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 7, 2013: Saint Brannock

Posted by Jacob

Today, January 7, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Brannock (6th century), a simple Welsh farmer, who became a monk and brought Christianity to the English county of Devon.  Famed for his holiness and zeal, as well as the miracles of his ministry, Saint Brannock is still celebrated today by the residents of Braunton, where he founded his monastery.

Saint Brannock is believed to have migrated from South Wales to Braunton (in Devon) in the sixth century, founding a monastery.  He is said to have ridden into town on a donkey, although legend also tells of his floating across the Bristol Channel in a stone coffin.  Regardless of his means of travel, upon his arrival, he discovered the local peoples to practice Paganism.  Here, in the small Pagan community of farmsteads, Saint Brannock taught the natives more productive farming methods, eventually teaching them the Christian faith and turning them from worship of nature spirits believed to live in the forests and rivers.  With the help of his new congregation, Saint Brannock built the first church in North Devon.

Saint Brannock's Church, Braunton
Of course, the construction was marred with many difficulties.  Most often, the workers would find their hard work from the day before destroyed by some inexplicable force during the night.  Saint Brannock urged them to keep the faith, and himself was visited by an angel.  The angel instructed the monk to seek a meadow with a gently flowing stream, near which he would find a white sow suckling her seven piglets.  Brannock undertook the search, and finding this sign, consecrated the ground to the Lord and began construction on the site where today’s parish church remains.

Saint Brannock's Church, Interior
Saint Brannock was recognized widely for his holiness and zeal for the Lord, as well as for the miracles that followed him.  On one occasion, it is said that Brannock’s prized family cow was stolen, chopped up, and set to boil over a fire.  When Saint Brannock discovered this, it was found that the water refused to boil, and after he breathed life into the pot, the cow was miraculously revived.  This same cow is said to have provided sufficient milk for the entire monastery upon completion, and is frequently pictured in art with the saintly monk.

Following a long and just life, Saint Brannock died peacefully in the Lord, and his remains were interred at the church in Braunton.  There, they have remained to this day. On June 26th, during the reign of Elizabeth I, his body was interred beneath the high alter of the church.  To this day, Saint Brannock’s relics are paraded through the streets of Braunton in memory of his holy life and service to the community.

Righteous tutor of the children of Brychan, O wise Father Brannock,
thou didst win many souls for Christ by thy tireless endeavors.
In Devon's Braunton Church are your concealed precious relics.
Pray that we, being ever mindful of our heritage,
may never deviate from the true faith,
thereby, receiving the reward of the blest.


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