Saint Olympias of Constantinople (360-408), widow and Deaconess, model of charity and Christian virtue. Despite hardship throughout her life, the love of the Lord was never extinguished in Olympias' heart-- and she shared that love with all through profound works of charity.
Olympias was born the daughter of senator Anicius Secundus, and a descendant (on her mother’s side) of noted rulers. While still very young, Olympias was betrothed to a noted nobleman, whom she grew to love. The wedding, scheduled for when Olympias reached the age of maturity never took place, however, as her groom to be died. Rather than enter into another marriage, Olympias committed herself to the Lord, preferring a life of virgin purity. When pressured by the Emperor, Olympias replied: “If God had destined me to live in the married state, He would not have taken my first spouse. The event which has broken my bonds shows me the way Providence has traced for me.”
"Wherever the waves carry the coffin, there let my body be buried," said the saint. The coffin was brought by the waves to a place named Brokthoi near Constantinople. The inhabitants, informed of this by God, took the holy relics of Saint Olympias and placed them in the church of the Saint Thomas. Years later, during wartime, her relics were miraculously saved from the burning church and translated to the woman’s monastery she had founded in Constantinople. Numerous miracles and healings have been reported by her intercession there.
Like many others before her and since, Saint Olympias suffered greatly for her beliefs and for her insistence on the truth. Not to be dissuaded by popular opinion, she maintained her belief in the Lord, and her belief in His servants, and suffered ridicule, imprisonment, and grief as a result. Throughout all of this, the charitable heart of Saint Olympias was never broken. She continued her good works until the day of her death, bequeathing monies from her prison cell, and later from exile. Despite her bleak surroundings, the love that swelled within her heart could not be quenched!
Day 351 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Charitable hearts on fire for the Lord.
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).
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."