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 30: Blessed Raymond Lull

Posted by Jacob

Today, June 30, we celebrate the feast day of Blessed Raymond Lull (1235-1315), “Doctor Illuminatus” (“The Enlightened Doctor”), poet, philosopher, theologian, and missionary. Raymond gave up a life of luxury, serving in the royal courts of the time, and instead devoted himself to writing and missionary work in Northern Africa. There, he was seized and stoned to death, giving his life for his faith.

Raymond was born into the noble Lull family at Palma, on the island of Mallorca. At an early age, he was selected as a page at the royal court, and over the first 30 years of his life served the royal family in a variety of positions, eventually becoming the marshal and high steward to King James.

Raymond lived a life of luxury and worldly pursuits. He was married, and produced two children with his wife, although also had numerous affairs and engaged in dissolute activities. One day, while writing a letter to one of the women he was seeing, Raymond was stricken with a vision of Christ, crucified on the cross. Five additional visions followed, and he was brought to the faith, converting, and dedicating himself to the Gospel. Soon thereafter, following a moving sermon by a local bishop who spoke about the contempt of the world and the love of Christ, Raymond answered the call of the Lord to forsake all things and to win for Christ the infidels on the northern coast of Africa.

Raymond wasted little time. He resigned his royal offices, and dedicated himself to the education and care of missionaries. He founded a college for the Order of the Friars Minor, and devoted himself to the mastery of, and instruction of others in, the languages of Northern Africa. He became a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis, and embarked on a nine year mission of solitude and contemplation on a remote mountain, spending his days in prayer and study, hoping to prepare himself for inspire mission work. During that time, he was graced with heavenly inspiration and extraordinary knowledge, and was subsequently able to answer deeply complex philosophical and theological questions.

Following his time in solitude, Raymond traveled extensively—to Rome, Avingon, Montpellier, Paris, and throughout Europe—spreading the Gospel, founding seminaries, and establishing schools for missionaries. At the age of 79, he journey on mission to Africa, as had been his calling. While preaching the faith in a public square at Bougie, he was set upon by radical Muslims in the community, who stoned him nearly to death. Rescued by Greek sailors, he died shortly thereafter, en route to his home island of Mallorca. He was buried in the Franciscan church at Palma, and numerous miracles were reported at his tomb.

Blessed Raymond Lull wrote over 300 works in Latin, Arabic, and Catalan during his life, on a multitude of topics including theology, logic, philosophy, poetry, fiction, alchemy, and natural sciences. While his works were mostly academic in nature, he also strove to make difficult concepts accessible to all, illustrating points through fiction, as evidenced in the excerpt below. Here, Raymond illustrates the “perfect relationship between law and morals and their judgment” via a conversation between Evast and his Son, Blanquerna (from “Blanquerna” by Blessed Raymond Lull):

“By the grace of the Divine illumination, Evast bethought him of the time when he desired to enter an order2 of religion, and he sought to prove this son Blanquerna, and to discover if he could rule himself and the house in such a way as to serve and please God, that himself and Aloma his wife might severally enter religious orders, and leave the world and forsake their temporal possessions. While Evast considered thus, Blanquerna his son returned from the school.

Now Blanquerna was a gentle youth, comely and pleasant to look upon, and he had reached the age of eighteen years, being ever obedient to his parents, of right good habits and gentle upbringing.

“Fair son!” said Evast. “I would have thee answer me this question: Near to this city there stands a castle, at the entrance to a great wood. It chanced that a huntsman went into the wood to hunt deer and wild goats and such like beasts, as was his wont. And with an arrow he wounded a stag, but all that day he could neither lay hands upon it nor find a trace of it. Now as the hunter returned to the city he met a traveler who bore in his hand an arrow. And the hunter enquired of the traveler whence he had that arrow. The traveler answered that he had found it in a dead stag which he had sold to a butcher. And there arose a dispute betwixt the two as to which of them should have the price of the stag; for the hunter said that it was he that had killed it, and that if he had not wounded it the other would not have found it dead. The traveler said that fortune had given it to him, and that the hunter had already despaired of finding the stag, for he was returning to the city. Each of them (said Evast) brought forth many and great arguments the one against the other. Now I would fain know, son Blanquerna, what thy judgment would be, as to which of these two had the right to receive the price of the stag, or if it should be divided between them.”

