Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twelfth Rose: The Our Father, Part 1


THE OUR FATHER or the Lord's Prayer has great value----above all because of its Author Who is neither a man nor an Angel, but the King of Angels and men, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Saint Cyprian says that it was fitting that our Savior by Whom we were reborn into the life of grace should also be our heavenly Master and should teach us how to pray.

The beautiful order, the tender forcefulness and the clarity of this Divine Prayer pay tribute to our Divine Master's wisdom. It is a short prayer but can teach us so very much and it is well within the grasp of uneducated people, while scholars find it a continual source of meditation on the mysteries of our Faith.

The Our Father contains all the duties we owe to God, the acts of all the virtues and the petitions for all our spiritual and corporal needs. Tertullian says that the Our Father is a summary of the New Testament. Thomas à Kempis says that it surpasses all the desires of all the Saints; that it is a condensation of all the beautiful sayings of all the Psalms and Canticles; that in it we ask God for everything that we need; that by it we praise Him in the very best way; that by it we lift up our souls from earth to Heaven and unite them with God.

Saint John Chrysostom says that we cannot be our Master's disciples unless we pray as He did and in the way that He showed us. Moreover God the Father listens more willingly to the Prayer that we have learned from His Son rather than those of our own making which have all our human limitations.

We should say the Our Father with the certitude that the eternal Father will hear it because it is the prayer of His Son Whom He always hears and we are His members. God will surely grant our petitions made through the Lord's Prayer because it is impossible to imagine that such a good Father could refuse a request couched in the language of so worthy a Son, reinforced by His merits, and made at His behest.

Saint Augustine says that whenever we say the Our Father devoutly our venial sins are forgiven. The just man faIls seven times a day, but in the Lord's Prayer he will find seven petitions which will both help him to avoid downfalls and will protect him from his spiritual enemies. Our Lord, knowing how weak and helpless we are, and how many difficulties we get into, made His Prayer short and easy to say, so that if we say it devoutly and often we can be sure that Almighty God will quickly come to our aid.

I have a word for you, devout souls, who pay little attention to the prayer that the Son of God gave us Himself and asked us all to say: It is high time for you to change your way of thinking. You only like prayers that men have written----as though anybody, even the most inspired man in the whole world, could possibly know more about how we ought to pray than Jesus Christ Himself! You look for prayers in books written by other men almost as though you were ashamed of saying the Prayer that Our Lord told us to say.

You have managed to convince yourself that the prayers in these books are for scholars and for rich people of the upper classes and that the Rosary is only for women and children and the lower classes. As if the prayers and praises which you have been reading were more beautiful and more pleasing to God than those which are to be found in the Lord's Prayer! It is a very dangerous temptation to lose interest in the Prayer that Our Lord gave us and to take up prayers that men have written instead.

Not that I disapprove of prayers that the Saints have written so as to encourage the faithful to praise God, but it is not to be endured that they should prefer the latter to the Prayer which was uttered by Wisdom Incarnate. If they ignore this Prayer it is just as though they pass up the spring to go after the brook and refusing the clear water, drink dirty water instead. Because the Rosary made up of the Lord's Prayer and the Angelic Salutation, is this clear and ever flowing water which comes from the Fountain of Grace, whereas other prayers which they look for in books are nothing but tiny streams which spring from this fountain.

People who say Our Lord's Prayer carefully, weighing every word and meditating upon it, may indeed call themselves blessed for they find therein everything that they need or can wish for.
When we say this wonderful prayer we touch God's heart at----the very outset by calling Him by the sweet name of Father----Our Father. He is the dearest of fathers: all-powerful in His creation, wonderful in the way He maintains the world, completely lovable in His Divine Providence,----always good and infinitely so in the Redemption. We have God for our Father, so we are all brothers----and Heaven is our homeland and our heritage. This should be more than enough to teach us to love God and our neighbor and to be detached from the things of this world.

So we ought to love our Heavenly Father and should say to Him over and over again:

Our Father Who art in Heaven, 
Thou Who dost fill Heaven and earth 
With the immensity of Thy Being, 
Thou Who art present everywhere----
Thou Who art in the Saints By Thy glory, 
In the damned By Thy Justice, 
In the good By Thy grace---- 
And even in sinners 
By the patience 
With which Thou dost tolerate them----
Grant we beseech Thee 
That we may always remember 
That we come from Thee; 
Grant that we may live 
As Thy true children ought to live----
Grant that we may set our course 
Towards Thee 
And never swerve---- 
Grant that we may use 
Our every power, 
Our hearts and souls and strength 
To tend towards Thee And THEE ALONE. 

Hallowed be Thy name:

King David, the prophet, said that the name of the Lord is holy and awe-inspiring, and Isaias that Heaven is always echoing with the praises of the Seraphim who unceasingly praise the holiness of the Lord God of Hosts.

We ask here that all the world may learn to know and adore the attributes of our God Who is so great and so holy. We ask that He may be known, loved and adored by pagans, Turks, Jews, barbarians and by all infidels----that all men may serve and glorify Him by a living faith, a staunch hope, a burning charity and by renouncing all erroneous beliefs. This all adds up to say that we pray that all men may be holy, because our God Himself is all-holy.

Thy Kingdom come:

Do Thou reign in our souls 
By Thy grace 
So that after death 
We may be found meet 
To reign with Thee 
In Thy Kingdom 
In perfect and unending bliss. 
Oh Lord we firmly believe In this happiness to come; 
We hope for and we expect it, 
Because God the Father Has promised it 
In His great goodness; 
It was purchased for us 
By the merits of God the Son 
And God the Holy Spirit 
He Who is the Light 
Has made it known to us.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven:

As Tertullian says, this sentence does not in the least mean that we are afraid of people thwarting God's designs because nothing whatsoever can happen without Divine Providence having foreseen it and having made it fit into His plans beforehand. No obstruction in the whole world can possibly prevent the will of God from being carried out.

Rather, when we say Thy will be done, we ask God to make us humbly resigned to all that He has seen fit to send us in this life. We also ask Him to help us to do, in all things and at all times, His Holy will, made known to us by the Commandments, promptly, lovingly and faithfully as the Saints and Angels do it in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread:

Our Lord taught us to ask God for everything that we need whether in the spiritual or temporal order. By asking for our daily bread we humbly admit our own poverty and insufficiency and pay tribute to our God, knowing that all temporal goods come from His Divine Providence.

When we say bread we ask for that which is just necessary to live; and, of course, this does not include luxuries.

We ask for this bread today this day which means that we are concerned only for the present, leaving the morrow in the hands of Providence.

And when we ask for our daily bread we recognize that we need God's help every day and that we are entirely dependent upon Him for His help and protection.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us:

Every sin, say Saint Augustine and Tertullian, is a debt which we contract towards Almighty God and His justice demands payment down to the very last farthing. Unfortunately we all have these sad debts.

No matter how many they may be we should go to God in all confidence and with true sorrow for our sins, saying "Our Father Who art in Heaven, forgive us our sins of thought and those of speech, forgive us our sins of commission and omission which make us infinitely guilty in the eyes of Thy Divine Justice.

"We dare to ask this because Thou art our loving and merciful Father and because we have forgotten those who have offended us, out of obedience to Thee and out of charity.

"Do not permit us, in spite of our infidelity to Thy graces, to give in to the temptations of the world, the devil and the flesh."

But deliver us from evil:

The evil of sin and also of temporal punishment and everlasting punishment which we know that we have rightly deserved.

Amen (So be it).

This word at the end of Our Father is very consoling and Saint Jerome says that it is a sort of seal of approbation that Almighty God puts at the end of our petitions to assure us that He will grant our requests----very much as though He Himself were answering:

"Amen! May it be as you have asked, for verily you have obtained what you asked for." This is what is meant by the word "Amen."

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary12.htm

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eleventh Rose: The Creed



THE CREED or the Symbol of the Apostles which is said on the Crucifix of the Rosary is a holy summary of all Christian truths. It is a prayer that has great merit because faith is the root, foundation and beginning of all Christian virtues, of all eternal virtues and also of all prayers that are pleasing to Almighty God. "He that cometh to God, must believe . . ." [1] Whosoever wishes to come to God must first of all believe and the greater his faith the more merit his prayer will have, the more powerful it will be, and the more it will glorify God.

I shall not take time here to explain the Creed word for word but I cannot resist saying that the first few words "I believe in God" are marvelously effective as a means of sanctifying our souls and of putting devils to rout, because these three words contain the acts of the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.

