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."


December 13: Saint Lucy of Syracuse

Posted by Jacob

Today, December 13, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Lucy of Syracuse (Santa Lucia, 283-304), Virgin Martyr of the Church. The name Lucy means "light” and “radiant.” While much of her life is lost to history, pious legend recalls her faith shining forth during a dark time of persecution of the faithful. Today, the entire Church recognizes her courage and radiance in defense of the faith.


Lucy was born in Syracuse, a city in Sicily. Devout, Lucy had offered her virginity to the Lord while a child, pledging to remain pure. Her Roman father passed away when Lucy was quite young, leaving her and her mother without a protecting guardian. Her mother—worried about her inability to support her daughter, and looking to make a good match for her—pressed her to accept the marriage offer of a young pagan man of good family and renown. Lucy refused, reminding her mother of her consecration to the Lord. When her mother encouraged her to marry for financial reasons, Lucy replied: "whatever you give away at death for the Lord's sake you give because you cannot take it with you. Give now to the true Savior, while you are healthy, whatever you intended to give away at your death.”

Lucy’s mother, Eutychia, was quite ill, and unable to work. She had struggled with dysentery and various stomach ailments for many years. Lucy, after hearing the Gospel at Mass one day in which a woman was healed of dysentery after touching the cloak of Jesus, encouraged her mother to make a journey to Catania, a port of Sicily, where the tomb of Saint Agatha was already a site of pilgrimage. “Saint Agatha,” Lucy said, “stands ever in the sight of Him for whom she died. Only touch her sepulchre with faith, and you will be healed.” The two traveled to Catania, and prayed all night at Saint Agatha’s tomb for her mother’s healing. Eventually, they fell asleep exhausted from their exhortations. During her sleep, Saint Agatha appeared to Lucy, saying: "Soon you shall be the glory of Syracuse, as I am of Catania."

Upon waking the next morning, Lucy discovered that her mother had been miraculously cured of her illness. In gratitude, Eutychia allowed her daughter to distribute her wealth among the poor, and to conserve her virginity, ceasing her pressure to marry the pagan suitor. For his part, the spurned young man denounced Lucy as a Christian during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian. The emperor dispatched executioners to fetch the young maiden, first having planned on placing her in a dissolute house of prostitution to be defiled. She stated, upon hearing her sentence:

"No one's body is polluted so as to endanger the soul if it has not pleased the mind. If you were to lift my hand to your idol and so make me offer against my will, I would still be guiltless in the sight of the true God, who judges according to the will and knows all things. If now, against my will, you cause me to be polluted, a twofold purity will be gloriously imputed to me. You cannot bend my will to your purpose; whatever you do to my body, that cannot happen to me.”

When the executioners came to take her, they found Lucy so full of the Holy Spirit, that she was too heavy to move. They were unable to drag or push her from where she stood, even after attaching cords around her waist and having a team of harnessed bulls attempt to move her!

The prefect ordered to arrest her accused her of being a magician. He questioned, “How can you, a feeble woman, triumph over a thousand men?”


Lucy replied, “Bring ten thousand, and they will not be able to combat against God!”

Rather than try to drag her away, they determined to kill her upon the spot. However, again, they had difficulty. First a fire was lit at her feet, but no harm came to her despite being covered with oils. A dagger was stuck through her neck, but she continued to proclaim the salvation of Christ. Her eyes were gouged out, but Saint Lucy continued to be able to see! Only when a sword was plunged into her heart, was the promise made at the tomb of Saint Agatha fulfilled. Saint Lucy died, predicting peace for the Church.

Saint Lucy, despite her young age, had the courage and faith of her convictions. She withstood torture we can’t imagine, and martyrdom for the Lord. We pray today to learn from her model of chastity, fidelity, obedience, and virtue, bringing some small measure of the traits she modeled into our own lives!



O God, our Creator and Redeemer, mercifully hear our prayers and as we venerate Your servant, St. Lucy, for the light of faith You bestowed upon her, increase and preserve this same light also in our souls, that we may be able to avoid evil, to do good, and abhor nothing so much as the blindness and the darkness of evil and of sin.


Relying on Your goodness, O God, we humbly ask You by intercession of Your servant, St. Lucy, to give perfect vision to our eyes, that they may serve for Your greater honor and glory, for our salvation and that of others, and that we may come to the enjoyment of the unfailing light of the Lamb of God in paradise. St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, hear our prayer and obtain our petitions. Amen.




Day 347 of 365
Prayer Intentions: To be filled with Christian virtues; Chastity; Obedience; Fidelity; Faith; Courage.
Requested Intentions: Health and spirituality of family members (R); For a return to health for a friend (C); Healing from cancer of a brother-in-law (C); Healthy relationship; Joy in everyday life (J); Successful employment and financial assistance for education (M); For the return home of father and husband suffering from mental illness (C); Successful passing of examination; Employment for Son (J); Healing of a family and son (S); Successful marriage (G); End to husband’s addictions; Son’s employment (M); Freedom from financial burdens (M); Healing after a miscarriage (E); For healing of friend; successful resolution of legal matter (A); Complete healing of a friend with pancreatic cancer (J); Healing of a father following stroke (S).

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