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."

The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns

Posted by Jacob

Today, Good Friday, Jesus continues His steady march toward death, bringing us ever closer to forgiveness and new life. On the eve of His suffering, Holy Thursday, Jesus had celebrated the Passover with His disciples, and then taken Peter, James, and John with Him to the garden of Gethsemane. There, He prayed in agony until His arrest.

Jesus has been tried and condemned to death. He has been mocked and painfully scourged. And now He must endure the humiliation of the Roman soldiers, drawing upon Himself the vanity, pride, and rebellion hidden in the hearts of all mankind. The Crowning with Thorns is the Third Sorrowful Mystery of the Holy Rosary.
16The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18And they began to call out to him, "Hail, king of the Jews!" 19Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. (Mark 15: 16-20)

The crown of thorns may not have physically hurt Jesus—this is something that Biblical scholars disagree on. Some insist that the sharp thorns pierced the scalp (and even the skull) of Our Lord, oftentimes depicted in art. Others suggest that this crown of thorns was, in reality, a decorative garland used in royal ceremonies, and that by the soldiers placing in on the head of Jesus, it was a final act of mockery, degradation, and insult.

Whatever the case, the audience of Jesus in front of the Roman soldiers serves to strip Our Lord of His dignity, to make a farce out of His claims, to nullify the power of God. But we know this not to be the case. As the Roman soldiers judge Him, we know that Jesus sits in judgment of all. As they hurt Him, we know that He is the great healer. As they make Him less than human, we know that He is divine.

The crowning with thorns reminds us of our pride and our vanity. It reminds us that when we judge others, mock others, insult others, degrade others, we are re-enacting the humiliation of the Roman soldiers. We are reminded that the Lord allowed Himself to be brought low for our sins, because He loves us. We are reminded that everything we have belongs to Him and everything we do comes from Him. We are reminded that despite our cruelty, Jesus is Our Lord, and wears not a crown of thorns, but one of radiant light!


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