It was by saying I believe in God that the Saints overcame temptations, especially those against faith, hope or charity-----whether they came during their lifetime or at their death. They were also the last words of St. Peter, Martyr; [2] a heretic had cleft his head in two by a cruel blow of his sword and St. Peter was almost at his last gasp, but he somehow managed to trace these words in the sand with his finger before he died.

The Holy Rosary contains many mysteries of Jesus and Mary and since faith is the only key which opens up these mysteries for us we must begin the Rosary by saying the Creed very devoutly, and the stronger our faith the more merit our Rosary will have.

This faith must be lively and informed by charity; in other words, to recite properly the Rosary, it is necessary to be in God's grace, or at least in quest of it. This faith must be strong and constant, that is, one must not be looking for sensible devotion and spiritual consolation in the recitation of the Rosary; nor should one give it up because his mind is flooded with countless involuntary distractions or one experiences a strange distaste in the soul and an almost continual and oppressive fatigue in the body. Neither feeling, nor consolation, nor sighs, nor transports, nor the continual attention of the imagination are needed; faith and good intentions are quite enough. "Faith alone suffices."

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary11.htm

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tenth Rose: Miracles


WHILE SAINT DOMINIC was preaching the Rosary in Carcassone, a heretic made fun of the miracles and the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary, and this prevented other heretics from being converted. As a punishment God suffered fifteen thousand devils to enter the man's body. 

His parents took him to Father Dominic to be delivered from the evil spirits. He started to pray and begged everyone who was there to say the Rosary out loud with him, and at each Hail Mary Our Lady drove one hundred devils out of the heretic's body and they came out in the form of red hot coals. 

After he had been delivered he abjured his former errors, was converted and joined the Rosary Confraternity. Several of his associates did the same, having been greatly moved by his punishment and by the power of the Rosary. 

The learned Franciscan, Carthagena, as well as several other authors, says that an extraordinary event took place in 1482: The Venerable James Sprenger and other religious of his order were zealously working to re-establish devotion to the Holy Rosary and also to erect a Confraternity in the city of Cologne.

 Unfortunately two priests who were famous for their preaching ability were jealous of the great influence they were exerting through preaching the Rosary. So these two Fathers spoke against this devotion whenever they had a chance, and as they were very eloquent and had a great reputation they persuaded many people not to join the Confraternity. 

One of them, bound and determined to achieve his wicked end, wrote a special sermon against the Rosary and planned to give it the following Sunday. But when it came time for the sermon he never appeared and, after a certain amount of waiting somebody went to fetch him. He was found dead, and evidently had died all alone without anyone to help him and without seeing a priest. 

After convincing himself that death had been due to natural causes, the other priest decided to carry out his friend's plan and to give a similar sermon on another day. In this way he hoped to put an end to the Confraternity of the Rosary. However, when the day came for him to preach and it was time to give the sermon God punished him by striking him down with paralysis which deprived him both of the use of his limbs and of his power of speech. 

At last he admitted his sin and likewise that of his friend and immediately, in his heart of hearts, he silently besought Our Lady to help him. He promised her that if she would only cure him he would preach the Holy Rosary with as much zeal as that with which he had formerly fought against it. For this end he implored her to restore his health and speech which she did, and finding himself instantaneously cured he rose up like another Saul, a persecutor turned defender of the Holy Rosary. He publicly acknowledged his former error and ever after preached the wonders of the Most Holy Rosary with great zeal and eloquence.

I am quite sure that freethinkers and ultra-critical people of today will question the truth of the stories in this little book, in the very same way that they have always questioned most things, but all that I have done has been to copy them from very good contemporary writers and also, in part, from a book that was written only a short time ago: The Mystical Rose Tree, by the Reverend Antonin Thomas, O.P. 

Everyone knows that there are three different kinds of faith by which we believe different kinds of stories: 
To stories of Holy Scripture we owe Divine faith; 
To stories concerning other than religious subjects, which do not militate against common sense and which are written by trustworthy authors, we pay the tribute of human faith; whereas 
To stories about holy subjects which are told by good authors and are not in the slightest degree contrary to reason, faith or morals (even though they may sometimes deal with happenings which are above the ordinary run of events) we pay the tribute of pious faith. 

I agree that we must be neither too credulous nor too critical and that we should remember that "virtue takes the middle course"----keeping a happy medium in all things in order to find just where truth and virtue lie. But on the other hand I know equally well that charity easily leads us to believe all that is not contrary to faith or morals: "Charity . . . believeth all things;" [1] in the same way pride induces us to doubt even well authenticated stories on the plea that they are not to be found in the Bible. 

This is one of the devil's traps; heretics of the past who denied Tradition have fallen into it and over-critical people of today are falling into it too without even realizing it. 

People of this kind refuse to believe what they do not understand or what is not to their liking, simply because of their own spirit of pride and independence.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ninth Rose: Enemies


IT IS VERY WICKED indeed and unfair to other souls to hinder the progress of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. Almighty God has severely punished many of those who have been so benighted as to scorn the Confraternity and who have sought to destroy it.

Even though God has set His seal of approval on the Holy Rosary by many miracles, and in spite of the Papal Bulls that have been written approving it, there are only too many people who are against the Holy Rosary today. These freethinkers and those who scorn religion either condemn the Rosary or try to turn others away from it.

It is easy to see that they have absorbed the poison of Hell and that they are inspired by the devil----for nobody can condemn devotion to the Holy Rosary without condemning all that is most holy in the Catholic Faith, such as the Lord's Prayer, the Angelic Salutation and the mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and of His Holy Mother.

These freethinkers who cannot bear others to say the Rosary often fall into a really heretical state of mind without even realizing it and some to hate the Rosary and its holy mysteries.

To have a loathing for confraternities is to fall away from God and true piety, for Our Lord Himself has told us that He is always in the midst of those who are gathered together in His name. No good Catholic should forget the many great indulgences which Holy Mother Church has granted to Confraternities. Finally, to dissuade others from joining the Rosary Confraternity is to be an enemy of souls because the Rosary is a sure means of curing oneself of sin and of embracing a Christian life.

Saint Bonaventure said (in his Psalter) that whoever neglected Our Lady would perish in his sins and would be damned: "He who neglects her will die in his sins." If such is the penalty for neglecting her, what must be the punishment in store for those who actually turn others away from their devotions!

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary9.htm

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eight Rose: Marvels of the Rosary



IT WOULD HARDLY be possible for me to put into words how much Our Lady thinks of the Holy Rosary and of how she vastly prefers it to all other devotions. Neither can I sufficiently express how highly she rewards those who work to preach the devotion, to establish it and spread it, nor on the other hand how firmly she punishes those who work against it.

All during life, Saint Dominic had nothing more at heart than to praise Our Lady, to preach her greatness and to inspire everybody to honor her by saying her Rosary. As a reward he received countless graces from her; exercising her great power as Queen of Heaven she crowned his labors with many miracles and prodigies. Almighty God always granted him what he asked through Our Lady. The greatest honor of all was that she helped him crush the Albigensian heresy and made him the founder and patriarch of a great religious order.

[The Albigensian heresy succinctly put, subscribed to the following false beliefs: The Albigenses asserted the co-existence of two mutually opposed principles, one good, the other evil. The first is the creator of the spiritual, the latter of the material world. The bad principle is the source of all evil; natural phenomena, either ordinary like the growth of plants, or extraordinary as earthquakes, likewise moral disorders (war), must be attributed to him. He created the human body and is the author of sin, which springs from matter and not from the spirit. The Old Testament must be either partly or entirely ascribed to him; whereas the New Testament is the revelation of the beneficent God. The latter is the creator of human souls, which the bad principle imprisoned in material bodies after he had deceived them into leaving the kingdom of light. This earth is a place of punishment, the only hell that exists for the human soul. Punishment, however, is not everlasting; for all souls, being Divine in nature, must eventually be liberated. To accomplish this deliverance God sent upon earth Jesus Christ, who, although very perfect, like the Holy Ghost, is still a mere creature.----The Web Master.]]

As for Blessed Alan de la Roche who restored the devotion to the Rosary, he received many privileges from Our Lady; she graciously appeared to him several times to teach him how to work out his salvation, to become a good priest and perfect religious, and how to pattern himself on Our Lord.

He used to be horribly tempted and persecuted by devils, and then deep sadness would fall upon him and sometimes he used to be near to despair----but Our Lady always comforted him by her sweet presence which banished the clouds of darkness from his soul.

