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."

February 12, 2013: Saint Febronia, Virgin Martyr

Posted by Jacob

Today, February 12, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Febronia of Nisibis (also know as Febronia of Sebapte, 284-305).  There is much confusion regarding the life of Saint Febronia, with her feast celebrated by some on February 12, by others on June 25.  Her life and acts were recorded by a fellow nun, Thomais, but many believe these acts to be works of holy legend, rather than accurate recounting of a saintly life. Whatever the case, we look to the story of Saint Febronia today, to inspire us with courage and fortitude at a time of change within our Church.

Febronia was raised at a monastery in the city of Sivapolis in Assyria.  Her aunt, Brvaena, was the abbess of the abbey, and committed to raising her niece in holiness, imposed a stricter rule upon her than the others.  Febronia took to the rules with grace, and soon, news of her piety spread throughout the land.

Around that time, Emperor Diocletian launched a persecution against Christians, fearing the faith would topple the Roman Empire.  Diocletian sent a detachment of soldiers to Assyria to destroy the Christian community developing there. Upon their approach to the convent, the inhabitants hid, with the exception of abbess Brvaena, Tomais, and Saint Febronia who was ill.

The three were seized by the soldiers, but they did not fear.  Rather, they entrusted themselves to the Lord.  Febronia was chained by the neck and led to the commander of the soldiers.  There, he urged her to renounce her faith, promising her honors, rewards, riches, and marriage.  But she refused, fearlessly proclaiming the Word of God, and declaring Christ as her groom.  She was subjected to horrible torture, but only prayed in response: “My Savior, do not abandon me in this terrible hour!”

Saint Febronia was beaten and bloody, but would not yield.  She was then tied to a tree, which was lit on fire.  She failed to confess any treason or renounce her faith, and the crowd gathered began to beg for the inhumane tortures to end.  Eventually, she became silent, too ill to speak.  Angered, the captain of the soldiers ordered her tongue cut out, her teeth smashed, and her hands and feet removed.  This was done.  Finally, she was beheaded.  The treatment of Febronia brought many to Christ that day, the crowds dispersing, cursing the pagan gods for their cruelty.

One of the soldiers, who had been raised by a Christian mother, built a coffin and placed the holy virgin martyr’s body in it.  He brought it to the convent, where it was buried.  The convent gates were opened, and the populace came to venerate and pray for intercession from the holy martyr.  Even the soldiers were converted.  Numerous miracles were reported at her tomb.

In 363, the relics of Saint Febronia were translated to Constantinople.  Saint Febronia is one of the 140 saints who are placed on the columns at Saint Peter’s Basilica.

The virgin Febronia, confesses Christ
Before judgment standing, bloody and pale.
As a palm branch, the young Febronia.
From beautiful fruit, a branch became heavy,
And to Silenus she speaks: “A Bridegroom, have I,
And no type of honor, from you do I accept,
Christ is my glory, Christ is my pride,
O yes, the beautiful countenance of my Bridegroom!
Cut off, cut off my feet – paths they have traveled!
Cut off, cut off my hands – work they have completed!
Cut out, cut out my tongue – with my heart I will pray!
Smash, smash my mouth – with my heart, I will speak!
Whip, crush the body – why do I need the body?
A more beautiful garment, the Bridegroom has prepared,
Among many holy ones, in the heavens above,
Among the angels, in sweet Paradise.
Do not think Silenus, that when I depart,
That the fury of your life will die.
But hear me and remember: behold the same day
Before the Living God, together we will go:
You as a torturer and I, tortured by you,
Each, his deeds, will bring with him.

Please join me in lifting these intentions to Our Lord, through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother.

Prayer requests, 2013: Week 6:

Completion of studies and successful employment for niece (D, India);  Blessings upon ministries and their missions (A, Philippines); Successful employment, renewed personal relationships, financial security (M, Philippines); For strength and courage (P, United Arab Emirates); Health for a friend (N, Ireland); Reconciliation of a relationship, health, financial security (W, USA-IL); Blessings upon a family, for a daughter’s career (J, Singapore); Personal intentions (C, United Kingdom); Health and blessings upon a family, for a sad and lonely daughter (A, USA-VA); Repose of departed souls (P, India); Successful business and financial security (M, Sri Lanka); Vocations, financial assistance (H, India); Successful employment for husband, health benefits (M, USA-CA); Renewal of faith in family (P, Australia); Blessings and health upon a family (B, Canada); Successful employment, financial security (K, Netherlands); Successful examinations, renewal of a relationship (M, Germany); Recovery from depression (B, United Kingdom); Personal relationships with Christ for family, successful employment for son (D, USA-MN); Successful employment (M, USA-WA); End to legal difficulties, successful employment (B, Philippines); For a sick husband, for blessings upon a family (S, India); Renewal of relationship with Christ via the Rosary (B, USA-MA); True conversion, successful employment, healing of mental illness (R, USA-CA); Healing of a relationship (V, Australia); Good health for a couple (P, Kuwait); Healing of a sick mother, financial security, patience (M, Philippines); Prosperity, love, health, forgiveness (D, Bulgaria); Successful examinations (J, Ghana).


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