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."


July 16: Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 16, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Madonna of the Brown Scapular. It is our Lady of Mount Carmel who appeared to Saint Simon Stock, providing gentle instruction on Consecration to Her Sacred Heart through the Scapular, which led to the growth of the Carmelite Order. Consecration to Our Blessed Mother through wearing of the Scapular, however, is not reserved only for the Carmelites. Rather, it is a Church tradition available to all. As Pope Pius XII proclaimed, “Let the Scapular be for them a sign of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."


Similarly, Pope John Paul II, on the 750th anniversary of the Brown Scapular to Saint Simon Stock, declared:

“The sign of the Scapular nourishes the devotion of believers and makes them sensitive to the Virgin Mother's loving presence in their lives. The Scapular is essentially a 'habit'. Those who receive it are associated with the Order of Carmel and dedicate themselves to the service of Our Lady for the good of the whole Church.


Therefore two truths are evoked by the sign of the Scapular:


- the constant protection of the Blessed Virgin, not only on life's journey but also at the moment of passing into the fullness of eternal glory


- the awareness that devotion to Mary cannot be limited to prayers and tributes in her honor on certain occasions, but must become a 'habit', that is, a permanent orientation of one's own Christian conduct, woven of prayer and interior life, through frequent reception of the sacraments and the concrete practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.”


While we may traditionally view Our Blessed Mother’s appearance to Saint Simon Stock, and the subsequent bestowal of the Brown Scapular to him and the world as the origin of devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, this devotion mystically (and somewhat miraculously) precedes these events. In fact, devotion to Our Blessed Mother—not yet born—dates back to the 8th century before Christ when the prophet Elias ascended the holy mountain of Carmel in Palestine, beginning a long tradition of contemplative monastic life and prayer. At that time, long before the glorious plan of God had reached fruition, Elias and his followers dedicated themselves to God’s “Mother-to-come,” Mary, Virgin of Mount Carmel. Nearly three thousand years later, today, this devotion continues on Mount Carmel—an active monastic religious community dedicated to contemplation, prayer, and devotion to Our Blessed Mother.

Following the time of Christ, on the Feast of Pentecost, the spiritual descendants of Elias and his followers came down from Mount Carmel. They were among the first to accept the message of Christ and to be baptized by the disciple. Upon meeting Our Lady, and hearing the sweetest words from Her lips, they were overcome with a sense of majesty and sanctity—a love and gentleness they never forgot. Returning to their holy mountain, these first Carmelites erected the first chapel built in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From Butler’s Lives of the Saints:


When on the holy day of Pentecost the Apostles, through heavenly inspiration, spake in foreign tongues, and worked many wonders by the invocation of the most sacred Name of Jesus ; it is said that many men, who were walking in the footsteps of the holy prophets Elijah and Elisha, and had been prepared for the coming of Christ by the heralding of John the Baptist, saw and were assured of the truth. They at once embraced the faith of the Gospel, and began to venerate the most blessed Virgin (whose conversation and familiar intercourse they were happily able to enjoy) with a certain peculiar affection, so that they, before all others, built a chapel to that purest of Virgins on that very spot of Mount Carmel where Elijah of old had seen a cloud arising, a remarkable symbol of the Virgin.”

From that time devotion to God's Mother was handed down by the hermits on Mount Carmel as a treasured spiritual legacy. In the twelfth century, the Carmelite Order was officially founded.

From the Divine Office: “Sacred Scripture celebrated the beauty of Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the purity of Israel's faith in the living God. In the twelfth century, hermits withdrew to that mountain and later founded the Order devoted to the contemplative life under the patronage of Mary, the holy Mother of God.”

As written about previously (see here, the Feast of Saint Simon Stock), the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Simon, bestowing upon him the Brown Scapular. Saint Simon was a hermit who eventually joined the Carmelite Order, and after many years of tireless work in service of his brothers, was elected Vicar General. Following his election, he was graced with a visitation of Our Blessed Mother. According to Carmelite tradition, July 16, 1251, St. Simon Stock was given the Brown Scapular by the Blessed Virgin Mary, who said to him:

“Receive, my dear son, this scapular of thy Order, as the distinctive sign of my confraternity, and the mark of the privilege which I have obtained for thee and the children of Carmel. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in danger, and a special pledge of peace and protection till the end of time. Whosoever dies wearing this shall be preserved from eternal flames.”

In order to share in the merits of the Scapular devotion to Our Blessed Mother, one who wears the Scapular must: 1)Shun sin, and, according to his state of life, live chastely; 2)Say every day, if possible, seven times, Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father; 3) Strive to serve God by venerating Mary, and imitating her virtues.


Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, OCD, an authority on Carmelite spirituality, wrote that devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel means:

“a special call to the interior life, which is preeminently a Marian life. Our Lady wants us to resemble her not only in our outward vesture but, far more, in heart and spirit. If we gaze into Mary's soul, we shall see that grace in her has flowered into a spiritual life of incalcuable wealth: a life of recollection, prayer, uninterrupted oblation to God, continual contact, and intimate union with him. Mary's soul is a sanctuary reserved for God alone, where no human creature has ever left its trace, where love and zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of mankind reign supreme. Those who want to live their devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to the full must follow Mary into the depths of her interior life. Carmel is the symbol of the contemplative life, the life wholly dedicated to the quest for God, wholly orientated towards intimacy with God; and the one who has best realized this highest of ideals is Our Lady herself, 'Queen and Splendor of Carmel'."


We pray today for the grace and peace of Our Blessed Mother, through our total consecration to her sacred heart. May she never cease her intercessions on our behalf with Our Loving God in heaven. We pray for those who, through devotion to Mary, wear the Scapular- an external sign of love for Mary, of the trust her children have in her, and of the commitment to live like her.


(For a detailed explanation of the Scapular, written by Carmelite Sisters, click here.)


A PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN, OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruitful Vine,
Splendor of Heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin,
assist me this my necessity.

O Star of the Sea,
help me and show me herein you are my Mother.


O Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
Queen of Heaven and Earth,
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart,
to succor me in this necessity;
there are none that can withstand your power.


O, show me herein you are my Mother,
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.


Sweet Mother,
I place this cause in your hands.




Year 2: Day 197 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Consecration to Our Lady; Grace and Peace; Protection from sin.
Requested Intentions: Healing of a heart and relationship (V); Employment for daughter (J); For a marriage that glorifies the Lord (K); Resolution of family situation, parents’ health (A); Positive results (C); For a son’s employment, faith, and relationships (S); Restored family relationships (A); Healthy conception and delivery of children (J); For a girlfriend’s recovery from a debilitating mental illness (J); For a daughter’s successful examination results (A); Occupational success, health and safety of family (S); Reduction in anxiety for husband, financial freedom (S); Healing for a sister-in-law (J); For a family experiencing a difficult child custody case (M); Reunification of a family struggling with separation (M): For a son struggling with mental illness (M); Successful examination results (B); To be freed from the chains of sin (J); Admission to a good university (M); For successful surgery (T); For a mother’s mental health and for kindness and forgiveness, for housing problems, for dental health (T); For the soul of a departed friend (X); 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).

1 comments:

  1. Anonymous said...

    for my twins who are 16 that they get a job and help my older boy with his money problems

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