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."

January 13, 2013: Blessed Yvette of Huy

Posted by Jacob

Today, January 13, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Yvette of Huy (also known as Jutta of Huy, 1158-1228). Blessed Yvette has never been formally canonized, but by many—especially those in the region of Belgium in which she lived—consider her a saint. Yvette was graced with charisms and abilities which she used to infuse her simple life, caring for those in need and demonstrating the surpassing love of the Lord to all she encountered.

Yvette was born into a wealthy family that lived in Huy, near Liege (modern day Belgium). From an early age she was drawn to the religious life, which was encouraged by the Bishop of Liege. However, her parents had other plans for her, and she was married at age 13 in an arranged marriage. Ever obedient, Yvette followed her parents’ wishes, and then upon marriage, her husband’s. With him, she produced three children in five years (one of which died as an infant), and was left a widow at the age of 18.

Yvette’s hand was sought by many suitors following the death of her husband, due to both her heavenly beautiful and gentle spirit. However, she would have none of them, embracing her call to the Lord’s service. For the next eleven years of her life, while she raised her children, Yvette dedicated herself to caring for those in need, especially lepers who were despised and ostracized by society, and confined to a decrepit hospital outside the town. To them—and to all who came to her for aid—she gave all she had, including her love, which radiated through her from the Lord.

After eleven years of service, during which her zeal for the Lord continued to grow, Yvette left her children in the care of their grandfather, and lived as an anchoress (having herself enclosed into a cell) near the leper’s hospital. There, in her cell, she was graced with visions, prophesies, and many mystical experiences. She began to receive countless pilgrims, seeking spiritual direction, prayers, and counsel. Through these visits, many miracles were wrought through her, increasing the number who sought her out. Based upon her prayers—prayers which she composed and became famous for-- many converted or returned to the faith, including her father and one of her children.

Blessed Yvette lived as an anchoress for thirty-six years. During that time, she never left her cell, receiving the Eucharist through the small window that allowed her to speak with her visitors. She is recognized as a prominent figure in the development of the mysticism movement which spread throughout the Low Countries at that time.

The life of Blessed Yvette is noteworthy in the fact that she was given a second chance to serve the Lord. After demonstrating her obedience to her parents and marrying, despite her wishes to fully serve God, Yvette found herself in the position to demonstrate the love of God to all she encountered. Never hesitating, she turned from what would have been a live of privilege, and embraced this service with those most in need. As her love deepened, so did her desire to serve, and so did her charismatic gifts. We are given second, third, fourth chances—countless chances—every day to serve the Lord by serving others. How many chances do we need before we fully act upon them?

I came to You late, O Beauty so ancient and new. I came to love You late. You were within me and I was outside where I rushed about wildly searching for You like some monster loose in Your beautiful world. You were with me but I was not with You. You called me, You shouted to me, You wrapped me in Your Splendour, You broke past my deafness, You bathed me in Your Light, You sent my blindness reeling. You gave out such a delightful fragrance and I drew it in and came breathing hard after You. I tasted, and it made me hunger and thirst; You touched me, and I burned to know Your Peace. Saint Augustine of Hippo


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