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."

August 30: Saint Jeanne Jugan, Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Posted by Jacob

"Go and find him when your patience and strength run out and you feel alone and helpless. Jesus is waiting for you in the chapel. Say to him, ‘Jesus, you know exactly what is going on. You are all I have, and you know all things. Come to my help.’ And then go, and don’t worry about how you are going to manage. That you have told God about it is enough. He has a good memory."

Today, August 30, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Jeanne Jugan (1792-1842), known as Sister Mary of the Cross, and foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Saint Jeanne devoted herself to caring for the less fortunate, specifically the elderly and forgotten. While she experienced significant disappointments and difficulties in her life, Saint Jeanne modeled humility and joy in service, not in worldly recognition or acclaim. In his homily at her beatification, Pope John Paul II praised "the quiet but eloquent radiance of her life." He stated, "In our day, pride, the pursuit of efficacy, the temptation to use power all run rampant in the world, and sometimes, unfortunately, even in the Church. They become an obstacle to the coming of the Kingdom of God. This is why the spirituality of Jeanne Jugan can attract the followers of Christ and fill their hearts with simplicity and humility, with hope and evangelical joy, having their source in God and in self-forgetfulness."

Jeanne was born in Cancale (Ille-et-Vilaine), France, in the village of Petites Croix. She was baptized on the same day. Her father, a fisherman, died when she was just four years old, lost at sea, and her mother was forced to raise Jeanne and her three siblings alone. Jeanne, her brother and two sisters learned from their mother how to live in poverty, honestly and courageously with faith and love in God. Given the family’s financial state, Jeanne went to work at the age of 16 as a kitchen maid in a manor outside the village.

Jeanne worked at the manner from 16 until the age of 25, and then left home, moving to Saint Servan. There, she was employed in a hospital, where she worked as a nurse’s aide. In her work, she encountered many who were in desperate need, and Jeanne felt the call to assist them. She spurned the advances of suitors, preferring to devote herself to the suffering around her. When a young sailor asked her to marry him, she replied, "God wants me for himself. He is keeping me for a work which is not yet founded."

At 25, Jeanne joined the Third Order of the Admirable mother, an association influenced by the teachings of Saint John Eudes. In her contemplation and prayer, Jeanne sought only to serve the Lord, becoming more like Jesus through imitation and intercession of Mary, Our Blessed Mother. She sought out the most destitute, weak, and sick, giving what little she had to their care.

When Jeanne was 47, her life was to be influenced in a profound manner by an unexpected visitor to her home. On a bitterly cold winter’s evening, she opened her door to a blind and semi-paralyzed elderly woman who had been left alone. Jeanne opened her heart to his poor woman, giving up her own bed. Soon, word spread, and a second elderly woman followed, and then more after her. By 1943, over forty were being cared for by Jeanne and her three young companions. Jeanne acted as superior of the developing religious order, offering guidance and structure to those who wished to assist her in her work.

Mother Marie of the Cross, as Jeanne was now known, founded six more houses for the elderly by the end of 1849, all staffed by members of her association—the Little Sisters of the Poor. By 1853 the association numbered 500 and had houses as far away as England. However, difficult times lay in store for Jeanne. Politics outside the order led to Jeanne being “demoted” from superior to a simple alms collector. This hard task had been one she began herself, early in her life, encouraged in charity by the Brothers of Saint John of God. Despite her advancing age and the years of work she had taken to build the order, Jeanne suffered this insult and injustice in silence. She remained gentle and kind, caring and compassionate, never complaining. Instead, she relied on her faith and love of the Lord, building up the other members of her order in any way she could.

As the years passed by, Mother Marie was more and more shrouded in obscurity. Those who had seen to her demotion also insured that her contribution to the founding of the order was also erased. She was kept in the background for twenty-seven years (1852 to 1879), four at the Home in Rennes, and the last twenty-three years of her long life at La Tour Saint Joseph, the Motherhouse of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor since 1856.

