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 12: Saint Julian the Hospitaller

Posted by Jacob

February 12 marks the feast day of Saint Julian the Hospitaller (also known as Saint Julian the Poor). Little is known about his life, and in fact, it is likely that his story may only be the substance of pious legend. He has inspired countless books, poems, paintings, frescos, stained glass windows, and songs, especially during the Middle Ages. Despite the lack of historical facts, the holy (legendary) events of his life may be looked to as inspiration, influencing our choices and actions even today, and calling us to service.

Legend suggests that Saint Julian was born into a noble family and raised in Italy, France, or Belgium near the beginning of the first century. He grew up privileged, a counselor and friend to kings. He was an avid hunter, and during one such outing, encountered a talking stag. The stag, having been pursued by Julian, turned, and predicted that Julian would be responsible for the death of his own parents. Julian was so bothered by the prediction that he left his homeland without warning, traveling far from his parents..

He married a wealthy widow and together then built a noble home. During one trip from his home, Julian’s parents (who had been searching for him) visited without notice. His wife, out of respect, offered the master bedroom to the visitors, and when Julian returned home to find an unknown couple in his bed, legends indicate he slew them (pictured below, left). Overcome with fear and repentance, the couple left their home, traveling to Rome for absolution.

On their way, Julian and his wife came to a large river, where many were unable to cross. He spent hours rowing the sick, elderly and infirm across the river, eventually building a one thousand bed hospital by the banks of the river. He and his wife spent the remaining portion of their lives caring for the sick and the poor.

As pious legend recounts, one afternoon a man afflicted with leprosy came to the hospital, but all the beds were full. In penance and service, Julian gave the man his own bed, planning to sleep on the floor. The leper revealed himself to be an angel of the Lord, declaring that Jesus had accepted his penance, and promptly disappeared.

Today, Saint Julian is considered the patron saint of hospitality, hotel workers, ferrymen, travelers, circus performers, hunters, and murderers. His life story, while considered legend, is important for its focus on his faith in the Lord, as well as his dedication to charity. Through his service, he brought the poor, the sick, and the marginalized to God, through the mirroring of Christ’s love on earth. The legend provides further hope to sinners, like ourselves—if the Lord can forgive a murderer, He surely can forgive us our sins.

The lives of the saints should inspire us. How have we sought to repent for our wrongdoings? How might we turn our sin into service? Our Lady of Lourdes implores us to pray for sinners—penance, penance, penance! Our Lord, through the holy words of His Son, directs us to love and serve others. Where in our lives could we be more hospitable?

Day 43 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Requested Intentions: For a niece suffering with autism, and for all those affected by autism (V); For a daughter’s employment (J); 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).
Special Intentions (Day 2 of 45-day Novena to Our Blessed Lady of Lourdes): The intentions of all those who read this blog, whether submitted or retained in the quiet of their hearts; Penance, Penance, Penance for sinners; For all those who are suffering.


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