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."

November 18: Saint Rose-Philippine Duchesne

Posted by Jacob

“We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self.”

Today, November 18, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Rose-Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852), missionary, pioneer, and courageous leader of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the New World. “Mother Rose” inspires us, despite our weaknesses and failings, to turn to the Lord and place His needs and wishes before our own, drawing strength from prayer.

Rose- Philippine was born in Grenoble, France, taking the names of Saint Rose of Lima and Saint Philip, the apostle. From age eight she had a desire to evangelize in the Americas, sparked by hearing a Jesuit missionary speak of his work there. She received a basic education at home from tutors, as the family was wealthy, and religious education from her pious mother. Educated at the Convent of the Visitation of Saint Marie d'en Haut, Rose found herself drawn to the contemplative religious life, and when she reached the age of admission, became a novice there at 18 years old. Knowing that her family was opposed to a religious calling, she entered the novitiate without their knowledge or permission. Only after she had become a novice were they forced to accept her calling.

As with most religious institutions, the French Revolution scattered its members, and Rose returned to her childhood home. During this time of great upheaval, she spent her days ministering to the wounded, the displaced, and the many hungry and suffering. She founded schools for orphans and demonstrating the courageous spirit that would carry her through her life, hid priests at risk of persecution. At the conclusion of the revolution, she worked without success to reconstruct the destroyed monastery where she had taken her vows.

With nowhere to return, Rose began searching for a new order which to call home. Learning of a new congregation, the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Rose traveled to the order and presented herself at the monastery to the Foundress, Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat. Within the year, Mother Barat received Rose and several companions as novices in the Society.

Rose felt drawn to both the contemplative life, but also to missionary work—a calling she had felt strongly since she was a child. In a letter she wrote to Mother Barat, she confided a spiritual experience she had had during a night of adoration before the Eucharist on Holy Thursday: "I spent the entire night in the New World ... carrying the Blessed Sacrament to all parts of the land ... I had all my sacrifices to offer: a mother, sisters, family, my mountain! When you say to me 'now I send you', I will respond quickly 'I go.” It was not, however, her time, and Rose spent the next 12 years in quiet contemplative monastic life.

Eventually, in 1818, however, Rose and some companions were dispatched to the New World, specifically the Louisiana Territory, to evangelize and teach Native Indian and French children. Diseases contracted on the voyage left her health frail, and again, traveling up the cold Mississippi River, Rose nearly died. However, she recovered, and founded the first house of the Society outside France, in a log cabin, near Saint Louis. Frontier life, including extreme cold, demanding manual labor, little food, and lack of money, created significant difficulties, and the small community struggled to survive the harsh conditions. In addition, the sisters, including Mother Rose, had difficulty learning English, and were unable to speak the native language of the Potawatomi Indians. "Poverty and Christian heroism are here," she wrote, "and trials are the riches of priests in this land."

But she was not to be deterred. In 1820, the first free school west of the Mississippi was opened by members of the Sacred Heart. Over the course of the next eight years, Mother Rose opened an additional six houses, schools for young women. While she loved and served these women with all her heart, she felt called to work amongst the Potawatomi Indians, and at age 72, when no longer Superior of the Order in the New World, dedicated herself to them.

A new school had recently been opened in Kansas. While old and somewhat of frail health (due to the long cold winters and harsh conditions), Mother Rose volunteered. The Jesuit in charge of the mission accepted without hesitation, stating: "She must come; she may not be able to do much work, but she will assure success to the mission by praying for us. Her very presence will draw down all manner of heavenly favors on the work.” While she remained at the mission for only one year, her influence amongst the people was profound, and her model of sanctity and prayer had long-lasting impact. Rose’s long hours of contemplation led to her Indian name: Quah-kah-ka-num-ad, "Woman-Who-Prays-Always.” Unable to learn the language, Rose spent her days in contemplative prayer. Legend has it that Native American children sneaked behind her as she knelt and sprinkled bits of paper or kernels of corn on her habit, only to come back hours later to find them undisturbed.

With her health failing, Rose was forced to return to Saint Charles, although in her writings it is apparent that she never lost her desire for mission work. Shortly before her death, she wrote, “I feel the same longing for the Rocky Mountain missions and any others like them, that I experienced in France when I first begged to come to America...".

Saint Rose died at St. Charles, Missouri, at the age of 83. Her last words were, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart, my soul, and my life — oh yes, my life, generously!” She was beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1940 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988. Her life of courageous evangelization, steadfast pioneer spirit, and reliance on prayer and the Lord to accomplish great things despite human weakness remain inspirational to us today.

Year 2: Day 322 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Lives of courageous service to the Lord and one another!
Requested Intentions: Blessings on overseas employment (M); Healing of mother (L); Successful employment for husband (G); Successful employment, personal fulfillment (C); Health and recovery of ill sister (A);  Resolution of legal issues; Grace and protection (E); Successful and meaningful employment (S); 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).


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