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."


February 1: Saint Brigid of Ireland

Posted by Jacob

I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us.

I would like an abundance of peace.
I would like full vessels of charity.
I would like rich treasures of mercy.
I would like cheerfulness to preside over all.
I would like Jesus to be present.
I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us.
I would like the friends of Heaven to be gathered around us from all parts.
I would like myself to be a rent payer to the Lord;
that I should suffer distress, that he would bestow a good blessing upon me.
I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I would like to be watching Heaven's family drinking it through all eternity.
(Prayer of Saint Brigid)



Today, February 1, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Brigid of Ireland (453-523), one of three patron saints of Ireland. Brigid was one of the most remarkable women of her times, and while her life and the extravagant miracles attributed to her are the stuff of Celtic legend and poetry, there is little doubt that her extraordinary spirituality, limitless charity, and overflowing compassion and generosity toward those in distress were real. Considered a saint by most while she lived, her life, works, and piety inspire us still today.

Born to a Irish noble father, Brigid’s mother was a Christian slave in his service. Sold shortly after Brigid’s birth, Brigid was raised by her father. At an early age, Brigid’s temperament was marked by kindness and gentleness toward all creatures and living things. She was known throughout the country as a special child, with a kind word and smile for everyone. She heard Saint Patrick, who would later baptize her, preach, and never forgot it. Putting into practice the teachings of Christ, Brigid became infamous for giving away her father’s possessions to the poor and needy, including a precious jewel-encrusted sword given to him by a Scottish king. When Brigid explained that she had “given the sword to God” through the leper who received the sword, the king forbade Brigid’s father to punish her, stating, “Her merit before the Lord is greater than ours.”

Brigid’s father “freed” her, and she went to live with her mother, who was working as a milkmaid. Brigid continued to give away anything the farm produced—milk, vegetables, grains—to the poor and needy. And while she gave away mass quantities, the stores of the farm only increased, and the owners never went hungry. As the farm prospered, Brigid’s aged mother was freed from slavery.

As Brigid approached marrying age, and became more and more beautiful, her father arranged a number of marriages for her, but she refused each one, stating, “I have chosen the noblest Prince of all… and He is Christ our Lord.” She subsequently prayed to become ugly, so as to discourage suitors. Her prayers were answered, as her previous beauty disappeared, and she was able to remain a virgin for Christ.

Brigid and a group of seven virgins founded the first monastic community of Ireland at Cill Dara, modern-day Kildare. The most famous miracle associated with Brigid centers around the building of her religious community. As she was looking for land to build on, she found herself at odds with a local Irish chieftain. She gently asked him for a quantity of land, to which he disdainfully replied that she could have whatever amount of land her cloak could cover. Smiling kindly, Brigid took the cloak from her shoulders and cast it on the ground where it covered over 12 acres of the chieftain’s lands! Witnessing the miracle, he gave it willingly.

The monastery became a “double monastery,” housing both nuns and monks, and Saint Brigid and Bishop Conlaeth ruled the community as equals, a powerful (and unusual) position for a woman at the time. She was considered the equal of bishops, many of whom visited her from neighboring areas, seeking her counsel, and sitting at her feet. During her tenure, she built four additional monasteries, over thirty homes for religious orders, and a school of art famous for illuminated manuscripts of Biblical works.

Saint Brigid traveled the countryside, not seeking the conversion of souls like Saint Patrick, but rather visiting the sick, poor, and needy. She prayed incessantly for them, ministering to their needs, and anointing the dying. On one such occasion, visiting a delirious pagan chieftain, Brigid sat by the man’s bedside, on the ground which was covered with straw. Unable to convince him of the Gospel, given the lack of clarity of his thoughts, Brigid began weaving the straw into a cross. He grew calm, his mind clear, as she explained the message of Christ, His death for us, His resurrection, and our redemption. The chieftain accepted the word of God, was baptized, and died shortly thereafter. Saint Brigid’s cross became a symbol throughout Ireland for healing and safety in the home. Many homes in Ireland continue to bear the cross on their walls and mantles, with this prayer recited:

May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell. Bless every fireside, every wall and door. Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof. Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy. Bless every foot that walks its portals through. May Brigid bless the house that shelters you. Amen.


Further extravagant miracles are associated with Saint Brigid. It is said that she provided lavish feasts to visitors to the convent, along with Saint Blath, despite having little food in the larder. She was able to provide a constant supply of milk and ale to her guests. She is known for praying for a feast in heaven, where there is a "great lake of ale...and every drop is a prayer." She is known for taming wild animals, as gifts for kings, to save the souls of condemned men. Her shadow was reported to have miraculous healing powers, and she was frequently observed hanging her white cloak (also having healing powers) on a sunbeam to dry. While these may be the stuff of legend, Brigid’s faith and piety suggest a life dedicated to serving others and promoting the religious life. Along with Saint Patrick and Saint Columba, she is credited with creating a kingdom of God in the green hills and valleys of Ireland. And while we may have difficulty wrapping our minds around a 12 acre cloak, sunbeams that support clothing, and the taming of wild animals, we are certain that all things are possible with God.

