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 22: Saint Rita of Cascia

Posted by Jacob

Today, May 22, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Rita of Cascia (1386-1456), the patron saint of impossible causes. Saint Rita’s life was one of hardship, difficulty, and disappointment, but she never lost faith in the Lord, praying ceaselessly throughout what seemed like endless days filled with harsh conditions, and was delivered from them. Known as a “Peacemaker of Jesus” for her charity and love of others, Saint Rita is a model of Christian virtue, obedience, and steadfast endurance.

Born in Rocca Perena, Umbria, Italy, the only child to older parents also known for their charity to those around them, miracles surrounded Saint Rita almost immediately. At her baptism, she was surrounded by a swarm of bees who miraculously covered her body, flying around her face, dropping their honey into her open mouth, without harming her in any way. A local farmer, seeing the swarm of bees, tried to disperse them with his arm that had been deeply wounded by a scythe. His arm stopped bleeding and he was immediately healed. Rita grew in holiness, practicing daily prayer, asking permission from her parents to enter the convent at age 12. However, her parents had arranged a marriage for her, and she obediently followed their wishes.

In early adolescence, Rita married the town watchman, with whom her parents had arranged a marriage. Their union was blessed with twin sons, whom Rita loved and raised in the name of Christ. Unfortunately, her husband was an immoral, quick tempered man who was physically and verbally abusive to Rita, and was prone to drinking excessively. She suffered his abuse for eighteen years, never complaining, serving as the model wife and mother. Rita never prayed for her husband to love her, to treat her attentively, to be kind, to cease drinking or being abusive as the result of the drinking, or to remain at home with her and their sons. Rather, she prayed for his soul, unconditionally, that he would give his life over to Jesus and be converted. As her children grew, she could see that they were greatly influenced by their father’s behavior, and like Saint Monica, she prayed for their souls as well. After 16 years of marriage, her prayers were answered and her husband converted, beginning to lead a holy and penitent life. Sadly, just two years later, he was ambushed and stabbed to death by men he had previously wronged. Saint Rita’s now- teenaged sons wished to seek revenge against their father's killers, and Rita tried to discourage them, concerned for their mortal souls. Through her prayers and interventions her sons did not act upon their revenge, both dying of illness, and maintaining their purity in the eyes of the Lord.

Having lost her family, Rita was called back to the religious life. She sought acceptance at the Augustinian Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene, but was refused admission due to her widowed status. Holy legend tells us that Rita was miraculously transported by her patron saints—Saint John the Baptist, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and Saint Nicholas of Tolentino—through the walls of the convent into an empty cell. When the sisters found her inside the walls the next morning, they immediately accepted her into the order.

Blessed Saint Rita lived forty more years as a practicing nun of poverty, committing herself to works of mercy, charity and peace. Such was her vow of poverty, Rita wore the same habit every day-- the habit she was given upon acceptance into the order—until the day she died. And then, she was buried in it. She was known for her extreme acts of self-deprivation, mortification, and penance, and was a model sister and inspiration to those she lived with. However, it wasn't her rigorous mortifications that made her saintly, but rather her desire for total abandonment to the will of God. Through her intercessions, many were healed, freed from demons, and converted to Christ.

Saint Rita, who had known her share of suffering at the hands of her abusive husband, and after the loss of her sons, prayed for more suffering—to be united with Christ in His suffering. One day, as holy legend tells us, Saint Rita was kneeling in prayer before a replica of the Crucified Christ. She implored, "Oh my Jesus, let me share in Thy suffering at least by one of Thy thorns." At that moment, a single thorn from the crown surrounding Jesus' head flew through the air and speared directly into Sister Rita's forehead. This wound bled until the end of her life and caused her considerable pain and suffering. It also emitted a repulsive stench, such that Rita spent the majority of her last 15 years in seclusion.

As Saint Rita aged, she became sick from the toils of her life. The last four years of her life she was confined to bed as an invalid. Saint Rita spent her days teaching the novices, eating little more than the Eucharist to sustain her. Shortly before her death, Saint Rita made one request, that a cousin would bring to her a single rose from her family's estate. It was the middle of January and the cousin thought this to be impossible, but upon arriving at Rita's former home found a single rose in blossom on an otherwise bare bush in the family garden.

There are many stories about Saint Rita’s acts of charity and obedience. One story, which has implications still today, began with the Convent Mother, wishing to test the obedience of Rita, instructing her to water a dead and withered plant from the convent garden every day for a year. Sister Rita, always obedient, did as she was told, wearing the dead plant around her neck every day. At the end of a year, to the great astonishment of all, that dead plant brought forth leaves and flowers and became the most beautiful of all the grape vines in the garden. Today, over 500 hundred years later, that same vine remains bountiful and beautiful. Its leaves are dried and powdered and sent all over the world to people who are suffering, and many cures have been reported. The fruit of the vine is sent to the Pope and to other Dignitaries each year at harvest time.

