Saint Frumentius of Ethiopia (died 383), also known as “Abuna,” or the Father of Ethiopia. Together with his twin brother, saint Aedesius, he is credited with bringing the faith to that region of Africa, as well as translating the New Testament into local language to make it more accessible to the people there. A disciple of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, Saint Frumentius turned the tragedy of his youth into a powerful opportunity to preach the truth of the Gospel to those in need.
Born in Tyre, Lebanon, Frumentius and his brother were taken on a voyage to Ethiopia what still young children by their uncle, Meropius, a Christian philosopher and explorer. During the voyage, tragedy struck and the ship was attacked by barbarian pirates while harbored in a community on the Red Sea. The entire crew, with the exception of the two children, were slain, and the ship destroyed. Frumentius and Aedesius were taken as slaves.
The brothers grew in faith, serving their king well. On his deathbed, grateful for years of service, the king granted the twins their freedom. However, the queen begged them to stay at court and assist her in governing the country until the heir to the throne came of age. This, they gladly did, convincing her to allow the introduction of Christianity to the country, and opening trade ties with the West. Over time, the brothers used their influence to spread Christianity first throughout the court, and then throughout the country. First they encouraged Christian merchants, who had been recently allowed into the country, to practice their faith openly by meeting at places of public worship. Eventually, this led to the conversion of the native residents. When the prince reached the age of governing, the brothers resigned their posts.
Upon his return, Frumentius was welcomed back with reverence, and through working of miracles and holy example, converted the king, and subsequently, the majority of the nation. He worked tirelessly throughout the country until his death in approximately the year 383. The people of Ethiopia called him Abuna (Our Father), Kesate Birhan (Revealer of Light), and Abba Salama (Father of Peace).
Pray for us, dear Frumentius, that we may also “bloom where we are planted.” You were just a young boy in a strange and pagan land, but you made the best of the situation and brought truth and life to that desolate land and lost people. We pray for your intercession that we may bring the light of Christ with us wherever we go in the hope of inspiring others to follow Him. In His name we pray. Amen.
Day 300 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Perseverance, Endurance, Faith in difficult situations.
Requested Intentions: Complete recovery of son (P); Recovery of parish priest, health of mother, conversion of son (J); Successful employment, end to depression (J); Successful immigration and employment (S); Conversion of an unloving daughter (M); Recovery of husband, health of mother, economic freedom (R); Freedom from depression, restoration of family relationships (N); Restoration of a relationship (J); Healing of friends from cancer (J); Complete healing of a friend with pancreatic cancer (J); Recognition of God’s Will; Obedience in vocation (J); Successful employment (M&I); For a son who struggles (S); Conversion (P); For family, peace, and social justice (J); Son’s employment (K); Discernment of the Lord’s will (A); Mother’s full recovery from a stroke (K); Employment (P); For family’s prosperity and employment (M); For a husband’s addiction (F); Health in a relationship, literary representation (D); For a mother struggling with cancer (P); Employment and financial assistance (L); End to work troubles, return to health (R); For a husband’s recovery from alcoholism (M); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
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."