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."

Our Lady of Banneux: The Sixth Apparition

Posted by Jacob

Today, February 15, marks the anniversary of the sixth apparition of The Virgin of the Poor, Our Blessed Mother at Banneux, Belgium, to eleven year old Mariette Beco in 1933. The first five apparitions occurred on January 15, January 18, January 19, January 20, and February 11. During these encounters, Mariette saw a woman “made of light” smiling at her through her kitchen window, eventually following the Blessed Virgin, praying with her, and obeying her instructions to claim a small stream of water for her. The Blessed Mother said to Mariette, “I am the Virgin of the Poor” and “This spring is reserved for all nations- to relieve the sick.” The Virgin of the Poor requested that a small chapel be built. She further told Mariette, “I have come to relieve suffering.”

Following the previous vision, Mariette had been quite upset. She had run, tearfully, to Father Jamin, her local priest, and recounted in detail what Our Blessed Mother had said. Mariette, given her young age and lack of formal education, did not understand the word “relieve,” but clearly understood the word “suffering.” She believed that the Blessed Virgin was giving a warning, rather than gentle and healing reassurance. Father Jamin was concerned, as many of the townsfolk had become interested in Mariette’s reports. He instructed his young parishioner to ask the woman of light for a sign.

On February 15, four days following the fifth apparition, Mariette was again praying in the garden, this time with her father. The Virgin of the Poor appeared, and as on the previous occasions, floated in the sky to the spring of water by the roadside. Mariette followed, dipping her hands in the water, blessing herself with the sign of the cross, and speaking aloud, despite the fact that the onlookers could see nothing. “The Chaplain has instructed me to ask You for a sign,” Mariette said in a clear voice.

“Believe in me—I will believe in you,” the Blessed Virgin responded. (Of course, in translation this could also mean, “Have faith in me.”) Observers watched Mariette listen intently to words they could not hear for several minutes before she burst into tears. Later she confided that Our Blessed Mother had shared a secret with her, a secret which she never revealed. She returned to Father Jamin, who after consideration of the Virgin of the Poor’s words, came to believe.

Our Lady of Banneux, the Virgin of the Poor, would appear to Mariette only two more times- February 20 and March 2. Her message each time was to have faith, and pray for the poor, for the sick, and for sinners everywhere.

Our Lady of Banneux, Virgin of the Poor, you have said: "I come to relieve suffering."
Holy Mother of God and Mother of the Savior, you make us hear anew the merciful call of your divine Son: "Come to me, all ye who are burdened and who suffer, and I will relieve you."
Mother of all men, you have come for all nations and you ask us to pray much.
We place our trust in You.
Deign to hear our prayers.
Look upon our spiritual and temporal miseries.
Lead back to Jesus the poor straying souls and increase the faith of the faithful.
Holy Virgin Mary, bring aid to the indigent; help us to sanctify the trials of life; relieve the sick and pray for all your children. O Virgin of the Poor, you are our hope! By your maternal mediation, may the reign of Christ the King spread over all nations. Amen.


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