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."

December 11: Saint Daniel the Stylite

Posted by Jacob

Today, December 11, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Daniel the Stylite (409-490), hermit, preacher, counselor to emperors, and pillar-dwelling saint consecrated to the Lord. Daniel spent his life living atop a narrow pillar, offering spiritual guidance and the Eucharist to those who came to him. His detachment from the world allowed him to read the hearts of man, observe the actions of all, and offer direct and effective sermon and counsel to all who would listen. While pillar-living never appealed to western Christian hermits, it was a popular method of dedication to the Lord in the middle east and eastern Church. There, those who observed this seemingly strange manner of life were deeply moved by its symbolism and it’s warning against worldliness. It was a life of austerity and public scrutiny, and Daniel embraced both as a model of discipline, obedience, and wisdom.

Daniel was born in Maratha, Syria. From an early age he voiced interested in becoming a monk, and demonstrated the piety, sacrifice, and holiness the calling would require. His parents dedicated him to the Lord, and he entered the monastery at Samosata on the Upper Euphrates at the age of 12, and lived in relative peace and discipline, earning the respect of his brothers. When time came to choose a new abbot, they selected Daniel, who, in humility, declined. Rather, he had intentions of living in hermitude. During this time, Daniel learned of Saint Simeon the Stylite, the most famous of the pillar-dwellers. Daniel visited Saint Simeon on two occasions, receiving counsel and a blessing from the great hermit. Saint Simeon also told Daniel that he would suffer greatly for Christ.

At the age of 42, Daniel decided to embrace the life of a stylite, and set off for the Holy Lands to dwell. However, he received a vision of Saint Simeon, and instead traveled to Constantinople—the city he would spend the remainder of his days. Taking his “first steps upward,” Daniel lived on a series of pillars constructed for him by Emperor Leo I for the remaining 33 days of his life. The pillars were open to the elements, and narrow enough that we has generally forced to stand all day, every day, until collapsing. The nights were sometimes well below freezing, but Daniel embraced this as the suffering foretold by Saint Simeon.

Daniel became somewhat of a local celebrity, attracting many to come and sit beneath his pillar. There, he preached, celebrated Mass, offered spiritual direction and counsel, and performed many miraculous cures of the sick and weak who were brought to him. He was ordained atop his pillar by Saint Gennadius, and lived to offer prudent counsel to Emperors Leo and Zeno, and the patriarch of Constantinople. In 465, for example, he warned the emperor that fire would strike the capital city unless the people said public prayers twice a week to avert it. The warning was ignored, and Constantinople was in large part destroyed by fire. The fact that Saint Daniel had predicted this made him still more highly regarded by the people who had earlier paid no attention to his warnings. In 33 years, Daniel came down from his pillar only once, to combat heresy through advising Emperor Baliscus. Following that meeting, he returned to his pillar spirituality.

At that age of 84, Daniel knew his life was drawing to a close. Weak and atrophied from a lifetime of little movement, he celebrated a midnight Mass and died quietly thereafter atop his pillar. Saint Daniel was buried at the foot of the pillar he had dwelt on, dedicating himself through asceticism, prayer, and penance to the Lord. The life of Saint Daniel the Stylite reminds us that there are many ways to live a spiritual life. All of us have our own way to be close to God every day. Our task is to find the way our own personal manner in which to love and serve the Lord.

Thou becamest a pillar of patience and didst emulate the Forefathers, O righteous one: Job in his sufferings, Joseph in temptations, and the life of the bodiless while in the body, O Daniel, our righteous Father, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

With longing and zeal for things on high, O righteous one, thou leftest behind all things that are found here below, when thou builtest thy pillar as another Heaven whence thou didst flash with the light of wonders and signs. Do thou ever pray Christ that our souls be saved. Amen.

Year 2: Day 345 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courage to live our faith visibly.
Requested Intentions: Financial security, successful employment (J); Obedience to God’s will (A); Conversion of souls (A); Success of business venture; faith of daughter (S);  Safe return home (J); Recovery of mother and son; repose of the souls of the dearly departed (A); Blessings upon a relationship (M); Sobriety and recovery for a son (M); Employment and successful marriage (A); Employment, healing, freedom from anxiety (T); Financial security (C); Conversion (T); Peace in difficult times at work (E); Financial security and blessings for mother and children (T); 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).


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