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."

September 1: Saint Fiacre

Posted by Jacob

Today, September 1, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Fiacre (also known as Fiacre of Meaux, or Saint Fiachra, died 670), miracle worker, monastery founder, and patron saint of gardeners and cab drivers. Through a simple life of solitude, Saint Fiacre brought many to the Lord, as his hermitage became a place of pilgrimage, miraculous healings, and spiritual guidance and direction.

Fiacre was born in Ireland, and raised in a monastery surrounded by pious and contemplative monks. As was common at the time, new knowledge and learning from around the globe was deposited at monasteries, which were the seats of knowledge. Along with spices and other exotic discoveries, the monastery where Fiacre was raised was also home to many seeds and exotic plants brought from Europe and the Holy Land. Fiacre spent his days at the monastery in quiet contemplation, working in the garden, learning to find the Lord in the silence and radiance of nature.

Fiacre longed to worship and serve the Lord with his entire being, but preferred to do so in silence and isolation, lest he be distracted by others. He established a hermitage in a wooded area far from the monastery, living in a cave. His quest for peace was not to be, however, as soon many flocked to his cave, longing for prayers, food, and healing. He served all who sought him, both bodily and spiritually, and the herbs from his garden became known for miraculous cures of illnesses. Fiacre had the gift of healing by laying on his hands-- blindness, tumors, and fevers are mentioned as being cured by his touch.

Having attracted too great a following, Fiacre left his homeland and traveled to France where the Bishop of Meaux granted him land to build a new hermitage. Located near the Marne river, Fiacre build a small hut in which to live and worship. He also built an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin, and made a hospice for travelers which developed into the village of Saint-Fiacre in Seine-et-Marne. However, he missed his garden and requested more land from the kindly bishop. Bishop Faro told Fiacre he could have as much land as he could clear in one day. Holy legend recounts Fiacre’s first miracle in France, as upon waking the next morning, he dragged his walking staff along the ground, and in doing so, the trees toppled and bushes were uprooted. He cleared for himself a sizable garden in which to grow fruits, herbs, and vegetables. As word of his miracle spread, people again began visiting the hermit in pilgrimage, praying for food, healing, and spiritual direction. Anne of Austria, Queen of France, was a frequent pilgrim, offering her prayers outside the door, amongst the other pilgrims.

Fiacre, despite his wishes for solitude, turned no one away. Soon, a small community, later becoming a monastery, had grown up in the woods around his garden. He welcomed all, providing food, healing, and beauty through his garden—which became the center of the monastery. Under his cultivation, a fruit and vegetable garden fed the poor, an herb garden cured the sick of their maladies, and a flower garden reminded all who visited of the splendor and glory of the Lord.

Saint Fiacre died in advances years, and his monastery continued to thrive. Pilgrims still visit the shrine of Saint Fiacre, and miraculous cures of mind, body, and spirit continue to be reported. His relics at Meaux are invoked against all sorts of physical ills, including venereal disease (for which he is considered a patron). He is also a patron saint of gardeners and of cab-drivers of Paris. French cabs are called fiacres because the first establishment to let coaches on hire, in the middle of the seventeenth century, was in the Rue Saint-Martin, near the hotel Saint-Fiacre, in Paris.

Saint Fiacre’s life reminds us that our wishes are not always what the Lord has planned for us. Time and time again, Fiacre attempted to withdraw from the world and live in solitude, but every time he tried, the Lord bestowed upon him miraculous abilities to restore the faith of countless pilgrims. Saint Fiacre reminds us to look for the Lord in all we do, and to find Him in the beauty that surround us.

Year 2: Day 244 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Hearts open to the Will of God.
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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