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."


Feast of Saint Cajetan, Patron Saint of the Unemployed

Posted by Jacob

Today, August 7, we celebrate the feast of Saint Cajetan of Thiene (also known as Saint Gaetano, 1480-1547), zealous reformer of the clergy, founder of the Theatine Order, and patron saint of the unemployed. Throughout his life, Saint Cajetan demonstrated concern and care for those less fortunate than himself, speaking out against exploitation of workers, poor wages, and unhealthy working conditions. Such zeal did he show for the salvation of his fellowmen that he was surnamed the "huntsman for souls." Deeply devoted to Our Blessed Mother, Saint Cajetan was graced by numerous visions of Mary, including at the hour of his death.
Born in Vincenza Italy, of pious and noble parents, Cajetan was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin at birth. From childhood, he was recognized as a saint, given his obedience, temperance, and charity. A distinguished student, he served as a model for his peers in academic achievement and morality, achieving a law degree in Padua. Even as a university student, however, all he wished was to enter the priesthood, although as his diary entries suggest, he did not consider himself worthy:
“I know too well, o Lord, that I am not worthy to be admitted among the consortium of these earthly angels [his way of viewing the priesthood], I wish even so to merit it. You can see my burning desire to bind myself to you forever with priestly promises. Why therefore do you not console me, my dearest goodness? Anyway, my desire is not to want my way but your way. Accept at least these my heart’s desires which in front of you become so real even when they cannot become a reality for me.”

Following his graduation as an attorney, he left that city to seek out humble obscurity in Rome. However, once arriving, he was “invited” by Pope Julius II to accept the position of apostolic protonotary, a high office. Reluctantly, Cajetan accepted the offer, and subsequently joined the Confraternity of Divine Love. Working with his fellow members, Cajetan introduced the concept of frequent Communion, and elsewhere through their influence.

Pope Julius II saw to Cajetan’s ordination, after which he offered many fervent Masses. He was reported to spend at least eight hours each day in solitary prayer. On Christmas Eve at the Church of Saint Mary Major he was greeted with his first vision of Our Blessed mother. When he entered the church he saw the Mary, radiant with light, who came to him and placed Her divine Infant in his arms. These are the words he used to describe his vision: “....I boldly found myself, at the time of the Holy Nativity, in this crib; to give me courage I had with me Saint Jerome my father, who had the crib so close to his heart and whose remains were placed at the entrance of the same crib; and with a little bit of encouragement from the old man (St. Joseph), from the hands of the Virgin Mary, I took into my arms that little Baby: the Eternal Word Who became flesh. My heart was really hard, you must believe me, because if it were not as hard as a diamond, it was sure to liquefy at that moment... patience...” Later in his life, Saint Cajetan would introduce the Forty Hours’ Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as an antidote to the heresy of Calvin.

On the death of Pope Julius II, as well as the death of his mother, Cajetan returned to Vincenza. There he sought out the poorest and sick, transporting them to the Hospital of the Incurables, and joining the Confraternity of Divine Love with that of the Confraternity of Saint Jerome whose members were drawn from the lowest classes. His noble family was appalled by his association with the lower class, but Cajetan paid them no heed, spending his fortune in building hospitals and nursing the plague-stricken. He told his brothers, "In this oratory we try to serve God by worship; in our hospital we may say that we actually find him."

Out of obedience to his spiritual director, Saint Cajetan traveled to Venice, enacting immediate reform in the lives of the clergy there. He realized that to reform the Church, a obedient and zealous clergy was the manner in which to inspire the congregation. Along with Paul Caraffa, then Bishop of Theata in the kingdom of Naples (who later would become Pope Paul IV), and two other fervent Christians, he instituted the first community of Regular Clarks, known as Theatines. They devoted themselves to preaching, the administration of the Sacraments, and the careful performance of the Church's rites and ceremonies. Members of the Order lived apostolic lives, looking with disdain upon all earthly belongings, receiving no income, and accepting no salaries from the faithful. Only from that which was freely offered were they allowed to retain the means of livelihood. Thus they were to rely unreservedly upon Divine Providence.

