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."


March 17: Saint Joseph of Arimathea

Posted by Jacob

The Noble Joseph taking down Thine immaculate Body down from the Tree, and having wrapped It in pure linen and spices, laid It for burial in a new tomb. But on the third day Thou didst arise, O Lord, granting great mercy to the world.


Today, March 17, we celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph of Arimathea (died first century), a wealthy and important civic leader, who had become a disciple of Jesus. Saint Joseph demonstrated great faith and courage in approaching Pilate and requesting the body of the crucified Christ, which he later anointed and gave a proper burial to in the tomb he had prepared for himself. Saint Joseph risked all, and is likely to have been imprisoned following this courageous act, as a sign of faith—faith we could learn from!

Little is known about the life of Saint Joseph of Arimathea, other than his birth city and his courageous actions following the death of Jesus. Many pious legends have grown up around Saint Joseph, with most of them indicating that he achieved his wealth in the metals trade, and in the course of conducting his business, he probably became acquainted with Britain. Cornwall was a chief mining district and well-known in the Roman empire for its tin. Somerset was renowned for its high quality lead. Saint Joseph is credited with bringing Christianity to Great Britain following the Crucifixion.

From Holy Scripture, we know that Saint Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin—the council of 71 members that had supreme executive, legislative, and judicial power over the Jewish faith. He was both good and just, and had become a disciple of Jesus, although he likely concealed this fact out of fear for his life.

From the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John:
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. (Matthew 27: 57-60)

Tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
in Jerusalem
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. (Luke 23: 50-54)

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (John 19: 38-42)

Following the Resurrection, there is no further mention of Saint Joseph of Arimathea. However, the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus details the remainder of his life. Initially, Joseph was imprisoned by the Jewish authorities for his verbal support of Christ and actions following the Crucifixion. After an apparently miraculous escape from imprisonment, Saint Joseph joined other disciples in spreading the Gospel throughout the region. We are told that Joseph accompanied the Apostle Philip, Lazarus, Mary Magdalene, and others on a preaching mission to Gaul. Lazarus and Mary stayed in Marseilles, while the others traveled north. At the English Channel, Saint. Philip sent Joseph, with twelve disciples, to establish Christianity in the most far-flung corner of the Roman Empire: the Island of Britain. There, many miracles were attributed to him.

From the Gospel of Nicodemus:
Joseph speaks to the Sanhedrin:

And likewise Joseph also stepped out and said to them: Why are you angry against me because I begged the body of Jesus? Behold, I have put him in my new tomb, wrapping in clean linen; and I have rolled a stone to the door of the tomb. And you have acted not well against the just man, because you have not repented of crucifying him, but also have pierced him with a spear.

Joseph is imprisoned and warns the elders:

The Son of God whom you hanged upon the cross, is able to deliver me out of your hands. All your wickedness will return upon you.

Joseph miraculously escapes from imprisonment, and after some time, the Jewish elders seek him out, finding him in Arimathea, and wishing a more “civil” conversation:

On the day of the Preparation, about the tenth hour, you shut me in, and I remained there the whole Sabbath in full. And when midnight came, as I was standing and praying, the house where you shut me in was hung up by the four corners, and there was a flashing of light in mine eyes. And I fell to the ground trembling. Then some one lifted me up from the place where I had fallen, and poured over me an abundance of water from the head even to the feet, and put round my nostrils the odor of a wonderful ointment, and rubbed my face with the water itself, as if washing me, and kissed me, and said to me, Joseph, fear not; but open thine eyes, and see who it is that speaks to thee. And looking, I saw Jesus; and being terrified, I thought it was a phantom. And with prayer and the commandments I spoke to him, and he spoke with me. And I said to him: Art thou Rabbi Elias? And he said to me: I am not Elias. And I said: Who art thou, my Lord? And he said to me: I am Jesus, whose body thou didst beg from Pilate, and wrap in clean linen; and thou didst lay a napkin on my face, and didst lay me in thy new tomb, and roll a stone to the door of the tomb. Then I said to him that was speaking to me: Show me, Lord, where I laid thee. And he led me, and showed me the place where I laid him, and the linen which I had put on him, and the napkin which I had wrapped upon his face; and I knew that it was Jesus. And he took hold of me with his hand, and put me in the midst of my house though the gates were shut, and put me in my bed, and said to me: Peace to thee! And he kissed me, and said to me: For forty days go not out of thy house; for, lo, I go to my brethren into Galilee.

While we cannot be certain of the authenticity of the events of Saint Joseph’s life, we are certain in his role in the care of Jesus following the Crucifixion. Saint Joseph boldly risked his position, status, and wealth to stand up and proclaim his beliefs in the Gospel, at a time when such proclamations generally resulted in persecution, imprisonment, and even death. How often do we pass up chances to live our faith bravely in fear of far less significant consequences?



Merciful God, whose servant Joseph of Arimathea with reverence and godly fear, prepared the body of our Lord and Savior for burial, and laid it in his own tomb: Grant to us, your faithful people, grace and courage to love and serve Jesus with sincere devotion all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


O God, by whose grace
Saint Joseph of Arimathea
was emboldened to ask
for the sacred Body of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that together with Saint Nicodemus
he might prepare it for burial and lay it in his own tomb,
give us such an increase of faith and courage
that we may not fear to bear reproach for the sake of Christ,
but rather may serve Him with sincere devotion
all the days of our life.
Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.
Amen.





Year 2: Day 76 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Lives of courageously witnessed faith.
Requested Intentions: For successful outcome to surgery (C); Healing for brother (M); Successful employment (C); For the victims of the Japanese tsunami/earthquake (J); Healing (E); For a son struggling with depression (B); Successful conception (M); Freedom from social anxiety; confidence in the Lord (J); Improved success in employment and studies (D); Freedom from illness (T); For a wife’s employment (E); Healing of a husband’s knee (M); Freedom from sickness (R); Healing (C); Restoration of marriage (F); Freedom from medical difficulties, employment, successful relationship (D); End to suffering for sick brother; reconciliation of estranged family (E); End to husband’s addiction; Improved relationship; strength (M); Successful God-centered marriage; Sacramental life (M); Healing, successful relationship (S); For successful marriage (A); For a husband’s freedom from addiction (C); Freedom from pain and illness for a friend (M); 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); Healing of a father following stroke (S).

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