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."

May 12: Saints Nereus & Achilleus and Saint Pancras

Posted by Jacob

May 12 marks the feast day of several saints of which little is known, Saints Nereus and Achilleus and Saint Pancras. Each was martyred for his faith in Christ, in the same year during the persecution of Christians under the order of Emperor Diocletian. Above all, these martyrs remind us of our call to self-sacrifice, faith, and steadfast love for the Lord—even in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Saints Nereus and Achilleus (died 304) were Roman soldiers who served under Emperor Trajan. When Diocletian ascended to the thrown, persecution of Christians began in earnest, which Nereus and Achilleus readily participated in. However, through this participation, they came to meet holy men and women who moved their hearts, leading to their eventual conversion to Christianity. While holy legend suggests that they were baptized in the faith by Saint Peter himself, the timing of their lives suggests this not to be true (although no less remarkable!).

Upon their conversion and baptism, the soldiers threw down their weapons and armor, free from the tyranny of sin, and rejoicing in their newfound freedom. Of course, having been involved in the persecution of Christians, both Nereus and Achilleus knew what was in store for them, and were not disappointed. They were arrested, tortured, and exiled to the island of Terracina. There, they were beheaded for failure to renounce their faith and sacrifice to the Roman gods, true followers of Jesus Christ.

Pope Damasus wrote an epitaph for Nereus and Achilleus in the fourth century. He wrote: “The martyrs Nereus and Achilleus had enrolled themselves in the army and exercised the cruel office of carrying out the orders of the tyrant, being ever ready, through the constraint of fear, to obey his will. O miracle of faith! Suddenly they cease from their fury, they become converted, they fly from the camp of their wicked leader; they throw away their shields, their armor and their blood-stained javelins. Confessing the faith of Christ, they rejoice to bear testimony to its triumph. Learn now from the words of Damasus what great things the glory of Christ can accomplish.”

Pope Gregory the Great dwelt on the vanity of the earth's goods. In his homilies, he encouraged his congregation to despise the earth’s physical treasures by the example of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, whose relics lay under the very altar around which they were that day assembled. "These Saints," he said, "before whose tomb we are now standing, trampled with contempt of soul on the world and its flowers. Life was then long, health was uninterrupted, riches were abundant, parents were blessed with many children; and yet, though the world was so flourishing in itself, it had long been a withered thing in their hearts."

Saints Achilleus and Nereus, pray for those in the military and armed forces throughout the world that they may always see God as their authority and obey God's orders first. Amen.

Saint Pancras (died 304) was a Phrygian of noble birth who was baptized at the age of 14 and immediately proceeded to give all his possessions to the poor. This drew the attention of the authorities to him and ultimately to the fact that he was a Christian. Despite being just a boy, when he refused to renounce his Christianity, even when promised wealth and power by the Emperor. Again refusing, Saint Pancras was decapitated under Diocletian about the year 304. His bravery and steadfast faith so inspired the witnesses to his death that many converted that very day. A Roman matron named Ottavilla recovered Pancras' body, covered it with sweet smelling perfume, wrapped it in precious linens, and buried it in a newly built sepulcher dug in the Catacombs of Rome. Pancras’ head was placed in the reliquary that still exists today in the Basilica of San Pancrazio, built in 514 to honor him. In 596, the famous missionary, St. Augustine of Canterbury, went to bring the Christian faith to England. He named his first church there after St. Pancras.

Saint Pancras is the patron saint of fidelity to oaths, especially our oaths of faith taken during baptism and confirmation. Even at the young age of 14, Pancras took his oath to the Lord seriously, baring his neck to the sword rather than renouncing his faith. His life, together with the lives of Saints Nereus and Achilleus remind us inspire us to lives of self-sacrifice and courage. Saints Nereus and Achilleus threw down their possessions and left their lives of military service for the Lord. Saint Pancras gave all his possessions away to the poor. What are we willing to give up for Him? All three of these brave martyrs gave their lives for the Christian faith, certain in the love of Christ, eager to sacrifice as witness to their confidence in God. How do we bear witness to the world of our beliefs, our faith, our love of the Lord? What might we sacrifice in service to our God and to one another?

Almighty God, we have seen Your glorious Martyrs Nereus, Achilleus, and Pancras remain steadfast in their profession of Faith. May we also experience their piety in their intercession for us before You. Amen.

Year 2: Day 132 of 365

Prayer Intentions: Faith in the Lord in all situations
Requested Intentions: Successful resolution to legal proceedings (N); Freedom from worry and successful employment (M); For successful sale of home and freedom from debt (J); Freedom from pain and illness (E); For successful living arrangements, travels, health, and studies (F); Healing, successful studies, financial success (F); For husband’s successful employment (Y); For children’s faith journey; Recovery of a friend suffering from addiction (M); Successful employment (P); Obedience to the will of the Lord (J); Financial recovery (S); Freedom from evil influence (I); Recovery from illness (J); Freedom from addiction (J); Successful transplant surgery (K); Healing for a daughter (T); Acceptance into school (V); Successful immigration; for a sister’s career and marriage (F); Financial recovery; Successful ministry (A); Financial ability to send children to school (S); Safe return of a runaway (J); Healing of a family (J).


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment. If you wish to submit a prayer request, however, please do so above, using the "Contact" tab.