Blessed Raymond's illustrated
"Tree of Virtue and Vice"
Blanquerna answered his father Evast, and said: “My lord and father! Thou knowest well that occasion is more powerful than fortune,3 because in occasion is the final intention whereby the stag was wounded and killed, and fortune has no intention either of itself or in its action upon another. And since by fortune the traveler found the stag, but by occasion it was killed, and the occasion lay with him that killed it, therefore, according to right and justice, to preserve the superiority that occasion has over fortune, the stag must be adjudged to the hunter; for, were it adjudged to the other, an injustice would be done to occasion, and fortune would be honoured in a fashion that befits it not. For the which reason I adjudge the price of the stag upon every ground to the hunter, provided that he can first prove the arrow to be his, for it might be that the arrow was that of another huntsman who killed the stag, and not of him who said that he had killed it.”

Then Evast asked his son if it were just that the stag should be returned to the huntsman, or the price which he had received for it.

Blanquerna answered and said that the butcher by right and justice should have the stag, for he had bought it according to the usages of his trade, believing it to belong to the seller. And since the traveler had sold it in the belief that the price should be his, an injustice would therefore be done to the butcher if the gain which he would receive from the stag should be taken from him. And ill-seeming would it be if the traveler should receive injury in place of thanks, the which thing would follow if he gave satisfaction to the butcher together with the price of the stag and returned the stag to the hunter; for the which cause it was right and just that to the hunter should belong the price of the stag alone.

Blessed Raymond's figure of the
"Attributes of God"
Evast said further to Blanquerna: “Tell me, my son, if the hunter is obliged to give the other aught of the price of the stag.”

“My lord and father!” said Blanquerna, “Two kinds of law in general are there in the world, from the which proceed all the categories of law in the particular; the one kind is according to God, and the other according to the world. The manner of law that is ordained and disposed according to the law of God is more subtle and the occasion of more scruples than that which is of the world. Wherefore by this distinction between the two rules aforesaid, I may know that, according to the nobler right, the hunter is constrained to give to the traveler somewhat in consideration of his labour and in respect of charity, fraternity and conscience, and furthermore, of good breeding and courtesy, and against avarice, injury and envy. But that the huntsman freely, and of his own will, may have the virtues aforesaid, giving to the traveler some part of the price of the stag, it is ordained by divine ordinance and temporal justice that the huntsman by temporal law be not constrained to give any part of the price to the traveler; for, were he so constrained, there would follow none of the freedom which pertains to merit, whereby man may have the virtues aforesaid, nor would temporal law be set below divine; in the which case God would have abased the nobler law to magnify the less noble, which is a thing ill-beseeming and to be rejected by all reason.”

Evast said to Blanquerna: “Tell me further, my son, if the hunter, by giving naught to the traveler, commits sin for which he merits the pains of hell.”

Blanquerna answered: “There is a difference, my lord and father, between sin mortal and venial; and if the traveler had any right to a part of the price of the stag, the ordaining of the two kinds of law aforementioned would be contrary to justice and to God, and this is a thing impossible; by the which impossibility I may understand and know that the hunter commits no mortal sin if he give naught to the traveler. But since he will use therein no courtesy nor charity, as is fitting, to mortify the conscience, therefore he commits venial sin, whereby he merits not everlasting damnation, yet merits less of eternal glory.”

All these questions, and many more which it would take over long time to relate, did Evast put to Blanquerna his son, and Blanquerna replied right perfectly to them all, answering them with effective argument. “

O God, who didst adorn Blessed Raymond, Thy martyr, with zeal for the salvation of souls and the spread of the Gospel, grant us, Thy servants, that through his intercession and mediation we may faithfully preserve unto death which we have received in Thy grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Year 2: Day 182 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Knowledge of our faith; Desire for truth.
Requested Intentions: For a family experiencing a difficult child custody case (M); Reunification of a family struggling with separation (M): For a son struggling with mental illness (M); Successful examination results (B); To be freed from the chains of sin (J); Admission to a good university (M); For successful surgery (T); 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).


  1. Duane Miller said...

    As someone who has met many Christians who came from Islam, I find Bl Ramon Llull to be very inspiring. Thank you for sharing about his faith and life.

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