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 3: Saint Mother Théodore Guérin

Posted by Jacob

Today, October 3, we celebrate the feast of Saint Mother Théodore Guérin (1798-1856), foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located in Indiana. Saint Théodore is a visionary, a model of virtue, and a source of inspiration and hope. Trust in God’s Providence enabled her to leave her homeland, sail halfway around the world and to found a new religious congregation. During his homily at the beatification Mass, Pope John Paul II said that Blessed Mother Théodore “continues to teach Christians to abandon themselves to the providence of our heavenly Father and to be totally committed to doing what pleases him. The life of Blessed Théodore Guérin is a testimony that everything is possible with God and for God.”

Mother Théodore Guérin was born Anne-Thérése Guérin in Brittany, France. Her parents consecrated her to the Blessed Virgin at birth, and from birth until age 10 only dressed her in Mary’s colors of blue and white. Her father was murdered when Anne-Thérése was approximately 15, and for several years, she cared for her mother and younger sister, as well as the family’s home and garden. From an early age, she demonstrated great piety and desire to enter the religious life. Allowed to make her First Communion at age 10, she proudly told the priest that she would one day become a nun. Herself, quite sick a s child, Anne-Thérése was treated for her chronic illness, and was left with permanent damage to her digestive system, which would cause her great suffering throughout her life. At the age of 25, was given permission by her mother to enter the convent of the Sisters of Providence at Ruillé-sur-Loir, France. She took the name of Saint Theodore, and after making her final vows, began teaching, where she received several honors for both her educational endeavors and her commitment to ministering to the sick.

In 1840, Sister Théodore was sent, along with five other sisters, to the United States. Their mission, which they undertook in Indiana, was to establish a congregation of women religious in a remote, densely wooded area. Known as “Saint Mary-of-the-Woods,” this community was opened less than nine months after their arrival, becoming the first Catholic women’s liberal arts college in the United States. Only upon arrival did she learn that her French superiors had already decided the sisters in the United States should form a new religious congregation under her leadership.

Sister Théodore was elected Abbess of the new community, and led her sisters with patience and humility, although stressed the importance of hard work and discipline. The holy women persevered despite fires, crop failures, prejudice against Catholic women religious, misunderstandings and separation from their original religious congregation. She once told her sisters, “Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us. The way is not yet clear. Grope along slowly. Do not press matters; be patient, be trustful.” She frequently asked her sisters, “With Jesus, what shall we have to fear?”

Under her leadership, the community grew quickly, and additional schools were soon established at Jasper, Vincennes, Montgomery, Madison, Terre Haute, Fort Wayne, Evansville, North Madison, Lanesville and Columbus (Indiana), and Saint (Illinois). Eventually the community expanded to Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The sisters further founded orphanages for both boys and girls, established pharmacies were medicines were given to the needy, and built a motherhouse of the new Sisters of Providence order.

Despite her work ethic, patience, and serenity, Mother Théodore suffered patiently from illness most of her life. She was reduced to eating only soft foods, or liquids, which was taxing on her strength. Eventually, after an industrious life, her illness overtook her, and she died on May 14, 1856. Her remains rest in a tomb under the floor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception at the motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. A Celtic cross in Mother Theodore's memory stands prominently in the Congregation's cemetery bearing an inscription that reads "I sleep, but my heart watches over this house which I have built."

Mother Théodore’s holiness was evident to people who knew her, and many described her simply as “saintly.” She possessed the ability to draw out the best in people, to enable them to attain more than they thought possible. Mother Théodore’s love was one of her great hallmarks. She loved God, God’s people, the Sisters of Providence, the Roman Catholic Church and the people she served. She did not exclude anyone from her ministries or her prayers, for she dedicated her life to helping people know God and live better lives.

From the canonization homily of Saint Mother Théodore Guérin, delivered by Pope Benedict XVI:

’Go, sell everything you own, and give the money to the poor… then come, follow me.’ These words have inspired countless Christians throughout the history of the Church to follow Christ in a life of radical poverty, trusting in Divine Providence. Among these generous disciples of Christ was a young Frenchwoman, who responded unreservedly to the call of the divine Teacher. Mother Théodore Guérin entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence in 1823, and she devoted herself to the work of teaching in schools. Then, in 1839, she was asked by her Superiors to travel to the United States to become the head of a new community in Indiana. After their long journey over land and sea, the group of six Sisters arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. There they found a simple log-cabin chapel in the heart of the forest. They knelt down before the Blessed Sacrament and gave thanks, asking God’s guidance upon the new foundation. With great trust in Divine Providence, Mother Théodore overcame many challenges and persevered in the work that the Lord had called her to do. By the time of her death in 1856, the Sisters were running schools and orphanages throughout the State of Indiana. In her own words, “How much good has been accomplished by the Sisters of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods! How much more good they will be able to do if they remain faithful to their holy vocation!”. Mother Théodore Guérin is a beautiful spiritual figure and a model of the Christian life. She was always open for the missions the Church entrusted to her, and she found the strength and the boldness to put them [the missions] into practice in the Eucharist, in prayer and in an infinite trust in Divine Providence. Her inner strength moved her to address particular attention to the poor, and above all to children.”

Selected Quotations of Saint Mother Théodore Guérin:

"What strength the soul draws from prayer! In the midst of a storm, how sweet is the calm it finds in the heart of Jesus."

"Put yourself gently into the hands of Providence."

"With Jesus, what shall we have to fear?"

"In all and everywhere may the will of God be done."

Jesus, source of truth and life, who taught the world the way of salvation, grant us the help we humbly ask through your faithful servant Saint Mother Théodore Guérin , who spent all her life to make you known and loved. May this grace be consolation for us and may it unite us ever more to you and to one another in life and in eternity. Amen. (With Ecclesiastical Approval)

Saint Mother Théodore Guérin , valiant woman of God, intercede for us in our needs. Implore for us through Jesus the gifts of living faith, abiding hope, and steadfast charity, so that through a life of prayer and service with others we may aid in promoting the Providence of God among all peoples. Saint Mother Théodore Guérin , pray for us. Amen.

Day 276 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Perseverance in serving the Lord; Love for all.
Requested Intentions: Successful outcome of court case and employment (L); For guidance and righteous love (K); Restoration of a relationship (H); For successful employment (I); For a daughter’s successful relationship (M); For a relationship sanctified by God (M); For health of father; For canonization of Pope John Paul II (A); For the conversion of a family (L); For the ill (A); For the health of a family (I); For a father’s successful surgery and recovery (G); For those who are ill, and their caretakers (D); For the safety of a sister who is traveling (A); Recovery of mother with cancer (R); Successful acquisition of a visa (T); 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); 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).


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