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."

May 15: Saint Dymphna, Patron Saint of the Mentally Ill

Posted by Jacob

Almighty and loving Father, by the example of St. Dymphna, Virgin and martyr, and by her intercession protect all those afflicted by tension and emotional stress, to enjoy your protection in life, and eternal happiness in your presence now and forever. Through Christ, our Lord, I ask. Amen.

Today, May 15, we celebrate the feast of Saint Dymphna (seventh century ), Virgin, Martyr, and patroness of those suffering from nervous disorders, mental afflictions, neurological problems, and mental health professionals. The story of Saint Dymphna’s life and martyrdom was preserved in her Acts, written in the thirteenth century. Her life is based upon oral tradition and a persuasive history of inexplicable and miraculous healings through her intercession.

Saint Dymphna was born the daughter of an Irish pagan chief and his Christian wife. Dymphna, like her mother, was blessed with grace, beauty, and virtue, and under the tutelage of local women, grew in her Christian faith. Baptized by a local priest, Father Garabran, Dymphna spent her days in pious reflection and prayer. Dymphna was a bright and eager pupil, and advanced rapidly in wisdom and grace. When still very young, being filled with fervor and love for Jesus Christ, Dymphna chose Him for her Divine Spouse and consecrated her virginity to Him and to His Blessed Mother by a vow of chastity.

Sadly, when Dymphna was just fourteen years old, her beautiful mother died, and her father was plunged into despair. His grief overtook him, and he dispatched messengers throughout the lands to find other women of noble birth who physically resembled his late wife so that he might re-marry. When none could be located, he was advised to marry his own daughter, Dymphna.

Dymphna’s father spoke to her of his plan, and she was horrified. She begged for forty days to consider his offer, and upon being granted her request, fled to Father Garabran who advised her to leave her homeland and live in exile to preserve her chastity. This she did, accompanied by her spiritual advisor and two friends. Together, they traveled into modern-day Belgium, settling in the tiny village of Gheel.

Dymphna’s father learned of her flight, and dispatched soldiers to locate her. Eventually, they set upon her and her companions in Gheel, and while Father Garabran defended her faith and chastity, it was ordered that his head be severed. Following his death, Dymphna’s father attempted to persuade her to return home. Unsuccessful and enraged with grief, he drew a dagger and severed her beautiful head, earning Dymphna the glory of the Martyr’s crown.

Tradition tells us that the relics of Dymphna and Garabran were buried in Gheel, and later discovered due to an inscribed brick placed in one of the coffins: "Here lies the holy virgin and martyr, Dymphna." The relics were translated to a silver reliquary, placed in the Gheel church named in her honor. Many miracles have taken place at this shrine, built on the spot where she was buried in Gheel, Belgium, and her relics are venerated still today.

Given her father’s reaction to the death of his wife, Saint Dymphna has been invoked since that time as the patroness against mental disease. A colony for those suffering from emotional afflictions was established at Gheel, and even today, as many as 1500 patients pilgrimage there for treatment and cure. At Gheel, the ill are treated with compassion and love, living among the people under observation, allowed to work in the fields, and given lodging by the community. The treatment results are very positive, though the intercession of Saint Dymphna.

Lord God, Who has graciously chosen Saint Dymphna to be the patroness of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders, and has caused her to be an inspiration and a symbol of charity to the thousands who invoke her intercession, grant through the prayers of this pure, youthful martyr, relief and consolation to all who suffer from these disturbances, and especially to those for whom we now pray. (Here mention those for whom you wish to pray.)

We beg You to accept and grant the prayers of Saint Dymphna on our behalf. Grant to those we have particularly recommended patience in their sufferings and resignation to Your Divine Will. Fill them with hope and, if it is according to Your Divine Plan, bestow upon them the cure they so earnestly desire. Grant this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


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