She taught him how to say the Rosary, explaining its value and the fruits to be gained by it and gave him a great and glorious privilege: the honor of being called her new spouse. As a token of her chaste love for him she placed a ring upon his finger and a necklace made of her own hair about his neck and gave him a Rosary.

Father Triteme, Carthagena and Martin of Navarre (both very learned men) and others as well have spoken of him in terms of the highest praise. Blessed Alan died at Zunolle in Flanders September 8th, 1475, after having brought over one hundred thousand people into the Confraternity.

Blessed Thomas of Saint John was well known for his sermons on the Most Holy Rosary, and the devil, jealous of the success he had with souls, tortured him so much that he fell ill and was sick so long that the doctors gave him up. One night when he really thought that he was dying, the devil appeared to him in the most horrible form imaginable. There was a picture of Our Lady near his bed; he looked at it and cried with all his heart and soul and strength: "Help me, save me, my sweet, sweet Mother!" No sooner had he said this than the picture seemed to come alive and Our Lady put out her hand, took him by the arm and said:

"Do not be afraid, Thomas my son, here I am and I am going to save you: get up now and go on preaching my Rosary as you used to do. I promise to shield you from your enemies."

When Our Lady said this the devil fled and Blessed Thomas got up, finding that he was in perfect health. He then thanked the Blessed Mother with tears of joy. He resumed his Rosary apostolate and his sermons were marvelously successful.
Our Lady blesses not only those who preach her Rosary, but she highly rewards all those who get others to say it by their example.

Alphonsus, King of Leon and Galicia, very much wanted all his servants to honor the Blessed Virgin by saying the Rosary. So he used to hang a large rosary on his belt and always wore it, but unfortunately never said it himself. Nevertheless his wearing it encouraged his courtiers to say the Rosary very devoutly.

One day the King fell seriously ill and when he was given up for dead he found himself, in a vision, before the judgment seat of Our Lord. Many devils were there accusing him of all the sins he had committed and Our Lord as Sovereign Judge was just about to condemn him to Hell when Our Lady appeared to intercede for him. She called for a pair of scales and had his sins placed in one of the balances whereas she put the Rosary that he had always worn on the other scale, together, with all the Rosaries that had been said because of his example. It was found that the Rosaries weighed more than his sins.

Looking at him with great kindness Our Lady said: "As a reward for this little honor that you paid me in wearing my Rosary, I have obtained a great grace for you from my Son. Your life will be spared for a few more years. See that you spend these years wisely, and do penance."

When the King regained consciousness he cried out: "Blessed be the Rosary of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, by which I have been delivered from eternal damnation!"

After he had recovered his health he spent the rest of his life in spreading devotion to the Holy Rosary and said it faithfully everyday.

People who love the Blessed Virgin ought to follow the example of King Alphonsus and that of the Saints whom I have mentioned so that they too may win other souls for the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. They will ]then receive great graces on earth and eternal life later on. "They that explain me shall have life everlasting." [Ecclus. 24:31].

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary8.htm

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seventh Rose: Crown of Roses


EVER SINCE Blessed Alan de la Roche re-established this devotion the voice of the people, which is the voice of God, called it the Rosary. The word Rosary means "Crown of Roses," that is to say that every time people say the Rosary devoutly they place a crown of one hundred and fifty-three red roses and sixteen white roses upon the heads of Jesus and Mary. [Emphasis added.] Being heavenly flowers these roses will never fade or lose their exquisite beauty.

Our Lady has shown her thorough approval of the name Rosary; she has revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary they are giving her a beautiful rose and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses.

The well-known Jesuit, Brother Alphonsus Rodriguez, used to say his Rosary with such fervor that he often saw a red rose come out of his mouth at each Our Father and a white rose at each Hail Mary. The red and white roses were equal in beauty and fragrance, the only difference being in their color.

The chronicles of Saint Francis tell of a young friar who had the praiseworthy habit of saying the Crown of Our Lady (the Rosary) every day before dinner. One day for some reason or other he did not manage to say it. The refectory bell had already been rung when he asked the Superior to allow him to say it before coming to the table, and having obtained the permission he withdrew to his cell to pray.

After he had been gone a long time the Superior sent another Friar to fetch him, and he found him in his room bathed in a heavenly light facing Our Lady who had two Angels with her. Beautiful roses kept issuing from his mouth at each Hail Mary; the Angels took them one by one, placing them on Our Lady's head, and she smilingly accepted them.

Finally two other friars who had been sent to find out what had happened to the first two saw the same lovely scene, and Our Lady did not go away until the whole Rosary had been said.

So the complete Rosary is a large crown of roses and the Rosary of five decades is a little wreath of flowers or a small crown of heavenly roses which we place on the heads of Jesus and Mary. The rose is the queen of flowers, and so the Rosary is the rose of all devotions and it is therefore the most important one.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary7.htm

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sixth Rose: Mary's Psalter


EVER SINCE Saint Dominic established the devotion to the Holy Rosary up until the time when Blessed Alan de la Roche re-established it in 1460, it has always been called the Psalter of Jesus and Mary. This is because it has the same number of Angelic Salutations as there are Psalms in the Book of the Psalms of David. [Emphasis added.] Since simple and uneducated people are not able to say the Psalms of David the Rosary is held to be just as fruitful for them as David's Psalter is for others.

But the Rosary can be considered to be even more valuable than the latter for three reasons:

1. Firstly, because the Angelic Psalter bears a nobler fruit, that of the Word Incarnate, whereas David's Psalter only prophesies His coming;
2. Secondly, just as the real thing is more important than its prefiguration and as the body is more than its shadow, in the same way the Psalter of Our Lady is greater than David's Psalter which did no more than prefigure it;
3. And thirdly, because Our Lady's Psalter (or the Rosary made up of the Our Father and Hail Mary) is the direct work of the Most Blessed Trinity and was not made through a human instrument.

Our Lady's Psalter or Rosary is divided up into three parts of five decades each, for the following special reasons:

1. To honor the three Persons of the Most Blessed Trinity;
2. To honor the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ;
3. To imitate the Church Triumphant, to help the members of the Church Militant and to lessen the pains of the Church Suffering;
4. to imitate the three groups into which the Psalms are divided:
(a) the first being for the purgative life,
(b) the second for the illuminative life,
(c) and the third for the unitive life;
5. And finally, to give us graces in abundance during our lifetime, peace at death, and glory in eternity.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary6.htm

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fifth Rose: Confraternity



STRICTLY SPEAKING, there can be only one kind of Confraternity of the Rosary----one whose members agree to say the entire Rosary of one hundred and fifty Hail Marys every day. However, considering the fervor of those who say it, we may distinguish three kinds: Ordinary membership which entails saying the complete Rosary once a week; Perpetual membership which requires it be said only once a year; Daily membership which obliges one to say it all every day, that is, the fifteen decades made up one hundred and fifty Hail Marys.

None of these Rosary memberships binds under pain of sin. It is not even a venial sin to fail in this duty because such an undertaking is entirely voluntary and supererogatory. Needless to say, people should not join the Confraternity if they do not intend to fulfill their obligation by saying the Rosary as often as is required, without, however, neglecting the duties of their state in life.

So whenever the Rosary clashes with a duty of one's, state in life, holy as the Rosary is, one must give preference to the duty to be performed. Similarly, sick people are not obliged to say the whole Rosary or even part of it if this effort might tire them and make them worse.

If you have been unable to say it because of some duty required by obedience or because you genuinely forgot, or because of some urgent necessity, you have not committed even a venial sin. You will then receive the benefits of the Confraternity just the same, sharing in the graces and merits of your brothers and sisters in the Holy Rosary who are saying it throughout the world.

And, my dear Catholic people, even if you fail to say your Rosary out of sheer carelessness or laziness, as long as you do not have any formal contempt for it, you do not sin, absolutely speaking----but in this case you forfeit your participation in the prayers, good works and merits of the Confraternity. Moreover, because you have not been faithful in things that are little and of supererogation, almost without knowing it you may fall into the habit of neglecting big things such as those duties which bind under pain of sin. For----"He that contemneth small things, shall fall by little and little." [Ecclus. 19:1.]

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary5.htm

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fourth Rose: Blessed Alan de la Roche



ALL THINGS, even the holiest, are subject to change, especially when they are dependent on man's free will. It is hardly to be wondered at, then, that the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary only retained its fervor for one century after it was instituted by Saint Dominic. After this, it was like a thing buried and forgotten.

