01/23/2021 – Sr. Marianne Cope

01/23/2021 – Sr. Marianne Cope

Marianne Cope, today’s saint, was born in Germany. She was brought to the USA as a baby. There was much hardship for the family. But it was amidst these hardships that she treasured the time each day when her family gathered for the rosary. When her father was invalided she had to leave school at 14 and work in a factory. It was only later she could follow her religious vocation to service and suffering, but she embraced this life happily, girding herself with the rosary she wore at all times.On the other side of the continent, Fr Damien was begging God and his bishop to send sisters to Molaki, the leaper island.Taking counsel in the rosary, Sr Marianne said yes and led a small band of nuns to Hawaii to take up permanent service of lepers. For the rest of her life she served and suffered with Mary at the foot of the Cross. It is in this context that we treasure her words, “Our dear Heavenly Mother Mary…how little do our trials and sorrows appear when compared to her bitter sufferings.”

1/22/2021 – St. Vincent Pallotti

1/22/2021 – St. Vincent Pallotti

Today’s saint, St Vincent Pallotti taught that “a true devotee of Mary will not only be saved, but through her intercession he will become a great saint and will grow in holiness” St. Vincent wrote three volumes of a “Month of May Devotions” to accompany the daily rosary. He wanted all Christians especially youth, to grow in holiness according to their state of life by their devotion to Mary and taking recourse to her intercession.

“St. Vincent pictured The Mother of Divine Love as Mary holding Jesus, portrayed as a child with his heart in his left hand, with Mary holding her heart in her left hand. These two hearts communicate the love of God and Mary for everyone. St. Vincent believed the intercession of Mary, Mother of Divine Love, would cause the hearts of all who invoke her to overflow with love. He advised people to approach Mary as the “Mother of Divine Love” in moments of tribulation, difficulty, and temptation, and be touched by God’s love. Besides approaching Mary, Mother of Divine Love in all our needs, we must imitate her spirit of thoughtfulness and concern in the way we deal with our brothers and sisters” (The Mysteries of the Rosary: In the Spirit of St Vincent Pallotti)

St John Henry Newman told Cardinal Manning about the influence that St Vincent had on his devotion to Our Lady. Manning in Rome planned to check Fr Vincent out for himself. One evening outside his hotel window he heard beautiful Marian hymns sung by young men. Inquiring who they were, he discovered they were students of Fr Pallotti. Cardinal Manning had his evidence.

1/17/2022 – Feast of Our Lady of Hope

1/17/2022 – Feast of Our Lady of Hope

Today the Feast of Our Lady of Hope celebrates Our Lady’s apparition to children in Pontmain 101 years ago.

Our Lady came as a response to the prayer of the parish to spare their sons and village from the approaching battle. In the two hours she spent with the people of Pontmain, she was silent but very responsive to each prayer, rosary, night prayers and their hymn.

As she left a heavenly banner unfurled “But pray, my children. God will hear you in time. My Son allows Himself to be touched.“

Our Lady answered their prayer dramatically sending home the enemy and bring their sons safely home.

Pontmain shows us not just the importance of prayer, but the importance of praying together, especially as a parish.

In many parishes in Ireland, there are a small handful of people who faithfully keep a daily parish rosary going, often before or after the morning Mass. These special children of Mary do a service for the parish and community that we will only be able to fully appreciate in heaven. If you are one of those people, Thank You!

If not, take the few extra minutes to join them. If the daily rosary is not established in your parish….you know what to do!

P.S. How we need so much prayer in Ireland at the moment. A Special 9 week novena to St Patrick begins on Wednesday Evening. There will be Holy Mass for 9 consecutive Wednesdays in the lead up to St Patrick’s Day in places of importance in the life of St Patrick. The first Holy Mass will be offered by Archbishop Eamon Martin in Armagh Cathedral on Wednesday Evening at 7pm. Please go if you are anywhere near, and if not please do join online at www.swprayer.org

P.P.S. We will be rolling out something like Exodus 90 for women in Ireland for LENT. It will be a journey of prayer and self-denial with other women. It is called Daughters of Sion. I will be in touch when the website is live.

1/16/22 – St Francis de Capallis O.P.

1/16/22 – St Francis de Capallis O.P.

Today is the Feast of the Protomartyr of China, St Francis de Capillas OP.

Experiencing a call to priesthood and the missions, Francis, deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin, became a Dominican. Fortified with the rosary, Francis, when he was barely 20 sailed to the Phillipines where he evangelised.

After ten years, Francis was sent to Taiwan and not long after he left to join a veteran Dominican in mainland China. Preaching the Gospel, and instilling a love of Our Lord and His Mother, drew many people to baptism.

A true son of St Dominic, he shared Our Lady’s rosary with everyone. With the rosary, Our Lady brought to bloom the seed that he as a missionary could only plant.

With the arrival of Manchurian forces, he was persecuted for his faith and for sharing it with so many people. His treatment was severe, he was repeatedly beaten even to having his ankles crushed.

