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 16: Saint Juliana of Cumae

Posted by Jacob

Today, February 16, we celebrate the feast of Saint Juliana of Cumae (also known as Juliana of Nicomedia, died 305), virgin and martyr of the Church. Saint Juliana became widely venerated in Medieval times, with epic poems written about her battle and eventual victory over the Devil. Her Acts, recorded by the Venerable Saint Bede, and detailed in the Golden Legend, are thought to be Holy Legend, although like most Holy Legend, remain inspirational today.

Juliana was born in Cumae, Italy, the daughter of a pagan official named Africanus. Betrothed at a young age to a nobleman named Evilase, Juliana refused to marry until he first became the prefect of Nicomedia. While he was working to meet this demand—which he eventually did—Juliana converted to Christianity, and made a vow of chastity. She then insisted that Evilase convert as well prior to marriage. Of course, as a Roman prefect, this was not something he was able to do and maintain his position and status.

Juliana’s father, who himself despised Christians, beat and abused her in attempts to change her mind, but she would not relent, holding firm to her faith in Christ. Evilase, now well established as prefect, called Juliana before the tribunal, and denounced her as a Christian. As this was during the persecution of Christians under the order of Emperor Maximianus, there was little choice than to have her executed unless she would recant her faith. Of course, Juliana refused, finding her refuge in the Lord, and was subjected to horrible torture.

From the poem, “Juliana,” written by the English poet Cynewulf, we learn that during this torture, the Devil, disguised as an angel from Heaven, appeared to her and suggested she give in to the torturer’s request:

“Then suddenly came into the prison the Enemy of mankind, skilled in evil; and he had the form of an angel. Wise was he in afflictions, this enemy of the soul, this captain of Hell, and unto the holy maid he said, “Why sufferest thou who art most dear and precious unto the King of glory, our God ? This judge hath prepared for thee the worst tortures, torment without end, if thou wilt not prudently sacrifice and make propitiation unto his gods. Be thou in haste when he bids thee be led outward hence, that thou make a sacrifice, an offering of victory, before that death come upon thee, death in the presence of the warriors. In this wise shalt thou survive the anger of this judge, O blessed maid!””

Juliana is not to be fooled by the snares of the Devil, and prays to the Lord for guidance. In return, she receives a message from God:

“Then unto her spake a glorious voice from the clouds and uttered this word: “Do thou seize this vile one and hold him fast, till that he rightly declare unto thee his purpose, even from the beginning what his kinship may be.” And the heart of the glorious maid was glad; and she seized upon that devil.”

Juliana captures the Devil, holding fast to him, and forces him to recount his sinfulness.  As he recounts a very long list of deceit and trickery,  Juliana is dragged before the tribunal.  She drags the Devil with her—he, all the while, pleading for freedom:

“I entreat thee, gracious Juliana, by the grace of God, that thou work upon me no further insult or reproach before men than thou hast already done, when thou overcamest the wisest in the prison shades, the king of the dwellers in Hell, in the city of fiends, who is our father, the lord of death. Behold thou hast afflicted me with painful blows, and in truth I know that, before or since, never did I meet in the kingdoms of the world a woman like unto thee, of more courageous heart, or more perverse, of all the race of women. Clear is it to me that thou wouldst be in all things unashamed in thy wise heart.”

Juliana let the Devil go, and he embarrassedly returned to Hell. Juliana, for her part, bravely met her executioner. Per her Acts, she was first partially burnt in flames, then plunged into a pot of boiling oil, and finally beheaded.

While Saint Juliana was martyred in Nicomedia, her relics were translated to Cumae, the place of her birth, where they were first enshrined. In the thirteenth century, her relics were again translated, this time to Naples, Italy, where they are venerated today.

