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 4: Saint Casimir the Peacemaker

Posted by Jacob

Daily, daily

Sing to Mary
Sing, my soul, her praises due!
All her feasts,
Her actions worship
With heart's devotion true.
(Prayer attributed to Saint Casimir)

Today, March 4, we celebrate the feast of Saint Casimir (1458-1483), Prince of Poland, the “Peacemaker,” and patron saint of Poland and Lithuania. Casimir is also considered the patron saint of bachelors, having committed himself to virginity in his youth, and despite doctors’ advice, maintaining a strict vow of celibacy throughout his life. Throughout his life, Casimir embodied the Christian tenets of love, peace, and obedience, leading his contemporaries to greatly admire what they termed his “heroic virtue.”

Born the second son of Casimir III, King of Poland, Casimir was one of thirteen children. The next king in the line of succession, he was educated by the learned and pious John Dugloss, at the insistence of his equally virtuous mother, Elizabeth of Austria. Pious from an early age, Casimir soon embodied all Christian virtues through the instruction and modeling of these important figures in his young life.

Despite the luxuries of the royal court, Casimir chose a life of austerity and penance. He fasted daily, wore a hair shirt beneath his robes, slept on the floor (despite the finest of beds), slept little (preferring to spend his nights in prayer), and attended Mass each day. He was frequently observed to enter into ecstasy at Mass, while contemplating the Passion of Christ. His days were spend in charity, working amongst the poor and ill, providing with his own hands for their needs. Referred to as the “father of the poor,” he maintained a cheerful and charismatic disposition, constantly ministering to those in need, and through his model, encouraging others to do the same.

At the age of fifteen, Casimir’s father dispatched him in command of an army to Hungary, to assume the throne there at the request of dissatisfied Hungarian nobility. The sitting king of Hungary raised an army, and stood in wait of Casimir’s troops. For his part, Casimir was against both the invasion of Hungary and his assumption of the throne, but obediently followed his father’s commands. En route to Hungary, Casimir found the conditions of the Polish troops disheartening, with many deserting due to the poor pay and harsh conditions. Upon the advice of his generals, and secure in the knowledge that Pope Sixtus IV had sent an emissary to his father opposed to the invasion, Casimir returned home certain that his decision was the correct and righteous one. His father, of course, did not agree, and forbade him from moving back into the castle, relegating him to confinement for three months. Eventually he was released, but never again took up arms, even with his father’s continued urging. Instead, he devoted himself fully to his studies, prayer, and penance, making a vow of celibacy (again angering his father who was looking for a good political marriage for him).

Saint Casimir was sick throughout most of his life, and at the age of twenty five, foretold the hour of his death. He died at age twenty-six, and was buried at Vilna, where his relics still rest in the church of Saint Stanislaus. Numerous miracles were reported at his tombside, including the healing of the blind, the ill, and the raising of the dead.

One hundred and twenty-two years after his death, Saint Casimir’s was opened, that his relics might be translated to the marble chapel of the same Cathedral. Despite the years, and the poor physical state the tomb and church were in, the Saint’s body, wrapped in robes of silk, still intact, was found whole and incorrupt, and emitting a sweet fragrance. Under his head was found his hymn to Our Lady, which he had had buried with him.

From the Biography of Saint Casimir, written by a contemporary:

By the power of the Holy Spirit, Casimir burned with a sincere and unpretentious love for almighty God that was almost unbelievable in its strength. So rich was his love and so abundantly did it fill his heart, that it flowed out from his inner spirit toward his fellow men. As a result nothing was more pleasant, nothing more desirable for him, than to share his belongings, and even to dedicate and give his entire self to Christ’s poor, to strangers, to the sick, to those in captivity and all who suffer. To widows, orphans and the afflicted, he was not only a guardian and patron but a father, son and brother. One would have to compose a long account to record here all his works of love and dedication for God and for mankind. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine or to express his passion for justice, his exercise of moderation, his gift of prudence, his fundamental spiritual courage and stability, especially in a most permissive age, when men tend to be headstrong and by their very natures inclined to sin.

Daily he urged his father to practice justice throughout his kingdom and in the governance of his people; and whenever anything in the country had been overlooked because of human weakness or simple neglect, he never failed to point it out quietly to the king.

He actively took up the cause of the needy and unfortunate and embraced it as his own; for this reason the people called him the patron of the poor. Though the son of a king and descendant of a noble line, he was never unapproachable in his conversation or dealings with anyone, no matter how humble or obscure.

He always preferred to be counted among the meek and poor of spirit, among those who are promised the kingdom of heaven, rather than among the famous and powerful men of this world. He had no ambition for the power that lies in human rank and he would never accept it from his father. He was afraid the barbs of wealth, which our Lord Jesus Christ spoke of as thorns, would wound his soul, or that he would be contaminated by contact with worldly goods.

Many who acted as his personal servants or secretaries are still alive today; these men, of the highest integrity, who had personal knowledge of his private life, testify that he preserved his chastity to the very end of his life.

All-powerful God,
to serve You is to reign:
by the prayers of Saint Casimir,
help us to serve You in holiness and justice.
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 63 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Peace in the world.
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).


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