Thrown into a filthy prison, he continued his mission teaching and praying the rosary which he taught to his fellow prisoners.Shortly before he was beheaded he wrote: “I am here with other prisoners and we have developed a fellowship. They ask me about the Gospel of the Lord. I am not concerned about getting out of here because here I know I am doing the will of God. They do not let me stay up at night to pray, so I pray in bed before dawn.

I live here in great joy without any worry, knowing that I am here because of Jesus Christ. The pearls I have found here these days are not always easy to find.” (Dominican Saints)

01/14/2022 – Meditating on the Rosary

01/14/2022 – Meditating on the Rosary

Did you know that praying the rosary is not just spiritually healthy but physically and mentially too?

Meditating on the mysteries as you pray the rosary can boost your immune system!

According to Harvard University “Stress is immuno suppressive. .According to a large body of evidence, meditation appears to have profound effects on immune function in health and disease because of its ability to reduce stress.” Mediation has also been shown in many people to reduce blood pressure and pain, improve memory, counter anxiety, depression and sleep, and aid in many other ways.

“Some people have trouble with getting started on meditating on the rosary, mainly because they are so used to having to do something to make something happen. This is just the opposite. It helps me to find a comfortable chair (yes, kneeling is probably better, but I’m old and have trouble with that), close my eyes, and go perfectly limp in my entire body. I breathe in thinking “JE,” and then I breathe out deeply, thinking “SUS” or “Jesus.” I do this over and over again until I am 100% perfectly relaxed, with no tension in any part of my body. For some, meditation music with running water in the background may help. Yes, the rosary can be said in your car going to work, and I also do that. But it is a lot harder to relax then, with everybody else on the freeway zooming in and out of your space.

One additional thing I would add. Meditation on Christ, which is when our mind initiates thoughts and images of the bible mysteries, can lead to infused contemplation, which is when God implants thoughts and images into our minds. This is what happened to a lot of saints. Personal meditation on Christ and Mary led to Jesus implanting holy and wonderful thoughts and images of heaven into their minds, which, I think, is the ultimate good here on earth….

In the words of St. John Paul II in his encyclical ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE : “Why not try it?” (Ray Sullivan)

01/13/2022 – Ferdinand

01/13/2022 – Ferdinand

In 1620 the Austrian Emperor Ferdinand II and Prince Maxmilian of Bavaria faced a Protestant army which sought to impose protestantism on Catholic Austria and Bavaria.

The day before the battle, Fr Dominic, a discalced Carmelite, brought a painting of the Nativity that Calvanists had attacked piercing the eyes of both Mary and St Joseph.

Showing the painting to the soldiers, he asked the soldiers to restore the honour of their Mother. The monk led the troops in prayer.

Finishing the rosary, he assured the troops of his prayers and the prayers of the faithful who he had enlisted to pray and support the men in battle. Fr Dominic’s words decided the hesitation of the generals and gave courage to the men.

They adopted Mary’s name as their battle cry and Mary blessed their efforts. In the moment of success, they hailed the painting as Our Lady of Victory”.(Woman in Orbit) The army carried the picture in a triumphant rosary procession where the King adorned it with rich jewels and it was enthrone as Our Lady of Victory in Prague.

1/11/2022 – Our Lady of Bessiere

1/11/2022 – Our Lady of Bessiere

Today, is the Feast of Our Lady of Bessiere, France.

Many miracles are associated with this devotion.

In his hatred of Catholicism a Huguenot heretic used to ambush pilgrims walking to the shrine. He would block their way, mocking their faith. He would grab their rosaries which they had been praying on the last leg of their pilgrimage, stomping on them, and scattering the beads.

One day approaching his home after terrorising pilgrims, “he saw his house go up in flames before his very eyes. Even with the assistance of his neighbors, all attempts to put out the flames were fruitless.

In a matter of minutes his house was fully engulfed in flames. As the fire was at its height, Our Lady appeared in the flames in all her majesty and was seen to frown upon the heretic. This vision was witnessed by all present, who immediately fell upon their knees, urging the heretic to do likewise.

A broken man, frightened and frustrated, he prostrated himself, calling upon the Mother of God to be merciful to him.His pleas were not in vain, but it was not his house that she saved, but his soul. In that moment he experienced a true and lasting conversion. He went on to live a very penitential life, and died a true believer.” (roman-catholic-saints.org)

1/10/2021 – Blessed Anna of the Angels

1/10/2021 – Blessed Anna of the Angels

Blessed Anna of the Angels was a Dominican mystic in Lima Peru.

Her statues and paintings always show her holding her rosary. The rosary never left her.

When her father disinherited her for entering a convent, she turned to the rosary.

When she took on the responsibility as prioress of her convent she did so with the rosary.

When at the age of 80 years she offered herself as a victim for the Holy Souls and spent the next 9 years suffering their punishment, she did so clinging to her rosary.

Today when we honour this beautiful saint, let’s honour her with her beloved rosary.Courtesy of 1 in 10 Rosary Mission Ireland

Don’t forget – 9pm is Rosary for Ireland on Radio Maria