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 3: Saint Katharine Drexel

Posted by Jacob

Today, March 3, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Katharine Drexel (1858-1955), a modern-day American saint. Saint Katherine was moved to extend services being offered by the Church to those who society ignored, specifically African Americans and Native Americans. At a time in history when this was both controversial and dangerous, “Mother Katharine” stood up for the rights of the downtrodden and forgotten. She brought the love and charity of the Lord to those in abject need, and in the process, changed the way that many looked at the mission of the American church. Saint Katharine is the fourth American to be canonized.

Saint Katharine left a four-fold legacy to her Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, who continue her mission today: 1) her love for the Eucharist, her spirit of prayer, and her Eucharistic perspective on the unity of all peoples; 2) her undaunted spirit of courageous initiative in addressing social iniquities among minorities; 3) her belief in the importance of quality education for all, and her efforts to achieve it; and 4) her total giving of self, of her inheritance and all material goods in selfless service of the victims of injustice.

For my previous post on the life and mission of Saint Katharine Drexel, see here.

Saint Katharine inspired all who followed her to combat social injustices, both within the Church and throughout society. She encouraged charity and love to all, modeling the love and acceptance of Christ. From her canonization homily, delivered by Pope John Paul II in 2000:

4. "See what you have stored up for yourselves against the last days!" (Jas 5: 3).

In the second reading of today's liturgy, the Apostle James rebukes the rich who trust in their wealth and treat the poor unjustly. Mother Katharine Drexel was born into wealth in Philadelphia in the United States. But from her parents she learned that her family's possessions were not for them alone but were meant to be shared with the less fortunate. As a young woman, she was deeply distressed by the poverty and hopeless conditions endured by many Native Americans and Afro-Americans. She began to devote her fortune to missionary and educational work among the poorest members of society. Later, she understood that more was needed. With great courage and confidence in God's grace, she chose to give not just her fortune but her whole life totally to the Lord.

To her religious community, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, she taught a spirituality based on prayerful union with the Eucharistic Lord and zealous service of the poor and the victims of racial discrimination. Her apostolate helped to bring about a growing awareness of the need to combat all forms of racism through education and social services. Katharine Drexel is an excellent example of that practical charity and generous solidarity with the less fortunate which has long been the distinguishing mark of American Catholics.

May her example help young people in particular to appreciate that no greater treasure can be found in this world than in following Christ with an undivided heart and in using generously the gifts we have received for the service of others and for the building of a more just and fraternal world.

Select Quotations from Saint Katharine Drexel:

"Nothing happens by chance."

“Ah, Lord, it is but too true, YOU ARE NOT LOVED! Shall we not strive by every means in our power to make you known and loved? Shall we not try to pay many an extra visit to our dearest Friend, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever living to make intercession for us? And may this prayer, dearest Lord, be on our lips when we bow down in lowly adoration in your sacramental presence: ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus, you love! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, you are not loved! O would that you were loved!’ Our Lady, open your heart to me, your child. Teach me to know your Son intimately, to love him ardently, and to follow him closely.”

“And here is the passive way – to be filled unto the fullness of God. The passive way – I abandon myself to it, not in a multiplicity of trials, extraordinary penances accomplished, practices of great works – but in peaceful abandonment to the tenderness of Jesus, which I must try to imitate, and by being in constant union with his meek and humble heart. What likeness is there between me and my Mother? Do I try to be like her, in her love for Jesus? In her devotion for the cause for which he died – the salvation of souls – in her absolute submission to the will of God, in her patient suffering? Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, too, let me stand at the foot of the cross with you, to learn its lesson and to learn to be like the Mother of Sorrows. Amen."

“O Mary, make me endeavor, by all the means in my power, to extend the kingdom of your Divine Son and offer incessantly my prayers for the conversion of those who are yet in darkness or estranged from His fold.”

“The patient and humble endurance of the cross—whatever nature it may be—is the highest work we have to do.” “Oh, how far I am at 84 years of age from being an image of Jesus in his sacred life on earth!”

“Resolve: Generously and with no half-hearted, timorous dread of the opinions of Church and men to manifest my mission….You have no time to occupy your thoughts with that complacency or consideration of what others will think. Your business is simply, ‘What will my God in heaven think?’”

“It is a lesson we all need - to let alone the things that do not concern us. He has other ways for others to follow Him; all do not go by the same path. It is for each of us to learn the path by which He requires us to follow Him, and to follow Him in that path.”

“The patient and humble endurance of the cross – whatever nature it may be – is the highest work we have to do.”

The life of Saint Katharine Drexel inspires us today, to approach all we encounter with love, acceptance, and charity, and to seek to understand and embrace those who are ostracized, maligned, and ill-treated. We pray today for an end to social injustices, and that the Church may courageously lead society forward in correcting social wrongs.

Ever Loving God, You called Saint Katharine Drexel to teach the message of the Gospel and to bring the life of the Eucharist to Black and Native American peoples. By her prayers and example, enable us to work for justice among the poor and oppressed. Draw us all into the Eucharistic community of your Church that we may be one in you. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Year 2: Day 62 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courage to confront social injustice with the love of Christ.
Requested Intentions: Freedom from medical difficulties, employment, successful relationship (D); End to suffering for sick brother; reconciliation of estranged family (E); End to husband’s addiction; Improved relationship; strength (M); Successful God-centered marriage; Sacramental life (M); Healing, successful relationship (S); For successful marriage (A); For a husband’s freedom from addiction (C); Freedom from pain and illness for a friend (M); Financial freedom (J); Successful passing of occupational examination (S); Healing and conversion, sale of house (L); Occupational success for employee and colleagues (J); Employment for a son (C); Successful attainment of an important appointed position (J); Recovery from cancer for a friend (Z); For a family’s freedom from sin (M); For a daughter with Diabetes (A); Healing of a father following stroke (S).


  1. Sancte Joseph, Terror Dæmonum, Ora Pro Nobis said...

    Saint Katharine Drexel pray for us and for our family so we can reach santity

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