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 12: Saint Peter the Athonite

Posted by Jacob

Today, June 12, we celebrate the feast of Saint Peter the Athonite (also known as Saint Peter of Mount Athos, ninth century), the first ascetic of the holy mountain, Mount Athos. Saint Peter established a long tradition of ascetic and monastic practices on the holy mountain, which continue today.

Peter was born of noble Greek parents in Constantinople. As a young man, he vowed to become a monk, filling called by the Lord to a life of contemplation and prayer. However, he was made to serve in the Roman army against the Saracens—an action that he was opposed to—and during battle, was taken captive. Peter was imprisoned in Syria, in the prison of Samara.

Peter remained in prison for a lengthy period of time, during which he took inventory of his life, considering his sinfulness, and contemplating his actions and the retribution of the Lord that had occurred as a result. He instituted a strict fast and constant, fervent prayer for forgiveness. Peter further turned to the saintly men and women who had gone before him for intercession, lifting his intentions to Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, praying that he might intercede for him with the Lord.

Saint Nicholas later appeared three times to Peter in dreams. First, he instructed him to call upon Saint Simeon for intercession. Second, he encouraged Peter in patience and hope. The third time, Saint Nicholas appeared with Saint Simeon, who touched Peter’s chains with his staff, causing them to melt away, and opened his cell door.

Free at last, Peter was assisted by Saint Nicholas across the borders of the Greek territory. Peter re-committed himself to his vow, traveling to Rome to embrace the life of a monk. But Saint Nicholas was not done with Peter. Although he had disappeared, he remained present, appearing to the Pope in a dream, and notifying him of the circumstances of Peter’s liberation from prison.

On the following day, in the midst of a throng of the people who had gathered for Mass, the Pope stood, pointed Peter out in the crowd, and proclaimed: "Peter, you who are from the Greek lands, and whom Saint Nicholas has freed from prison in Samara, come here to me." The Pope gave Peter the tonsure of the monk, blessed him, and sent him on his journey east.

Uncertain of where to settle, Peter boarded a ship and set off without much direction. Our Blessed Mother appeared to him in a dream, providing much-needed direction. He would live on Mount Athos until the end of his days.  There, he dwelt in the desolate places of the Holy Mountain, not seeing another person for fifty-three years. His clothing become tattered, and his hair and beard grew and covered his body in place of clothes.

Our Blessed Mother said of Mount Athos: "I have chosen this mountain... and have received it from My Son and God as an inheritance, for those who wish to forsake worldly cares and strife.... Exceedingly do I love this place. I will aid those who come to dwell here and who labor for God... and keep His commandments.... I will lighten their afflictions and labors, and shall be an invincible ally for the monks, invisibly guiding and guarding them...."

During his time on Mount Athos, Saint Peter was repeatedly assaulted by demons who tried to trick him into leaving his holy cave. These demons appeared in the guise of armed soldiers, beasts and vipers, and even familiar figures from his childhood. Peter overcame each attack through prayers to Our Lord and Our blessed Mother. He said "Here have the Lord and the Most Holy Theotokos led me. I will not leave here without Her permission." Hearing the name of the Mother of God, the demons vanished.

Saint Peter died, advanced in years. He was found by a passing hunter and his brother, who received healing of demonic possession simply by touching the holy man. His holy relics were venerated on Mount Athos at the monastery of Saint Clement.

O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

Having received the noetic and heavenly light in thy heart, O Peter, thou wast seen to be a most radiant vessel of the pure Trinity; and thou didst receive the grace to work miracles, and dost cry: Alleluia.

Year 2: Day 161 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Trust in the Lord and Our Blessed Mother
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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