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."

June 8: Saint Calliope

Posted by Jacob

Today, June 8, we celebrate the feast of Saint Calliope (also known as Kalliopi, died 250), virgin and martyr of the Church. Calliope stood up against the persecution of Christians under the reign of Emperor Decius, refusing to marry a pagan suitor, and remaining true to her faith. Due to her beliefs, she was tried and executed, earning the glorious martyrs’ crown.

Saint Calliope was a beautiful young woman, who from an early age, had dedicated herself to Christ. At that time, most women were married in their early teen years, but Calliope managed to avoid marriage until the age of 21, by occupying herself with social, charitable, and religious works. Many suitors had sought her hand, given her beauty and grace, but she avoided each, saving herself and remaining chaste for her Lord and Savior.

Eventually, one pagan suitor would not take no for an answer. Despite Calliope’s definitive statements that she would never take his hand, he continued to pursue her. Growing tired of her refusals, he threatened to have her arrested, should she not relent. Remaining true to her faith and her vow to Christ, Calliope refused, and was arrested following false rumors and accusations spread by her spurned suitor. Brought to trial before the magistrate, she was accused of a range of criminal activities, including mockery of the pagan faith and treason against the government—all of which were attested to by a steady stream of well-paid witnesses.

Following the testimonies, when it was all but assured that Calliope would be convicted, her accuser stepped forward and offered to drop the charges should she reject her faith and marry him. Calliope, unafraid, and secure in her love of the Lord, refused, stating that the only mockery that had occurred was the mockery of justice evident in the crooked trial. She further evangelized to all present, stating firmly her belief in Christ, and her unwillingness to recant.

Her refusal to accept marriage left the court little option. She was imprisoned and cruelly tortured in the public square, flogged until her clothing and flesh hung from her body in ribbons. Her beautiful face was scarred with branding irons, and salt was rubbed into her open wounds. Broken and tortured, she was given one last opportunity to disavow her faith, but courageously refused. With that, she was executed.

The death of Saint Calliope dramatically demonstrates the trials and suffering of early Christian martyrs during the oppressive periods of persecution of the Church. Not only did these holy men and women’s heroic acts promote the faith, they inspired others to accept Christ into their lives. We are called in our own lives to provide witness to others of the saving power of Christianity—not in the dramatic manner of the early martyrs, but in much quieter ways: charitable service, love and acceptance of all people, fighting for social justice, opposing hatred, prejudice, bigotry, and intolerance, and much more. We are left to answer the question, “if a stranger met me, would he recognize me as a Christian?”

Thy Lamb, O Jesus, doth cry unto thee with a loud voice, saying, My Bridegroom, I long for thee and in struggles seek thee. I am crucified and buried with thee in my Baptism, and for thee I do suffer until I reign with thee. I die for thee that I may live in thee. Then as a sacrifice without blemish receive her who for thy sake was slain. Through the intercessions of St. Calliope, therefore, since thou art merciful, save our souls.

Year 2: Day 159 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Christ visible in our lives
Requested Intentions: Restoration of health (D); Successful employment for couple (N); For employment for children (K); 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).


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