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 31: Saint Raymond Nonnatus

Posted by Jacob

Today, August 31, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Raymond Nonnatus (San Ramon Nonato, 1202-1240), patron saint of childbirth, children, and pregnant women. Saint Raymond suffered tragedy in his childhood, but was nourished by the Lord, and went on to fill his brief life with preaching, devotion to Our Blessed Mother, and the care and conversion of many souls.

During his birth in Catalonia, Spain, his mother experienced significant delivery complications, and a Caesarian section was performed. While Raymond survived, his mother died before he was removed from her body (thus, “Nonnatus”, “never born”), and he turned to Our Blessed Mother for comfort. His father, recognizing Raymond’s pleasure in devotions, prayers, and service to others, grew worried that Raymond would chose to enter a religious order—something that would prevent him from earning money to help support the struggling family. In response, he sent his son to a farm in the country, where he obediently spent his days tending sheep in solitude.

While tending the sheep, he spent the majority of his days in deep prayer and meditation. He was ministered to by angels who made sure that he was fed and cared for, as he was young and living by himself. While exploring the fields, Raymond discovered an ancient hermitage, hidden in the mountains, containing a beautiful portrait of Our Blessed Mother. There, before her portrait, he made his home. One evening, as holy legend tells us, while praying before her picture, the Devil appeared to Raymond in the guise of a shepherd and attempted to draw him away from his devotions. Raymond, not to be swayed, turned his back on the visitor and sought assistance from the Blessed Virgin. The moment he spoke her name aloud, the Devil disappeared, and Raymond re-committed himself to her service.

It was not long afterwards that he left the solitary life of the shepherd and joined the Order of Our Lady of Mercy—an order dedicated to the redemption of captives, and founded by Saints Raymond of PeƱafort and Peter Nolasco. Admitted to the order by Saint Peter Nolasco himself, Raymond was soon sent into Moorish lands in North Africa (first Barbary, and later Algiers) with a great sum of money, set aside to purchase the ransom of Christians held enslaved. There he preached and brought many to Christ—captives and captors alike. When his supply of money ran dry, he gave himself up as a hostage to free others, according to the Rule of his order.

The Muslim captors were not quite sure what to do with Saint Raymond Nonnatus. His exchange of his own liberty for the freedom of others was exasperating, and as a result, they treated him with cruelty. He was subjected to daily beatings and tortures, until they began to fear that he might die—and they would lose the handsome ransom they had requested for his freedom.

Because of this fear, he was able to walk the streets freely, awaiting the arrival of his ransom, and using his time and liberty to comfort and encourage the Christians in chains, and to continue converting and baptizing their Muslim captors. The pasha, learning of the conversions, grew angry, and ordered him executed by impaling, but Saint Raymond again was spared due to what was sure to be a large ransom en route. Instead of death, he was subjected to a horrible torture, beaten with sticks until he could no longer stand. He never lost courage, however, looking instead to the work of the Lord being done in him. Everywhere Raymond looked he saw souls in danger of eternal damnation, and that kept him motivated to continue his work!

Following his torture, he was forbidden to preach Christianity by the local government. However, he was unable to stop the word of God from flowing from within him, and as a result, he was punished by having his lips pierced with a red-hot poker and padlocked together, and then imprisoned. He remained in jail for eight months before Saint Peter Nolasco arrived, ransom in hand. Only obedience to his superior could convince Raymond to leave his dungeon and the country of his zealous endeavors, and he begged God to accept his tears, humbly believing he was not worthy to shed his blood for the souls of his neighbors. Together, they returned to Spain where he was elevated to Cardinal by Pope Gregory IX.

Saint Raymond died shortly thereafter, at the young age of 37, victim to the years of torture and imprisonment. On the way to Rome to visit the pope, he was taken by fever. Witnesses recounted that his face became beautiful and radiant in his death, and a heavenly fragrance surrounded his body. Numerous miracles and cures were reported by those who touched him. Having died in Cardova, the local government claimed his body. However, The Order of Mercy also claimed the Saint’s body. As they were arguing, it was entrusted to Divine Providence on the harness of a blind mule. Without anyone leading it, the mule accompanied by a crowd, trotted to Saint Nicholas hermitage where the venerable body was buried.