Doubtless, too, the wicked scheming and jealousy of the devil were largely responsible for getting people to neglect the Holy Rosary, and thus block the flow of God's grace which it had drawn down upon the world.

Thus, in 1349, God punished the whole of Europe and sent the most terrible plague that had ever been known into every land. It started first in the east and spread throughout Italy, Germany, France, Poland and Hungary, bringing desolation wherever it came----for out of hundred men hardly one lived to tell the tale. Big towns, little towns, villages and monasteries were almost completely deserted during the three years that the epidemic lasted.

This scourge of God was quickly followed by two others: the heresy of the Flagellantes and a tragic schism in 1376.

[Web Master Note: The Flagellantes were members a group, who, naked to the waist, used the discipline of self-flagellation most extremely. In the beginning, they were not in actual error; but in course of time they declared, that no one could receive the forgiveness of his sins, unless he entered their confraternity; and although laymen, they confess and absolved one another. They passed from Italy to Germany, and from that to Hungary. They were condemned at Paris, 1349.]

Later on when these trials were over, thanks to the mercy of God, Our Lady told Blessed Alan to revive the ancient Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. Blessed Alan was one of the Dominican Fathers from the monastery at Dinan, in Brittany. He was an eminent theologian and was famous for his sermons. Our Lady chose him because, since the Confraternity had originally been started in this province, it was most fitting that a Dominican from the very same province should have the honor of re-establishing it.
Blessed Alan began this great work in 1460 after a special warning from Our Lord. This is how he received His urgent message, as he tells it himself:

One day when he was saying Mass, Our Lord, Who wished to spur him on to preach the Holy Rosary, spoke to him in the Sacred Host:

"How can you crucify Me again so soon?" Jesus said.

"What did You say, Lord?" asked Blessed Alan, horrified.

"You crucified Me once before by your sins," answered Jesus, "and I would willingly be crucified again rather than have My Father offended by the sins you used to commit. You are crucifying Me again now because you have all the learning and understanding that you need to preach My Mother's Rosary, and you are not doing so. If you only did this you could teach many souls the right path and lead them away from sin----but you are not doing it and so you yourself are guilty of the sins that they commit."

This terrible reproach made Blessed Alan solemnly resolve to preach the Rosary unceasingly.

Our Lady too spoke to him one day to inspire him to preach the Holy Rosary more and more:

"You were a great sinner in your youth," she said, "but I obtained the grace of your conversion from my Son. Had such a thing been possible I would have liked to have gone through all kinds of suffering to save you because converted sinners are a glory to me. And I would have done this also to make you worthy of preaching my Rosary far and wide."

Saint Dominic appeared to Blessed Alan as well and told him of the great results of his ministry: he had preached the Holy Rosary unceasingly, his sermons had borne great fruit and many people had been converted during his missions. He said to Blessed Alan:

"See the wonderful results I have had through preaching the Holy Rosary! You and all those who love Our Lady ought to do the same so that, by means of this holy practice of the Rosary, you may draw all people to the real science of the virtues."

Briefly, then, this is the history of how Saint Dominic established the Holy Rosary and of how Blessed Alan de la Roche restored it.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary4.htm

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Third Rose: Saint Dominic



THIS MIRACULOUS WAY in which the devotion to the Holy Rosary was established is something of a parallel to the way in which Almighty God gave His law to the world on Mount Sinai and obviously proves its value and importance.

Inspired by the Holy Ghost, instructed by the Blessed Virgin as well as by his own experience, Saint Dominic preached the Holy Rosary for the rest of his life. He preached it by his example as well as by his sermons, in cities and in country places, to people of high station and low, before scholars and the uneducated, to Catholics and to heretics.

The Holy Rosary which he said every day was his preparation for every sermon and his little tryst with Our Lady immediately after preaching.

One day he had to preach at Notre Dame in Paris, and it happened to be the feast of St. John the Evangelist. He was in a little chapel behind the high altar prayerfully preparing his sermon by saying the Rosary, as he always did, when Our Lady appeared to him and said:

"Dominic, even though what you have planned to say may be very good, I am bringing you a much better sermon."

Saint Dominic took in his hands the book Our Lady proffered, read the sermon carefully and when he had understood it and meditated on it, he gave thanks to the Blessed Mother.

When the time came, he went up into the pulpit and, in spite of the feast day, made no mention of Saint John other than to say that he had been found worthy to be the guardian of the Queen of Heaven. The congregation was made up of theologians and other eminent people who were used to hearing unusual and polished discourses; but Saint Dominic told them that it was not his wish to give them a learned discourse, wise in the eyes of the world, but that he would speak in the simplicity of the Holy Spirit and with His forcefulness.

So he began preaching the Holy Rosary and explained the Hail Mary word by word as he would to a group of children and used the very simple illustrations which were in the book Our Lady had given him.

Carthagena, the great scholar, quoting Blessed Alan de la Roche in De Dignitate Psalterii, describes how this took place:

"Blessed Alan writes that one day Father Dominic said to him in a vision: 'My son, it is good to preach; but there is always a danger of looking for praise rather than the salvation of souls. Listen carefully to what happened to me in Paris so that you may be on guard against this kind of mistake: I was to preach in the great church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and I was particularly anxious to give a brilliant sermon, not out of pride, but because of the high intellectual stature of the congregation.

'An hour before the time I had to preach, I was recollectedly saying my Rosary----as I always did before giving a sermon----when I fell into ecstasy. I saw my beloved friend the Mother of God coming towards me with a book in her hand. 'Dominic,' she said, 'your sermon for today may be very good indeed, but no matter how good it is I have brought you one that is very much better.'

'Of course I was overjoyed, took the book and read every word of it. Just as Our Lady had said, I found exactly the right things to say in my sermon, so I thanked her with all my heart.

'When it was time to begin, I saw that the University of Paris had turned out in full force as well as a large number of noblemen. They had all seen and heard of the great things that the good Lord had been doing through me. So I went up into the pulpit.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary3.htm

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Second Rose: Origin and Name


SINCE the Holy Rosary is composed, principally and in substance, of the Prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation, that is, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, it was without doubt the first prayer and the first devotion of the faithful and has been in use all through the centuries, from the time of the Apostles and disciples down to the present.

But it was only in the year 1214, however, that Holy Mother Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by Saint Dominic who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a powerful means of converting the Albigensians and other
sinners.

I will tell you the story of how he received it, which is found in the very well-known book De Dignitate Psalterii by Blessed Alan de la Roche. [1] Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse where he prayed unceasingly for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of Almighty God. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma.

At this point Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three Angels, and she said:

"Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"

"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation."

Then Our Lady replied: "I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter."

So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal for the conversion of the people in that district he made straight for the Cathedral. At once unseen Angels rang the bells to gather the people together and Saint Dominic began to preach.

At the very beginning of his sermon an appalling storm broke out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightning that all were very much afraid. Even greater was their fear when looking at a picture of Our Lady exposed in a prominent place they saw her raise her arms to Heaven three times to call down God's vengeance upon them if they failed to be converted, to amend their lives, and seek the protection of the Holy Mother of God.

God wished, by means of these supernatural phenomena, to spread the new devotion of the Holy Rosary and to make it more widely known.

At last, at the prayer of Saint Dominic, the storm came to an end, and he went on preaching. So fervently and compellingly did he explain the importance and value of the Holy Rosary that almost all the people of Toulouse embraced it and renounced their false beliefs. In a very short time a great improvement was seen in the town; people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary2.htm

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Rose: Prayers



THE ROSARY  is made up of two things: mental prayer and vocal prayer. In the Holy Rosary mental prayer is none other than meditation of the chief mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and if His Blessed Mother. Vocal prayer consists in saying fifteen decades of the Hail Mary, each decade headed by an Our Father, while at the same time meditation on and contemplating the fifteen principal virtues which Jesus and Mary practised in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

In the first five decades we must honor the the five Joyous Mysteries and meditate on them; in the second five decades the Sorrowful Mysteries and in the third group of five, the Glorious Mysteries. So the Rosary is a blessed blending of mental and vocal prayer by which we honor and learn to imitate the mysteries and the virtues of the life, death, passion and glory of Jesus and Mary.

