Saint Monegundis (died 650), Hermitess, Holy woman, and foundress of the convent of Saint Pierre-le-Puellier. Saint Monegundis lived a righteous and pious life, and only through tragedy and depression was called to more fully serve the Lord.
Monegundis was born in Chartres (northern France, near Paris), and lived a honorable life in the eyes of both the world and the Lord. She married, and together with her husband, was blessed with two beautiful daughter. Sadly, both daughters passed away before they reached adulthood, and Monegundis was deeply grieved. For many years, she struggled with a deep depression, which impacted her relationships with her husband, her family, and all her friends.
With this knowledge came full repentance, and with her husband’s permission, she took up residence in a small cell near a Church in Chartres, where she lived in total prayer and penance. After a few years, she moved to Tours, where she again lived as a hermitess, this time close to the tomb of Saint Martin of Tours. Her reputation for gentleness, holiness, and piety began attracting followers, and before long she had become the spiritual mother and advisor to a large group of women.
Today, we pray for the wisdom and strength to convert those tragedies that we experience into opportunities for service to the Lord and one another. We pray in a special way for those struggling with depression and mental illness, that in the dark places, they may find the space to embrace the healing light of Christ, and come to love both themselves and the Lord in a newfound and profound manner.
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."