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."

October 21: Saint Gaspar del Bufalo

Posted by Jacob

“Here is the fruit that I experience within myself as the result of this visitation of God; … I have come to realize more and more how needful I am of establishing myself in God's ways and how urgent prayer is, even though I must say that it has always been my delight; I would like to help sanctify the whole world.”

Today, October 21, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Gaspar del Bufalo (1786-1837), apostle of the devotion to the Precious Blood, and founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.

Saint Gaspar was born in Rome on January 6, 1786. His father and mother, who served royalty, were both firmly rooted in the faith, pious, and instructed their son with diligence. His mother, for her part, recognized Gaspar’s call to the Lord, and prepared him through instruction and witness for his service to the world, raising him with virtue and faith.

Early in his life, Gaspar showed a great concern for the poor and sick. He had been quite ill as a child, nearly dying at the age of two and only cured through the intercession of Saint Francis Xavier. Because of this, and the deep respect he had for all human live, Gaspar spent his summers and breaks from education serving the poor, finding and bringing them food, and ministering to those in the hospital. At age 18, together with some of his classmates, Gaspar organized a program to minister to the marginalized of society, offering religious instruction to the peasants from rural areas who came to Rome to sell their hay. Through this program, he provided catechism for orphans and the children of the poor, and established night shelters for those with no place to call home.

Gaspar was ordained a priest at age 22. Shortly thereafter, he was exiled and imprisoned for refusing to take an oath of allegiance to Napoleon. The emperor had taken control of the Papal States and was forcing all the clergy of Rome to take the oath. Gaspar famously responded: "I would rather die or suffer evil than to take such an oath. I cannot, I must not, I will not."

His adamant proclamation led to imprisonment, and during his five years in jail, he began to envision a new religious community that would be dedicated to the precious blood of Christ. Despite his failing health, his spirit expanded and upon release, he founded the Congregation of Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood in Giano. He wanted his missionaries to be people who were dedicated to preaching God's word through missions and retreats. Further, his community would rely on and emphasize devotion to the Precious Blood, in order to be a source of on-going renewal for the people of God and for the world.

Prior to Gaspar's time, devotion to the Precious Blood had been restricted to a select few. Many Church leaders took offense to his preaching of this devotion, preferring it should receive the extreme reverence reserved for the name of God in the Old Testament. Gaspar, however, longed to make the devotion "one that was broad and social enough to challenge all mankind."

He wrote: "In every era the Lord has inspired certain devotions to stem the tide of iniquity. We also see that in times past the Church was attacked in this or that doctrine. Today the war is being waged against religion as such and against Christ Crucified. We need, therefore, to reemphasize the glories of the Cross and of our Crucified Redeemer, to reopen the fountains of mercy just when the devil would make us the victim of wrath. Now, more than ever, it is opportune to tell people at what price our souls were redeemed. We must let it be known how the Blood of Christ cleanses the souls and sanctifies them, particularly by means of the sacraments. We must arouse them from their insensibility by reminding them that His Blood is offered up every morning upon the altars and that instead of blasphemy and insult, we should give it adoration and praise."

For the remainder of his life—a life beset by controversy in that he was accused of heresy many times for spreading devotion to the Precious Blood, each time successfully defending himself—Saint Gaspar worked diligently to serve the poor by expanding his congregation. he died on December 28, 1837. The medical report referred to him a "victim of charity" because even though he was in ill health himself, he ministered to the victims of the cholera epidemic that broke out in Rome. His body lies in the Church of Santa Maria, where it remains enshrined for the veneration of the faithful.

Loving God, you made St. Gaspar del Bufalo a priest and outstanding apostle of the Precious Blood of your Son. Through his intercession grant that we may experience the abundant fruits of the price of our redemption. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Year 2: Day 294 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Service; Increased devotion to Jesus.
Requested Intentions: Restoration of a marriage (A); Peace and tolerance in a family, support for those with Parkinson’s Disease (M); For the restoration of a daughter’s marriage, end to debt (S); Employment and continued strength (K); Successful examinations for a son (J); Employment and blessings of a child (S); Employment and financial security (F); Successful work placement, continued health (A); Grace and healing for a family (P); Healing of a father (M); Academic success for son, employment for husband and brother (B); Freedom from anxiety and panic attacks (R); Health and healing in preparation for surgery (C); Healing of a chronic illness (P); Safety of a family during storms (A); Successful home ownership (P); Healing of a marriage (M); Employment for a husband, blessings for a marriage (E); Successful examinations for a daughter, healing of a relationships (V); Blessing for a family (V); Healing of baby girl M and all children suffering (M); Special intentions (R); Business success, peace, health (E); Conversion and deliverance of those who suffer, increase in vocations (M); Financial security and safe housing (M); For a daughter (K).


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