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."

March 19: Saints Chyrsanthus & Daria and Saint Pancharius, Martyrs for the Faith

Posted by Jacob

Saint Chrysanthus counsels Daria,

O virgin, forsake the lie
And do not venerate the idols as gods;
Neither seek, you, truth from the world.
The truth is in the One God,
The One Triune God
Who created the heavenly armies
Of angels and heavenly powers;
Who created the whole universe,
And of the universe, man, the crown.
The only One, immortal and living,
He, out of the earth, creates wrappings
And the clothing of spiritual wealth.
Our soul is spiritual wealth
Wrapped up in the dust of the body.
The soul should be tenderly nurtured
As a bride to make ready for Christ.
Forsake, O virgin, the bodily,
It leads to suffering and sorrow.
God does not look into the vessel of the flesh
But at the flower which grows in it.
O virgin, clothed in death
Today, tomorrow consumed by death:
Adorn your soul with the flower of virtues,
Sow the flower with faith in the Lord,
Enclose it with hope and love,
Water it with the Life-creating Spirit,
Weed it of the weeds of sins,
Let grow the flower of virtues,
Let grow the flower of piety,
Let grow the flower of charity,
Let grow the flower of repentance,
Let grow the flower of patience,
Let grow the flower of abstinence,
Let grow the flower of obedience.
As a hymn of Paradise, your soul is,
Let it smell like a garden in May.
And may God to dwell therein,
For which He created it.
Daria listened to Chrysanthus,
Her soul to Christ she wedded,
Her body to torture she submitted
With Chrysanthus, her spiritual brother.
And God transplanted them to Paradise,
With them, adorned the garden of Paradise.
(Hymn of Praise to Saints Chyrsanthus and Daria)

Today, March 19, we celebrate the feast of Saints Chrysanthus and Daria (died 284), Martyrs of the faith in Rome. We also celebrate the feast day of Saint Pancharius (died 303), Roman senator who was martyred in Nicodemia for his profession of faith. Each of these holy men and women lived during the times of active persecution of Christians, and yet, each testified to the one true faith. Out of suffering and death, these courageous saints earned the golden crown of martyrdom!

Chrysanthus was born in Rome, the only son of a nobleman from Alexandria named Poleon. As a child, he lacked for nothing, receiving the finest of educations. In his pagan studies, he came across several books which mentioned Christianity, and being a bright and curious student, decided to learn more about this “new” religion. Chrysanthus acquired a copy of the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, which he read quickly, and immediately converted to Christianity. He found a teacher, a priest named Carpophorus, who instructed and baptized him further in the faith.

His father was deeply distressed by his son’s newfound faith. He attempted to trick his son into recanting his faith through various forms of temptation, including providing several prostitutes for him. Chrysanthus, for his part, chased them away, maintaining his chastity and dedication himself to the Lord. Not one to easily give up, his father arranged for Chrysanthus to marry a virgin-priestess of Athena, the pagan god, named Daria. Out of obedience, Chrysanthus agreed to marry, but only after convincing his betrothed to live celibately and chastely following marriage. Daria also wished to maintain her chastity, and as such, on the day of their wedding, based upon the powerful testimony of Chrysanthus, converted to Christianity.

At that time, the number of Christians in the Roman empire were growing. Many in Rome were converted by the witness of Chrysanthus and Daria, and the emperor, Numerian, was growing nervous. He ordered that the two be arrested and tortured until they recanted their faith. Both were horribly tortured, but demonstrated great endurance and faith in the Lord—so much so, that their torturer, Claudius, converted to Christianity, as did his family. For this, he was drowned, both his sons were beheaded, and his wife was hung at the gallows, praying loudly before the moment of her death.

Chrysanthus was thrown into a large pit, into which the human waste of Rome was emptied. However, a bright light shone upon him, and the awful stench was replaced with the sweet fragrance of heaven. All who witnessed this were amazed. Daria, for her part, demonstrated such endurance under torture that those present cried out, “Daria is a goddess!” As the public torture of these individuals was not working, Emperor Numerian ordered them buried alive in a great earthen pit with heavy stones placed upon them to crush them. Both were slowly crushed to death in the year 284.

Following their deaths, Roman Christians began meeting together in common prayer in a cave near the place of their deaths. While meeting, local pagans rolled a large stone across the entrance to the cave, sealing the Christians within, leading to their martyrdom, as well. Eventually, a church was built over the spot, where the two great martyrs were venerated. Their relics were translated to the Via Salaria Nova in Rome.

