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."

February 10: Saint Scholastica

Posted by Jacob

Today, February 10, marks the feast day of Saint Scholastica (born 480, deceased 582)—virgin of the church, and twin brother to Saint Benedict. Little is known about the life of Saint Scholastica, although what is known is testament to her deep faith and commitment to the Lord, as well as her deep love of her brother. Much of the information recorded about Saint Scholastica was done so by Saint Gregory the Great in his Dialogues (Book II: Life and Miracles of Saint Benedict).

Both Scholastica and Benedict grew up in a wealthy and noble family in Nursia, Italy. Extremely close since birth, records suggest that Scholastica grew in Godliness before her brother, bringing him to his deep faith. By the time they reached adolescence, both shared a strong devotion to the Lord. When Benedict left the home to study, and eventually found the first Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino, Scholastica (as was common at the time) likely remained living with her parents in the family home until she was deemed beyond “marrying age.” At that time, Scholastica founded a convent near her brother (approximately five miles away) in Plombariola. As Benedict is believed to have been the spiritual director of both his sister, and the convent, Saint Scholastica is widely regarded as the first Benedictine nun.

Scholastica is remembered for her deep faith in the Lord, as well as her love of spiritual discourse and discussion. While the orders of both siblings’ orders prevented them from remaining outside their respective communities overnight, Benedict and Scholastica met once each year at a farmhouse, as she also could not enter the Benedictine monastery. During this yearly meetings, the brother and sister would dine together and spend hours in spiritual discussion, enjoying the “mutual comfort of heavenly talk.”

The last such meeting between Scholastica and Benedict is the best recorded moment of her life. As recounted by Saint Gregory, Scholastica realized that the days of her life were running out, and at the end of the evening, following supper, begged her brother to remain with her. He refused, unwilling to violate the rules he had established for his order. Scholastica became visibly upset, but calmly folded her hands in prayer. She prayed for the intercession of the Lord, which would allow her dear brother to remain with her some hours longer. As she prayed, a sudden and violent rain and hail storm arose, the fury of which prevented Benedict from leaving the farmhouse.

Benedict is recorded as scornfully scolding his sister, saying, "May Almighty God forgive you, sister, for what you have done."

She replied, "I asked a favor of you and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it!" They spent the remaining hours of the evening, their last visit together, in conversation regarding the grace and love of the Lord.

Benedict returned to his monastery, and three days later was greeted with a vision in which he saw his Scholastica’s soul, in the form of a dove, leave her body and ascend to heaven. Realizing what had happened, he sent his brothers to retrieve her body, and buried it in his own tomb. Upon his death a few years later, Sebastian was buried with her. Saint Gregory wrote, "so death did not separate the bodies of these two, whose minds had ever been united in the Lord."

We ask those we love for favors or help all the time. Our friends and our families are generally there for us, and oftentimes assist in our times of need. Occasionally, however, this is not the case, and we, instead, receive judgment, scorn, or derision. At these moments, do we think to ask the Lord for assistance, or the Blessed Mother for intercession? How different would our lives be if, like Saint Scholastica, we had such deep faith in God? Would the momentarily disappointments and annoyances of our daily relationships on earth become less significant? Might we instead place our trust and find our hope in the promise of a God who loves us unconditionally? Might this faith in the Lord allow us to forgive those who wrong or disappoint us, building stronger relationships that are centered in God?

Loving and caring God of the Universe, we praise and thank You for the gift of life.
Through the prayer of Saint Scholastica, woman of all time, may we cherish our relationships.
Help us to be attentive to our own needs and the needs of others.
Show us new ways of showing respect for each person.
Bless us with your Spirit of wise choices through your son, Jesus, the Christ.

Day 41 of 365
Prayer Intentions: God-centered loving relationships with friends and family
Requested Intentions: For a son’s employment and growth in faith (M); Those planning for surgery (L); Those who are unemployed or in danger of losing jobs (A); Those fighting depression (L); For a growing love of the Eucharist and peace within a family (A).


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