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."

November 3: Saint Hubertus, Patron Saint of Hunters

Posted by Jacob

Today, November 3, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Hubertus of Liege, (656-727), the Apostle of the Ardennes, and patron saint of hunters. Saint Hubertus’ life inspires us to respect all living creatures as creations of the Almighty, and to find God in the everyday encounters in our lives.

Hubertus was born in the European city of Maastricht, to French nobility. His father was the Duke of Aquintaine, Bertrand, and he was the grandson of Charibert, King of Toulouse. As eldest son, Hubertus was afforded the finer things in life, including the best education, and plenty of time for leisure. He was drawn to the pleasurable activities of youth—including gambling and licentiousness-- but nothing made him happier than hunting. In fact, the chase of animals was the primary activity in which he spent his days. His love for the chase was such that he gradually stopped practicing any religious affiliation, instead spending his days in the fields and woods, trapping and hunting. Eventually, he was married and with his wife, conceived a child.

As holy legend tells us, Hubertus was encouraged by his priest to “give up” hunting for Lent. He refused. Moreover, on Good Friday, Hubertus chose to go hunting, rather than attend solemn Mass with the rest of the household. He departed, as was his habit, to the fields to hunt. Riding his horse, along with his trusted hounds (which today are referred to by his name), Hubertus was chasing a large and impressive stag. As he was pursuing this magnificent beast of the forest, the stag stopped and turned in a sun-drenched clearing.

Hubertus was astounded to see a Holy Crucifix suspended between the antlers of the creature, and while he stopped, dumbfounded, heard a voice emanating from the figure of Christ. The voice said to him: "Hubertus, unless you turn to the Lord, and lead a holy life, you shall quickly fall into the abyss of Hell!"

Hubert dismounted (rather, fell) immediately from his horse, prostrated himself on the ground and asked the creature, "Lord, what would you have me do?"

He immediately received the reply, "Go and seek Bishop Lambert and he will instruct you."

Hubertus did as he was told. He traveled to visit Lambert, the Bishop of Maastricht, who upon hearing his tale agreed to become his spiritual advisor. As Hubertus was drawn into the faith, his pious wife died during the childbirth of their first son. Taking his freeing from earthly ties as a sign from the Lord, Hubertus renounced all his honors, titles and military rank. He further relinquished his birthright as heir to the Duchy of Aquintaine, bequeathing it to his younger brother.

Hubertus, at the advice of his spiritual advisor, thereafter sought to learn self discipline by living as a hermit in the great French forest, the Ardennes. He distributed his wealth among the poor, and following a period of discernment and contemplation, was moved to enter the priesthood.

Following his ordination, he became the assistant administrator of the diocese, working closely with Bishop Lambert. Upon his urging, Hubertus made a pilgrimage to Rome to have audience with the pope, during which Lampert was assassinated. The Pope received a mystical vision of the good bishop’s death and appointed Hubert as the new bishop on the spot! Hubert returned to become the 31st Bishop of Maastricht (and the first Bishop of Liege) and was eventually described as the "Apostle of the Ardennes." There he worked diligently to remove the pagan beliefs that continued to thrive in the great French forest. Upon tracking down the old places of pagan worship, he would preach to the believers, leaving them, and generally allowing them to make their own decisions regarding the faith. Without exception, in every case, the pagan practitioners destroyed their own places of worship, converting to the Christian faith.

Saint Hubertus became known for his preaching skills, as well as his generosity to the poor. During his bishopric, he transformed the manner in which tithing was used, caring for the basic needs of the poor, rather than investing in grand buildings, fine robes, and golden adornments. He further reportedly worked many miracles, exorcising those possessed by demons and curing illnesses (including rabies) after making the Sign of the Cross over the ill. Saint Hubertus also possessed a gentle manner with dogs, who took to him with both fidelity and love. The breed commonly known as bloodhounds are also called Saint Hubert’s hounds.

After many years, during which he dedicated churches, and preached with great effect to those around him, Saint Hubertus had a vision of his impending death. Without slowing down his preaching schedule, he feel sick, and within days died peacefully while praying the Lord’s Prayer. Saint Hubert died at Tervueren, near Brussels, Belgium, in the springtime. His feast, however, is celebrated in November due to his love of hunting, which he never lost throughout his life.

Saint Hubert’s life reminds us that that the messages of the Lord can come during the most unlikely situations, from the most unlikely of messengers. An activity that had clearly become idolistic for Saint Hubert was used by the Lord to bring him back to the faith. Similarly, we are reminded to look around our lives, to those situations, people, and activities who have become paramount and draw out attention away from Our Creator. What might we do today—and who or what might we encounter—that brings us back to the Lord?

Great St. Hubert, you were passionate about hunting, but when touched by Divine Grace, you put down your bow and took up the collar of Priesthood. Known for yoiur miracles and the conversion of hundreds, you convinced others to worship and glorify Our Lord.

Moved by your example, I implore your help. I ask for the Grace to follow in your footsteps and become a passionate disciple of Christ. Amen.

Day 307 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Return to the Lord; Respect for all God’s creatures; Freedom from idolatry.
Requested Intentions: Spiritual growth and family peace (A); Freedom to immigrate (D); End to debt (N); Restoration of a marriage (J); 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 following stroke (S).


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