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."

May 18: King Saint Eric, Patron Saint of Sweden

Posted by Jacob

May 18 is the feast day of Saint Eric IX of Sweden (also known as Eric the Lawgiver and Eric the Holy, born, unknown, died 1160), remembered for his honesty, generosity toward the Church, and conversion of his people at a time when Christianity was not well received. King Saint Eric is a model of courage and faith, at a time when such virtues often resulted in one’s death. For that reason, Saint Eric, the patron saint of Sweden, is celebrated as a holy martyr of the Church, having died while attending Mass on the feast of the Ascension.

Born Eric Jedvardson, the son of an Upland lord, Eric assumed the throne of Sweden in 1150, following the death of Sverker the Elder. King Eric IX reigned for 10 years, during which time he governed with fairness and equality, established law and order, and spread the faith of Christianity within the country, as well as into the surrounding pagan lands. Eric was the first to codify Swedish law, doing so based upon the teachings of Christ in the Bible. He established fair laws and impartial courts, and charitable programs for the poor and sick (which were quite rare at that time). He built churches, including the first cathedral in Sweden, and successfully defended his country from invasion several times.

Due to his faith, Eric made many enemies, include the ruler of nearby modern-day Denmark at the time. Following a defeat in battle, for example, King Eric had sent Christian missionaries into Denmark to convert the defeated soldiers. During a subsequent brief period of peace, assassins were sent into Sweden to kill Eric. They found him at Mass in the cathedral he had built at Uppsala, celebrating the Ascension of the Lord. His soldiers, having scouted the enemy, warned the king that a pagan Danish army was approaching to kill him. He replied, "Let us at least finish the sacrifice (of the Mass). The rest of the feast I shall keep elsewhere." As he was leaving the church, on a hill known as “The Lords’ Hill,” the Danish army rushed upon him and killed him by beheading. Holy legend tells us that where his blood fell, a spring of fresh water sprang up, believed to have miraculous healing power.

Saint Eric’s relics were placed in a shrine, used in processions, and placed at rest in the cathedral in Uppsala. Numerous miracles have been recorded at its side. While Eric has never been officially canonized, he is recognized locally as a saint, and honored both as an upholder of the Christian faith and as a national hero-- the ancestor of a long line of Swedish kings. Within thirty years after his death his name appeared on the Swedish Calendar, and he is accounted the principal patron of Sweden, as (for example) Saint Patrick is the patron of Ireland.

King Saint Eric of Sweden lived in difficult times. It was not unusual for kings to be assassinated, deposed, or imprisoned for even the slightest reason, if rivals could build enough support in the army or the populace. Yet Eric was unafraid, introducing sweeping political, judicial, social, and spiritual changes throughout not only Sweden, but also the surrounding countries. His commitment to the improvement and defense of Sweden, through adherence to the teachings of the Gospel, eventually led to his death. Even in the moments prior to his death, Eric recognized the importance of his faith, placing celebration of Mass before his earthly kingdom. What might we say of our own priorities? Where do the teachings of Christ rank in our daily lives?

O God, who didst call thy servant Eric of Sweden to an earthly throne that he might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give him zeal for thy Church and love for thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate him this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Year 2: Day 138 of 365

Prayer Intentions: Deeper relationship with the Lord
Requested Intentions: For personal intentions (A); Restoration of lost hearing (C); Resolution of relational and financial challenges (S); Comfort following loss of husband, security for family, assistance with housing (B); Healing and return of brother (O); Successful hermitage foundation (S); Support from family, permission to marry (H); Recovery of wife following surgery, freedom from depression (W); Protection and recovery of mentally ill daughter (J); Successful resolution to legal proceedings (N); Freedom from worry and successful employment (M); For successful sale of home and freedom from debt (J); Freedom from pain and illness (E); For successful living arrangements, travels, health, and studies (F); Healing, successful studies, financial success (F); For husband’s successful employment (Y); For children’s faith journey; Recovery of a friend suffering from addiction (M); Successful employment (P); Obedience to the will of the Lord (J); Financial recovery (S); Freedom from evil influence (I); Recovery from illness (J); Freedom from addiction (J); Successful transplant surgery (K); Healing for a daughter (T); Acceptance into school (V); Successful immigration; for a sister’s career and marriage (F); Financial recovery; Successful ministry (A); Financial ability to send children to school (S); Safe return of a runaway (J); Healing of a family (J).


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