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 21: Saint Lazarus the Beggar

Posted by Jacob

Today, June 21, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Lazarus, the beggar at the gate of the rich man, Dives, in the parable related by Christ in the Gospel recorded by Saint Luke.  Saint Lazarus the Beggar is the patron saint of the poor and sick.
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” (Luke 16:19-31)

The veneration of Saint Lazarus (not to be confused with the disciple of Christ, and brother of Mary and Martha, Lazarus of Bethany—whose feast is celebrated on December 17), reached prominence in the Middle Ages. Colloquial language, at that time, referenced Lazarus in such words as “Lazaretto” (translated as “hospital”) and “Lazarone” (translated as “beggar in the street.” The Church included Lazarus in her Rites, including the Funeral Rite. For example, the antiphon In paradisum, which is sung as the deceased is taken from the church to the graveyard, prays that the departed soul be taken to Paradise—(“In paradisum deducant te Angeli”)— along with Lazarus, who once was poor (“cum Lazaro quondam paupere”).

While it is believed that the Lazarus referred to in the parable recounted by Christ (and recorded by Saint Luke) may not have referred to a specific man, we celebrate today the purpose of that parable: to teach the evil result of neglecting those in need who we encounter in our everyday lives. From the Catholic Encyclopedia: “ Lazarus was rewarded, not because he was poor, but for his virtuous acceptance of poverty; the rich man was punished, not because he was rich, but for vicious neglect of the opportunities given him by his wealth."

In the twelfth century, the Order of Saint Lazarus was founded to provide care and medical assistance to lepers and those in need. The knights of the order were lepers themselves, and beside caring for others, they also carried out military duties. A hospital for lepers was founded near the northern wall of Jerusalem. Today, the Order of Saint Lazarus continues in 27 regions of the world (as shown below).

Saint Lazarus continues to be invoked today as the patron saint of the sick and poor. We look to the example of Saint Lazarus—not only to find the ability to accept our lives with virtue—but to remind us of our greater call to serve those around us. We pray today for all those who suffer from poverty or illness, from neglect or persecution, from social injustice.

Dear Saint Lazarus, patron and assistant of the poor and sick.
With this prayer I request your assistance, and with the aid of the Holy Spirit may the Lord always protect me during sickness or in health.
Saint Lazarus give me the strength to overcome all the temptations on earth.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Prayer for Social Justice

Lord Jesus, Carpenter and King, supreme Sovereign of all men, look with tender mercy upon the multitudes of our day who bear the indignities of injustice everywhere. Raise up leaders in every land dedicated to Your standards of order, equity, and justice. Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, the grace to be worthy members of Your Mystical Body, laboring unceasingly to fulfill our vocation in the social apostolate of Your Church. Sharpen our intellects to pierce the pettiness of prejudice; to perceive the beauty of true human brotherhood. Guide our minds to a meaningful understanding of the problems of the poor, of the oppressed, of the unemployed, of all in need of assistance anywhere. Guide our hearts against the subtle lure of earthly things and undue regard for those who possess them. May we hunger and thirst after justice always. Amen.

Year 2: Day 172 of 365
Prayer Intentions: All those who suffer from poverty or illness, from neglect or persecution, from social injustice.
Requested Intentions: For a mother’s mental health and for kindness and forgiveness, for housing problems, for dental health (T); For the soul of a departed friend (X); 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).


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