Web Master's Note:

St. Louis de Montfort wrote this classic work before Our Lady of Fatima came from Heaven. Tradition has set the form for the Rosary, and man ought not to change it. However, Our Lady may, since she gave it to St. Dominic, the Rosary is hers. When she came to Fatima she gave the three children and us through them, the Decade Prayer, to be recited:

DECADE PRAYER

(To be said after the Glory Be at the end of each decade of the Rosary)

O MY JESUS, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell,
lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary1.htm

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Rosebud


7 Dear little friends, this beautiful rosebud is for you; it is one of the beads of your Rosary, and it may seem to you to be such a tiny thing. But if you only knew how precious this bead is! This wonderful bud will open out into a gorgeous rose if you say your Hail Mary really well. Of course it would be too much to expect you to say the whole fifteen mysteries every day, but do say at least five mysteries, and say them properly with love and devotion. This Rosary will be your little wreath of
roses, your crown for Jesus and Mary. Please pay attention to every word I have said, and listen carefully to a true story that I want to tell you, and that I would like you to remember. Two little girls, who were sisters, were saying the Rosary very devoutly in front of their house. A beautiful lady suddenly appeared, walked towards the younger girl, who was only about six or seven, took her by the hand, and led her away. Her elder sister was very startled and looked for the little girl everywhere. At last, still not having found her, she went home weeping and told her parents that her sister had been kidnapped. For three whole days the poor father and mother sought the child without success.

At the end of the third day they found her at the front door looking extremely happy and pleased. Naturally they asked her where on earth she had been, and she told them that the lady to whom she had been saying the Rosary had taken her to a lovely place where she had given her delicious things to eat. She said that the lady had also given her a baby boy to hold, that he was very beautiful, and that she had kissed him again and again.

The father and mother, who had been converted to the Catholic faith only a short time before, sent at once for the Jesuit Father who had instructed them for their reception into the Church and who had also taught them devotion to the Rosary. They told him everything that had happened, and it was this priest himself who told me this story. It all took place in Paraguay.

So, dear children, imitate these little girls and say your Rosary every day as they always did. If you do this, you will earn the right to go to heaven to see Jesus and Mary. If it is not their wish that you should see them in this life, at any rate after you die you will see them for all eternity. Amen.

Therefore let all men, the learned and the ignorant, the just and the sinners, the great and the small, praise and honour Jesus and Mary night and day, by saying the holy Rosary. "Greet Mary who has laboured much
among you."

Source: from the Book "Secret of the Rosary" by St. Louie Marie De Montfort

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Mystical Rose Tree


5    Good and devout souls, who walk in the light of the Holy Spirit, I do not think you will mind my giving you this little mystical rose tree which comes straight from heaven and which is to be planted in the garden of your soul. It cannot possibly harm the sweet-smelling flowers of your contemplations; for it is a heavenly tree and its scent is very pleasant. It will not in the least interfere with your carefully planned flower-beds; for, being itself all pure and well-ordered, it inclines all to order and purity. If it is carefully watered and properly attended to every day, it will grow to such a marvellous height, and its branches will have such a wide span that, far from hindering your other devotions, it will maintain and perfect them. Of course, you understand what I mean, since you are spiritually minded; this mystical rose tree is Jesus and Mary in life, death and eternity.
6    Its green leaves are the Joyful Mysteries, the thorns the Sorrowful ones, and the flowers the Glorious Mysteries of Jesus and Mary. The buds are the childhood of Jesus and Mary, and the open blooms show us both of them in their sufferings, and the full-blown roses symbolize Jesus and Mary in their triumph and glory.
A rose delights us because of its beauty: so here we have Jesus and Mary in the Joyful Mysteries. Its thorns are sharp, and they prick, which makes us think of them in the Sorrowful Mysteries, and last of all, its perfume is so sweet that everyone loves it, and this fragrance symbolizes their Glorious Mysteries.
So please do not scorn this beautiful and heavenly tree, but plant it with your own hands in the garden of your soul, by making the resolution to say your Rosary every day. By saying it daily and by doing good works you will be tending your tree, watering it, hoeing the earth around it. Eventually you will see that this little seed which I have given you, and which seems so small now, will grow into a tree so great that the birds of heaven, that is, predestinate and contemplative souls, will dwell in it and make their nests there. Its shade will shelter them from the scorching heat of the sun and its height will keep them safe from the wild beasts on the ground. And best of all, they will feed upon the tree's fruit, which is none other than our adorable Jesus, to whom be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Source: from the Book "Secret of the Rosary" by St. Louie Marie De Montfort

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Red Rose: For Sinners



POOR MEN AND WOMEN who are sinners, I, a greater sinner than you, wish to give to you this rose----a crimson one, because the Precious Blood of Our Lord has fallen upon it. Please God that it will bring true fragrance into your lives----but above all may it save you from the danger that you are in. Every day unbelievers and unrepentant sinners cry: "Let us crown ourselves with roses." [1] But our cry should be: "Let us crown ourselves with roses of the Most Holy Rosary."

How different are theirs from ours! Their roses are pleasures of the flesh, worldly honors and passing riches which wilt and decay in no time, but ours, which are the Our Father and Hail Mary which we have said devoutly over and over again and to which we have added good penitential acts, will never wilt or die and they will be just as exquisite thousands of years from now as they are today.

On the contrary, sinners' roses only look like roses, while in point of fact they are cruel thorns which prick them during life by giving them pangs of conscience, at their death they pierce them with bitter regret and, still worse, in eternity, they turn to burning shafts of anger and despair. But if our roses have thorns, they are the thorns of Jesus Christ Who changes them into roses. If our roses prick us, it is only for a short time----and only in order to cure the illness of sin and to save our souls.

So by all means we should eagerly crown ourselves with these roses from Heaven, and recite the entire Rosary every day, that is to say three Rosaries each of five decades which are like three little wreaths or crowns of flowers: and there are two reasons for doing this: First of all to honor the three crowns of Jesus and Mary----Jesus' crown of grace at the time of His incarnation, His crown of thorns during His passion and His crown of glory in Heaven, and of course the three-fold crown which the Most Blessed Trinity gave Mary in Heaven.

Secondly, we should do this so that we ourselves may receive three crowns from Jesus and Mary. The first is a crown of merit during our lifetime, the second, a crown of peace at our death, and the third, a crown of glory in Heaven.

If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins "you shall receive a never fading crown of glory." [2] Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in Hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practise black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and save your soul, if----and mark well what I say----if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.

In this book there are several stories of great sinners who were converted through the power of the Holy Rosary. Please read and meditate upon them.


1. Wisdom 2:8.
2.1 Peter 5:4.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/red-rose.htm

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A White Rose: For Priests



DEAR MINISTERS of the Most High, you my fellow priests who preach the truth of God and who teach the gospel to all nations, let me give you this little book as a white rose that I would like you to keep. The truths contained in it are set forth in a very simple and straightforward manner as you will see. Please keep them in your heart so that you yourselves may make a practice of the Holy Rosary and taste its fruit; and please have them always on your lips too so that you will always preach the Rosary and thus convert others by teaching them the excellence of this holy devotion.

I beg of you to beware of thinking of the Rosary as something of little importance----as do ignorant people and even several great but proud scholars. Far from being insignificant, the Rosary is a priceless treasure which is inspired by God.

Almighty God has given it to you because He wants you to use it as a means to convert the most hardened sinners and the most obstinate heretics. He has attached to it grace in this life and glory in the next. The Saints have said it faithfully and the Popes have endorsed it.

When the Holy Spirit has revealed this secret to a priest and director of souls, how blessed is that priest! For the vast majority of people fail to know this secret or else only know it superficially. If such a priest really understands this secret he will say the Rosary every day and will encourage others to say it. God and His Blessed Mother will pour abundant grace into his soul, so that he may become God's instrument for His glory; and his word, though simple, will do more good in one month than that of other preachers in several years.

Therefore, my dear brethren and fellow priests, it will not be enough for us to preach this devotion to others; we must practise it ourselves. Even if we firmly believed in the importance of the Holy Rosary but never said it ourselves, people could hardly be expected to act upon our advice, for no one can give what he does not have: "Jesus began to do and to teach." [1] We ought to pattern ourselves on Our Blessed Lord, Who began by practising what He preached. We ought to emulate Saint Paul who knew and preached nothing but Jesus Crucified. This is really and truly what you will be doing if you preach the Holy Rosary. It is not just a conglomeration of Our Fathers and Hail Marys, but on the contrary it is a Divine summary of the mysteries of the life, passion, death and glory of Jesus and Mary.

