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
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
1/9/2022 – Rosary Pace
“A lot of people mistakenly think that saying the Rosary is just rattling off Hail Marys as fast as can be. For a lot of people, that seems to be exactly what is happening but that isn’t the way the rosary is properly said.
The rosary is a set of twenty meditations on twenty events in the Bible. To meditate on these biblical events means to deliberate about their spiritual meaning while saying the Hail Marys out loud.
One method to personalize this meditation is to put yourself in the event, next to Mary and Jesus. For instance, it helps me to think about Jesus looking right at me from the cross (the mystery here is the crucifixion), next to Mary, John, and Mary Magdalene, and telling me how much he loves me and forgives me, in spite of my many sins.
By personalizing the mysteries of sacred scripture, it helps to create a mindset of improving our life spiritually, eliminating sin, and desiring additional grace through the sacraments that we never seem to have had before. It’s important to remember that the very first words of salvation in the New Testament were “Hail, Full of Grace.” By repeating those salvific words over and over again, we not only drive the devil crazy, but we are asking Mary and her spouse, the Holy Spirit, to take over our lives, for Jesus.
Some people find it hard to say a Hail Mary and then simultaneously think about a bible mystery. It is sometimes difficult to think about one thing while saying another, but just think about how often this happens in our daily lives. Most of us have run across someone who flatters us with their speech, at the same time they’re thinking about how they are going to trap us into giving them our money (saleswomen!).
Politicians often say that they are going to help us, at the same time that they are thinking about how they are going to personally benefit from our vote for them. Husbands also say “Yes, Dear,” at the same time they are thinking, “Please, Lord, let Dallas make that field goal!” So it’s not uncommon to say one thing while thinking about another. (Ray Sullivan)
1/7/2021 – St. Raymond of Penefort
St Raymond of Penafort lived to be 100 year old.
There were many phases to his apostolic work.
He was a canonist, author, profession, preacher, Superior General, chaplain to royalty, founder of a society to pray for and ransom Christians enslaved by Moslems, formator of other priests/preachers. But one thread bound the twist and turns of his vocation….his love of the Blessed Virgin and her rosary.
It was this love which he was gifted in childhood, that inspired him to give up the noble privileges of his lineage and become a priest.
It was Our Lady that led him from advancing in the ecclesial world to become a Dominican friar. It was his love of Our Lady that led him to criss cross Europe mostly on foot, to spend time in all the Dominican houses to encourage them to take up the spiritual weapon of the rosary and strive for holiness.
And finally after he retired, he continued to form hundred of young Dominicans in the vocation of preaching, urging them to use the weapon, Our Lady gave the Dominicans.…the holy rosary.
P.S. I have set up a Whatsapp Group for Men in Ireland in relation to Exodus90 which begins on January 17th. I strongly encourage you men to give this a shot. What blessings will come upon you, your family, your community and our country. The link to the Whatsapp Group is https://chat.whatsapp.com/F1oQmX1o5WaEuyqdcYqzor
Please spread the word to other men
01/03/2021 – St Genevieve
01/01/2022 – St Theresa of Lisiuex 100 year Anniversary (Next year)
Next year on this day we will celebrate the 150th birthday of one of the most influential saints of modern times, St Therese de Lisieux, the Little Flower. Her great gift to the Church is her “Little Way” or “Spiritual Childhood”.
What devotees of the rosary will hopefully be aware of is that her sanity was nourished by the rosary. From her earliest days the family rosary was a daily evening ritual in the Martin home.
As an infant, Therese would have often drifted off to sleep with the gentle rhythm of the prayers in her mother’s arms. Therese’s mother always nurtured a love of Our Lady in her daughters but especially in her last year knowing she would be leaving them.
After the death of her mother, the evening rosary became an important time of connection not only with her Heavenly Mother but with her mother in heaven.
While still a teenager, Therese entered the convent and eagerly embraced the Carmelite habit girded with the rosary and covered with the full brown scapular. Every day thereafter she joined her new family in the daily rosary.Just before she died at the age of 24, Therese composed a beautiful poem,”Why I Love You, O Mary” which she reflects on some of the rosary mysteries. She ends the poem
“Soon I’ll hear that sweet harmony. Soon I’ll go to beautiful Heaven to see you. You who came to smile at me in the morning of my life,Come smile at me again … Mother… It’s evening now !…I no longer fear the splendour of your supreme glory. With you I’ve suffered and now I want To sing on your lap, Mary, why I love you,And to go on saying that I am your child !…
01/01/2022 – Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Today is the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God.
“As sailors are guided by a star to the harbour, so are Christians guided to Heaven by Mary” (St Thomas Aquinas)
And to guide us Mary does more than point out the direction, Jesus, rather she gives us a guide rope, the Rosary and with the Rosary she securely brings us to heaven.Mary the Mother of God, Star of the Sea….pray for us!
P.S. An interesting video from Matthew Kelly to help us pray better for 2022: https://youtu.be/_WE3dy0HEck
12/30/2021 – The Rosary, a Beautiful Method of Prayer
As 2021 ends, let’s spend the last two days reflecting not just on the rosary, but on how we have prayed it this year and how we can, with the help of the Blessed Mother, deepen our rosary prayer going forwards.
‘The Rosary is a beautiful prayer that can be used to contemplate the mysteries of God.While some may view the Rosary as outdated, the Catholic Church continually points to it as a beautiful method of prayer.
In particular, St. John Paul II believed it was a perfect way to practice contemplation.
He wrote about it in his apostolic letter on the Rosary:
“The most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery which I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte as a genuine “training in holiness”:
“What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer”.
St John Paul II even went so far as to compare it to other methods of contemplative prayer that were developed in the East:
“The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation. Developed in the West, it is a typically meditative prayer, corresponding in some way to the “prayer of the heart” or “Jesus prayer” which took root in the soil of the Christian East.In fact, he even said that the Rosary without contemplation is a “body without a soul.”
“The Rosary, precisely because it starts with Mary’s own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning, as Pope Paul VI clearly pointed out: “Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ:
‘In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard for their many words’ (Mt 6:7). By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord’s life as seen through the eyes of her who was closest to the Lord. In this way the unfathomable riches of these mysteries are disclosed”.’ (Philip Kosloski)
12/29/2021 – Life is a storm the rosary is a ship of obedience
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP writes,
‘Life is one storm after another. The Rosary is a great ship of obedience.
‘Today, we ought to think of the Rosary as a great ship for souls. This traditional prayer to Our Lady is a vessel that can bear us through the stormy seas of life.
Catherine of Siena once famously described the Order as a ship. Her Dialogue recounts Jesus teaching her:
“Now that places suitable for obedience have been found, namely, these ships commanded by the Holy Spirit through the medium of their superiors, for, as I told you, the Holy Spirit is the true Master of these ships, which are built in the light of the most holy faith by those who have the light to know that My clemency, the Holy Spirit, will steer them.”
The Rosary is another great ship of obedience. Faithfully praying the Rosary shapes the heart. The examples of Jesus, Mary, and other great saints included in its mysteries, show forth the path of Christian life. Faithfully praying the Rosary shapes the heart.
The mysteries are the sails, providing the way to catch the wind of the Holy Spirit. The chains of Hail Marys are the rigging, binding the Holy Spirit’s wind to the deck of our hearts. And finally, the cross is the anchor, the true source of our hope.’