The patron saint of the unemployed, Saint Cajetan further demonstrated considerable care for the livelihood of his parishioners. Not only did he work for wage reform, he founded a bank to help the poor and offer an alternative to usurers (loan sharks). This bank later became the Bank of Naples. Today also known as the patron saint of gamblers, he is remembered for a gentle game he played with parishioners in which he would bet prayers, rosaries or devotional candles on whether he would perform some service for them. Of course, he always performed the service, and the parishioners always had to “pay” by saying the prayers they had bet against him.

Having returned to Rome, Cajetan was captured and scourged by the invading Germans, who were hoping to discover where he had hidden his “riches.” Of course, Saint Cajetan had long since spent all that he had in service to the poor and struggling. Once let out of prison, he never recovered from the vicious torture. Having returned home, his doctors tried to get him to rest on a softer bed then the boards he slept on, but Cajetan answered: "My savior died on a cross. Let me die on wood at least." It was then, when St. Cajetan was on his death-bed, that he again beheld the Blessed Virgin, surrounded by ministering seraphim. In profound veneration, he said, "Lady, bless me!”

Mary replied, "Cajetan, receive the blessing of my Son, and know that I am here as a reward for the sincerity of your love, and to lead you to paradise." She then exhorted him to patience in fighting an evil spirit who troubled him, and gave orders to the choirs of angels to escort his soul in triumph to heaven. Then, turning her countenance full of majesty and sweetness upon him, she said, "Cajetan, my Son calls thee. Let us go in peace." Saint Cajetan died peacefully, surrounded by the choirs of heaven. His relics are interred in the church of San Paolo Maggiore in Naples, outside of which is located the Piazza San Gaetano, with a statue of the saint.

Saint Cajetan sought first and foremost the will of the Lord in his life. Dedicated not only to Church reform, but to also reform of the evils of the world he encountered on a daily basis, this humble saint gave all that he had to service of those around him. He worked with the poorest of the poor, the sickest of the sick, the most undesirable souls he could find—nursing them physically back to help, assisting with their finances, and saving and converting their souls. Saint Cajetan is a model of obedience, service, and Christian charity—three virtues we can all ascribe to. We pray for the intercession of saint Cajetan, that we, too, may turn our gaze from our own lives to those around us in greater need.

Selected Quotations of Saint Cajetan:
“I am a sinner and do not think much of myself; I have recourse to the greatest servants of the Lord, that they may pray for you to the blessed Christ and his Mother. But do not forget that all the saints cannot endear you to Christ as much as you can yourself. It is entirely up to you. If you want Christ to love you and help you, you must love Him and always make an effort to please Him. Do not waver in your purpose, because even if all the saints and every single creature should abandon you, He will always be near you, whatever your needs.”
“There is no one, O Most Holy Mary, who can know God except through thee; no one who can be saved or redeemed but through thee, O Mother of God; no one who can be delivered from dangers but through thee, O Virgin Mother; no one who obtains mercy but through thee, O Filled-With-All-Grace!”


Prayer of Saint Cajetan


Look down, O Lord, from Your sanctuary, from Your dwelling in heaven on high, and behold this sacred Victim which our great High Priest, Your Holy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, offers up to You for the sins of His brethren and be appeased despite the multitude of our sins. Behold, the voice of the Blood of Jesus, our Brother, cries to You from the cross. Listen, O Lord. Be appeased, O Lord. Hearken and do not delay for Your own sake, O my God; for Your Name is invoked upon this city and upon Your people and deal with us according to Your mercy. Amen.




Lord,
You helped Saint Cajetan
to imitate the apostolic way of life.
By his example and prayers
may we trust in You always
and be faithful in seeking Your kingdom.
Grant 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.

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