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 3: Saint Thomas the Apostle

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 3, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Thomas the Apostle (died 72), original disciple of Jesus, and holy man of change and courage. Remembered most often for doubting the Resurrection of Jesus following the crucifixion, Saint Thomas should also be remembered for his role in the teachings of Christ. Following the questioning of Thomas, great truths were revealed to the twelve.

Jesus uses the disbelief of Thomas to teach the disciples a lesson of faith. Thomas says: “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” ( John 20:25); but eight days later he made his act of faith, drawing down the rebuke of Jesus: “Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.” (John 20:29).

Similarly, at the Last Supper (the Institution of the Holy Eucharist), Thomas raises an important question, stating “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Thomas’ question reveals the greatest truth of salvation, when Jesus replies: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Saint Thomas may also be remembered for his courage: When Jesus announced His intention of returning to Judea to visit Lazarus, “Thomas” who is called Didymus [the twin], said to his fellow disciples: “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16). Thomas knew the danger of returning to Judea, given the mounting hostilities of the authorities of that region, but he was willing and ready to walk into danger (and possible death) for Jesus.

Saint Thomas turned from his doubt, and embraced the truth of the Resurrection and the truth of Jesus Christ. Following Pentecost, when the disciples spread throughout the region, Thomas set off on a difficult course of missionary work, his travels taking him to the Parthians, Medes, and Persians. He is believed to be the only original disciple to preach outside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, and also the missionary who traveled the farthest during that time. Holy legend tells us that Thomas ultimately reached India, carrying the Gospel of Jesus to the Malabar coast, which today boasts a large native population who call themselves "Christians of Saint Thomas."

Thomas worked on the Malabar coast and throughout India for many years, building the Church of God in that region, sometimes with his bare hands. He was eventually martyred by spears while praying on a hill in Mylapur in approximately 72 A.D. His body was buried near the site of his death, and a grand church (still standing today) was built to house his tomb. The relics of Saint Thomas were subsequently translated to Mesopotamia, and then again to Ortona, Italy in the thirteenth century (where they remain today).
Saint Thomas has earned himself a rather bad reputation with one statement. However, he also uttered what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and My God!” (John 20: 28). In so simply and beautifully expressing his faith, Thomas gave all Christians a prayer, said most frequently during the Holy Eucharist.
Saint John Chrysostom said about Thomas: “Thomas, being once weaker in faith than the other apostles, toiled through the grace of God more bravely, more zealously and tirelessly than them all, so that he went preaching over nearly all the earth, not fearing to proclaim the Word of God to savage nations.” If Thomas can change, so, too, can we. When our faith is shaken, we think of Thomas’ doubt… but we also must think of his courage. What will we accomplish when our faith overflows within us, pouring forth in the courageous acclamation, “My Lord and My God!”?

O Glorious Saint Thomas, your grief for Jesus was such that it would not let you believe He had risen unless you actually saw Him and touched His wounds. But your love for Jesus was equally great and it led you to give up your life for Him. Pray for us that we may grieve for our sins which were the cause of Christ's sufferings. Help us to give ourselves in His service and so earn the title of "blessed" which Jesus applied to those who would believe in Him without seeing Him.

Year 2: Day 184 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courage and faith; The capacity to change.
Requested Intentions: 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).


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