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 20: Saint Dominic of Silos

Posted by Jacob

Today, December 20, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Dominic of Silos (1000-1073), the saint whom the other Saint Dominic—founder of the Dominican Order, the Order of Preachers—was named after. According to Dominican tradition, Saint Dominic of Silos appeared to Blessed Joan of Aza, the mother of Saint Dominic, who then made a pilgrimage to his shrine while pregnant, selecting him as the namesake of her soon-to-be-born son.  Due to his sanctity and model life, Saint Dominic is frequently depicted enthroned, surrounded by the seven virtues of the Church.

Dominic of Silos was born in Navarre, Spain, a shepherding town in the Pyrenees. As a young boy and man, he served his father’s flocks as a shepherd, relishing the solitude of the shepherding life, and spending his days in quiet contemplation and prayer. He undertook his own studies, as few teachers were present, with the exception of the Holy Spirit. Eventually, drawn to the Lord, he entered the monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla as a monk. Recognized for his piety and sanctity, Dominic soon thereafter became the prior of the monastery. While serving as prior, Saint Dominic was drawn into a disagreement with the king of Navarre, who insisted that the monastery’s possessions were rightfully his. Dominic disagreed, and for his trouble was exiled. He, with his monks, traveled to Castille, and were appointed at the monastery of Saint Sebastian at Silos. It was due to his long-term service at Silos that Saint Dominic received his referential name.

Upon arrival, it became clear that the monastery at Silos was neglected and in disrepair—both physically and spiritually. The buildings were falling down around the brothers who labored there. During the first Mass offered following Dominic’s arrival, when the celebrant turned towards the people at the Offertory to chant: Dominus vobiscum, he said instead: "Behold, the restorer cometh!" and the choir responded: "It is the Lord who has sent him!" The prophetic words were soon fulfilled as Saint Dominic immediately undertook to restore the monastery to its former state, in the process reforming the lives and practices of the monks who resided there. Dominic preserved the Mozarbic Rite (one of the early variants of the Latin Rite) at the monastery at Silos. He further preserved the Visigothic script of ancient Spain, with the monastery becoming a center of learning and liturgy. Saint Dominic was further recognized for his charity, and became renowned in the region for miraculous cures of the sick, blind, and lame.

Dominic served as prior of the monastery at Silos for many years, filling his days with good works, miraculous cures, prayer, and ransom of captives. After many years, this holy man was advised of his imminent death by the Blessed Virgin. He recounted to his brothers the next day: “I spent the night near the Queen of Angels. She has invited me to come in three days where She is; therefore I am soon going to the celestial banquet to which She invites me.” Soon thereafter, he fell ill for three days, and subsequently peacefully perished. Those present reported observing his visible soul rise to heaven.

Saint Dominic of Silos didn’t take no for an answer. As a child, when there was no one to teach him, he taught himself through the grace of God and the gifts of the spirit. When he was forcibly driven from the monastery he had made his home, he simply found another one—and in assuming leadership, transformed the crumbling spiritual structure into a center of praise, learning, and glory for the Lord. All too often, we give up in our lives when things get difficult, or don’t go exactly as we planned. Saint Dominic of Silos never gave up. Every effort, every part of his being, lived to serve and glorify the Lord. While he performed many miracles of healing, this focused attitude of love and service, and transformation of not only monasteries, but souls, may be the far more important miracle of his life!

Day 354 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Lives focused on the Lord; Perseverance in serving God.
Requested Intentions: Successful completion of nursing exam (M); For a daughter in an abusive relationships (J); For the consecration of a granddaughter to Our Blessed Mother (A); For a successful marriage (S); Restoration of a teaching job (L); 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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