Saint Juliana bravely battled the Devil, in the same manner we battle temptations every day. In the case of her legend, Satan appeared to her in the guise of a heavenly angel, encouraging her to accept the things of the world as Godly and perfect, rather than renouncing temptation and focusing on the Lord. In much the same way, we all too often fall victim to the Devil’s snare, placing great importance on earthly temptations and desires at the expense of our relationship with God. When Juliana wasn’t convinced, she prayed, called upon the Lord, who answered her prayer and opened her eyes to the Devil’s trickery. Today’s holy saint reminds us to be vigilant and to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the Lord—from whom our help and salvation comes!

Lord God,
You gave St. Juliana the crown of
eternal joy because she gave her life
rather than renounce the virginity she
had promised in witness to Christ.
Encouraged by her generosity, help us to
rise out of the bondage of our earthly
desires and attain to the glory of your
kingdom. Grant this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit.
One God, for ever and ever.

The Golden Legend: The Life of Saint Juliana

Here followeth the Life of Saint Juliana, and first the interpretation of her name.

Juliana is as much to say as burning plainly, for she burnt herself against the temptation of the devil which would have deceived her, and she helped many others to believe in the faith of our Lord Jesu Christ.

Saint Juliana was given in marriage to the provost of Nicomedia, which was named Eulogius, and he was a paynim, and therefore she would not assent to the marriage, ne assemble with him, but if he would first take the faith of Christ and be baptized. When her father saw this, anon he did do her to be naked, and made her to be beaten sore, and after delivered her to the provost. And after when the provost beheld her, and saw the great beauty in her, he said to her: My most sweet Juliana, why hast thou brought me in such confusion that I am mocked because thou refusest to take me? She said: If thou wilt adore my God, I shall assent and agree to take thee, and otherwise shalt thou never be my lord. To whom the provost said: Fair lady, that may I not do, for the emperor should then smite off my head. And she said: If thou doubtest so much the emperor, which is mortal, why should not I doubt mine emperor Jesu Christ, which is immortal; do what thou wilt, for thou mayst not deceive me. Then the provost did do her to be beat most cruelly with rods, and half a day to hang by the hairs of her head, and molten lead to be cast on her head. And when he saw that all this grieved her not, he made her to be bounden in chains, and to be set in prison. To whom the devil came then in the likeness of an angel, which said to her in this manner: Juliana, I am the angel of God, which hath sent me to thee to warn thee and say that thou make sacrifice to the idols for to escape the torments of evil death. Then she began to weep, and made to God this prayer: Lord God, suffer not me to be lost, but of thy grace show to me what he is that maketh to me this monition.The same time came to her a voice that said that she should set hand on him, and that she constrain him to confess what he was, and anon she took him and demanded him, and he said that he was the devil, and that his father had sent him thither for to deceive her. She demanded him: Who is thy father? And he answered: Beelzebub, which sendeth us for to do all evil, and maketh us grievously to be beaten when we come vanquished of the christian people. And therefore I am certain I shall have much harm because I may not overcome thee. She said to him: Of what craft is thy father Beelzebub? The devil said: He contriveth all evil, and when we come into hell he sendeth us for to tempt the souls of the people. She demanded: What torments suffereth he that cometh vanquished of a christian creature? The devil said: We suffer then much grievous torment, and by cause when we be vanquished of a good man we dare not return, and when we be sought and cannot be found, then commandeth our master to other devils that they torment us wheresomever they find us, and therefore we must obey to him as to our father. And of what craft art thou? I take solace in the shrewdness of the people; I love homicide, luxury, battle, and make debate and war. And she demanded him: Goest thou never to do good works and profitable? The devil answered: Madam, to the end that I answer the truth, to my right great harm and evil am I come hither, for I had well supposed to have deceived thee, and made thee to make sacrifice to the idols and to renounce thy God. When we come to a good christian man and we find him ready to do service to God, we send into him many thoughts vain and evil, and also many evil desires, and turn his thought by this that we set tofore him, and we send errors into his thoughts, and we let him not persevere in his orisons ne in no good works; yet if we see any that will go to the church or in other place for any good, anon we be in their ways, and cast into their hearts divers thoughts and occasions by which they be distorned for to do well. But whosomever may understand our temptations and apperceive them, to the end that he put away from him evil cogitations and thoughts, and will make his prayers, and do his good works, and hear the words of God and the divine service, of him we be cast out, and when they receive the body of Jesu Christ we depart forthwith from them. We set our intent to nothing but to deceive good persons that lead an holy life, and when we see them do good works, we send into them bitter and grievous thoughts for to leave all and do our will. Saint Juliana said: O thou spirit! how art thou so hardy to tempt any christian person? And the devil answered: How darest thou thus hold me, if it were not thou affiest in Jesu Christ? Right so trust I in my father, which is a malefactor, and I do that pleaseth him; I have pained me to do oft many evils, and sometime I come to mine intent, and accomplish my desire, but at this time I have failed: I would I had not come hither! Alas! how understood my father of this that should not hap. Madam, let me go, and give me leave to go in to some other place, for it is no need that I accuse thee to my father. At the last she let him go.