The life of Saint Raymond Nonnatus reminds us of the living Word of God in our lives. Saint Raymond, following the teachings of Christ, was literally ready to give his life to set captives free, much as Christ did to free us all from the chains of sin. How might we increase our freedom, shaking off the fetters of sinfulness? Today, how might we bring the Word of God to life—on our lives and in the lives of those we encounter?

O Blessed Saint Raymond Nonnatus, so loving to all your devotees, I being last of them all, I am happy to know that through the infinite goodness of God, He has deigned to make you a Saint, adorned thee with special graces and help, for which I am most thankful. On the Most Holy Trinity, and you my adorable patron saint, through your merits and those of the blood poured by our Savior Jesus Christ, and through the Immaculate Conception of Mary, I most humbly beg thee, deign to intercede from the most sublime God, protection for the holy Mother Church, that through your prayers, God's wrath be taken away, see the progress of true faith, defeat the wrong doctrines, the peace and understanding of all Christians, peace of the whole country and the redemption of the Christian captives.

I am humbly begging you my devoted saint, that you be may be my intercessor. Since for many hours you did not die of the womb of your dead mother an you were successfully delivered from her side, to be the joy of the world, and that my soul may live in grace in this earthly world, may I imitate your live and exemplary holiness, so that when the hour of my death comes, I may detest all evil thoughts and temporary wealth of this world, so that with the burning love for God, my soul may reach heaven and together with you and the angels and all the saints, praise God Almighty forever.

I firmly believe most amiable father that you will be my protection since you are merciful to any one imploring thy help. But if the favor I am asking will not be for the glory of God and the good of my soul, then beg from God that I will be resigned to his Divine Will, so that I may have the peace of soul while I live, till the hour of my death and that I enjoy true happiness in heaven. Amen.

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 128: The Happy Home of the Just Man

1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4 Thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
5 May the LORD bless you from Zion
all the days of your life;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,
6 and may you live to see your children's children.
Peace be upon Israel.

Day 243 of 365
Prayer Intentions: For all mothers, pregnant women, parents awaiting adoption, and children.
Requested Intentions: Restoration of a marriage (A); For employment and health of mother (G); Successful employment (M); Restoration of a family, End to brother's addiction, Successful marriage (R); Employment (I); Successful recovery of a mother; for all stroke victims (D); Improved relationship with daughter (P); Restoration of health and successful marriage (A); Health and employment for a friend (G); Restoration of health (M); Answers to prayers (A); Conversion of son and family (S); Successful business, home purchase, health of brother (SJ); Successful delivery of a baby girl (U); Successful return to the faith (A); Emotional, physical, and financial healing (D); Diagnosis and recovery (A); For a successful relationship (J); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 128: The Happy Home of the Just Man


  1. Anonymous said...

    Please answer all the petitions from me and all my family.
    Please pray for healing very soon of my left humerus.
    I have three very painful fractures after a recent bad fall.
    Help my daughter get top marks in her children's nursing dissertation.
    She has to hand it in this May and will graduate December 2012.
    My other daughter has just graduated as a midwife with a first class honours degre in midwifery.
    Please let her get an interview for a post she has just applied for.
    Also let my other daughter get on a PGCE course for teaching this year if it's meant to be.
    Thank you.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Please pray that my daughter has been successful at her midwifery interview today 27th January. Let the interviewers send her good news next week that she has been offered the post as a staff midwife.
    St Raymond of Nonnatus patron saint of midwives hear and answer Catherine and our families prayers. Many thanks.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Thank you for your kind prayers for my daughter's successful midwifery interview. Please help her to be a very happy, healthy, succesful, tolerant, safe midwife and practitioner. Let the maternity hospital that has accepted her be the correct choice and she will be very pleased with her staff midwives post.

  4. Anonymous said...

    Please.Jeus,Mary,Joseph,all the Angels and Saints in Heaven pray for healing of my left hip osteoarthritis. Don't let me require a left hip replacement.
    Thank you.


  5. Anonymous said...

    I have recently had a left hip replacement operation. Please pray that I have a very speedy recovery back to a normal, healthy, excellent quality of life, without any complications. Answer all my petitions and my families, today and everyday.

  6. Anonymous said...

    My 4 month old baby is in the process of awaiting a diagnosis for a chronic illness the doctors suspect he was born with. Please pray that they may be knowledgable and confident in their treatment for my baby and pray for my baby that this diagnosis will not inhibit him from being a happy normal little boy.

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