"Get down on your knees and pray! I know it, I see it. The Huns will not come!"
Today, January 3, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Genevieve (422-512), Patroness of Paris, and Virgin of the Church. Saint Genevieve is credited with preventing Paris from falling to Attila the Hun, as well as miraculous cures during the Plague by her intercession. A woman of great faith, Saint Genevieve was graced with the gift of clairvoyance and miracle-working by the Lord, which she used to increase the devotion of the faithful throughout France.
And the holy man said: “Blessed are you that God hath given you this child. Know you for certain that on the day of her birth the Angels sang and a great feast was made in Heaven. This girl shall be of great merit before the Lord. And from her good life and words many shall take example, that they shall leave the yoke of sin and convert to God.”
Then, he turned toward the child, and she said to him: “Blessed Father, your servant is listening.”
Tell me, and be not embarrassed, if you will consecrate yourself to Christ in purity without stain as His spouse?”
The maid answered: “Blessed be you, my Father. What you ask of me is the most cherished desire of my heart. I ask only that by your prayers, Our Lord will accomplish my desire.”
“Have confidence, my daughter,” said Germanus. “Be firm in your resolution. Prove by your works the good things that you believe in your heart and say with your mouth, and Our Lord shall give you strength as well as virtue.”
“We must keep vigil in prayer and fasting so that the Lord will find us ready when He comes.” On the way to the Saturday vigil, one cold, dark, and stormy night, she and her traveling companions—nun from the convent—were plunged into darkness as their candles were blown out by the storm. Fearing the darkness and the storm, the nuns determined to return to the monastery, when Saint Genevieve made the Sign of the Cross over her lantern, which miraculously relit. Filled with grace and hope in the Lord, the sisters proceeded to their Mass. In art, Genevieve is often portrayed carrying a lit candle for this reason—she hoped in the light of Christ, even in the most profound moments of darkness!
Loving Saint Genevieve, fair patron saint of Paris, lead us in your path of courage and valor. May we fearlessly defend what is right and true, may we turn not away from the fear and anguish of others but stand beside them as you did, and by your holy example help us to find eternal life among the warrior princes of the archangels, and all who serve God and His truth without reservation.
Saint Genevieve, be our beacon and our light in darkness. Amen.
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."