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 23: Saint William of Rochester

Posted by Jacob

Today, May 23, we celebrate the feast day of Saint William of Rochester (also known as Saint William of Perth, 12th century), patron saint of adopted children, and martyr for the faith.  Originally from Scotland, Saint William traveled to England, where he was eventually martyred.  His life, acts, and selfless commitment to those in need serve as a model of Christian love and service.

William was born in Perth in the twelfth centry, one of the most important Scottish towns at the time. While little is known about his life, what we do know is inspiring.  After a wayward youth, William found the Lord, and embraced the Gospel.  He worked tirelessly each day in his trade, as a baker.  Evenings were spent in service to the Church, the poor, and in prayer.  It is said that every tenth loaf of bread that he baked was given to the needy.

Saint William attended daily Mass, oftentimes prior to sunrise so that he could begin his day at the bakery.  One morning, he found an abandoned infant, left on the steps of the church.  He immediately adopted the boy, raising him in the faith, and providing him training in trade.  He named him David (and the Scots refer to this boy as “David the Foundling”).

As the boy grew, Saint William took him on a tour of the Holy Land, visiting the holy places of Christ’s life.  With him, Saint William brought a consecrated wallet and staff.  While in Rochester, England (on their way to visit Canterbury, and then to Jerusalem), David led his father into a dangerous area of town, slit his throat, stole his wallet, and disappeared.

Cathedral of Rochester
Saint William’s body was discovered by woman known to be mentally ill.  She dressed the saint’s body with a garland of honeysuckle, treating him with reverence.  It is said that the madness immediately left her, and she brought the saint’s body to the cathedral.  There, the monks of Rochester buried him, enshrining his relics, and proclaiming him saintly due to his holy life, his love for his son, and the miraculous cures he wrought in death (not only of the mad woman, but also of many at his graveside).  Saint William was canonized by Pope Alexander IV in 1256.  A shrine dedicated to Saint William still stands at the Cathedral of Rochester.  His tomb and a chapel at his murder scene, called Palmersdene, soon became sites of pilgrimage and donation, even by the crown. Remains of the chapel can be seen near the present Saint William's Hospital.

The life of Saint William is inspirational in that he placed service to the Lord, and love of his fellow man, above all else.  He worked tirelessly to support the Church and serve the needy, and raised an abandoned boy as his own son.  Today, we pray for all those who are abandoned and forgotten, in need to love and support, and for those who provide service in the vineyard of the Lord.

God of the broken,
God of the wanderer,
Christ who is without shelter,
Surround those in deep need among us.
Surround them and help us hear their cries for help.
We are a people who long for the broken to be mended,
We long for justice in the face of much corruption,
We want to practice hospitality but have legitimate fears,
Surround us in our trying times and help us to reach beyond ourselves.
We confess we are bogged down by so much need in the world,
May we have the courage to stand for what is right even when it offends,
May we have the imaginations to help create a better world,
And the strength of your Spirit to carry on.
Let us be as you are in this world.


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