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."


September 25: Blessed Herman the Cripple

Posted by Jacob

Today, September 2425 we celebrate the feast day of Blessed Herman the Cripple (also known as Hermannus Contractus, or Herman of Reichenau, 1013-1054), monk, 11th century scholar, composer, musical theorist, mathematician, and astronomer. Blessed Herman composed the Marian prayers Alma Redemptoris Mater, and the Salve Regina (also known as the “Hail Holy Queen”) which we pray each time we pray the Holy Rosary. Despite significant physical limitations and suffering, the bright and contemplative mind of Blessed Herman advanced not only our understanding of the physical world, but furthered our devotion to Our Blessed Mother. His contributions to both science and faith remind us that regardless of appearance or apparent physical abilities, we each possess immense God-given gifts and talents! He was called "The Wonder of His Age."


Herman was born into royalty, the son of a duke of Altshausen. From birth, it was apparent that he would be horribly crippled and disfigured, earning him the less-than-pleasant name of “Hermannus Contractus” (or “Herman the Twisted”). Sources suggest he was born with a cleft palate, cerebral palsy and spina bifida. Without assistance, he could not move, and could barely speak, but within his body was a keen mind and iron will.

At the age of seven, Herman’s parents left him at the Benedictine monastery of Reichenau, where they arranged for him to be raised and educated. Situated on the shores of Lake Constance, it was expected that this location would be ideal for Herman’s health, but also for his developing intellect. Abbot Berno, the monk who led the community, took Herman under his wing, educating him with kindness and compassion.

Despite his obvious intellect, Herman struggled to read and write at first, his physical limitations difficult to overcome. Once he mastered the basics, the academic world opened to him, and he impressed all with the breadth and depth of his subsequent studies. Not only did he immerse himself in the sciences, but also in languages, music and theology. Herman became fluent in Latin, Greek, and Arabic. He wrote extensively on mathematical and astronomical topics, as well as volumes on the history of the world. He was professed a monk at the age of 30, and continued to write, producing works of great spiritual depth. Of note, his treatise “On the Eight Principal Vices,” which he wrote in a poetic style.

More than his writings, however, Herman was known for his gentleness, joy, and sweet disposition. Never was he heard to complain, despite the fact that most activities were painful and difficult. Rather, he was recognized to have a smile for all, and became a beacon of hope and joy throughout the monastery. Students traveled great distances to study with him, learning not only their academic subjects but also strength of character, perseverance, and humility through his model.

Blessed Herman’s contributions to academics were great, as were his contributions to sacred tradition. He wrote many hymns which continue to be sung today, as well as portions of the Mass. His greatest contributions may be his hymns of devotion and love for Our Blessed Mother: Alma Redemptoris Mater and Salve Regina. The confidence and hope we place in Mary is eloquently and simply captured in his writings.

Relics of Blessed Herman
Blessed Herman died at the young age of 40, having succumbed to the symptoms of his many afflictions. He was beatified in 1863. He was a man who took joy in his struggles, and looked at each difficult day as an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord. Every time we pray the Holy Rosary, we end in prayer with Blessed Herman. The Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) reminds us of our deep connection not only to Our Blessed Mother, but to all those who suffer alongside us in the world.


Salve Regina

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve!
To thee do we send up our sighs; mourning and weeping in this vale of tears!
Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show to us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O Clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Pray for us O Holy Mother of God…That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.



Alma Redemptoris Mater

Sweet Mother of the Redeemer,
that passage to heaven,
gate of the morning,
and star of the sea:
Assist the fallen,
lift up, you who cure, the people:
you who bore to the wonderment of nature,
your holy Creator.
Virgin before and after,
who received from Gabriel
that joyful greeting,
have mercy on us sinners.



Herman The Cripple
A poem by William Hart Hurlbut, M.D.

I am least among the low,
I am weak and I am slow;
I can neither walk nor stand,
Nor hold a spoon in my own hand.


Like a body bound in chain,
I am on a rack of pain,
But He is God who made me so,
that His mercy I should know.


Brothers do not weep for me!
Christ, the Lord, has set me free.
All my sorrows he will bless;
Pain is not unhappiness.


From my window I look down
To the streets of yonder town,
Where the people come and go,
Reap the harvest that they sow.


Like a field of wheat and tares,
Some are lost in worldly cares;
There are hearts as black as coal,
There are cripples of the soul.


Brothers do not weep for me!
In his mercy I am free.
I can neither sow nor spin,
Yet, I am fed and clothed in Him.


I have been the donkey’s tail,
Slower than a slug or snail;
You my brothers have been kind,
Never let me lag behind.


I have been most rich in friends,
You have been my feet and hands;
All the good that I could do,
I have done because of you.

Oh my brothers, can’t you see?
You have been as Christ for me.
And in my need I know I, too,
Have become as Christ for you!

I have lived for forty years
In this wilderness of tears;
But these trials can’t compare
With the glory we will share.


I have had a voice to sing,
To rejoice in everything;
Now Love’s sweet eternal song
Breaks the darkness with the dawn.

Brother’s do not weep for me!
Christ, the Lord, has set me free.
Oh my friends, remember this:
Pain is not unhappiness.

The poem is taken from Father Benedict J Groeschel’s book, Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones.



Year 2: Day 268 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Patience, obedience, endurance to bear our sufferings for the Lord.
Requested Intentions: Business success, peace, health (E); Conversion and deliverance of those who suffer, increase in vocations (M); Financial security and safe housing (M); For a daughter (K); Conversion of a family, deliverance of the souls in Purgatory (S); Successful marriage (A); Health, safety, grace, success of a building project (A); Successful treatment and recovery from cancer (D); Clear speech for a child (C); Conversion of a family (A); Successful employment (S); For the healing of impaired vision (F); For a couple experiencing difficulties (L); Successful employment after finishing college (M); Mother’s health (A); Financial security, freedom from anxiety (S); For a son and cousins (L); Peace and civility (B); Successful examination results (D); Safety of family, strength, courage, wisdom (C); For the souls of a departed father and brother, finding of a suitable marriage partner (R); Successful pilgrimage, deepening of prayer life (R); Restoration of health (J); Restoration of health (S); Freedom from pride (A); For children and marriage (M); For the birth of a healthy baby (Y); For personal family intentions, for the sick, poor, hungry, and homeless (G); Financial security and peace (J); Grace, peace, and obedience to the will of God in a marriage (H); Successful and blessed marriage for sin, freedom from anxiety for husband, spiritual contentedness for family (N); Employment and health for a husband (B); Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C).

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