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, October 20, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin (1888-1922), a young woman who was greeted by rejection, ridicule and disappointment at every turn, but used such trials to grow closer to God and serve Him with simplicity, humility, and deep faith.
“But you are not able to do anything!” He exclaimed. “The nuns would not know what to do with you!”
“That is true, master,” Anna answered quite candidly, and accepted his advice that she remain at home, working in the fields.
So he explained that it would be better if she remained at home and gave a hand with the work in the fields. However, upon reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament later that evening, the same priest realized that Anna was called to serve God. He called her back to him, asking “Are you still decided on entering a convent? Tell me something: do you know how to peel potatoes at least?”
“Oh yes, Father, I am able to do that at least."
After being rejected for admission to one order because of her slowness, she was eventually accepted as a member of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Heart at Vicenza, and took the name "Maria Bertilla.” Upon admission, she told the novice-mistress of the order, "I can't do anything. I'm a poor thing, a goose. Teach me. I want to be a saint." She worked there as a kitchen maid and laundress for three years.
Her supervisor, angry at her growing reputation, reassigned her to the hospital laundry, a position she remained in (without complaint) for four months. Her congregation’s mother-general heard of this vindictive treatment, and transferred Bertilla back to nursing, making her the supervisor of the children’s ward.
O Dearly beloved Word of God, teach me to be generous, to serve Thee as Thou dost deserve, to give without counting the cost, to fight without fretting at my wounds, to labor without seeking rest, to spend myself without looking for any reward other than that of knowing that I do Thy holy will. Amen.
Prayer Intentions: Selflessness and service to others.