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."

June 11: Saint Paola Frassinetti

Posted by Jacob

“Our Lord wills that you cling to Him alone! If your faith were greater how much more peaceful you would be even when great trials surround and oppress you.”

Today, June 11, we celebrate the feast of Saint Paola Frassinetti (1809-1882), foundress of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, devotee to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and patron saint of the sick. Saint Paola approached all events and activities in her life with a profound spirit of service and humility, embracing her shortcomings, and diligently working to serve the Lord to the best of her abilities.

Born in Genoa, Italy, Paola was the only daughter in her family of five children. Her four brothers each became priests, and Paola was well-educated in the faith as she grew up in this holy family.

When Paola was just nine years old, her mother died unexpectedly. Paola, as her biography tells us, turned to Our Blessed Mother, embracing her as her new mother. Paola’s aunt moved into the family home, to help run the household. Sadly, she, too, died after only three years. At the young age of 12, Paola assumed the responsibility of running the household, serving as mother to her four brothers, and being forced to leave formal education. Instead, her father and brothers instructed her at home.

Paola’s new schedule afforded her the opportunity to attend daily Mass, and her internal spiritual and prayer life blossomed. She prayed constantly, even while performing her household chores. Her brother, Giuseppe, who was a student in theology at the time, preparing for the priesthood, served informally as a spiritual director, as Paola began to hear the call of the Lord—a call that would lead her to a new religious community.

Just seven years after assuming the household responsibilities, at the age of 19, Paola was stricken with a severe respiratory illness, leading to physical exhaustion and inability to perform most basic functions. She moved in with her brother, Giuseppe—now a parish priest at the small Italian seaside village of Quinto, for rest and restoration. The sea air of Quinto proved beneficial, and as she began to regain her strength, she found ways in which to serve the parish community.

Especially attracted to her gentle spirit and kindness, the children of the parish gravitated to Paola. Each Sunday, she would take the children to the woods and speak to them of the Lord. In Paola, all who met her witnessed a soul in complete devotion and dedication to the Lord. She inspired many to cluster around her, sharing a similar faith and devotion, and Paola began to envision a new religious group.

Not long afterwards, a friend of her brother and fellow priest, Father Luca Passi, invited Paola to begin a ministry aimed at reaching the poorest and most needy youth in rural communities. This ministry assisted the youth—most of whom were uneducated and had to go to work at an early age—in improving both their work and home environments, while facilitating education and religious instruction. Paola immediately accepted this mission, and formed a new religious group, the Sisters of Saint Dorothy. This fledgling order was first called to care for the sick in the cholera epidemic that destroyed northern Italy in 1835.

Saint Paula advised one young Sister in the Order: "You must be a visible guardian angel to your children but a quick-eyed angel, alive to all their needs. Watch over them with vigilance and prudence, but let them feel you trust them." Paula was especially sensitive to disfigured children, whom she called "pictures of God without a frame."

Paola and her sisters were met with challenges and difficulties. Oftentimes, those who were expected to be most supportive were, in fact, quite the opposite. For example, after months of developing a rule for the order, she presented it to the Jesuit priests, who ridiculed her efforts. In characteristic form, Paola accepted their criticisms and mockery with humility, redoubling her efforts, and exclaiming, "Those who suffer most, love most .”

Paola’s example, service, and devotion did not go unnoticed, however. Only seven years after the founding of the order, Paola was received in Rome by Pope Gregory XVI, who approved of the Order, citing Paola’s fine work. The Order quickly spread, with foundations opened across Italy, Portugal, and Brazil. The Order subsequently spread throughout the Americas and the world, and remains active today in the care and ministry of the needy, specifically youth in: Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta, England, Switzerland), North America (U.S.A.), Latin America (Brazil, Peru), Africa (Angola, Mozambique), and Asia (Taiwan).

Throughout many difficulties and hardships, the leadership and example of Paola sustained her sisters. She instructed, "Be burning flames that inflame with God's love all those you come in contact with.” And "Our Lord wills that you cling to Him alone! If your faith were greater how much more peaceful you would be even when great trials surround and oppress you.” Paola lived in complete abandonment to the Will of God "the unique gem we must seek,” as she was found of saying: "Will of God - my paradise!”

Saint Paola died of pneumonia at the age of 73, following a series of strokes. Her last words were addressed to Our Blessed Mother, when she prayed:  "My Mother, remember I am your child.” Her body, found to be incorrupt in the early 1900s upon translation, is entombed at Saint Onofria, the Dorothean motherhouse in Rome, Italy. It is venerated there today.

Despite societal and physical hardships and limitations, Saint Paola Frassinetti overcame obstacles and worked for the greater good of humanity throughout her life. She inspired many, founding an order, and living in sickness and poverty throughout her days of service to better reach those in need. Never placing her own needs before those of others, Paola continuously sought the Will of God, a message she transferred to the sisters of her order. We might all take a moment today—and every day—to listen more closely to the call of Our Lord, quieting those parts of our hearts which serve only our own desires, and seeking to better understand what the Lord calls us each to do for others, in our own way.

Year 2: Day 162 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Complete abandonment to the Will of God
Requested Intentions: Restoration of health (D); Successful employment for couple (N); For employment for children (K); For health of friend, for successful relationships for children, for safe pregnancy for daughter (C); For the health of a mother (J); Virtue for daughter (V); Successful acceptance to college for nephew (M); For the health of a cousin (T); Freedom from legal difficulties for husband (S); 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).


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