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 5: Saint Zoe of Rome

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 5, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Zoe of Rome (died 286), Martyr of the Church gifted with speech through the miraculous intercession of Saint Sebastian.  Through her witness, many were brought to Christ

Saint Zoe was a noblewoman, married to Nicostratus, a high Roman court official and jailer.  She lived during the early persecution of Christians, under the reign and order of Emperor Diocletian. Saint Zoe’s life is recounted in the acts of Saint Sebastian, whom she interacted with prior to her martyrdom.

As recorded by Saint Sebastian, Zoe was unable to speak for at least six years when she met him.  Upon greeting him, Zoe fell at the holy man’s feet, and through pantomime and gesture begged that he restore her ability to speak.  Saint Sebastian blessed her with the Sign of the Cross, and she immediately began to speak, preaching to all who would listen, and glorifying the Lord.  Saint Zoe then recounted the vision she had received while being healed, that of an angel standing beside Saint Sebastian, holding an open book in which everything he had said was written.   Many were present at her healing, and through this miracle, and her subsequent preaching, were brought to the faith.

Zoe and her husband, Nicostratus, asked to be baptized, and Saint Sebastian agreed, urging Nicostratus to serve Christ, rather than the Emperor.  The jailer did just that, assembling all the prisoners who believed in Christ, so that they, too, might be baptized by this holy man. Nicostratus instructed that the prisoners be led to his house, where Sebastian spoke to them of the faith, and summoned Saint Polycarp, who prepared them for entrance into the Church.

Claudius informed Nicostratus that the Emperor wanted to know why the prisoners were gathered at his house. Nicostratus told him about the healing of his wife, and Claudius, hopeful for the health of his own children, brought his own sick sons, Symphorian and Felix, to Saint Sebastian. That evening, Polycarp baptized sixty-four new Christians, including Nicostratus and all his family, Claudius and his sons, and also sixteen condemned prisoners. The newly baptized remained in Rome, despite the fact that it was unsafe.  Soon, the Emperor was searching for this new Christian community.

Saint Zoe was the first to be arrested, while praying at the tomb of the Apostle Peter, to whom she was especially devoted.  At her trial, Saint Zoe bravely confessed her faith in Christ, refusing to recant, and speaking so loudly and zealously that others were inflamed with the love of Christ.  Sentenced to death, she was hung by her hair over a fire, and her body thrown into the River Tiber after death.  Saint Zoe later appeared to Saint Sebastian—who was awaiting execution in prison—and told him about her death in a vision.  He recorded her acts, so that her courage and faith might inspire us even today.

Thy Martyrs, O Lord, by their struggles have received from thee, our God, imperishable crowns; because, acquiring thy strength, they demolished usurpers and crushed the powerless might of Satan. Therefore, through their intercessions, O Christ God, save our souls.

Year 2: Day 186 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courage in the face of difficulty; Comfort in the truth of our faith.
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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