forth their brethren, and that they should all together do sacrifice to the idols. And when in no wise they would do sacrifice, but despised the idols, he commanded they should be sore tormented in the hands and feet. And when they despised his torments, he commanded them to be bound with a chain and thrown into the sea, but they were anon delivered by the angel of our Lord, and taken out of the sea, and came again tofore the judge.


And when the judge saw them, he said: Ye overcome our great gods by your enchantments; ye despise the torments and make the sea peaceable. Teach ye me your witchcraft, and in the name of the god Adrian, I shall follow you.


And anon as he had said this two devils came and beat him greatly in the visage, and he crying said: “O ye good men, I pray you that ye pray for me to our Lord.” And they then prayed for him and anon the devils departed.


Then the judge said: Lo! ye may see how the gods had indignation against me, because I thought to have forsaken them, but I shall not suffer my gods to be blasphemed.


And then he commanded them to be cast into a great fire, but anon the flame sprang far from them and slew many of them that stood by. And then they were commanded to be put on a torment named eculee [the rack], but they were kept by the angel of our Lord, and the tormentors tormented them above all men, and yet were they taken off without hurt or grief, and so came all whole tofore the judge.


Then the judge commanded the three to be put in prison, and made Cosmo and Damian to be crucified, and to be stoned of the people, but the stones returned to them that threw them, and hurt and wounded many of them. Then the judge, replenished with woodness, made the three brethren to stand by the cross, and commanded that four knights should shoot arrows to Cosmo and Damian, but the arrows returned and hurt many, and did no harm to the martyrs. And when the judge saw that, he was confused in all things, he was anguishous unto the death, and did do behead all five brethren together.


Then the Christian men doubted of the word that St. Cosmo had said, that his brother should not be buried with him, and as they thought thereon there came a voice which cried and said: They be all of one substance, bury them all together in one place. And they suffered death under Diocletian about the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty-seven.


Then let us pray unto these holy martyrs to be our succour and help in all our hurts, blechures and sores, and that by their merits after this life we may come to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.



Day 269 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Charity and Love; Steadfast endurance.
Requested Intentions: Restoration of a relationship (H); For successful employment (I); For a daughter’s successful relationship (M); For a relationship sanctified by God (M); For health of father; For canonization of Pope John Paul II (A); For the conversion of a family (L); For the ill (A); For the health of a family (I); For a father’s successful surgery and recovery (G); For those who are ill, and their caretakers (D); For the safety of a sister who is traveling (A); Recovery of mother with cancer (R); Successful acquisition of a visa (T); Restoration of a marriage (A); For employment and health of mother (G); Successful employment (M); Restoration of a family, End to brother's addiction, Successful marriage (R); Employment (I); Successful recovery of a mother; for all stroke victims (D); Successful return to the faith (A); Emotional, physical, and financial healing (D); Diagnosis and recovery (A); For a successful relationship (J); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).

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