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 8: Saint Thorfinn of Hamar

Posted by Jacob

Today, January 8, we celebrate the feast of Saint Thorfinn of Hamar (died 1285), a Norwegian monk, priest, and Bishop of Hamar, who lived a quiet and dedicated life to the Lord. It wasn’t until after the death of this holy man—50 years after his death to be precise—that his sanctity and sainthood were first recognized! During construction and renovation of the church in which he was buried, it became clear that the Lord held Saint Thorfinn in high esteem—his body exuded the scent of holiness.

The current abbot felt drawn to discover more about Saint Thorfinn, of which there was little recorded in the monastery’s records. Speaking with the oldest remaining monk, Father Walter de Muda, the abbot learned that Thorfinn had been an exceptionally devoted brother—good, patient, generous, and firm in his confrontation of evil. In fact, Father Walter had written a poem about the fallen abbot—written on fragile parchment—which had been placed in the tomb with Thorfinn.

The abbot searched for the poem, finding it in pristine condition in the tomb, not having suffered the ravages of time. Taking this as a sign that the Lord wished Thorfinn to be remembered and honored, Father Walter was asked to record all he could remember about the holy man who had lived his life quietly. The monks—and soon others who heard of this discovery—began praying at Thorfinn’s tomb, and numerous miracles began occurring at his intercession!

Ruins of Hamar Cathedral
The details that Father Walter remembered were few, but comprise what we know about Saint Thorfinn today. Thorfinn had been born in Norway, and had become a Cistercian monk at the abbey of Taurtra. Ordained a priest, records indicate that he served in the cathedral in that city for some time. During this time, Thorfinn was confronted with the choice that many had to make—allegiance to the king of Norway (King Eric) or to the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. Years before, Thorfinn had been witness to the important Norwegian Agreement of Tonsberg, in which King Magnus VI freed the Church from governmental control. However, upon ascending to the throne, King Eric of Norway rescinded the agreement, and exiled those who supported it. Thorfinn, now Bishop of Hamar, was among those who remained loyal to the Church, rather than the king.

Abbey at Ter Doest, built during the residency of Saint Thorfinn
Exiled, Saint Thorfinn traveled to Belgium, surviving a difficult journey and shipwreck. Thyere, he went to live at the Cistercian abbey of Ter Doest in Flanders, where he later died and his body was discovered. While at the abbey, he impressed the monks with his inner fortitude and good character. Prior to his death, he divided his possessions among charitable groups. Saint Thorfinn died as quietly as he had lived, going in peace to rest with the Lord.

In our world today, we focus our attention on accomplishments and status—those who have money, power, and fame are generally the individuals that we emulate or admire. Saint Thorfinn reminds us that the Lord does not judge us by our accomplishments, but rather by our character and our hearts. Saint Thorfinn may have lived a quiet life, but it was one rich in love for the Lord, and service to his fellow man. While he did not attract much attention on earth, he did in Heaven, earning him the title of saint!

Year 2: Day 8 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Lives focused on the Lord, rather than worldly achievement.
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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