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."

April 1: Saint Hugh, Bishop of Grenoble

Posted by Jacob

Today, April 1, we celebrate the feast of Saint Hugh, Bishop of Grenoble (1053-1132).  Saint Hugh served the Lord and the Church for over 52 years, obediently following the call of the Lord despite his wish to do otherwise.  Saint Hugh remains an example of profound humility and endurace, sacrificing much to serve and nourish the faithful.

Hugh was born at Châteauneuf-d'Isère, near Valence in the Dauphiné, France, to the son of a military officer in his second marriage. Hugh’s father became well-known for his piety and religious nature, and despite his two marriages, later became a Cistercian monk. Hugh’s mother was also a well-respected member of the Christian community, known especially for her life of prayer and charity.

As a child, Hugh was an exceptionally bright student, excelling at all academic tasks. His parents saw to his education, and he received the finest instruction at schools across Europe. At only the age of 25, Hugh was appointed the canon at the Cathedral of Valence, despite not being ordained. His Christians virtues, as well as his modesty, courtesy, and kindness impressed the bishop, who took him into his household.

Two years later, at the age of 27, Hugh was elected unanimously to fill the vacant post of Bishop of Grenoble. He reluctantly accepted ordination into the priesthood, and was consecrated into the post which he served for over 50 years. Bishop Hugh was charged by Pope Gregory VII to address the rampant reforms necessary in the French clergy. Hugh, appalled by the disorders which confronted him, attacked this charge with vigor, working unceasingly to reform both the clergy and the laity. Corruption seemed to loom in every direction: the buying and selling of Church offices, violations of clerical celibacy, lay control of Church property, religious indifference and/or ignorance. After serving as bishop for two years, he’d had his fill. Despite the tremendous progress accomplished through his actions, although Saint Hugh frequently dwelled upon his failures, repeatedly seeking permission to retire from the bishopric and life a monastic life in contemplation. Withdrawing to the abbey of Chaise-Dieu, Hugh was certain that the pope would appoint some “more suitable” to the task of reform.

When summoned before Pope Saint Gregory VII, Hugh said to him:

"But I repeat to you that I can't do anything that's good and worthwhile!"

On more than one occasion, however, the pope insisted that he must take up the struggle again. "Very well, granted. You can't do anything, my son," Pope Saint Gregory VII said to him, "but you are bishop, and the sacrament can do everything."

Ever obedient, Hugh obeyed each time, and continued to spread reform throughout the diocese of Grenoble. For fifty-two years, he toiled, preaching the Gospel, instructing and inspiring clergy and laity alike. During famine, Saint Hugh sold Church possessions to feed his people. Inspired by his actions, the rich and noble of the area followed suit, distributing their wealth to those most in need.

Perhaps due to his own wishes to life in cloister, Saint Hugh provided the desert land of Chartreuse to Saint Bruno, upon which the Carthusian monastery, La Grand Chartreuse, was built. It is said that Hugh led the Carthusians there himself, rolling up the sleeves on his cassock, and guiding them through the rocky cliffs and crags. Saint Hugh visited this monastery often, spending restorative time in prayer and manual labor. At times, Saint Bruno would gently remind Saint Hugh to return to his diocese, as his people needed his stewardship and guidance. In humility, Hugh would return, weeping during the confessions of his congregation, taking responsibility for their sins.

Throughout the majority of his life, Saint Hugh suffered from severe headaches and stomach difficulties. Despite his pain, he never complained, bearing all with patient endurance. After 52 years of service, Saint Hugh died peacefully in Grenoble, France. His body was laid to rest in the cathedral of Grenoble. He was canonized only two years later. Sadly, during the War of Religion, the relics of Saint Hugh were burned by the Huguenots.

Saint Hugh has been described as a very good looking, brilliant and multi-talented gentleman. His courtesy, gentleness and modesty endeared him to the hearts of all. He could have had a very successful civil or military career. Instead he chose to listen to God's call. He felt himself truly unworthy and incapable of the duties of the bishopric and preferred a life of solitude and prayer. Nevertheless, Saint Hugh prayed for guidance and answered the call of the Lord. He returned to his people, creating great reform, and restoring the faith of those who questioned. Through his humility and love, Saint Hugh inspires us during this Lenten season to look to the Lord for guidance, and to follow His call when we receive it.

Year 2: Day 91 of 365
Prayer Intentions: To find our path in prayer.
Requested Intentions: For a son fighting a rare immune system disease (R); Freedom from imprisonment (J); Employment and end to depression (H); Successful employment (A); Health for a soon to be delivered baby (T); Financial security (L); Healing of tooth pain (A); Health of expectant mother and child (R); Purification of the souls in Purgatory (A); 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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