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 18: Saint Juan de Massias

Posted by Jacob

Today, September 18, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Juan de Massias (1585-1645), Dominican monk in Lima, Peru, who was especially devoted to caring for the poor of the city. Saint Juan served his brethren in the most menial of tasks, always without complaint. He is remembered for his austerities, miracles, and visions.

Born as Juan de Arcas Sanchez, Juan grew up in Extremadura, Spain. His parents were pious, but poor, and died while Juan was quite young. At four years old, orphaned, and living with his uncle, Juan apparently changed his name, and began working as a shepherd. It was during his youth that he received a heavenly vision which commanded him to travel to Peru. During his long hours in the fields with the sheep, when there was nothing particular to do except keep his eyes open, Juan would pray the Rosary and meditate on the Christian mysteries, and it sometimes appeared that the holy ones were there, visible and talking to him. He was especially comforted by visions of Our Blessed Mother and Saint John the Evangelist.

At the age of 25, Juan began working for a wealthy businessman, who offered him the opportunity to travel to South America. Juan took advantage of the offer, landing in Colombia, where he worked for some time as a shepherd. Over time, he worked his way to Ecuador, and then finally to Peru, arriving in his mid-thirties. Confident in his abilities and talents as a sheepherder, he worked with other shepherds in the outskirts of the capital city.

Receiving another vision, Juan found his way into the heart of Lima, and was received by the Dominican lay brothers at their house. Following his observation of the brothers, his sense of piety eventually led him to part with all of his belongings, giving them to the poor. He was admitted to the Order as a cooperator brother, and one year later took his vows. At the Dominican friary, he worked as porter and doorkeeper for over 20 years. He befriended Dominican saint, Martin de Porres, and like Saint Martin worked tirelessly for the care of the poor.

At the friary, Juan’s life was filled with fervent prayer, frequent penance, and charity. As a result of his austerity (and the fact that he slept only one hour each night, always on his knees), he soon fell ill and had to have a risky surgery. Nevertheless, he continued to care for the sick and needy as they waited at the friary gates. Beggars, disabled people, and others of the disadvantaged where commonplace throughout Lima, and they flocked to him at the friary gates for counsel and comfort. The upper classes where also no strangers to him; they also sought his counsel at the gates. While Juan desired more than anything a quiet, contemplative life, his job as porter forced him to interact consistently with all those who came to the friary. Through his obedience to his post, Juan perfected his submission to the will of God. He found joy in the most menial of tasks, spending his days cleaning and engaged in manual labor. He was further noted for his visions and his endless praying of the Holy Rosary-- It is said that through his prayers for the release of the souls in purgatory, he freed over a million souls through his daily Rosaries!

Saint Juan died at the age of 60 of natural causes. He is venerated at the church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Lima. He never preached eloquent sermons or left written homilies or texts. Rather, his humility, service, and obedience to the Will of God, inspire us to live lives more fully realized in the grace of God.

O God, who was pleased that John, Thy Confessor, early endowed with the richness of Thy grace, should in a lowly state of life blossom with a brilliance of virtue, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to follow his footsteps that by purity of mind we may merit to come to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Year 2: Day 259 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Sincere spirits of repentance and conversion
Requested Intentions: Clear speech for a child (C); Conversion of a family (A); Successful employment (S); For the healing of impaired vision (F); For a couple experiencing difficulties (L); Successful employment after finishing college (M); 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).


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