I could tell you at great length of the grace God gave me to know by experience the effectiveness of the preaching of the Holy Rosary and of how I have seen, with my own eyes, the most wonderful conversions it has brought about. I would gladly tell you all these things if I thought that it would move you to preach this beautiful devotion, in spite of the fact that priests are not in the habit of doing so these days. But instead of all this I think it will be quite enough for this little summary that I am writing if I tell you a few ancient but authentic stories about the Holy Rosary. These excerpts really go to prove what I have outlined for the faithful in French.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/white-rose.htm

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Salutation of the Rosary is worthy of the Queen of Heaven



"The Holy Angels in Heaven salute the most Blessed Virgin with the Hail Mary----not audibly, but with their angelic intelligences. For they are fully aware that through it reparation was made for the fallen Angels' sin, God was made man and the world was renewed" (Blessed Alan).

One night when a woman Confraternity member had retired, Our Lady appeared to her and said:

"My daughter, do not be afraid of me. I am your loving Mother whom you praise so faithfully every day. Be steadfast and persevere; I want you to know that the Angelic Salutation gives me so much joy that no man could ever really explain it." (Guillaume Pepin, in Rosario aureo Sermon 47)

Saint Gertrude corroborated this in one of her visions; in her Revelations, Book IV, Chapter II, we find this story:

It was the morning of the feast of the Annunciation and the Hail Mary was of course being sung in Saint Gertrude's monastery. During the singing she had a vision in which three streams gushed forth from the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost and gently flowed into Mary's virginal heart. The minute they reached her heart they bounded back to the source from where they had come.

From this Saint Gertrude learned that the Blessed Trinity has allowed Our Lady to be most powerful next to God the Father, the wisest after God the Son, and the most loving after God the Holy Ghost. She also learned that every time the Angelic Salutation is said by the faithful the three mysterious streams surround Our Lady in a mighty, swirling current and rush into her heart. After they have completely bathed her in happiness they gush back into the bosom of Almighty God. The Saints and Angels share in this abundance of joy as do the faithful on earth, who say this prayer. For the Angelic Salutation is the source of all good for God's children.

This is what Our Lady herself said to Saint Gertrude: "Never has any man composed anything more beautiful than the Hail Mary. No salutation could be dearer to my heart than those beautiful and dignified words that God the Father addressed to me Himself."

One day Our Lady said to Saint Mechtilde:

"All the Angelic Salutations that you have given me are blazoned on my cloak." (Then she held out a portion of her mantle.) "When this part of my cloak is full of Hail Marys I shall gather you up and take you into the Kingdom of my Beloved Son."

Denis the Carthusian, speaking of a vision of Our Lady to one of her clients, said:

"We should salute the most Blessed Virgin with our hearts, our lips, and our deeds, so that she will not be able to say to us:

" 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.' "

Richard of Saint Laurent lists the reasons why it is good to say a Hail Mary at the beginning of a sermon:

1. The Church Militant should follow the example of Saint Gabriel who saluted Mary with great respect saying the Hail Mary, before he told her the joyous tidings: "Behold thou shalt conceive and bear a son . . ." Thus the Church salutes the Blessed Virgin before announcing the Gospel.

2. The congregation will derive more fruit from a sermon that is prefaced by the Hail Mary; the priest who gives the sermon has the Angel's role as it were. But in order that the congregation may give birth to Christ in their souls (by faith) they must first of all obtain this grace from the Blessed Virgin who gave birth to Him the first time, and together with her they will become the Mothers of the Son of God. For without Mary they cannot produce Jesus in their souls.

3. The Gospels show up the power of the Hail Mary; people will get help from Our Lady through this prayer.

4. To say it is a great safeguard and a way of avoiding, dangerous pitfalls: Mary, our Illuminatrix, gives light to preachers.

5. The members of the congregation, following Our Lady's example, listen more attentively and are more apt to remember God's words.

6. The devil (who is the enemy of the human race and of the preaching of the Gospel) is driven off by the Hail Mary. This is most necessary because, to quote Our Lord's words, there is danger of his coming to take the word of God out of people's hearts, "lest believing they might be saved."

In his first sermon on the Holy Rosary Clement Losoun says:

"After Saint Dominic had gone to Heaven devotion to the Rosary waned until it was very nearly dead, when a terrible pestilence broke out in several parts of the country. The wretched people sought the advice of a saintly hermit who lived in the desert in great austerity. They besought him to intercede to Almighty God for them. So the hermit called upon the Mother of God, imploring her, as Advocate of Sinners, to come to their aid.

"Our Lady then appeared and said: 'These people have stopped singing my praises. This is why they have been visited with such a scourge. If they will only go back to the ancient devotion of the Most Holy Rosary, they will enjoy my protection. I shall see to their salvation if only they will sing the Rosary, for I love this type of chanting.'

"So the people did what Mary asked and made themselves rosaries, which they started saying with all their heart and soul. "

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary52.htm
Image Source: http://www.domestic church.com/CONTENT.DCC/19980701/ARTICLES/QUEEN_HEAVEN.HTM

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Power, Value and Holiness of the Rosary


The power, value and holiness of the Rosary:
A Revelation of Our Blessed Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche

THROUGH THE ROSARY, hardened sinners of both sexes became converted and started to lead a holy life, bemoaning their past sins with genuine tears of contrition. Even children performed unbelievable penances; devotion to my Son and to me spread so thoroughly that it almost seemed as though Angels were living on earth. The Faith was gaining, and many Catholics longed to shed their blood for it and fight against the heretics. Thus, through the sermons of my very dear Dominic and through the power of the Rosary, the heretics' lands were all brought under the Church. People used to give munificent alms; hospitals and churches were built. People led moral and law-abiding lives and worked wonders for the glory of God. Holiness and unworldliness flourished; the clergy were exemplary, princes were just, people lived at peace with each other and justice and equity reigned in the guilds and in the homes.

Here is an even more impressive thing: workmen did not take up their tools until they had said my Psalter and they never went to sleep at night without having prayed to me on their knees. If they happened to remember that they had not paid me this tribute they would get up----even in the middle of the night----and then would salute me with great respect and remorse.

The Rosary became so widespread and so well-known that people who were devoted to it were always considered by others as obviously being Confraternity members. If a man lived openly in sin, or blasphemed, it was quite the usual thing to say:

"This man cannot possibly be a brother of Saint Dominic."

I must not fail to mention the signs and wonders that I have wrought in different lands through the Holy Rosary: I have stopped pestilences and put an end to horrible wars as well as to bloody crimes and through my Rosary people have found the courage to flee temptation.

When you say your Rosary the Angels rejoice, the Blessed Trinity delights in it, my Son finds joy in it too and I myself am happier than you can possibly guess. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love as much as the Rosary. (Blessed Alan)

Having been strongly urged to do so by Saint Dominic, all the brothers and sisters of his order honored my Son and me unceasingly and in an indescribably beautiful way by saying the Holy Rosary.

Every day each one of them said at least one complete Rosary. If anybody failed to say it he felt that his day was entirely spoiled.

The Brothers of Saint Dominic had so great a love for this holy devotion that it made them do everything better and they used to hurry to church or to the choir to sing the office. If one of them was seen to carry out his duties carelessly the others would say with assurance:

"Oh, Brother! Either you are not saying Mary's Psalter any more or else you are saying it badly."

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary51.htm

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fiftieth Rose: Various Methods



SO AS TO MAKE the recitation of the Holy Rosary easier for you, here are several methods which will help you to say it in a good and holy way, together with meditation on the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of Jesus and Mary. Choose whichever method pleases you and helps you the most: you can make one up yourself, if you like, as several holy people have done before now.

METHODS OF SAYING THE MOST HOLY ROSARY SO AS TO DRAW UPON OUR SOULS
THE GRACE OF THE MYSTERIES OF THE LIFE, PASSION AND GLORY OF JESUS AND MARY

First Method [1]

FIRST, say the "Come, Holy Ghost" . . . and then make your
OFFERING OF THE ROSARY:

I unite myself with all the Saints in Heaven, and with all the just on earth; I unite myself with Thee, my Jesus, in order to praise Thy Holy Mother worthily and to praise Thee in her and by her. I renounce all the distractions that may come to me while I am saying this Rosary.

Oh, Blessed Virgin Mary, we offer thee this Creed in order to honor the faith that thou didst have upon earth and to ask thee to have us share in the same faith.

Oh Lord; we offer Thee this Our Father so as to adore Thee in Thy oneness and to recognize Thee as the first cause and the last end of all things.

Most Holy Trinity, we offer Thee these three Hail Marys so as to thank Thee for all the graces which Thou hast given to Mary and those which Thou hast given us through her intercession.

