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."

June 1: Saint Fortunatus of Spoleto, Model of Charity

Posted by Jacob

Today, June 1, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Fortunatus of Spoleto (also known as Saint Fortunatus of Territet, fourth century).  As described in the Roman Martyrology, “At Montefalco in Umbria, Saint Fortunatus, a priest renowned for his virtues and his miracles.”

The Acts of Saint Fortunatus were recorded in the seventh century, by a priest named Audelaus, based upon the verbal account of a venerable priest named Firmino.  According to this record, Fortunatus was a priest of the church of Turrita, near the Umbrian town of Montefalco, Italy.  He was a caretaker for the many valuables of the Church—specifially, the poor, and he brought them the deepest and most profound mysteries of the Church alongside the charity that he was keen to offer them in Jesus' name.

Although he was a priest, this offered him barely enough money to live upon, and so as well as tending to his priestly flock, Saint Fortunatus is remembered for also working as a farmer, living off the land he tilled, and sharing all he could tend and raise with those in need.  He is frequently described as driving cattle with a small stick, stopping to distribute all he owned the poor.

One particular legend recounts how while tilling the earth one day, Saint Fortunatus discovered two dull coins, seemingly worth very little.  Thanking God, and slipping the coins in his pocket, he continued his work until sunset, certain and confident that the Lord would inspire him as to how to use the newly discovered currency.  As the sun set, Saint Fortunatus began driving his cattle home.  Upon the road, the saintly man met a poor beggar, and reaching into his pocket discovered that the dull coins had been transformed into radiant gold.  Rather than keep the coins, he quickly gave them away to the beggar, overcoming his own avarice.  In this manner, Saint Fortunatus demonstrates how to overcome greed, converting wealth and desire into love for those in need.

Upon his death, it is said that he was buried in a field called the “Agellus,” which he had frequently tended.  The rod that he had used to dive his oxen miraculously flowered and grew into a majestic tree, when stuck into the ground following his death.  He is often depicted holding a rod which appears to be flowering at its tip.

It is said that 20 years following the death of Saint Fortunatus, Saint Severus stopped at his grave en route to Ravenna where he was to stand trial.  Praying for the intercession of the saint, he was acquitted and returned to build a church on the spot of Fortunatus’ burial.  The church was consecrated on August 8, 422, by Bishop Spes of Spoleto, and the relics of the saint were translated to its altar.

While we know little about the life of Saint Fortunatus, we recognize in him the calling to the path of service that the Lord provided, and the refinement of his own sins through the grace of God and practice of charity.  We look to Saint Fortuantus as a reminder and inspiration that we, too, are called to share what we have with those in need, that regardless of our current struggles, there are those in worse situations, and that through our charitable works, we radiate the love of God on earth for all to see.

We pray, today, for the inspiration of Saint Fortuatus, that we may live lives of charity and love for all we encounter.

Our Catholic Act of Charity

O my God, I love you above all things with my whole heart and soul because you are all good  and worthy of all my love.

I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you.

I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen. 

Prayer for Selflessness

O Dearly beloved Word of God, teach me to be generous, to serve Thee as Thou dost deserve, to give without counting the cost, to fight without fretting at my wounds, to labor without seeking rest, to spend myself without looking for any reward other than that of knowing that I do Thy holy will. Amen.

Prayer for Charitable Heart

O my Jesus, Thou who art very Love,
enkindle in my heart that Divine Fire
which consumes the Saints and transforms them into Thee.

O Lord our God,
we offer Thee our hearts
united in the strongest and most sincere love of brotherhood;
we pray that Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
may be the daily food of our souls and bodies;
that Jesus may be established as the center of our affections,
even as He was for Mary and Joseph.
Finally, O Lord, may sin never disturb our union on earth;
and may we be eternally united in heaven with Thee
and Mary and Joseph and with all Thy Saints.



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