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."

July 26, 2013: Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of Our Blessed Mother, Grandparents of Jesus

Posted by Jacob

Mother Anne, be joyful;
sing, O mother holy,
Since thou art the parent
O God's Mother lowly.

Praise thy wondrous daughter;
Joachim, too raises
To the Virgin Mary
His paternal praises.

For in her our planet
First hath benediction
Which hapless Eva
Suffered malediction.

Therefore take the praises
Joyous hearts are paying;
And from all defilement
Cleanse us by thy praying.

Father, Son eternal,
Holy Ghost supernal,
With one praise we bless Thee,
Three in One confess Thee. Amen.

Today, July 26, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of Our Blessed Mother, and grandparents to Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, although as they are not mentioned in the Scriptures, some historians believe this to be legend. The apocryphal Protoevangelium of James (written in the second century) describes the life of Saints Anne and Joachim, as well as the circumstances of the conception of the Blessed Virgin. While some disagree on whether these facts are historically accurate, whatever their names or the facts of their lives, the truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured her, taught her, and brought her up to be a worthy Mother of God. It was their teaching that led her to respond to God's request with faith, acclaiming her fiat: "Let it be done to me as you will." It was their example of parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Our Lord and Savior.

Both Joachim and Anne were form the royal lineage of David, and we are led to believe that their lives were wholly occupied in prayer and good works. Joachim (whose name means “Yahweh prepares”) was recognized as a prominent and respected man in the community around Galilee (they later moved to Jerusalem, where Mary was raised). We know that they assiduously divided their income into three parts—one third supporting the poor, one third supporting the temple, and one third supporting the running of their household. Their marriage, per Saint Ignatius, was one of perfect simplicity—a model of behavior for all individuals in their approach to union with the Lord. The only thing lacking, per Jewish custom, was a child.

According to the Protoevangelium of James, Anne (whose name means “Grace”), wife of Joachim, was advanced in years and that her prayers for a child had not been answered. Once as she prayed beneath a laurel tree near her home in Galilee, an angel appeared and said to her, "Anne, the Lord hath heard thy prayer and thou shalt conceive and bring forth, and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world." Anne replied, "As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life.” And thus Anne was to become the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

According to the Chelidonius, a Benedictine monk from the 15th century: "Overjoyed Anne threw herself into the arms of her husband; together they rejoiced about the honor that was to be granted them in the form of a child. For they knew from the heavenly messenger that the child would be a Queen, powerful on heaven and on earth.”

At length, when Anne was quite old, Mary was born, the fruit of grace and nature, and a child more of God than of man. Conceived and born without sin, Mary was unlike any other child, and it was her parents that raised her to be faithful to God’s word and remain free of sin. With the birth of Mary, Saint Anne began life anew, caring for her with maternal and reverent tenderness, sanctified by the presence of the immaculate child. True to her word, she vowed her daughter to the Lord.

As a child, tradition tells us that Mary was taken to the temple, where she was offered to God. Saints Joachim and Anne suffered great sorrow, but at the same time, experienced great joy for fulfilling the vows they had made to the Lord. As a young girl, Mary spent time in service to the Temple, working and learning with other girls. It is likely, however, that her parents taught her to read, and certainly Joachim and Anne who taught her to love and follow God’s word and to know and understand the Scriptures

Saint John Damascene wrote this of the holy grandparents of Jesus:

Joachim and Anne, how blessed a couple! All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts: a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of him.

Joachim and Anne, how blessed and spotless a couple! You will be known by the fruit you have borne, as the Lord says: "By their fruits you will know them." The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your daughter. For by the chaste and holy life you led together, you have fashioned a jewel of virginity: she who remained a virgin before, during, and after giving birth. She along for all time would maintain her virginity in mind and soul as well as in body.

Joachim and Anne, how chaste a couple! While leading a devout and holy life in your human nature, you gave birth to a daughter nobler than the angels, whose queen she now is!

The lives of Saints Joachim and Anne remain shrouded in mystery, lost to history. While we might not know the exact circumstances of their lives, what we do know is left in the legacy of their daughter, Mary—the woman entrusted by God the Father to become the Mother of God. We can believe, therefore, that the parents who nurtured, taught, and raised Mary filled her with the faith and love of God required for such a monumental task. It was their teaching that led to her fiat. It was their example of parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Jesus. It was their faith that laid the foundation of courage and strength that allowed her to stand by the cross as her son was crucified and still believe.


Great and glorious patriarch, St Joachim, and good St Anne, what joy is mine when I consider that you were chosen among all God’s holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. By this singular privilege, you have become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us.

With great confidence I have recourse to your mighty protection, and I commend to you all my needs, both spiritual and temporal, and those of my family. Especially do I entrust to your keeping the particular favor that I desire and look for from your intercession.

And since you were a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace to pray earnestly, and never to set m heart on the passing goods of this life. Give me a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me also a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her, in order that I may live an die in faith and hope and perfect charity. Let me ever invoke the holy Names of Jesus and Mary. And may I thus be saved. Amen.


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