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 9, 2013: Saints Julian and Basilissa, Models of Christian Service

Posted by Jacob

Today, January 9, we celebrate the feast day of Saints Julian and Basilissa (died 4th Century), married saints, and martyrs for the Church.  Julian and Basilissa were married, and later died together as martyrs in Antioch during the reign of Diocletian.  Along with them, it is likely that Saints Celsus, Marcionilla, Anthony, and Anastasius were also martyred at the same time- a total of 31 Christians!

While little substantive information is known of the lives of this holy couple, it appears that Julian was forced by his family to marry.  To comply with their pressure, Julian selected Basilissa as his spouse, and together, they both pledged to live in celibacy, preserving their chastity before the Lord.  Basilissa eventually founded a convent for women, of which she became the superior.  Similarly, Julian gathered a large number of monks to himself and served as their spiritual director.  Together, the two converted their home into a hospice for those in need, housing approximately 1,000 people at any given time.  The sisters and monks provided daily food and care to the ill, poor, and dying, and accepted no money in return.  As their hospital was located in Egypt, and many were introduced to the faith through their work, conversions were numerous.  As word spread of their heroic and Christian work, they attracted the attention of those who were actively persecuting Christianity.

Saint Basilissa died a holy death after years of Christian persecution, worn out from hard work and constant threats.  Before her death, she foretold that her husband would die a martyr.  Saint Julian survived for some time, keeping the hospital running, and providing the Lord’s care to all who needed it.  Eventually, he was arrested during the reign of Diocletian and beheaded for refusing to recent his faith. His interrogation and his tortures were accompanied by astonishing prodigies and numerous conversions.  Following his burial, numerous miracles were reported at his tomb, including the cure of ten lepers in a single day.

Saints Julian and Basilissa devoted their life to service to the Lord through service to those around them needing the most help.  In their hearts grew the flame of Christian love, illuminated for all to see.  In their touch, those in need found the healing and redemption of a life in Christ.  We look to them today as inspiration for our own calls to service.  How can we better reflect the light of Christ to those we encounter?

Prayer to Serve the Lord Well

Father of Mercy,
forgive my failings,
keep me in Your Grace,
and lead me in the way of salvation.
Give me strength in serving You
as a follower of Christ.
May the Eucharist bring me Your Forgiveness
and give me freedom to serve You all my life.
May it help me to remain faithful
and give me the grace I need in Your service.
May it teach me the way to eternal life. 


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