Last year, my husband Mike and I went through a period of time when we didn’t pray together. It was disastrous. Thank God that time was short lived; but we saw first hand the detrimental effects of having a marriage without prayer.
Prayer is the lifeline of a marriage. It is the lifeline of a family. When we are far from prayer, it is often Mother Mary who brings us gently back to her Son. I’d love to share a story about the importance of prayer and how Mother Mary strengthened my own prayer, marriage, and family.When we are far from prayer, it is often Mother Mary who brings us gently back to her Son. #BISblog // Click To Tweet
A Diagnosis and Some Advice
I have been experiencing secondary infertility for the past three years. Even as a nurse, I never knew about secondary infertility until my diagnosis. Mike and I were able to have a baby right after we were married. But after trying for a second child, we have been unable to conceive.
People always have advice, especially when it comes to children and babies. When I would share with people about my secondary infertility, one of the things that kept coming up was something called the Our Lady of Pompeii Novena. It is a 54-Day Rosary Novena, often prayed during desperate situations.
When I first heard that it was 54 days, it sounded like forever. It sounded like 54 years to me. So I put it off and kept putting it off…until one night.
The Night That Changed My Marriage
Mike and I have a huge devotion to St. Giuseppe Moscati, an Italian doctor and miracle worker. One evening, while I was writing this post about him, I was surrounded by books about him. As I was typing, Mike picked up one of the books to read. He came across a story about the friendship between St. Giuseppe Moscati and a man named Bl. Bartolo Longo, whose life is a powerful witness to God’s mercy and deep love for us.
Bl. Bartolo Longo
Bartolo Longo grew up Catholic but fell away from the Church during college to the point of becoming a Satanic priest. By the grace of God and through the help of a Dominican priest, he had a conversion and returned to the Faith. Yet anxiety and despair about his sinful past filled his heart and mind. One day, he almost took his own life.
Thankfully, Bartolo was reminded of something he learned from his Dominican priest friend about Mother Mary. The priest had told him that no soul is lost that honors her. He declared that when we pray the Rosary, she is always with us and will always bring us to her Son.
Bl. Bartolo Longo spent the rest of his life, beginning in the city of Pompeii, spreading devotion to the Rosary, especially the 54-Day Rosary Novena. He built the Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Pompeii, composed novenas, and wrote books about the Rosary. Miracles began occurring during and after his death and he was named a blessed by Pope St. John Paul II.
No Sin Is Too Big For God
No sin is too big for God and His mercy. I was deeply touched when Mike shared the story about Bl. Bartolo Longo with me. Too often I look back on my life and become filled with anxiety about past sins or what I could have done differently. Yet God is found in the present moment, and He is running toward us, yearning to embrace us and fill us with His mercy and love.
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The 54-Day Rosary Novena
Discovering the connection between our favorite Saint and Bartolo Longo—along with Bl. Bartolo’s incredible story of mercy and our desperation for a miracle—prompted us to start praying the 54-Day Rosary Novena that next day.
God Answers Every Prayer
Even though I didn’t conceive after praying the 54 -ay Rosary Novena, I can see the fruit of this novena in so many aspects of my life. God answers every prayer. It may not be in the way or time that we like, but one thing this novena has taught me is to truly pray, “Thy will, not mine, be done.” His plan, His time, and His way is always the best and is always for our salvation and holiness.
Strengthening Our Marriage
The biggest gift from this novena was the strengthening of our marriage. Being faithful to praying this novena meant that we spent a solid thirty minutes in prayer together each evening. It quickly became my favorite part of the day. I saw our love and joy deepen. At the end of the 54 Days, instead of turning on a show, we missed praying the Rosary and decided to start another novena!
A Deeper Devotion to Mother Mary
Another gift from the 54-Day Rosary Novena has been a deeper devotion to Mother Mary. To grow in relationship with someone, we need to spend time with that person. Not only was I spending more time with Mike in prayer, I was spending time with Jesus’ Mother. My love for her is deepening each day and I can’t stop thinking about her!
I began looking up Catholic Marian YouTube videos and came across Fr. Don Colloway’s talk about the Rosary. It changed my life and made me want to promote the Rosary and 54-Day Rosary Novena even more. Our Lady loves us so deeply and always leads us to her Son!
The Gift of the Rosary
God has given us the gift of a Mother in Heaven—His Mother. So often in her apparitions, she has asked us to pray the Rosary. Fatima visionary Sr. Lucia said that, “There is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
Want to Learn More?
Here are some helpful links:
Have you prayed the 54-Day Rosary Novena? Do you have a Rosary miracle? Please share in the comments below!Why You Should Pray the 54-Day Rosary Novena #BISblog // Click To Tweet