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."

October 22: Blessed Alix Le Clerc

Posted by Jacob

“Let God be your love around."

Today, October 22, we celebrate the feast day of Blessed Alix Le Clerc (1576-1622), foundress of the Augustinian Canonesses of the Congregation of Our Lady. Dedicated to educating poor young girls and women, tending to the needs of the poor, and serving their communities, the congregation continues its good work today. Blessed Alix endured opposition and suffering during her lifetime, but the steadfast work of her hands endures, creating positive change in the world!

Born at Remiremont, Lorraine in France to a solid, well-respected family, little is known about her childhood. By her own report, Alix had first lived recklessly. She said "I had so much company of vanity and youth ... I loved to dance hard.” As she entered her late adolescence, the family moved due to her father’s illness and their search for a cure. There, in Hymont, her life would be changed by the Lord.

The historian who recorded her life described Alix as: “sweet-natured and easygoing, approachable, pleasant, with a modesty which inspired admiration, along with some seriousness, grace and gentleness that made her fear and love. Her presence gave the respect and restraint to those who conversed with her. She was tall, straight and well made, a little blond, white and delicate complexion, blue eyes, the nose long enough, beautiful mouth, but a little flat, mind and judgment healthy, strong and wise restraint in his words, in a quiet mood and always equal." (translated from the French).

Despite her worldly ways, Alix felt drawn to the internal and contemplative. She began experiencing vivid dreams, which drew her closer and closer to the Lord. Eventually, Alix consecrated herself to God, pledging her virginity, and devoting herself to His service. "When I prayed to God," she said, “I always felt in my mind that I should make a new home for girls to practice all the good we could." Later, she had a vision in which she picked up from the fields the small straws abandoned by others, while her neighbors looked on with contempt. She then heard a voice, which told her "I want these little souls who are like children abandoned by their mothers. Now you have a mission." She subsequently had a profound vision of Mary, the Mother of God, calling her to missionary work. She was also gifted with conversations with angels.

At the same time that Alix was experiencing her visions and dreams, she met Saint Peter Fourier, who became her spiritual director. His sermons encouraged her to confide in him her visions and her calling to establish a foundation under his direction. "Where will you find companies that want to join you?" he challenged her. Alix recruited three friends, who, together wished to give their lives to God, live together, pray together, and educated the little girls who the current French educational system was ignoring.

On Christmas Eve, 1597, the young women dedicated themselves publicly to Our Lady, beginning “ the gathering of our Lady: Canonesses" in the church at Mattaincourt. For his part, Alix’s father was opposed to her involvement in a new order, and insisted that she instead join the convent at Ormes. Ever obedient, Alix followed his direction, but was unimpressed by the secular atmosphere at the convent. As a wealthy benefactress gave

Alix a house to serve as the motherhouse of her order, she left the convent to begin her foundation. For twenty-five years, along with Peter Fourier, Alix lived the difficulties of the first foundation’s struggle to maintain the spirit of the original project, participated in the development of the constitutions of the congregation, traveled and established new homes, and worked tirelessly in service to the Lord. Due to the pronounced opposition the order received friends, family, and ecclesiastical authorities, her mantra to her sisters became: "Let God be your love around." In 1616 they received two papal bulls from Rome, formally approving the Augustinian Canonesses of the Congregation of Our Lady.

Sadly, after her hard work, Alix was to experience rejection and suffering during the last years of her life. Differences regarding what the bulls granted, and internal strife within the Order, caused Father Fourier to replace Alix as superioress of the Congregation. Shortly before her death, she gathered her sisters before her and said to them: “I remember you all before God. For your part, keep always in the most perfect union, exercising charity towards each other, for charity and unity are the only ways to keep your order.” She died in her convent at Nancy on January 9, and was beatified in 1947. Her remains rest in the chapel of Notre-Dame at Alix.

Today, there are 31 monasteries and schools of Notre Dame across Europe. The Order has also extended to Brazil, Vietnam, Congo, Hong Kong, and Mexico. The sisters of the Order continue the educational charism of their founders, educating the poor in the ways of math, science, and language—as well as the gift of Christ—around the world.

We are reminded today, as we commemorate Blessed Alix Le Clerc, that our mission in the world can be quite simple, can come at any time, and can make a profound difference. As we look around our communities, where can we be making a difference? The poor, the marginalized, the homeless, the ill, the judged unfairly? We are each called to make a difference in the lives of others by reflecting the Light of Christ, giving of ourselves, and serving those in need. What more could we be doing?

Day 296 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Social Justice; Hearts of Service
Requested Intentions: Successful immigration and employment (S); Conversion of an unloving daughter (M); Recovery of husband, health of mother, economic freedom (R); Freedom from depression, restoration of family relationships (N); Restoration of a relationship (J); Healing of friends from cancer (J); Complete healing of a friend with pancreatic cancer (J); Recognition of God’s Will; Obedience in vocation (J); Successful employment (M&I); For a son who struggles (S); Conversion (P); For family, peace, and social justice (J); Son’s employment (K); Discernment of the Lord’s will (A); Mother’s full recovery from a stroke (K); Employment (P); For family’s prosperity and employment (M); For a husband’s addiction (F); Health in a relationship, literary representation (D); For a mother struggling with cancer (P); Employment and financial assistance (L); End to work troubles, return to health (R); For a husband’s recovery from alcoholism (M); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).


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