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 6: Blessed Edward Jones and Anthony Middlton, English Martyrs

Posted by Jacob

May 6 commemorates the feast days of two English martyrs, Blessed Edward Jones and Blessed Anthony Middleton (died 1590). These brave men, true to their faith in Christ until the end, preached throughout London during a time of great persecution of Catholics. Their courage in the face of persecution and criticism of the Church reminds us that our own lives bear witness to the strength and center of the Church in time of struggle and crisis-- that as a community based in Christ we need not fear the judgments of society, but rather place our faith in our all-loving Father in Heaven.

Blessed Edward, born in Wales, and Anthony, born in Yorkshire, were born and raised in England, baptized in the Anglican faith. In young adulthood, both left their home country, traveling to Reims, France, where they were received into the Church of the English College. Blessed Edward began school in 1587, and was ordained the following year. Blessed Anthony preceded him by a few years, beginning school in 1582, ordained and arriving back in England in 1586. Joined by Edward in 1588, both young men intrepidly preached the true word of God throughout London.

Despite earning reputations as great orators, and attracting the attention of local authorities—always on the look-out for practicing Catholics and the priests that ministered to them—both men avoided capture for over two years, likely due to their youth and appearance. It is said that Edward, in particular, could pass for a student in most cases, as he was still in his early twenties.

In 1590, on the same day, but in separate events, both men were trapped and captured by “priest-catchers”—men who pretended to be Catholic in order to entrap priests into declaring their true vocation. Blessed Edward was taken to the Tower and brutally tortured, eventually leading to his admission of wearing the collar, leaving the Anglican faith for Catholicism. Despite a skillful defense at a hastily arranged trial—one of the first to argue that confessions made under the duress of torture were not legally sufficient to convict—he was found guilty of “high treason and foreign invasion.” The court also issued him a compliment on his courageous demeanor and eloquent speech—not enough to save him! Blessed Edward Jones was returned to the street on which he was arrested, hanged, drawn and quartered.

Having also been arrested by a “priest-catcher,” Blessed Anthony Middleton was tortured on the “ladder” to extract a confession. He stated firmly, "I call God to witness I die merely for the Catholic Faith, and for being a priest of the true Religion.” Subsequently he was disemboweled, while still alive.  Both men offered their lives and deaths for the forgiveness of sins, the spread of the true faith, and the conversion of heretics.

The lives of the English martyrs—not only priests like Blessed Edward and Anthony, but laity like Margaret Clitherow—remind us that despite tremendous odds, the faith of the Church remains strong and is unable to vanquished by evil deeds or evil tongues. Our call to defend the Church, through our active and visible living of the Christian faith, is one which we should not take lightly. As our Church remains currently under near constant attack in the media for the sins of men, we take refuge in the fact that the teachings of the Church, the faith of the Church, and the community which binds us to Christ remains strong. We each play a role in that community, one which we share with the world through our courageous identification as Catholic, and our obedient and faith-filled lives. How can we be better witnesses to our communities—to the world—of the tremendous gifts we have been given through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

O God, Who didst raise up martyrs from every walk of life among the English,
to be champions of the true faith and of the papacy,
grant through their merits, and at their intercession,
that we may all become and remain one by professing the same faith,
and so fulfilling Thy Son's Prayer:
Who is God living and reigning with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

Year 2: Day 126 of 365

Prayer Intentions: Courage in the face of difficulty; Unwavering faith.
Requested Intentions: 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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