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."


Our Lady of Lourdes: The Sixth Apparition

Posted by Jacob

We continue our re-publishing of previous posts chronicling the miraculous unfolding of events that took place at Lourdes in 1858. For an introduction to the series, see here. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!




The Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lourdes, appeared to Saint Bernadette eighteen times at the grotto of Massabielle, bringing a message of prayer, penance, poverty, and participation. Through these posts, we continue our journey with Saint Bernadette as we encounter Our Blessed Mother through her eyes, memories, and words. While the first three visitations, on February 11, February 14, February 18, were marked by the Blessed Mother establishing a deep and heart-felt connection with Saint Bernadette, the fourth and fifth visitations on February 19 and February 20 were marked by quiet prayer and confidences which Bernadette would not reveal.


The sixth time the Blessed Virgin, described by Bernadette as a beautiful young lady clothed in a white robe and blue sash, with golden roses on her feet, appeared in the grotto as Massabielle, Bernadette’s now radiant face was marked by unease and unhappiness. Those observing watched as she spoke, and paused as if listening, weeping throughout. Bernadette would later recall that the Blessed Mother had told her to pray for sinners, and described things to horrible to repeat. She kept the confidences of the Blessed Mother until her death.

This sixth apparition, on February 21, occurred very early in the morning, and following the departure of the Blessed Mother, the local police commissioner, Dominque Jacomet, brought Bernadette into the police station for questioning. Denying her mother’s request to accompany her, Jacomet questioned Bernadette alone for a significant period of time, as the town elders had grown concerned with the safety risk the crowds who followed her to the grotto were causing.

Jacomet questioned Bernadette regarding her age, education, and history, establishing that she had little education, seldom went to school, could neither read nor write, and had not yet made her First Eucharist. To his surprise, Bernadette was unsure of her age, estimating she was either thirteen or fourteen. When questioned about her experiences at Lourdes, and whether her family supported her, she forthrightly responded that no one believed her story—not her mother, sister, or friends—not even the nuns at the convent whom she had confided in. And yet, he could not sway her from her beliefs. She was calm for one so young, faced with the authority of the police, and would not be tricked into changing her story, despite his attempts. When asked who she was speaking to at the grotto of Massabielle, Bernadette answered, “aqueró,” which in the local patois dialect means “that one” or “that thing.” She refused to be more specific.

Commissioner Jacomet tried all he could to trick her, re-reading his written notes, but significantly changing her story each time. Without exception, Bernadette politely corrected him, saying, “You’ve changed everything.” As rumors were circulating around the town that she was being visited by the Blessed Virgin—something he could not believe, as he though the Holy Mother wouldn’t appear to someone as uneducated and poor as Bernadette—he substituted her title for aqueró. Again, Bernadette refuted his story, stating that she had never claimed to have seen the Blessed Virgin. He strongly encouraged her to avoid returning to the grotto, but Bernadette insisted that she must return, as she had made a promise. Despite his threats to imprison her as a public safety hazard, Jacomet let Bernadette go.

Bernadette returned to the grotto the following day, in honor of her promise. However, on that day, the Blessed Virgin did not appear. Bernadette prayed the Rosary, and followed by a disappointed crowd, returned home. Bernadette, however, was not disappointed, and seemingly lit by an internal peace and grace, returned the following day.

The Lourdes Hymn (sung during the Candlelight Processional)

O Mary, our mother, we come to this place,
Where you, who are sinless, appeared full of grace.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria


As Bernadette waited there came to her site
A radiant Lady, surrounded by light.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria


She gave her a message, “Let penance be done,
And pray that all sinners may turn to my Son.”
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria


“Come here in procession, to praise God and sing,
To wash in these waters and drink at this spring.”
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria


She asked that a chapel be built in this place;
That all be encouraged to pray for God’s grace.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria


The Lady responded when asked for her name:
“Conceived without sin is the title I claim.”
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria


O mother of mercy, our sorrows relieve;
Sustain those who suffer, console those who grieve.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria


O bless us, dear Lady, with blessings from heaven;
And to our petitions let answers be given
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria

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