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."

January 11: Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch

Posted by Jacob

Today, January 11, we celebrate the feast of Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch (423-529), hermit, abbot and founder of the cenobitical communities. Roughly translated, cenobitical means “people who have a life in common,” and refers to the monks who joined Saint Theodosius’ community. These monks, of many nationalities, devoted themselves to the Lord, but did not remain in seclusion. Rather, they socialized and interacted with the outside world, which was a new approach to monasticism at that time!

Theodosius was born to pious parents in Mogarissos, Cappadocia (modern Turkey). Attracted to the academic life, he began his studies at an early age, impressing all with his intellect and mind, and became a lector while still young. Even as a child, he felt a desire to imitate Abraham by leaving his parents, friends, relatives and everything else for the love of God. Acting upon his calling, Theodosius left home and set out for Jerusalem at the time of the Holy Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon held in 451.

On his way to Jerusalem, Theodosius stopped in Antioch, where he was greeted by Saint Simeon the Stylite. Simeon, greeting him by name, invited Theodosius to climb his pillar. Together, the two spent time in prayer and blessing, and Saint Simeon prophesied great spiritual work for Theodosius. Following this momentous meeting, Theodosius continued on to Jerusalem, visiting the Holy Places, and eventually entering a monastery under the direction of abbot Longinus. Theodosius began to live the life of a hermit in the desert, settling near the Tower of David, but eventually became well known and respected, and was sought out by pilgrims and disciples.

To escape the steady stream of pilgrims, Theodosius withdrew further into the wilderness, settling on a mountaintop, residing in a cave that tradition tells us is the same cave that the three Magi spent the night in following their paying homage to Jesus (and later received the angel’s message, warning them to return to their home countries without returning to Herod).

Theodosius lived for many years in his cave, practicing extreme forms of austerity and asceticism. He generally refused to sleep and eat, standing and praying throughout each day and night. To prevent falling asleep, he tied a rope from the roof of the cage to hold him up, lest he be overcome. Theodosius ate only enough to live—surviving on dates, carob, wild vegetables, legumes, and hearts of palm. Again, his dedication to the Lord and his pious practices attracted many followers from the neighboring countries, and Theodosius eventually founded a small community of monks near Bethlehem.

This cenobitical community, which later became the Monastery of Saint Theodosius, attracted many followers of varied cultures and languages, and grew rapidly. The monks service to the sick, elderly, and mentally impaired is legendary. Theodosius used his influence as the abbot of the many cenobitical communities that developed to oppose the spread of heresies and fight for the true teachings of the Church. Due to his zealous preaching and many followers, he was at one time exiled, but later recalled. He spent the last years of his life in poor health, but never stopped working for his communities and praying constantly. Saint Theodosius died at the age of 105, and was buried in his hermit’s cave. This site has become a noted place of pilgrimage and miracles.

The life of Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch was one of sacrifice and suffering for the Lord and for his people. He willingly gave up his home, his friends, and his family, traveling great distances to follow the call of the Lord. He suffered poor health, exile, and hunger—all the while, shining as an example of Christian love, devotion to prayer, and concern for one’s fellow human beings. The charity of Saint Theodosius came at a great cost to him, and inspires us today to be charitable to our neighbors, remembering that charity is sometimes not easy… that there is cost to us as well.

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired, by the devotion of your servant St. Theodosius the Cenobiarch, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Year 2: Day 11 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Lives of charity and prayer
Requested Intentions: Improved financial stability (A); Improved relationship with business partner (A); For employment (N); Reconciliation of a workplace relationship (R); Healing of son, cousin, and friend (L); Healing of a husband from cancer, end to medical problems (T); Freedom from persecution (E); Successful employment (R); Reconciliation of a marriage (M); Successful marriage, employment, healing (J); For a family struggling with a difficult situation (M); For family intentions (I); Reconciliation of a marriage (S); For blessings upon a family (R); Permanent employment (N); Successful employment (M); Healing of a father following stroke (S).


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