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 4, 2013: Blessed Angela of Foligno, "Mistress of Theologians"

Posted by Jacob

“God is the one who leads me and elevates me to that state. I do not go to it on my own, for by myself I would not know how to want, desire, or seek it. I am now continually in this state. Furthermore, God very often elevates me to this state with no need, even, for my consent; for when I hope or expect it least, when I am not thinking about anything, suddenly my soul is elevated by God and I hold dominion over and comprehend the whole world. It seems, then, as if I am no longer on earth but in heaven, in God.

Today, January 4, we celebrate the feast day of Blessed Angela of Foligno (1248-1309).  Blessed Angela was born into a wealthy Italian family. In her own words, she lived a “mortally sinful” life for her first 40 years, proud and comfortable in her wealth and privilege. Angela was reportedly so embarrassed of her life, she made “false confessions” during the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that she could publicly receive the Eucharist and avoid the scrutiny of others. Following one such occasion, overcome with shame, she prayed in earnest for forgiveness and was visited by a vision of St. Francis of Assisi who offered help.

Shortly after this initial vision, Saint Angela’s remaining family members (husband, mother, and children) died, and she fully converted to Christ. Angela joined the Third Order of Saint Francis, and grew a large community committed to poverty, chastity, and obedience and serving the poor of the community. Throughout her life, Angela continued to experience mystical visions during her deep and reverent prayer. She came to record her conversion and visions in the Book of Visions and Instructions, and based on this work came to be known as the “Mistress of Theologians.”

For Angela “the whole world was filled with God,” and she was in almost constant communion with Him. Angela herself tells us that at times she was overcome with grief because she could see nothing but the extraordinary goodness of God and, in contrast, the vanity of earthly things and the ingratitude of creatures. The sight of a crucifix produced in Saint Angela torrents of tears.

Angela’s incorruptible remains repose at the church of Saint Francis in Foligno. Numerous miracles are reported to have occurred at her tomb.

Today we look to Saint Angela’s life, inspiring us to sincerely and contritely ask the Lord for forgiveness for our worldly “mortally sinful” lives. We pray for all of us, struggling with temptations that distract our hearts and minds from the goodness of the Lord. We pray for those who are afraid to ask for forgiveness.

Almighty God, 
You caused blessed Angela to excel 
in contemplating the mysteries of Your Son. 
Through he merits and prayers 
may we share in the same mysteries on earth 
and rejoice exultantly in the revelation of Your glory.

Quotations of Blessed Angela of Foligno:

"Humility exists only in those who are poor enough to see that they possess nothing of their own."

"O my soul, how can you refrain from plunging yourself ever deeper and deeper into the love of Christ, who did not forget you in life or in death, but who willed to give Himself wholly to you, and to unite you to Himself forever?"

"It is the Sacrament of Love that excites the soul to ardent prayer. It stirs up the virtue of impetration and, as it were, forces God to grant our petition. It deepens the abyss of humility, above all it enkindles the flame of love in the heart; hence the Sacrament is the Gift of gifts, and the Grace of graces."

“Our condition is most noble, being so beloved of the Most High God that He was willing to die for our sake- which He would not have done if man had not been a most noble creature and of great worth.”

“Our perfection certainly consists in knowing God and ourselves.”

“By virtue of love is the lover transformed in the beloved and the beloved transformed in the lover.”

“No one can be saved without divine light. Divine light causes us to begin and to make progress, and it leads us to the summit of perfection. Therefore if you want to begin and to receive this divine light, pray. If you have begun to make progress and want this light to be intensified within you, pray. And if you have reached the summit of perfection, and want to be super-illumined so as to remain in that state, pray.”

”This embrace of God sets ablaze a fire within the soul with which the whole soul burns for Christ. It also produces a light so great that the soul understands the fullness of God's goodness, which it experiences in itself, and which is, moreover, much greater than the soul's experience of it. The effect then of this fire within the soul is to render it certain and secure that Christ is within it. And yet, what we have said is nothing in comparison to what this experience really is.”


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