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 19: Blessed Pope Urban V

Posted by Jacob

Today, December 19, we celebrate the feast day of Blessed Pope Urban V (1310-1370), a “second choice” pontiff, who upon accepting the Chair of Peter, worked to reform the struggling Church and reunite the many factions present at that time. A man of great humility, Pope Urban declined the luxuries available to both popes and priests at that time, preferring to live modestly, wear his Benedictine robes, and commune with everyday people.

Born Guillaume de Grimoald, Pope Urban V was a native of France, growing up in Languidoc. While we know little about his early life, he became a Benedictine monk, earning a doctorate in Canon Law, and taught at Montpellier and Avignon. As abbot of the Saint-Victor community in Marseilles, he was chosen as a papal legate, and sent on various missions to Avignon and Naples. It was during one of these trips that he was elected pope, after the first man offered the position declined. Pope Urban V served the Church for eight years, from 1362 until his death.

Remembered as deeply spiritual and brilliantly intellectual, Pope Urban immediately set about enacting reform. A severe disciplinarian, he encouraged the clergy to shed the privileges and wealth of their positions, and to live more simply and modestly. He further enacted reforms in many Orders, restored churches and monasteries, founded several colleges and institutions of learning, and made great strides in reconciling rifts between the Eastern and Western churches.

Throughout his papacy, Pope Urban continued to follow the Benedictine Rule. He refused to wear papal fineries, instead preferring his simple monk’s robe. He further requested to be moved from the papal palace to the simple home of his brother, that he might live “among ordinary people.”

Virtuous and honest, Pope Urban V sought to return the seat of the papacy to Rome, from Avignon where it had been exiled years prior. He died before being able to accomplish this task, but set the stage the later move. It is said that as he lay dying in his brother’s house, he called the people to surround his deathbed saying “the people must see how popes die.” His body, was buried at Avignon and then later translated to Marseille according to his wishes. Pope Urban’s tomb became the site of many miracles.

Pope Urban V’s life was one of surprises. Not even a cardinal, he was elected to the Chair of Peter, and for eight years, served steadily, justly, and virtuously. Given the political and scandalous climate of Europe at that time, his virtues shine all the more brightly. A simple and humble man, through his example, Pope Urban ushered in a reformed and more modest clergy, better able to attend to the needs of their congregations. We pray today for similar reform and guidance in the Church, that honestly, virtue, and justice shine forth like the sun.

Year 2: Day 353 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Honesty, virtue, justice in the Church.
Requested Intentions: Healing (M); Safety, security, and sanctity for a family (A); Healing (N); Successful relationship (N); Healing of a friend; growth in the Lord (M); To hear and answer the Lord’s call (M); Healing of a friend undergoing chemotherapy (L); For the peace, safety, and holiness of a sister (J); Financial security (C); Conversion of a newly married couple (M); Peace in a family (S); Peaceful repose of departed mother (J); Blessings on a relationship (J); 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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