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 20: Saint Agnes of Montepulciano

Posted by Jacob

Today, April 20, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano (1268-1317). Named for Saint Agnes of Rome, the birth of Agnes was marked by the first of many miraculous events in her life. At the moment of her birth, lit torches appeared, surrounding the house in which she was born, shining a bright and heavenly light on the inhabitants. From that moment on, Agnes demonstrated a simplicity and piety which her parents were unable to deny. At four years of age, Agnes was known to retire to her room, kneeling in the corner, praying Our Fathers and Hail Marys for hours on end. Her only wish, first verbalized at age 6, was to enter the convent at Montepulciano, and consecrate her life to the Lord.

Of course, her parents refused her wishes, given her young age, but permitted her to visit the sisters at the convent on occasion. On one such trip, as Agnes, her mother, and some women of the household were passing a section of road on which several brothels were located, a murder of crows descended from the sky, attacking Agnes. While the women were able to drive them off, this event unsettled the girl, who later proclaimed that the crows were devils, sent to drive her away as they knew she would someday build a convent on that land.

At age nine, Agnes’ parents agreed to let her enter the Franciscan convent at Montepulciano—an austere and pious order known as “Sacchines” due to the fact that their habits were constructed of coarse sacks. Agnes took to a simple, austere lifestyle with happiness, willing to sacrifice for the Lord. Her spiritual progress was observed and admired by her sisters, and at 14, they made her bursar of the order, responsible for the financial and practical needs of the convent. As with all things, Agnes accepted this new responsibility with grace and obedience, never complaining, and always managing to secure food and resources for her sisters. On occasion, she performed miracles, multiplying food in the pantry during lean financial times!

During this time, Agnes also became known as a visionary. She was visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary on several occasions. During the first vision, Our Blessed Mother provided Agnes with three stones—representing the Most High and Undivided Trinity—to be used in the construction of a convent. When Agnes replied that she had no plans to build a convent, Our Blessed Mother encouraged her to keep the stones until she did. Agnes was graced with a second vision, in which The Blessed Virgin appeared again, holding the infant Jesus, whom she let Agnes hold. Agnes fell into a trance, and upon waking, still held the small golden cross that the infant Jesus had been wearing in her vision. She never parted from her mystical treasure following that vision.

At fifteen, Agnes was made abbess of a nearby monastery in Procena, receiving special permission and dispensation from Pope Nicholas IV due to her young age. Agnes’ humility was challenged by this request, and she initially planned to refuse, until specifically urged by the Pontiff. With his request, she accepted obediently, building her community quickly. Upon her election abbess, it is said that small white crosses appeared miraculously, and fell from the sky, raining down upon those present in the chapel to witness her consecration.

Agnes served as abbess at Procena for 20 years, during which time she became known to the local people (and those far and wide) for her sanctity, visions, and miracles. When she knelt in prayer, flowers miraculously bloomed around her. Oftentimes she was observed to levitate nearly two feet in the air while in prayer. She frequently had visions, during which angels delivered the Holy Eucharist to her. Coupled with her mystical talents, Agnes lived a life of austerity and self-discipline. She ate only bread and water, and slept on the ground with a stone for a pillow.

After 20 years, the residents of her birthplace, Montepulciano, called her back to them, requesting she build a convent on the site of the brothels where the crows had attached her when she was young. Agnes did just that, using the three stones provided by the Blessed Virgin, and consecrating the convent to the Blessed Trinity. While she hand no money, the Lord miraculously provided, and she established a new order under the Dominican Law known for both prayer and penance.

Soon thereafter, Agnes fell ill with a painful and protracted illness, which she bore with gentle patience and cheer, offering her sufferings as penance for the redemption of souls. She traveled on pilgrimage to the holy sites of Rome, and upon her return, was escorted by several sisters to the healing waters of Chianciano. While there, Saint Agnes performed a miracle, bringing a small child who had drowned in the baths back to life. In the place of the miracle, a new spring welled up, which has reported healed many since her death.

Agnes returned to the convent in Montepulciano, where she died. She told her sisters shortly beforehand, "You will discover that I have not abandoned you. You will possess me for ever." Agnes’ body was buried in the convent, which soon became a place of pilgrimage. Numerous miracles have been reported at her tomb, through her intercession. Among those who have visited include Saint Catherine of Sienna, who referred to Saint Agnes as her “glorious mother.” During the visit of Saint Catherine, as she bent to kiss the feet of Agnes, her feet rose from their resting position to Saint Catherine’s lips, so as to spare her the act of having to bend down! In 1435, the body of Saint Agnes was moved to Orvieto, where it remains today. During exhumation, it was discovered that her body was incorrupt, with sweet perfume trickling from both her hands and feet.

The life of Saint Agnes is one of simplicity, obedience, grace, and charity. She was devoted to both Our Blessed Mother and to Jesus, and never strayed from her intense desire to serve them. Agnes was willing to give up a privileged lifestyle, trading it for the sack-cloth of service. Through prayer she received all she needed from the Lord. Agnes’ life is one in which we see holiness shine through every moment—trust in the Lord, obedience to her calling, grace and joy in suffering, penance and prayer, love and charity for all she encountered. In studying the lives of the saints we come face-to-face with our areas of shortcoming, and are inspired to commit those weaknesses and struggles to the Lord, through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother. The life of Saint Agnes gives us plenty to think about, and we implore her intercession to increase our obedience and faith in the Most High and Undivided Trinity!

Merciful God, you adorned Agnes of Montepulciano, your bride, with a marvelous fervor in prayer. By imitating her example, may we always hold fast to you in spirit and so come to enjoy the abundant fruits of holiness. St. Agnes never faltered in her deep devotion and love for You. Dear Father, may we also appreciate the spiritual things more than the things of this world and give to You our greatest devotion. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Year 2: Day 110 of 365

Prayer Intentions: Obedience; Faith; Those considering religious vocation.
Requested Intentions: Financial ability to send children to school (S); Safe return of a runaway (J); Healing of a family (J); Reconciliation of marriage (S); Healing of a daughter with congenital heart disease (F); Healing and an end to suffering (J); For the children (M); 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).


  1. Anonymous said...

    Thank you for teaching me more about my choosen sanit!

  2. Anonymous said...

    pl pray for me st.agne if rajat dewangan is a nice man so i want to marriage with him if he is a right partner for me god pl i wish my engagement will be fixed with rajat very soon.i wish he will free under a week in his office work and come in my home.i wish my family members impress with him specially my sister indu will like him and ready all my family members for my marriage with him.cause his parents no more i wish my family members don't create problem for my marriage cause my sister indu against him cause of his parents died so i wish pl my sister agree for this marriage and support me.thanks.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Please pray for me St. Agnes of Montepulciano for help in my financial situation that God may provide us help during our difficult financial crisis. That He help me pass through the hard times in my child support case. That He also guide me in my discernment and application to become a permanent deacon.

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