[Some people ask for the grace of a happy death through these three Hail Marys.----The Web Master]

The Apostles' Creed, One Our Father, Three Hail Marys,  and a Glory be to the Father . . .

How to Offer Each Decade

The Joyful Mysteries

First Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this first decade in honor of Thine Incarnation and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy most Holy Mother, a profound humility.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the mystery of the Incarnation, come down into my soul and make it truly humble.

Second Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this second decade in honor of the Visitation of Thy Holy Mother to her cousin Saint Elizabeth, and we ask of Thee through this mystery and through Mary's intercession, a perfect charity towards our neighbor.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the mystery of the Visitation come down into my soul and make it really charitable.

Third Decade: We offer Thee, O Child Jesus, this third decade in honor of Thy Blessed Nativity, and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, detachment from things of this world, love of poverty and love of the poor.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the mystery of the Nativity come down into my soul and make me truly poor in spirit.

Fourth Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this fourth decade in honor of Thy Presentation in the temple by the hands of Mary, and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, the gift of wisdom and purity of heart and body.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the mystery of the Purification, come down into my soul and make it really wise and really pure.

Fifth Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this fifth decade in honor of Thy Finding in the Temple among the learned men by Our Lady, after she had lost Thee, and we ask Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, to convert us and help us amend our lives, and also to convert all sinners, heretics, schismatics and idolaters.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the mystery of the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, come down into my soul and truly convert me.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

Sixth Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this sixth decade in honor of Thy mortal Agony in the Garden of Olives and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, perfect sorrow for our sins and the virtue of perfect obedience to Thy Holy Will.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of Our Lord's Agony, come down into my soul and make me truly contrite and perfectly obedient to Thy Will.

Seventh Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this seventh decade in honor of Thy Bloody Scourging and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, the grace to mortify our senses perfectly.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of Our Lord's Scourging, come down into my soul and make me truly mortified.

Eighth Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this eighth decade in honor of Thy cruel crowning with thorns, and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, a great contempt of the world [mortification of pride].

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the mystery of Our Lord's crowning with Thorns, come down into my soul and make me despise the world.

Ninth Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this ninth decade in honor of Thy carrying Thy Cross and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, to give us great patience in carrying our cross in Thy footsteps every day of our life.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the mystery of the carrying of the Cross, come down into my soul and make me truly patient.

Tenth Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this tenth decade in honor of Thy Crucifixion on Mount Calvary, and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, a great horror of sin, a love of the Cross and the grace of a holy death for us and for those who are now in their last agony.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the mystery of the Death and Passion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, come down into my soul and make me truly holy.

The Glorious Mysteries

ELEVENTH DECADE: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this eleventh decade in honor of Thy triumphant Resurrection and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, a lively faith.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the Resurrection come down into my soul and make me really faithful.

Twelfth Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this twelfth decade in honor of Thy glorious Ascension, and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, a firm hope and a great longing for Heaven.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the mystery of the Ascension of Our Lord, come down into my soul and make me ready for Heaven.

Thirteenth Decade: We offer Thee, O Holy Spirit, this thirteenth decade in honor of the mystery of Pentecost, and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through the intercession of Mary, Thy most faithful Spouse, Thy holy wisdom so that we may know, really love and practise Thy truth, and make all others share in it.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of Pentecost, come down into my soul and make me really wise in the eyes of Almighty God.

Fourteenth Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this fourteenth decade in honor of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Thy holy and Blessed Mother, body and soul, into Heaven, and we ask of Thee, through these two mysteries and through her intercession, the gift of true devotion to her to help us live and die holily.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

Grace of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary, come down into my soul and make me truly devoted to her.

Fifteenth Decade: We offer Thee, O Lord Jesus, this fifteenth and last decade in honor of the glorious crowning of Thy Blessed Mother in Heaven, and we ask of Thee, through this mystery and through Her intercession, the grace of perseverance and increase of virtue until the very moment of death and after that the eternal crown that is prepared for us. We ask the same grace for all the just and for all our benefactors.

One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father . . .

We beseech Thee, dear Lord Jesus, by the fifteen mysteries of Thy life, death and passion, by Thy glory and by the merits of Thy Blessed Mother, to convert sinners and help the dying, to deliver the Holy Souls from Purgatory and to give us all Thy grace so that we may live well and die well----and please give us the Light of Thy glory later on so that we may see Thee face to face and love Thee for all eternity. Amen. So be it.

GOD ALONE

It is customary to say the prayer, THE HAIL HOLY QUEEN after the completion of the Rosary, That prayer is is in the Children's directory in the Rosary section, but we provide it in this directory, HERE. This page is not part of St. de Montfort's work.

Second Method

A SHORTER WAY OF COMMEMORATING THE LIFE, DEATH AND GLORY OF JESUS 
AND MARY IN THE MOST HOLY ROSARY, AND A WAY TO CURB 
OUR IMAGINATION AND TO LESSEN DISTRACTIONS

IN ORDER to do this we must add a word or two to each Hail Mary (depending upon the decade) and this will help remind us which mystery we are commemorating. This word or words should be added after the word "Jesus." "And blessed is the fruit of Thy Womb";

At the 1st Decade . . . . . "Jesus incarnate";
At the 2nd " . . . . . "Jesus sanctifying";
At the 3rd " . . . . . "Jesus born in poverty";
At the 4th " . . . . . "Jesus sacrificed";
At the 5th " . . . . . "Jesus, Saint among Saints";
At the 6th " . . . . . "Jesus in His agony";
At the 7th " . . . . . "Jesus scourged";
At the 8th " . . . . . "Jesus crowned with thorns";
At the 9th " . . . . . "Jesus carrying His Cross";
At the 10th " . . . . . "Jesus crucified";
At the 11th " . . . . . "Jesus risen from the dead";
At the 12th " . . . . . "Jesus ascending to Heaven";
At the 13th" . . . . . "Jesus filling Thee with the Holy Spirit";
At the 14th " "Jesus raising Thee up";
At the 15th " . . . . . "Jesus crowning Thee."

At the end of the first five mysteries, we say:
"Grace of the Joyful Mysteries come down into our souls and make them really holy";

At the end of the second:
"Grace of the Sorrowful Mysteries, come down into our souls and make them truly patient";

And at the end of the third:
"Grace of the Glorious Mysteries, come down into our souls and make them everlastingly happy. Amen."

THE MAIN RULES OF THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE MOST HOLY ROSARY

Members should:
1. Have their names written in the Confraternity book, and, if possible, go to Confession and Holy Communion and say the Holy Rosary the same day that they are enrolled;
2. Have a blessed rosary;
3. Say the Holy Rosary every day or at least once a week;
4. Whenever possible, go to Confession and Holy Communion the First Sunday of every month, and assist at the Holy Rosary Processions.

Remember that none of these rules binds under pain of even venial sin.

1. This method varies slightly from that which is now well known. Saint Louis modified it during his lifetime, but it is given here because it is to be found in the original manuscript of this book.

The following prayer, revealed to the three children of Fatima by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, is now added following the Glory be to the Father at the end of each decade:

  O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary50.htm

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Forty-Ninth Rose: Indulgences



THIS IS THE right time to say a little about Indulgences which have been granted to Rosary Confraternity members so that you may gain as many as possible.

Briefly, an Indulgence is a remission or relaxation of temporal punishment due to actual sins, by the application of the superabundant satisfactions of Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Saints----which are contained in the Treasury of the Church.

A Plenary Indulgence is a remission of the whole punishment due to sin; a partial indulgence of, for instance, one hundred or one thousand years [in Montfort's time-----the Web Master] can be explained as the remission of as much punishment as could have been expiated during one hundred or one thousand years, if one had been given a corresponding number of the penances prescribed by the Church's ancient Canons.

Now these Canons exacted seven and sometimes ten or fifteen years' penance for one single mortal sin, so that a person who was guilty of twenty mortal sins would probably have had to perform a seven year penance at least twenty times, and so on.

Rosary Confraternity members who want to gain the Indulgences must:

1. be truly repentant and must go to Confession and Holy Communion, as the Bull of Indulgences teaches;
2. they must be entirely free from affection for venial sin, because if affection for sin is left the guilt is left too, and since the guilt is there, the punishment cannot be lifted;
 3. they must say the prayers and carry out the good works designated by the Bull. If, in accordance with what the Popes have said, one can gain a partial Indulgence (for instance, of one hundred years) without gaining a Plenary Indulgence, it is not always necessary to go to Confession and Holy Communion in order to gain it. Such partial Indulgences are many of those attached to the Rosary (either of five or of fifteen decades) to processions, blessed Rosaries, etc.

