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."

Saint Peter of Tarentaise, the "Runaway Bishop"

Posted by Jacob

Today, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Peter of Tarentaise (1102-1175), Archbishop, minister to the poor, and saintly model of charity.  Known as the “runaway bishop,” Saint Peter’s ideal life was to live as a simple monk… but he recognized that the Lord had other plans for him, and was willing to follow the path put before him.  Once he realized that his place was in service to the diocese of Tarentaise, Peter threw himself whole-heartedly into his duties, sacrificing his own wants for those of God.  Today, on his feast day, we are reminded to seek the Lord’s will in our own lives, keeping our eyes fixed firmly on the heavens, and following where He might lead us.

Peter was born in Vienne, France, to a peasant family.  He was a model of steadfastness and holiness as a youth, joining the Cistercian monastery at Bonnevaux at the age of twenty.  There, he shone so brightly as a holy light, he attracted many followers, including his two brothers and his father, who joined the order.  By age 30, Peter was elected abbot of a new Cistercian house in the Tarentaise mountains.  There, the monastery sat atop a perch which overlooked the major traveling route between Geneva and Savoy.  To aid travelers, Peter saw to the construction of a hospice for those far from home, especially the poor and ill.  Despite his position as abbot, he spent his days humbly, serving all who entered the doors of the hospice, and providing Christian hospitality.

Not long thereafter, having grown the faith in the area through his model, Peter was elected Archbishop of Tarentaise (in 1142).  Reluctantly, Peter accepted the post.  His preference would have been to continue his current service to the poor and wayward, but he felt called to obey the people’s wishes.  Immediately, Peter set about correcting the mismanagement of funds and corruption that had preceded his election.  He replaced those who extorted the faithful with canons regular of the Order of Saint Augustine, rebuilt the cathedral in the glory of holiness, and spent much time creating public programs for the poor and uneducated.  Saint Peter became known for miracles, including physical healings of the lame and sick, and multiplication of scarce provisions during famine and drought.

After 13 years of service, Saint Peter disappeared from his post, only to be discovered one year later in a remote area of Switzerland.  There he had offered himself as a lay member of a Cistercian house, and lived simply as a monk.  Upon discovery, he returned to his see, and lived out the remainder of his life in service. Delighted to see how much he had been missed by his flock, Peter threw himself back into service with renewed vigor.

With his strength renewed, Peter focused his attention on the poor, providing spiritual, physical, and educational nourishment.  He rebuilt the hospice of Little Saint Bernard at the mountain pass, and erected many more hospices for the sick and travelers along the Alpine pass routes. He instituted public bread lines for those who were poor, a practice which continued in the region for hundreds of years.
Always preaching peace, Saint Peter was called upon by Pope Alexander III to assist in minimizing bloodshed throughout France, and later England.  Saint Peter counseled kings and leaders, preaching the Gospel of peace.  He fell ill on a return trip from England, and died at the age of 73 at the Bellevaux monastery.

Saint Peter was a model of charity and peace, one the world would have lost had he followed his own plan, rather than the Lord’s.  What are we depriving the world of when we close our hearts and minds to God’s plan?  Let us recommit ourselves to sowing the seeds of love, service, and peace, as did Saint Peter of Tarentaise.

Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church, including your servant Saint Peter of Tarentaise.
May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,
so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


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