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 19: Saint Agnes of Assisi

Posted by Jacob

Today, November 19, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Agnes of Assisi (on the Franciscan Calendar, 1197-1253), younger of sister of Saint Clare of Assisi, and Abbess of the Poor Ladies of Assisi, and co-foundress of the Poor Clares. Agnes lived a simple life devoted to God. Overshadowed by her more “famous” sister both in life and death, the humble and ever obedient Agnes was content to serve others without recognition.

The younger of two daughters of Count Favorino Scifi, Agnes was likely named Caterina at birth. It was not until she followed her elder sister, Clare, to the monastery that she took the name Agnes. Her childhood was spent divided between her father’s palace in the city of Assisi, and his castle on Mount Subasio.

Agnes belonged to a pious family, rich in sacred tradition. Her mother, Blessed Hortulana, raised her daughters in sanctity, and her cousin, Rufino, was one of Saint Francis of Assisi’s “Three Companions.” From an early age, both she and her sister felt called to the religious life, although Agnes was more conflicted, also desiring the things of the world—especially marriage.

However, that all changed in 1212 when Clare left home and entered the monastery of San Damiano, inspired by the teachings of Saint Francis. Agnes, just 14, in that moment resolved to devote herself to the Lord, living in poverty and penance, and serving those in need. Her father, however, was not pleased to lose both his daughters to the religious life, and sent her uncle, Monaldo (along with several armed men), to the monastery to force Agnes to return home.

Miraculously, they were prevented from doing so. When Monaldo drew his sword to strike Agnes, his arm fell to his side, useless and lifeless. Not to be deterred, the men who accompanied him dragged her bodily from the monastery, kicking and punching her, and pulling her hair. However, Agnes’ body became so heavy that the men could not carry her, and left her in a nearby clearing. It was decided that the Lord was protecting her, so that she could remain with her sister, and the family offered their approval. Saint Francis welcomed her to the community, gave her the monk’s hair cut, and clothed her in the brown habit of poverty.

The sisters were soon joined by others, mostly noble ladies from the region who committed themselves to penance and poverty at the monastery of San Damiano. Soon, the Order of the Poor Ladies of San Damiano (known as “the Poor Clares”) was co-founded. Agnes matched her sister in devotion to prayer and in willingness to endure the strict penances which characterized their lives at San Damiano. Soon she was appointed abbess of the order, and governed with kindness, grace, charity, and love. She modeled every virtue, inspiring and encouraging her sisters to lives of deep contemplation and service. While separating from her sister was difficult, Agnes was chosen to found and govern other houses of the Order, including houses in Florence, Mantua, Padua, and Venice.

Saint Agnes was favored with many extraordinary graces by God. In the great fervor of her devotion she often levitated in prayer, and on one occasion, our Lord appeared to her in the form of an infant. From Holy Thursday until Holy Saturday she was once so rapt in the contemplation of the sufferings of Christ that she was under the impression she had spent only an hour in this mystical state.

Saint Agnes returned to the monastery, however, to minister to her sister as she grew ill. Only three months after Clare died, Agnes followed her to heaven, yet unable to be separated from her sister. Saint Agnes was canonized in 1753. Her relics are buried in the Saint Clare church in Assisi, Italy, beside her sister. Numerous miracles have been reported at her tomb.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst set up Blessed Agnes before many virgins as a model and guide to evangelical perfection, grant, we beseech Thee, that the seraphic spirit, which she so wisely taught and confirmed by her holy example, may be preserved in us from all sin. Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

Year 2: Day 323 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Humble service to the Lord and others.
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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