"In this world you will suffer persecution," Saint Vincent once said to his disciples, adding to allay their fears, "but rest assured, I have conquered the world."
Today, January 22, we celebrate the feast of Saint Vincent the Deacon (also known as Vincent of Saragossa and Saint Vincent Martyr, died 304), willing martyr of the Church. Saint Vincent, when confronted with the most horrific tortures, held true to his faith, reminding us of the words of Saint Paul, “To you, it has been granted for Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.”
In answer Vincent then cries out,
A levite of the sacred tribe,
Who at God's altar stands and serves,
One of the seven pillars white:
'Let these dark fiends rule over you,
Bow down before your wood and stone;
Be you the lifeless pontifex
Of gods as dead as you, yourself.
'But we, O Dacian, will confess
The Father, Author of all light,
And Jesus Christ, His only Son,
As one true God, and Him adore.'
Holy God, Saint Vincent served You as a permanent deacon and gave his whole life and soul to You, even to the point of becoming a martyr. I lift up to You the deacons of the Church and all those who are being called by God to become deacons. Guide them as they discern how to serve the Body of Christ. Prevent the attractions of the world and the busyness of secular jobs from interfering with their vocations. Teach them to grow in humility. Help their families learn from their examples and support their deaconates with trust and joy. Saint Vincent, pray for us. Amen.
You gave Saint Vincent
the courage to endure torture and death for the Gospel:
fill us with Your Spirit
and strengthen us in Your love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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."