On the morn the provost commanded that Saint Juliana should be brought tofore him in judgment; and when he saw her so well guerished, and her visage so fair and so shining, then said the provost to her: Juliana, who hath taught thee, and how mayest thou vanquish the torments? And she said: Hearken to me and I shall say to thee: My Lord Jesu Christ hath taught me to adore the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for I have overcome and vanquished Satan thy father, and all his other devils; for God hath sent his angel for to comfort and to help me. Mechant man, knowest thou not that the torments be made ready for thee everlasting, where thou shalt be tormented perpetually in a perpetual darkness and obscurity. Anon the provost made to be brought a wheel of iron between two pillars, and four horses to draw it forth, and four knights at one side, and four knights on that other to draw, and four for to draw forth the wheel, so that all the body was tobroken in such wise that the marrow came out of the bones, and the wheel was all bloody. Then came an angel of God and brake the wheel, and healed the wounds of Saint Juliana perfectly. And for this miracle were converted all they that were present. And anon after, for the faith of Jesu Christ were beheaded men and women to the number of one hundred and thirty persons. After, commanded the provost that she should be put in a great pot full of boiling lead, and when she entered into the said pot, all the lead became cold, so that she felt no harm. And the provost cursed his gods because they might not punish a maid that so vanquished them. And then he commanded to smite off her head. And when she was led to be beheaded, the devil appeared to the provost in figure of a young man, and said: Spare not good people, and of her have no mercy, for she hath blamed your gods and done much harm, and me she hath beaten this night past, therefore render to her that she hath deserved. With these words Saint Juliana looked behind her for to wit who said such words of her. Anon the devil said: Alas! alas ! caitiff that I am, I doubt me that yet she will take and bind me, and so he vanished away. After this, that she had admonished the people to love and serve Jesu Christ she prayed them all to pray for her, and then her head was smitten off. The provost entered into a ship with thirty-four men for to pass an arm of the sea; anon came a great orage and a tempest, which drowned the provost and all his company in the sea, and the sea threw their bodies to the rivage, and wild beasts came thither and ate them.  Let us pray to her that she pray for us.

Year 2: Day 47 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courageous and steadfast avoidance of sin and temptation.
Requested Intentions: Financial freedom (J); Successful passing of occupational examination (S); Healing and conversion, sale of house (L); Occupational success for employee and colleagues (J); Employment for a son (C); Successful attainment of an important appointed position (J); Recovery from cancer for a friend (Z); For a family’s freedom from sin (M); For a daughter with Diabetes (A); Reconciliation of a marriage (D); Assistance with a legal matter, financial freedom (R); Healing for a friend (M); For a son in medical school (H); Financial assistance (M); Successful employment (N): Freedom from mental illness for a friend (L); For successful marriage (N); For friends having and recovering from surgery; for the reduction of a brain tumor (L); For resolution of a housing crisis (P); 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); Healing of a father following stroke (S).


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