“Zeal for Thy house has consumed me!”
Today, June 4, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Francis Caracciolo (1563-1608), confessor, and founder of the Minor Clerks Regular, and servant of the Lord. Saint Francis was afflicted with a rare skin disease, much like leprosy, but managed to find joy in his constant suffering, serving those in his order by performing the most menial tasks, even after being appointed Superior of the order. The lifelong lesson of humility, obedience, and service evident in the life of Saint Francis is one which still serves as a powerful reminder to each of the faithful today. Saint Francis is also the patron saint of Italian cooks!
“You are the founders of a new Order which will soon spread, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, and will be especially flourishing in this kingdom.” Asked when that would occur, he replied, “Not for three years.”
“Let us go, let us go to heaven!” When his body was opened after death, his heart was found seemingly burnt, with these words imprinted around it: “Zelus domus tuae comedit me” — “The zeal of Thy house has consumed me.” He is frequently referred to as the “Preacher of Divine Love.”
O God, You adorned blessed Francis, the founder of a new Order, with a zeal for prayer and a love of penance; grant that your servants may make such progress in the imitation of his virtues, that by constant prayer and bringing their bodies into subjection, they may deserve to attain heavenly glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who being God, lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
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."