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."

Our Lady of Beauraing: The First Apparition

Posted by Jacob

Today, November 29, marks the 80th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Blessed Mother to five children in Beauraing, Belgium in 1932. Over the next three months, ending on January 3, 1933, Mary appeared 33 times at the playground of a convent school the five visionaries, children who belonged to two families: the Voisins (Fernande, 15 years; Gilberte, 13 years; and Albert 11 years) and the Degeimbres (Andree, 14 years, and Gilberte, 9 years old). Identifying herself as "the Immaculate Virgin" and "Mother of God, Queen of Heaven," Our Blessed Mother urged the children to “be good” and to pray for the conversion of sinners. Our Lady of Beauraing is also known as the “Virgin of the Golden Heart,” as her heart seemed to glow with a golden radiance when she appeared to the children.

Beauraing, Belgium is a small farming village that lies about sixty miles southeast of Brussels. At the time of the apparitions, the population numbered just 2000. Depression was upon Europe, and unemployment, poverty, and hunger were common. The faithful were falling away from the Church, and anti-Christian political movements were gaining power. The Voisins and the Degeimbres remained practicing Catholics at that time, although only sporadically. However, like many families in Europe at the time, they continued to send one of their children to be educated at a Catholic school. Gilberte was to receive a Catholic education from the Sisters of Christian Doctrine. Each night, Gilberte’s older sister, Fernande (age 15) and younger brother, Albert (age 11) went to meet their sister at the academy after school. This was nothing unusual – they would often walk Gilberte home. On the way to the academy two other girls joined them: Andree Degeimbre (age 14) and Gilberte Degeimbre (age 9). All the children were friends.

As was their habit, the four ran through the quiet town, playing games and mischievously playing pranks on their neighbors in the dark night. That night, however, something was different. November 29, 1932 would mark their first encounter with “the beautiful lady,” although only from a distance. Upon arriving at the convent, the four children played in the garden, waiting for Gilberte to finish school. In the garden was a small statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. Beyond the garden was the street, and above it a small railroad bridge. As the four were playing, Albert glanced at the bridge, and noticed a lady, dressed all in white, floating as if walking on air above them. As he watched, he clearly could make out the figure bending her knees, walking.

Albert shouted to the others, gaining their attention, and gesturing at the bridge. “It’s the Virgin walking above the bridge!” he exclaimed, his voice noticeably higher and slightly peculiar sounding to the others. They were surprised—even curious—but thought him to be joking. But upon closer examination, they, too, saw her and confirmed “she could be the Blessed Virgin Mary!”

As they were marveling at the appearance of the beautiful lady walking on air, Sister Valeria, Gilberte’s teacher, opened the academy door to allow Gilberte to join her friends. Immediately, she sensed something different about the children. Rather than laughing and joking, they were all quite pale, and somehow appeared anxious. They ran to her, and quickly told her of their vision, pointing to the bridge, and exclaiming their faith. Sister Valeria saw nothing, however, and moved into the garden, turned on lights, and squinted… but she saw no lady on the bridge.

Sister Valeria scolded the children, thinking them playing a prank. Upon turning, however, she discovered that Gilberte—who had been with her, and could not have been involved in this trickery—too, saw the beautiful lady. Gilberte described her as wearing a long, white gown and a long, silk veil that flowed to a small cloud covering her feet—as if walking on air! The beautiful lady gave off a radiant light, which grew in intensity as she approached. Her hands were folded in prayer, and as she neared them, she smiled, but said nothing. Later, all they could say was that her eyes were a deep and magnetic blue, and that she was beautiful.

Sister Valeria, cold and irritated, sent the children away, instructing them not to play pranks, nor to tell anyone the story they had told her. At supper, however, she recounted their story to the Superior Mother of the house, but was instructed to forget it as it was simply the immature story of a group of children. The children, for their part, ran home and immediately told their parents, eager to share their exciting news. Of course, they were not believed, and instead, were scolded for lying. Their friends teased them the next day, and several were taken to see the family physician, as they were concerned for their mental health.

Over the next several nights, however, the children would see Our Blessed Mother on the bridge again, always walking toward them, never speaking. After repeatedly telling their parents, they were encouraged to ask the Lady her name. This they would courageously do on December 2, the evening of the next phase of apparitions.

Our Lady would return to the children thirty-three times over the next 10 weeks, bringing with her a message of peace, penance, and prayer for the conversion of sinners. Our Blessed Mother graced us with her golden heart, encouraging us to sacrifice ourselves for the Lord, and for the salvation of the world. We pray today, on the anniversary of the first apparition, for conversion of sinners, peace, and salvation.

Our Lady of Beauraing, Immaculate Virgin, bring to Jesus, your Son, all the intentions that we entrust to you today. Mother of the Golden Heart, reflection of the Father's tenderness, look upon the men and women of our time with love and fill them with the joy of your presence. You, who promised to convert sinners, help us discover the infinite mercy of our God. Awaken within us the grace of conversion so that our lives may be a reflection of that mercy. Make every moment of our existence "a yes" to the question you ask today: "Do you love my Son? Do you love me?" Then the kingdom of Jesus will come to the world. Amen.

Year 2: Day 333 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Conversion; Peace; Salvation.
Requested Intentions: Financial security for a mother (M); Health, finances, successful marriage (A); Successful resolution of court case for son (K); Continued sobriety (N); Healing of a chronic health condition (B); Successful employment (A): Peace in a family, recovery of a niece from substance use (L); Blessings on a marriage, healing of a husband (P); For the health and recovery of sisters (B); For a daughter and granddaughter (D); 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).


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