From the Prologue of Ohrid:

Chrysanthus was the only son of Polemius, a distinguished patrician, who settled in Rome from Alexandria. As the son of wealthy parents, Chrysanthus studied all the secular subjects, having the most learned men for instructors. But secular wisdom confused him and left him in uncertainty as to what is truth. As a result of this, he grieved. But God, who plans all and everything, alleviated his grief. A written copy of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles came into the hands of the young Chrysanthus. Having read them, Chrysanthus was enlightened with the truth, and he desired a teacher and found one in the person of a certain priest, Carpophorus, who taught and baptized him. This did not please his father, who attempted everything in order to dissuade him from believing in Christ. Not succeeding, the wicked father at first tried to corrupt him by placing him alone with an immoral woman. In this, Chrysanthus was victorious over himself and persevered in chastity. His father then coerced him into marring Daria, a pagan girl. Chrysanthus counseled Daria to embrace the Faith in Christ and to live together as brother and sister, although pretending to be married. When his father died, Chrysanthus began to confess Christ openly and to live as a Christian, both he and his entire household. During the reign of Emperor Numerian, he and Daria were cruelly tortured for their faith. Even the torturer Claudius, witnessing the forbearance of these honorable martyrs and the miracles which were manifested during their agony, embraced the Faith of Christ along with his entire household. For this, Claudius was drowned. Both of his sons were beheaded. His wife, after having recited her prayers, died on the gallows. Daria was so steadfast in her agony that the pagans cried out, "Daria is a goddess!" Finally, it was decreed that Chrysanthus and Daria be buried in a deep pit and covered with stones. Later, a church was erected on this site. There was a cave near this pit where some Christians assembled for prayer and Communion in memory of the Saints Chrysanthus and Daria. Hearing of this, the pagans attacked and sealed off this cave. By such a death, the pagans drove these Christians from this world to a better world where Christ reigns eternally. These glorious martyrs, Chrysanthus and Daria and the others with them, among whom were Diodorus the priest and Marianus the deacon, suffered for Christ in Rome in the year 284 A.D.

Saint Pancharius (died 303), was a Roman senator and a respected member of the imperial court attached to Emperor Maximian. He was born in Germany, and had served under both Emperor Diocletian and Maximian. When the Emperor, in the year 303, ordered the resumption of the persecution of Christians, Pancharius initially denied his affiliation with the faith, hiding his Christianity. However, he received a letter from his mother and sister, which offered him encouragement during the time of persecution.

His mother’s letter, was full of pain and sorrow. "Do not be afraid of men," she wrote, "but it is essential to fear God's judgment. You should have confessed your faith in Christ before emperors and lords and not to have denied Him. Remember His words: `But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before My heavenly Father'" (St. Matthew 10:33).  Being ashamed of himself, and so moved by their words, he came forward, boldly proclaiming the faith and his fidelity to Christ. He was seized and beheaded at Nicodemia.

The lives of these holy martyrs remind us that the truth of the Gospel is not dependent on circumstances, but remains constant, guiding us in our daily lives. We are encouraged to hold fast to the love of the Lord, despite obstacles, temptations, and even persecution, as we march steadily toward comfort and rest in our heavenly kingdom of God.

Let us honor the like-minded pair of martyrs
Chrysanthus, scion of purity, and supremely modest Daria.
United in holiness of faith,
They shone forth as communicants of God the Word.
They fought lawfully for Him and now save those who sing:
"Glory to Him who has strengthened you!
Glory to Him who has crowned you!
Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!"

Year 2: Day 78 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Steadfast endurance.
Requested Intentions: Guidance in studies (J); Healing and security for a displaced family (C); Healing of high blood pressure; Recovery of brother following surgery (A); For a sister in trouble, that she may make better decisions in the light of Christ (M); Health of expectant mother and child (R); Attainment of funds for surgery (J); Freedom from financial difficulties (E); For employment and college acceptance (E); Recovery and healing of a friend (C); For successful outcome to surgery (C); Healing for brother (M); Successful employment (C); For the victims of the Japanese tsunami/earthquake (J); Healing (E); For a son struggling with depression (B); Successful conception (M); Freedom from social anxiety; confidence in the Lord (J); Improved success in employment and studies (D); Freedom from illness (T); For a wife’s employment (E); Healing of a husband’s knee (M); Freedom from sickness (R); Healing (C); Restoration of marriage (F); Freedom from medical difficulties, employment, successful relationship (D); Healing of a father following stroke (S).


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