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."


May 11: Blessed Peter the Venerable

Posted by Jacob


Today, May 11, we celebrate the feast day of Blessed Peter the Venerable (also known as Peter of Montboissier, 1092-1156), Abbot of Cluny, and holy man.  Described by his biographer as "A lover of peace he obtained peace in the glory of God on the day of peace."

As described by Pope Benedict XVI in his General Audience (March 2009):

"All who knew him praised his refined meekness, his serene equilibrium, rectitude, loyalty, reasonableness and his special approach to mediation. "It is in my nature" he wrote, "to be particularly inclined to indulgence; I am urged to this by my habit of forgiveness. I am accustomed to toleration and forgiveness." He said further: "With those who hate peace let us always seek to be peacemakers." And he wrote of himself: "I am not the type who is discontented with his lot... whose mind is always tormented by anxiety or doubt and who complains that everyone else is resting while they are the only ones working." With a sensitive and affectionate nature, he could combine love for the Lord with tenderness to his family members, especially his mother, and to his friends. He cultivated friendship, especially with his monks who used to confide in him, certain that they would be heard and understood. According to his biographer's testimony: "he did not look down on anyone and never turned anyone away"; "he appeared friendly to all; in his innate goodness he was open to all." 

Blessed Peter was born into a French noble family, to Blessed Raingarde in Auvergne, France.  At birth, Peter was “Dedicated to the Lord” and given to the monks at the monastery at Sauxillanges to raise.  When he reached the age of consent, at approximatly 17, Peter took his vows and entered the Congregation of Cluny.  Quickly recognized for his holiness and wisdom, Peter was swiftly elevated, assuming a number of important positions, including becoming professor and prior of the monastery of V├ęzelay at only twenty years of age.  Transferred to the monastery at Domene, he served his congretation and community so well that he was elected general of the order before he reached 30.  As the eighth abbot of Cluny, Peter brought a variety of reforms to the educational system of the order and to its finances.

Representing the order, Peter traveled extensively, going six times to Rome and to England and Spain. When not traveling, Peter spent long periods of time in solitude, praying and studying.  Blessed Peter further sought opportunity to open dialogues between faiths, particularly with Muslims.  He was responsible for the first translation of the Koran into Latin, to allow scholarly discourse on the text with Muslim brethren.  He wrote extensive treatises and letters regarding the scriptures, as well as poems and sermons; his writings reveal a deep knowledge honed by a focus on education, study, and keen insight.

Blessed Peter the Venerable was never formally canonized, but has long been venerated as a holy, beatified church figure. Peter the Venerable died at Cluny on Chrsitmas Day, December 25, 1156, according to his wish.  It is written that he gladly passed from this world "after a sublime sermon to his brethren on the mystery of the day.”

From the Letter of Blessed Peter the Venerable to Heloise:

“To our venerable and dearest sister in Christ, the handmaid of God, Heloise, guide and mistress of the handmaids of God, brother Peter, humble abbot of Cluny: the fullness of God's salvation and of our love in Christ. 

I was happy, very happy, to read the letter from your Sanctity, where I learned that my visit to you was no transitory call, and which made me realize that I have not only been with you, but in spirit have never really left you. My stay, I see, was not one to be remembered as that of a passing guest for a single night, nor was I treated as 'a stranger and a foreigner among you' [Gen.23:4], but as 'a fellow-citizen of God's people and member of God's household' [Ephes.2:19]. Everything I said and did on that fleeting or flying visit of mine has remained so firmly in your holy mind and made such an impression on your gracious spirit that, to say nothing of my carefully-chosen phrases on that occasion, not even a chance, unconsidered word of mine fell to the ground unheeded. You noted all, you committed all to your retentive memory in the warmth of your unbounded sincerity, as if all were the mighty, the heavenly, the sacrosanct words or deeds of Jesus Christ himself. You may have been propmpted to remember them in this way by the injunctions on receiving guests in our common Rule, which belongs to us both: 'Let Christ be worshipped in them, who is received in their persons' [Bened.Rule, 53.7]. Perhaps you were also reminded of the Lord's words concerning those given authority, though I have no authority over you: 'Whoever listens to you listens to me' [Luke 10:16]. 

May I ever be granted this grace from you: that you will think me worthy to be remembered, and will pray for the mercy of the Almighty upon me, along with the holy community of the flock entrusted to your care. I am repaying you now as far as I can, for long before I saw you, and particularly since I have come to know you, I have kept for you in the innermost depths of my heart a special place of real and true affection. I am therefore sending you, now that I have left you, a ratification of the gift of a trental I made you in person, in writing and under seal, as you wished. I am also sending the absolution for Master Peter you asked for, similarly written on parchment and sealed. As soon as I have an opportunity, I will gladly do my best to obtain a prebend in one of the great churches for your Astralabe, who is also ours for your sake. It will not be easy, for the bishops, as I have often found, are apt to show themselves extremely difficult when occasions have arisen for them to give prebends in their churches. But for your sake I will do what I can as soon as I can.”


O God, refuge and surpassing reward
of those who walk blamelessly in Thy presence,
perfect in us, we beseech Thee,
the love of holy religion,
that by the example and intercession of the blessed Abbots of Cluny
we may run with dilated hearts along the way of charity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

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