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 23: Saint Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo

Posted by Jacob

Today, March 23, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo (Turibius, 1538-1606). Saint Turibius was a reluctant minister of the Lord, but obedient to the call. Born in Mayorga, Spain to a noble and wealthy family, Turibius was well educated and achieved a number of successful secular honors and positions within Spanish society. While devout as a youth, Turibius had no intention of becoming a priest. Instead, having done well as a student, and gained the notice of his professors, he was appointed professor of law at the University of Salamanca. There, too, Turibius attracted the attention of his superiors through his patience, virtue, and intellect, and in February 1571, although he was a layman, King Philip II appointed him the chief judge of the ecclesiastical court of the Inquisition at Granada.

In 1580, the Church authorities in Peru sent word to Spain, requesting the appointment of a bishop to oversee the region, plagued by local difficulties, injustices and vice, and secular interference. Although Turibius was not ordained, he was selected for the position based upon his honesty and virtue, much to his surprise and discomfort. He unsuccessfully argued that his appointment was against Canon law, but eventually obediently accepted the post. Over four Sundays, Turibius participated in minor rites, and was ordained thereafter. He set sail for Peru without delay.

Upon arrival in Lima, Turibius found the reports of difficulties had not been exaggerated. The diocese was well over 18000 square miles along the coast, including 3 major cities and many smaller towns and villages. Turibius set off on foot for his first visit and survey of the land, a trip that would take him the length of the territory, and require seven years of his time. During that trip, he came to see the injustices being visited upon the native Peruvians at the hands of the Spanish, which he would not tolerate. Turibius defended the rights of the Quechuan Indians, learning their language, and confronting the secular authorities regarding their treatment. He offered homilies and confessions in the language native to the people of Peru, asserting that everyone had a right to worship in their own language. He re-baptized many who had been baptized in ignorance, explaining the faith, and evangelizing successfully. Unlike his predecessors, he also respected those who chose not to be baptized, continuing to offer assistance and charity to those in need. His charity, however, was often given anonymously, in respect for the pride and sensitivity of those he was helping. Through his ministry, it is estimated that nearly one million came to Christ, personally baptized by Turibius, including Saint Rose of Lima and my birth saint, Saint Martin de Porres.

The journeys through Peru were dangerous at that time, with few roads, and dense jungle. Turibius traveled alone, risking encounters with wild animals, unfriendly tribes, disease, heat, and danger. Over the course of his ministry in Peru, he would travel the length of his territory—always on foot—three times. During that time, he succeeded in eradicating the worst abuses occurring there, and successfully championed the rights of all peoples. He built roads, founded many churches, school houses, convents and hospitals, and the first seminary in the Americas, which allowed both Native Qechuans and those of European descent to enter, being educated together.

Saint Turibius worked tirelessly, continuing his mission despite contracting a fatal illness. Wracked with fever, he continued preaching until the very end. His favorite topic was that our lives belong not to ourselves, but to our Maker, saying, “Time is not our own and we must give a strict accounting of it." Saint Turibius predicted his own death to the hour, years before he died in the Sanctuary of the Church at Sana. Upon his death, all that he had was bequeathed to the poor.

Saint Turibius was reluctant to accept his post in Peru, fearing he would not possess the abilities to carry such a heavy burden for God. He prayed and wept until his humility was rewarded by the Holy Spirit, at which time he obediently responded. Ever humble, Turibius recognized that our time on earth is not our own, and that we are responsible to the Lord to use it to serve Him through serving each other. A champion of social justice, Turibius created change through respect and love, a lesson we could all learn from. We are called to love each other, treat each other with dignity, and offer the respect due to all humanity to everyone we encounter—especially those who we disagree with, are different from, or don’t understand. During this Lenten season, we examine our lives to discover what social injustices we contribute to—either through our active participation and beliefs, or through our inaction and avoidance. We ask, how can we work for social justice in our own cities? How can we incorporate the lessons from the life of Saint Turibius into our own lives for the betterment of all people?

through the apostolic work of Saint Turibius
and his unwavering love of truth,
you helped your Church to grow.
May your chosen people continue to grow in faith and holiness.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Year 2: Day 82 of 365

Prayer Intentions: Social justice in our communities; For those who are discriminated against, treated unfairly, or suffer injustices; For those who tirelessly champion the rights of the downtrodden.
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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