Saint Rita died peacefully on May 22, 1457, the noxious odor from her head wound changing to the sweet fragrance of holiness which hundreds of years later can still be detected. At the moment of her death, a bright light emanated from the wound in her head, filling the room and dazzling her sisters. Her body, resting in the Basilica of Saint Rita in Cascia, remains incorrupt. Witnesses recount that her body, unaided, is observed in various positions, and has been observed to levitate on her feast day. Following her beatification, her eyes opened and mouth smiled, revealing her teeth. The habit she was buried in—the same habit she wore each day of her religious life—remains similarly preserved. Numerous miracles have been reported at her tomb, from touching the oil that burns beside her body, or from eating the bread baked by her sisters and distributed to visitors. Saint Rita’s tomb has become one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Italy. Because of her many trials and sacrifices throughout her life Rita the Saint is known as Rita Patron Saint of Impossible Causes and desperate situations. She's often entreated by those suffering the afflictions of abuse, sickness, desperate causes, difficult marriages, widows and wounded people, as well as those suffering from sterility and infertility.

Almost two hundred years after she died, an interesting phenomenon occurred. At the Monastery in Cascia, where Rita had spent the latter half of her life, white bees—similar to those who had swarmed her as an infant-- were observed to came out of the walls of the Monastery during Holy Week of each year. These bees remained until the feast day of Saint Rita on May 22nd, and then returned to hibernation until Holy Week of the following year. Pope Urban VIII, learning of the bees, requested that one of the them be brought to him in Rome. After a careful examination of the bee, he tied a silk thread around it. Setting it free, the bee was later discovered in its hive at the Monastery in Cascia, 138 kilometers away. And so the tradition of the bees began. The holes in the wall where the bees traditionally remain until the following year, are plainly in view for pilgrims journeying even today to the Monastery.

The life of Saint Rita of Cascia reminds us that sometimes life is hard. We may feel as if we cannot handle all the struggle that has been given to us. We may feel like we are alone. We may feel as if we are a lost cause, that holy lives are impossibilities. Yet, we are never alone, and with the Lord, all things are possible. Saint Rita’s forbearance and endurance, her obedience, and her faith all inspire us look to the Lord in our moments of weakness, hopeless, and despair. We are never alone. Nothing is impossible with God.

O Holy St. Rita, exemplary Augustinian Sister, we honor you for your devotion to the Passion of Christ. Although your early life was filled with disappointment, frustration, and unceasing tragedy, you never lost faith and trust in God. For this you are the patroness of the impossible, and our inspiration and advocate in desperate circumstances.

Holy Patroness of those in need, Saint Rita, you were humble, pure and patient. Your pleadings with your divine Spouse are irresistible, so please obtain for me from our risen Jesus the request I make of you. Be kind to me for the greater glory of God, and I shall honor you and sing your praise forever.

Glorious Saint Rita, you miraculously participated in the sorrowful passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Obtain for me now the grace to suffer with resignation the troubles of this life, and protect me in all my needs.

God, You were pleased to grant to St. Rita the great grace of loving her enemies in very truth, and both in her heart and on her brow to bear the stigmata of Your Passion; grant us, we pray, by her merits and prayers, so to show mercy to our enemies and so to meditate on the pains of Your Passion, as to make our own the blessedness promised to those who are meek and who mourn.

Father of us all, you hold the world in one hand and bless it with the other. You gave Rita the strength to bear her cross after the example of Christ. She found peace in doing your will and was thus enabled to forgive others and bring peace to many.

Give me the strength to accept my sufferings; let me not whimper nor forget the examples of strength that you give me in the lives of your saints. Bring peace to my heart, so that I too may be a peacemaker. For all your gifts let me thank you each day. Amen

Year 2: Day 142 of 365

Prayer Intentions: Trust in the Lord
Requested Intentions: Husband’s freedom from illness (L); Personal intentions (S); Successful passing of dental board examination (P); Blessings on a family (Z); Successful permanent employment (C); Healing of a son with autism (J); Son’s successful employment (L); For the intentions of family and relatives, for the Carthusian community (T); 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).


  1. Anonymous said...

    Very touching Life story about Sister Rita, I pray for a successful Business and a better Job this year.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Lovely Saint. I'm praying for intersession to help me to stop drinking.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Miraculous Saint Rita, I pray for your intercession for the friut of the womb upon my home Amen

  4. Anonymous said...

    Saint Rita intercede for me for the friut of the womb

  5. Unknown said...

    St. Rita I pray so that my family can be holy. I pray that you will lead me to always pray for the soul of broken family.

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