Saint Brigid never strayed from her mission to serve others. She was not afraid to confront her father, giving away his food and possessions, carefully instructing him that by serving the poor she was really serving Christ. She bravely debated with pagan kings and chieftains, prevailing, building communities that before her time could never have been completed by a woman. She demonstrated no fear of the sick, including lepers, frequently giving them her cloak, washing their sores with her own hands, even when her sisters shied away. Her tireless service and courage remind us that loving God with all our hearts and minds and souls also means outwardly demonstrating that love. Even as a child, she was known by strangers as kind, charitable, and compassionate toward all. We pause today to wonder, Would a stranger on the street recognize us as Christian?



Saint Brigid’s Prayer for a Feast in Heaven

I wish I had a great lake of ale for the King of kings,
and the family of heaven to drink it through time eternal.
I wish I had the meats of belief and genuine piety,
the flails of penance, and the men of heaven in my house.
I would like keeves of peace to be at their disposal,
vessels of charity for distribution, caves of mercy for their company,
and cheerfulness to be in their drinking.
I would want Jesus also to be in their midst,
together with the three Marys of illustrious renown,
and the people of heaven from all parts.
I would like to be a tenant to the Lord, so if I should suffer distress,
He would confer on me a blessing.
Amen.



Cardinal Moran's Prayer to Saint Brigid

O Glorious St. Brigid, Mother of the Churches of Erin, patroness of our missionary race, wherever their lot may be cast, be thou our guide in the paths of virtue, protect us amid temptation, shield us from danger. Preserve to us the heritage of chastity and temperance; keep ever brightly burning on the altar of our hearts the sacred Fire of Faith, Charity, and Hope, that thus we may emulate the ancient piety of Ireland's children, and the Church of Erin may shine with peerless glory as of old. Thou wert styled by our fathers " The Mary of Erin," secure for us by thy prayers the all-powerful protection of the Blessed Virgin, that we may be numbered here among her most fervent clients, and may hereafter merit a place together with Thee and the countless Saints of Ireland, in the ranks of her triumphant children in Paradise. Amen.



Prayer to St. Brigid

Dear St. Brigid, brilliant star of sanctity in the early days of our Irish faith and love for the omnipotent God Who has never forsaken us, we look up to you now in earnest, hopeful prayer. By your glorious sacrifice of earthly riches, joys and affections obtain for us grace to "seek first the Kingdom of God and His justice" with constant trust in His fatherly care. By your life of laborious charity to the poor, the sick, the many seekers for light and comfort, obtain for us grace to be God's helpers to the utmost of our power during our stay on earth, looking forward, as you did, to our life with Him during eternity. By the sanctified peace of your death-bed, obtain for us that we may receive the fulness of pardon and peace when the hour comes that will summon us to the judgment seat of our just and most merciful Lord. Amen.

O God, Who givest us joy by the power of the intercession of Blessed Brigid the Virgin, graciously grant that we may be assisted by her merits by the example of whose chastity we are enlightened. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Year 2: Day 32 of 365
Prayer Intentions: To be signs and bearers of God’s love to the young!
Requested Intentions: For a brother who is struggling financially, for a son who is struggling academically (B); For financial security for a friend (C); Success in business; familial happiness and health (J); Health and recovery of a sister (I); Development of a chaste relationship pleasing to the Lord (E); Successful surgery of mother; delivery of daughters’ babies (L); For a friend suffering with depression (M); For a friend entering religious life (R); Success of a parish men’s retreat (H); For a mother who is grieving; for the soul of a dearly departed son (M); Reconciliation of a marriage (M); End to grief after death of son (B&C); End to grief (S); Successful marriage (N); For an RCIA candidate struggling with financial and family stressors (O); Freedom from anxiety regarding medical procedure (J); Return home of an ill mother, peace and financial security (J); Restoration of a marriage; family peace (N); Freedom from persecution (A); For a friend struggling with medical problems and surgery (L); Financial blessings (D); For the success of a project (T); 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); Healing of a father following stroke (S).

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Dear St. Brigid please pray that my daughter has successful results this week re her recent midwifery interview.
    Let the interviewers offer her the post as staff midwife. THANK YOU AND HAPPY FEAST DAY TODAY 1ST FEBRUARY. MAUREEN. XXX

  2. Anonymous said...

    Dear Saint Bridgid, please pray for my family and I to get through our difficulties in the months ahead as I pray to you today from my heart xxx thank you

  3. Anonymous said...

    Dear St. Brigid, Please pray that I am offered the position I interviewed for yesterday. Please bless my marriage and my family. Thank you for hearing my prayers! JSF

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