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."

July 14: Saint Francis Solano, "Wonder Worker of the New World"

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 14, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Francis Solano (1549-1610), Confessor, missionary, and “Wonder Worker of the New World.” Saint Francis lived a life of tireless service, and earned the respect, love, and recognition of all he encountered. Throughout all he did—including countless miracles—his zeal for the conversion of souls never waned, nor did his humility. Gentle, humble, and virtuous, Saint Francis remains an inspiration to us today, reminding us through quiet witness the world can be changed for the better.

Francis Solano was born in Montilla, in the province of Andalusia, to devout and well-respected parents. His mother, who attributed his conception and birth to the intercession of Saint Francis of Assisi, requested he receive this holy name at baptism. Educated by the Jesuits, he excelled at academic studies. A joy to his parents, Francis was the epitome of modesty, gentleness, and virtue, which earned him the respect of both his peers and teachers.

At the age of 20 Francis entered the Friars Minor. There, his supervisor needed to keep careful watch over him, to keep his zealous and strict penances and mortifications in check. In everything he did, Francis chose the worst for himself—eating little, sleeping on the floor, wearing rough clothing—and spent the greater part of each night in prayer and meditative contemplation of the Lord.

Francis completed his studies and was ordained to the priesthood, proving his zeal for the salvation of souls during an epidemic of the plague that broke out in the region. With little concern for his own health or safety, Francis ministered to the sick and dying, eventually becoming infected himself. Miraculously restored to health, Francis continued his ministry, with many beginning to regard him as a saint, even while alive. When people began speaking of him with the greatest of respect and reverence, Francis requested to be reassigned—to Africa on mission—lest he lose his humility.

His superiors, however, had a different plan in mind for Saint Francis—the New World. Francis was sent to South America with several members of the Order, assigned to the provinces of Tucuman (Argentina), Gran Chaco (Bolivia), and Paraguay. Obediently, Francis accepted his assignment, never complaining about the countless hardships the missionaries encountered. Concentrating on the indigenous peoples of the regions, Francis approached the Indians so courteously and kindly that they rejoiced at his very appearance. He learned the difficult native languages in a very short time, and he was miraculously understood wherever he went, even in those places which he visited for the first time.

Saint Francis was further gifted with the extraordinary power over the hearts of others. On one occasion, when he was in the city of La Rioja, a mass of thousands of armed Indians approached the city to slay all Europeans and Christianized Indians. Courageously, Francis went out to meet them alone. He spoke eloquently, his words softening their hearts and disarming them of their weapons and ill intent. All understood what he said although they spoke different languages. They begged him for instructions, and 9,000 were baptized.

Other miracles attributed to Saint Francis included laying his cloak on roaring streams, which would allow him safe passage, or using his mantle to sail across difficult waters to the opposite shore. He calmed wild animals with his gentle demeanor, and by placing his cord around their neck. Once when a swarm of wild locusts came up and hovered like a black cloud over the fields of the poor Indians, threatening to devastate the entire harvest, he commanded that none of them should land, and at once the swarm moved on to the mountains. Such miracles and benefits opened to him the hearts of all he encountered, who only felt love for this humble, gentle man.

During the holy season of Christmas, Saint Francis gathered his congregation around the crib, and taught them to sing the most beautiful hymns to the Christ Child while he himself accompanied them on the violin. He often cheered the sick with song and music. Once he was seen sitting under a tree, playing his beloved violin, and the birds flocked about him and sang along. He was further devoted to Our Blessed Mother, whom he praised daily in song and prayer.

After Father Francis had labored 12 years among the Indians, he was re-assigned to the Monastery at Lima, Peru, where he led the Christians of Lima away from wanton laxity, back to the tenets of the faith. Saint Francis processed through the city, calling aloud for the repentance of the inhabitants, and they were—one by one—moved to repent , receive Reconciliation, enact penances, and pray for mercy. Through his efforts and model, the city was restored.

After twenty years of tireless labor and miracle-working in South America, Saint Francis died, and was reunited with his Lord. His last words, uttered while his brethren celebrated the Mass—at the moment of the Consecration—were, “Glory to God.” The viceroy and the most distinguished persons of Lima bore the body of the poor Friar Minor to the grave. Numerous miracles—including the raising of several dead children—were reported at his tomb side. The last of the North American missions (in modern-day California) was named for him by the Franciscans, and the Church can still be visited today.

O God, who through St. Francis Solano did lead many of the nations of America to the bosom of Thy holy Church, turn away Thine anger from us through his intercession and merits, and in Thy mercy impart to the nations who still do not know Thee the fruits of Thy holy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Year 2: Day 195 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Zeal and humility
Requested Intentions: Healing of a heart and relationship (V); Employment for daughter (J); For a marriage that glorifies the Lord (K); Resolution of family situation, parents’ health (A); Positive results (C); For a son’s employment, faith, and relationships (S); Restored family relationships (A); Healthy conception and delivery of children (J); For a girlfriend’s recovery from a debilitating mental illness (J); For a daughter’s successful examination results (A); Occupational success, health and safety of family (S); Reduction in anxiety for husband, financial freedom (S); Healing for a sister-in-law (J); 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).


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment. If you wish to submit a prayer request, however, please do so above, using the "Contact" tab.