Saint Ferdinand III, King of Castille and Leon (also know as Fernando, 1198-1252), confessor. Saint Ferdinand was a virtuous and kind ruler, extending the faith of Catholicism throughout Spain and Moorish-occupied territories, and taking care of the poor and needy. He was especially devoted to Our Blessed Mother, from whom he drew the strength, wisdom, grace, and guidance necessary to rule with a just hand, to the betterment of his subjects. Saint Ferdinand is considered the patron saint of engineers, authorities (including magistrates, governors, tertiaries, and rulers), large families, parenthood, and the poor and imprisoned.
“the Catholic kingdom,” and demonstrated great prudence, patience, wisdom, and courage, despite his age. As he was so young, his mother became his closest advisor and Regent during his early reign, and assisted in the arrangement of a marriage to Princess Beatrice, daughter of Philip of Suabia, King of Germany. Together, they produced seven sons and three daughters. Although one daughter and one son died while quite young, the couple was blessed and the relationship was filled with grace and virtuous love.
“Thou, O Lord, who searches the heart of man: Thus knowest that I desire Thy glory and the increase of Thy Faith and holy religion.”
“My Lady.” In return, Our Blessed Mother led him to victory in his battles, and wiped the lands free from famine and pestilence during his entire reign, which, as his contemporary chroniclers observed, was an evident miracle, considering the circumstances of that period. A large picture of Our Lady was carried before him into battle, while a small picture of Our Lady was attached to his saddle.
“Thou, O Lord, hast given me the kingdom, which I should not otherwise have had; Thou hast given me more honor and power than I deserved; receive my thanks! I give Thee back this kingdom, which I have increased as far as I was able; I also commend my soul into Thy hands!”
“Lord Jesus Christ, my Redeemer! Receive my soul, and through the merits of Thy Most Holy Passion, deign to admit it among those of Thy servants!” He peacefully died while the bishops at his bedside sang the Te Deum.
Year 2: Day 150 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Devotion to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother; Desire to serve the Lord and His people rather than ourselves.
Requested Intentions: For health of friend, for successful relationships for children, for safe pregnancy for daughter (C); For the health of a mother (J); Virtue for daughter (V); Successful acceptance to college for nephew (M); For the health of a cousin (T); Freedom from legal difficulties for husband (S); 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).
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."