Saint Jeanne died at the age of 86. Her last words were, "O Mary, my dear Mother, come to me. You know I love you and how I long to see You!" Few of her sisters knew that she was the foundress of the Order, but all recognized her gentle spirit and great influence on the charity and work of all she came in contact with. It was not until 23 years after her death that she was revealed as the founders of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Her tomb, in the crypt of the chapel of the Motherhouse, in La Tour St. Joseph (Saint Pern), attracts many pilgrims, as do her birthplace in the hamlet of Les Petites Croix, in Cancale, and the foundation’s house in Saint Servan where she labored for many years.

On July 13, 1979, the Church officially acknowledged the heroic nature of Jeanne Jugan’s virtues. Her example continues to inspire the Little Sisters of the Poor today as they continue her work of humble service to the poor.

Selected Quotations of Saint Jeanne Jugan:

“Refuse God nothing … We must do all through love.”

“Do not call me Jeanne Jugan. All that is left of her is Sister Mary of the Cross, unworthy though she is of that lovely name.”

“What happiness for us, to be a Little Sister of the Poor!”

“When you grow old, you will no longer see anything…. As for me, I no longer see anything but God!”

“Give, give us the house. If God fills it, he will not abandon it.”

“God has blessed me because I have always greatly thanked his Providence.”

“It is a great grace that God has given you in calling you to serve the poor.”

“If God is with us, it will be accomplished.”

“Little, very little, be very little before God… hidden by humility in all God wants from you, as being only the instruments of his work.”

“Let us sing the glory of our risen Jesus.”

“My good Jesus, I have only you.”

“Remain little, hidden by humility in all God wants from you, as being only the instruments of his work.”

“We must know how to efface ourselves by humility in all that God asks of us.”

“When you will be near the poor, give yourself wholeheartedly.”

“Making the elderly happy – that is what counts!”

“In our troubles, we must always say, "Blessed be God, thank you my God, or glory to God!"

“If you keep the spirit of humility and simplicity, never seeking the world’s esteem, then God will be glorified and you will obtain the conversion of souls.”

“It is so good to be poor, to have nothing, to depend on God for everything.”

“We were grafted into the Cross.”

“Refuse God nothing. Accustom yourselves to do everything for him ... Let us love him very much, that is all that is necessary.”

“God will help us; the work is his.”

“He is so good ... love God very much. All for him, do everything through love.”

“Love God very much, so that you can look after the aged well, for it is Jesus whom you care for in them.”

“My little ones, never forget that the poor are Our Lord; in caring for the poor say to yourself: This is for my Jesus – what a great grace!”

“Be kind, especially with the infirm. Love them well ... Oh yes! Be kind. It is a great grace God is giving you. In serving the aged, it is he himself whom you are serving.”

“The Hail Mary will take us to heaven.”

Jesus, you rejoiced and praised Your Father for having revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. We thank You for the graces granted to Your humble servant, Jeanne Jugan, to whom we confide our petitions and needs.

Father of the Poor, You have never refused the prayer of the lowly. We ask You, therefore, to hear the petitions she presents to You on our behalf.

Jesus, through Mary, Your Mother and ours, we ask this of You, who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and forever.


Year 2: Day 242 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Humble service to all in need.
Requested Intentions: Mother’s health (A); Financial security, freedom from anxiety (S); For a son and cousins (L); Peace and civility (B); Successful examination results (D); Safety of family, strength, courage, wisdom (C); For the souls of a departed father and brother, finding of a suitable marriage partner (R); Successful pilgrimage, deepening of prayer life (R); Restoration of health (J); Restoration of health (S); Freedom from pride (A); For children and marriage (M); For the birth of a healthy baby (Y); For personal family intentions, for the sick, poor, hungry, and homeless (G); Financial security and peace (J); Grace, peace, and obedience to the will of God in a marriage (H); Successful and blessed marriage for sin, freedom from anxiety for husband, spiritual contentedness for family (N); Employment and health for a husband (B); Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C); Financial assistance and employment (B); For a family’s intentions (T); Successful examination results (B); Healing of a friend with cancer, for all those who help others (B); Healing and love (L); Grace and healing (V); Healing of a heart, consecration of a marriage (M); Health of a family, intentions of apostolate (H); For repentance (J); For a family in trouble (R).


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