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."

August 17: Saint Clare of Montefalco, "Saint Clare of the Cross"

Posted by Jacob

Today, August 17, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Clare of Montefalco (also known as Saint Clare of the Cross, 1268-1308), foundress of the Augustinian convent of the Holy Cross. The life of Saint Clare reminds each of us that we are all called to a life of prayer and dedication to the Lord. Still, we must not expect or anticipate special favors in return. We are to be satisfied and gratified with the simple relationship we establish with God.

Clare was born into a wealthy family in Montefalco, Italy. From an early age, she devoted herself to Christ, pledging her virginity, and using her natural gifts of sincerity and intelligence to witness to others. Along with her older sister, Joan, Clare engaged in demanding acts of mortification and self-denial, and spend the majority of her day, each day, in prayer and contemplation of the Lord. Before long, her parents allowed her to live in a hermitage of Franciscan tertiaries with her sister, not far from the family home. The group eventually established the Convent of the Holy Cross on that site, and adopted the Rule of Saint Augustine.

Clare’s sister, Joan, was chosen Abbess of the community, but upon her early death, Clare, despite her youth, was selected to replace her. She adamantly opposed the selection, certain in her humility that she was not the appropriate choice. However, obedience to her bishop demanded she accept, which she graciously did after a time. Clare served as mother, teacher, and spiritual director of the sisters of the convent for sixteen years, gaining a reputation for holiness and wisdom, practicality and sensibility. Soon, many visitors were attracted to the monastery, seeking Mother Clare’s wisdom and advice, spiritual counsel, and blessing. She encouraged her sisters to practice self denial and seek holiness.

Saint Clare lived an austere life in the monastery, and was particularly devoted to the Passion and Cross of Our Lore. Kind and indulgent towards others, she treated herself with the most unrelenting severity, multiplying her fasts, vigils, and other austerities to such an extent that at one time her life was even feared for. To these acts of penance she added the practice of the most profound humility and the most perfect charity.

Saint Clare was gifted with spiritual gifts, including ecstasies. In 1294 while celebrating the feast of the Epiphany, Clare made a general confession in front of her sisters. She immediately fell into ecstasy and remained in that state for several weeks. Unable to eat, the nuns maintained Clare's life by giving her sugar water on the tongue. During this time, Clare reported having a vision in which she saw herself being judged in front of the Lord.

She was further graced with the gifts of spiritual prophecy and miracle working by the Lord. She frequently engaged in mystical conversations with Jesus who would appear to her dressed as a poor traveler, carrying His Cross. At the age of 26, on one occasion, she asked Jesus, “Where are You going, Lord?”

He answered, “I have been searching the whole world over for a strong place to plant My Cross, but I have found none.”

Clare is reported to have said, at that moment, “You can trust me, Lord.”

Later, as written in her journals, Jesus said to the holy woman, “I have finally found a place for My Cross. I shall place it in your heart.”

From that moment on, Saint Clare’s entire body was wracked with acute pain—a pain she endured patiently and joyfully until her death. She described the pain to her sisters, saying, “If you seek the Cross of Christ, take my heart; there you will find the suffering Lord.”

Saint Clare’s pain and illness eventually became so severe that she was confined to her bed. She said to her sisters, "There is little else for me to say: Today, you shall all be with me in Christ, because I go to him,” and after a short time, she died peacefully having made her last confession. After her death, her heart was removed from her body; and the cross and the other instruments of Christ’s passion were found, clearly imprinted, on the cardiac tissue. Her body, miraculously incorrupt, is preserved together with her heart with the miraculous imprints at the Church of the Holy Cross in Montefalco, Italy.

The Roman Martyrology reads: “At Montefalco in Umbria, Saint Clare, a nun of the Order of Hermits of Saint Augustine, virgin. In her flesh were renewed the mysteries of the Lord's passion, which the faithful honor with great devotion. Pope Leo XIII solemnly inscribed her in the list of the holy virgins.”

The life of Saint Clare reminds us that simple love and service to the Lord, as well as a willingness to joyfully suffer with Him, are the acts we are each called to. In return, we can experience a beautiful and perfect relationship with the Lord—a relationship far more perfect than any we might experience on earth, and far more rewarding.

Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.

Psalm: Psalm 114: The Lord’s Wonders at the Exodus

1 When Israel came out of Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
2 Judah became God's sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.
3 The sea looked and fled,
the Jordan turned back;
4 the mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
5 Why was it, O sea, that you fled,
O Jordan, that you turned back,
6 you mountains, that you skipped like rams,
you hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turned the rock into a pool,
the hard rock into springs of water.

Day 229 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Simple devotion to the Lord; Joy in our suffering with Christ.
Requested Intentions: Emotional, physical, and financial healing (D); Diagnosis and recovery (A); For a successful relationship (J); For healing of a head injury (S); For employment for two sons (R); For sanctification of a fried considering a move (A); For friends experiencing job difficulties (A); Health, employment, and conversion of a son (S); Health, financial success, positive move (S); Financial security, and health, guidance, and protection for children (ML); For the religious and children of Saint Xavier’s Boarding School, India (FB); Fortitude and faith, Career success (A); Healing of a relationship, employment (A); End to debt and legal difficulties; immigration success (B); For a mother’s continued employment (S); For continued blessings on a relationship (S); For a sick grandmother (R); For the building of a Catholic community, family, and law practice (M); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 114: The Lord’s Wonders at the Exodus


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment. If you wish to submit a prayer request, however, please do so above, using the "Contact" tab.