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 28: Saint Bernard of Montjoux

Posted by Jacob

Today, May 28, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Bernard of Montjoux (923-1008), the patron saint of skiers, alpinists, hikers, and travelers in the mountains, and minister to Alpine travelers for over 40 years. He is remembered for his devotion to the Lord, and tireless preaching of His word to travelers, living and working in the most inhospitable of places, and through warmth and comfort offered to travelers, converting many.

The early life of Saint Bernard is lost to Holy Legend. Sources suggest that Bernard was born of nobility, likely in Italy or France, and left home to study in Paris. Upon the arrangement of an honorable marriage by his parents, Bernard returned home to profess his preference to devote himself to the Lord, entering the religious life. Some scholars suggest that his parents, pagans perhaps, were not pleased with this and locked him in the tower of their chateau. Saint Bernard is said to have thrown himself from the tower, only to be carried by angels the forty feet to the ground and set gently upon it. He is said to have fled to the monastery.

Church scholars agree that Saint Bernard found his way to the Benedictine Order, entering the monastery at Aosta, Italy, and eventually becoming ordained a priest. Recognized for his patience and obedience, as well as his knowledge and virtue, Saint Bernard was made archbishop of the Alpine Diocese, a most inhospitable route through the mountains between Italy and Switzerland. This was a common path of pilgrimage for those journeying to Rome, and was also quite dangerous due to weather and thieves.

Saint Bernard undertook his charge with vigor, establishing two hospices in the pass that would eventually be named for him—one at the highest point (8,000 feet) and one at the second highest point (7,076 feet)—both perpetually covered with approximately 8 feet of snow. He further built and dedicated a church to Saint Nicholas there. He filled the buildings with warmth and love, catering to travelers and strangers, always finding time to speak with them about the love of God. Bernard organized roving patrols throughout the mountain pass, driving out the thieves and brigands. Having obtained permission from Rome, he invited members of the Augustine Order to help him minister to travelers. With their help, he patrolled the mountains searching for lost travelers, oftentimes with dogs carrying water around their necks—the same dogs that would eventually be named for him. The Order offered food, clothing, and shelter to the travelers and took care of the unfortunate who perished during the journey. They depended solely on gifts and collections for sustenance.

Saint Bernard’s life was one of simple service in a difficult environment. His hospitality was legendary, and his works survive today in the form of the hospices he established. His community—the Houses and Congregations of Saints Nicholas and Bernard—remains active today, maintaining the Alpine hospices as well as one in the Himalayas. Upon his death, he was interred at the cloisters of Saint Lawrence. Numerous miracles were reported at the site of his burial, as well as in Saint Bernard’s pass. We are inspired by the love of Saint Bernard to extend ourselves to those in need, never missing an opportunity to show God’s love. Saint Bernard reminds us of the epistle of Saint Peter (1 Peter 4: 7-11):

7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Year 2: Day 148 of 365

Prayer Intentions: Hearts of Hospitality
Requested Intentions: Husband’s freedom from illness (L); Personal intentions (S); Successful passing of dental board examination (P); Blessings on a family (Z); Successful permanent employment (C); Healing of a son with autism (J); Son’s successful employment (L); For the intentions of family and relatives, for the Carthusian community (T); For personal intentions (A); Restoration of lost hearing (C); Resolution of relational and financial challenges (S); Comfort following loss of husband, security for family, assistance with housing (B); Healing and return of brother (O); Successful hermitage foundation (S); Support from family, permission to marry (H); Recovery of wife following surgery, freedom from depression (W); Protection and recovery of mentally ill daughter (J); 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).


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