Pope Saint Martin I (died 655), the last pope to be considered a martyr for the faith. Little is recorded about Saint Martin’s early life, other than he was born in Umbria, Italy, and served as a high diplomatic representative to Constantinople. Saint Martin was, in fact, the last pope who was elected from a position as a diplomat, securing the separation of the Church from ties to governments and leaders.
Saint Martin assumed the papacy in 649. He had a reputation for both intelligence and virtue, although was frail and somewhat ill of constitution. At the time Saint Martin was elected, Constantinople, under the leadership of Emperor Constans II, was the most powerful and influential government—influencing both politics and the doctrine of the Church. Prior to Martin’s assumption of the papacy, Constans II had issued an edict in support of the theory of Monothelism—the belief that Christ had no human will, only divine will. The Church considered this a heretical belief, but had been silenced by the power of Constantinople, and forbidden to even discuss the will of Jesus Christ.
"The Lord commanded us to shun evil and do good, but not to reject the good with the evil."
“At all times in our letters we have desired to encourage you in your charity and to alleviate any anxiety you may have for us, as we have for all the saints and all our brothers who share this concern for us in the Lord. But now I am writing to you of things which do oppress us, and I speak the truth in the name of Christ our God.
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Year 2: Day 103 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courage and Steadfastness in the teachings of the Church; For Church leaders.
Requested Intentions: Financial ability to send children to school (S); Safe return of a runaway (J); Healing of a family (J); Reconciliation of marriage (S); Healing of a daughter with congenital heart disease (F); Healing and an end to suffering (J); For the children (M); For a son fighting a rare immune system disease (R); Freedom from imprisonment (J); Employment and end to depression (H); Successful employment (A); Health for a soon to be delivered baby (T); Financial security (L); Healing of tooth pain (A); Health of expectant mother and child (R); Purification of the souls in Purgatory (A); Guidance in studies (J); Healing and security for a displaced family (C); Healing of high blood pressure; Recovery of brother following surgery (A); For a sister in trouble, that she may make better decisions in the light of Christ (M); Health of expectant mother and child (R); Attainment of funds for surgery (J); Freedom from financial difficulties (E); For employment and college acceptance (E); Recovery and healing of a friend (C); 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); Healing of a father following stroke (S).
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."