Be sure not to neglect these Indulgences. Flammin and a great number of other writers tell the story of a young girl of noble station by the name of Alexandre, who had been miraculously converted and enrolled by Saint Dominic in the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. After her death she appeared to him and said that she had been condemned to seven hundred years of Purgatory, because of her own sins and those that she had made others commit by her worldly ways. So she implored him to ease her pains by his prayers and to ask the Confraternity members to pray for the same end. Saint Dominic did as she had asked.

Two weeks later she appeared to him, more radiant than the sun, having been quickly delivered from Purgatory through the prayers that the Confraternity members had said for her. She also told Saint Dominic that the Holy Souls in Purgatory had given her a message to beg him to go on preaching the Holy Rosary and to beg their relations to offer their Rosaries for them, and that they would reward them abundantly when they came into their glory.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary48.htm

Friday, August 5, 2011

Forty-Eighth Rose: Perseverance


5. As a fifth point I must add also perseverance in prayer. Only he will receive, will find and will enter who perseveres in asking, seeking and knocking. It is not enough to ask Almighty God for certain graces for a month, a year, ten or even twenty years; we must never tire of asking. We must keep on asking until the very moment of death, and even in this prayer which shows our trust in God, we must join the thought of death to that of perseverance and say: "Although he should kill me, I will trust in Him" [1] and will trust Him to give me all I need.

Prominent and rich people of the world show their generosity by foreseeing people's wants and ministering to them, even before they are asked for anything. On the other hand, God's munificence is shown in His making us seek and ask for, over a long period of time, the grace which He wishes to give us and quite often the more precious the grace, the longer He takes to grant it. There are three reasons why He does this:

1. To thus increase this grace still more:
2. To make the recipient more deeply appreciate it;
3. To make the soul who receives it very careful indeed not to lose it----for people do not appreciate things that they can get quickly and with very little trouble.

So, dear members of the Rosary Confraternity, persevere in asking Almighty God for all your needs, both spiritual and corporal, through the Most Holy Rosary. Most of all you should ask for Divine Wisdom which is an infinite Treasure: "(Wisdom) is an infinite treasure" [2] and there can be no possible doubt that you will receive it sooner or later----as long as you do not stop asking for it and do not lose courage in the middle of your journey. "Thou hast yet a great way to go." [3] This means that you have a long way to go, there will be bad times to weather, many difficulties to overcome and many enemies to conquer before you will have stored up enough treasures of eternity, enough Our Fathers and Hail Marys with which to buy your way to Heaven and earn the beautiful crown which is waiting for each faithful Confraternity member.

"(Let) no man take thy crown": [4] take care that your crown is not stolen by somebody who has been more faithful than you in saying the Holy Rosary. It is "thy crown"----Almighty God has chosen it for you and you have already won it halfway by means of the Rosaries that you have said well. Unfortunately someone else may get ahead of you in the race----someone who has worked harder and who has been more faithful might possibly win the crown that ought to be yours, paying for it by his Rosaries and good works. All this could really happen if you stand still on the beautiful path where you have been running so well: "You did run well." [5] "Who hath hindered you?" [6] Who is it who will have prevented you from having the Rosary crown? None other than the enemies of the Holy Rosary who are so numerous.

Do believe me, only "the violent bear it away." [7] These crowns are not for timid souls who are afraid of the world's taunts and threats, neither are they for the lazy and indolent who only say their Rosary carelessly, or hastily, just for the sake of getting it over with. The same applies to people who say it intermittently, as the spirit moves them. These crowns are not for cowards who lose heart and down their arms as soon as they see Hell let loose against the Holy Rosary.

Dear Confraternity members: if you want to serve Jesus and Mary by saying the Rosary every day, you must be prepared for temptation: "When thou comest to the service of God . . . prepare thy soul for temptation." [8] Heretics and licentious folk, "respectable" people of the world, persons of only surface piety as well as false prophets, hand in glove with your fallen nature and all Hell itself, will wage formidable battles against you in an endeavor to get you to give up this holy practice.

To help you to be better armed against their onslaught I am going to tell you some of the things these people are always saying and thinking. This is to put you on your guard against them all, but not so much in the case of heretics and out-and-out licentious people, but particularly those who are "respectable" in the eyes of the world, and those who are devout (strange as it may seem) but have no use for the Holy Rosary.

"What is it that this word sower would say?" [9] "Come, let us oppress him, for he is against us." That is to say: "What is he doing saying so many Rosaries? What is it he is always mumbling? Such laziness! And what a waste of time to keep sliding those old beads along----he would do much better to work and not be bothered with this foolishness. I know what I'm talking about, . . .

"All you have to do, I suppose, is to say your Rosary, and a fortune will fall from Heaven into your lap! The Rosary gives you everything you need without your lifting a finger! But hasn't it been said: "God helps those who help themselves?" There's no need then of getting mixed up with so many prayers. "A brief prayer is heard in Heaven," one Our Father and Hail Mary will do provided they are well said.

"God has never told us to say the Rosary----of course it's all right, it's not a bad devotion when you've got the time. But don't think for one minute that people who say the Rosary are any more sure of Heaven than we are. Just look at the Saints who never said it! Far too many people want to make everybody see through their own eyes: folk who carry everything to extremes, scrupulous people who see sin almost everywhere, making sweeping statements and saying that all those who don't say the Rosary will go to Hell.

"Oh yes, the Rosary is all right for old women who can't read. But surely the Little Office of Our Lady is much more worthwhile than the Rosary? Or the Seven Penitential Psalms? And how could anything be more beautiful than the Psalms which are inspired by the Holy Ghost? You say you have agreed to say the Rosary every day; this is nothing but a fire of straw----you know very well it won't last! Wouldn't it be better to undertake less and to be more faithful about it?

"Come on, my friend, take my word for it, say your morning and night prayers, work hard during the day and offer it up----God doesn't ask any more of you than this. Of course you've got your living to earn; if you were a man of leisure I shouldn't say anything----you could say as many Rosaries as you like then. But as for now, say your Rosary on Sundays and Holy Days when you have lots of time, if you really must say it.

"But really and truly----what are you doing with an enormous pair of beads? You look like an old woman instead of a man! I've seen a little Rosary of only one decade----it's just as good as one of fifteen decades. What on earth are you wearing it on your belt for, fanatic that you are? Why don't you go the whole way and wear it around your neck like the Spaniards? They carry an enormous Rosary in one hand---and a dagger in the other.

"For goodness sake drop those external devotions; real devotion is in the heart . . . etc. etc.  . . ."

Similarly, not a few clever people and learned scholars may occasionally try to dissuade you from saying the Rosary (but they are, of course, proud and self willed). They would rather encourage you to say the Seven Penitential Psalms or some other prayers. If a good confessor has given you a Rosary for your penance and has told you to say it every day for a fortnight or a month, all you have to do to get your penance changed to prayers, fasts, Masses or alms, is to go to confession to one of these others.

If you consult certain people in the world who lead lives of prayer, but who have never tried the Rosary, they will not only not encourage it but will turn people away from it to get them to learn contemplation----just as though the Holy Rosary and contemplation were incompatible, just as if all the Saints who have been devoted to the Rosary had not enjoyed the heights of sublime contemplation.

Your nearest enemies will attack you all the more cruelly because you are so close to them. I am speaking of the powers of your soul and your bodily senses----these are distractions of the mind, distress and uncertainty of the will, dryness of the heart, exhaustion and illnesses of the body----all these will combine with the devil to say to you: "Stop saying your Rosary; that is what is giving you such a headache! Give it up; there is no obligation under pain of sin. If you must say it, say only part of it; the difficulties that you are having over it are a sign that Almighty God does not want you to say it. You can finish it tomorrow when you are more in the mood, etc.  . . . etc.  . . ."

Finally, my dear Brother, the Daily Rosary has so many enemies that I look upon the grace of persevering in it until death as one of the greatest favors Almighty God can give us.

Persevere in it and if you are faithful you will eventually have the wonderful crown which is waiting for you in Heaven: "Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life." [10]


1. Job 13:15.
2. Wisdom 7:14.
3. 3 Kings 19:7.
4. Apoc. 3:11.
5. Galat. 5:7.
6. Idem. 5:7.
7. Matt. 11:l2.
8. Ecclus. 2:1.
9. Acts 17:18.
10. Apoc. 2:10.

Source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary48.htm