Our Lady of the Rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary, a feast of glory! She who helped the Christians win the Battle of Lepanto, grant us the grace of the coming of Her Kingdom, which will also be the Kingdom of the Rosary.

Newsroom (08/10/2021 9:47 AM, Gaudium PressAt Our Lady’s last apparition at Fatima in October 1917, the Virgin Mary finally said her name: “I am the Lady of the Rosary”; and she again recalled the recommendation already made before: “Continue to pray the Rosary every day.

It was during that apparition that Our Lady told the three children: ” … Continue to recite the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain peace in the world and an end to war…

Fatima and the Rosary, the children of Fatima and Our Lady are words deeply and inseparably linked together … Today, perhaps more than ever, Mary pours graces on those who pray the Rosary … Learn more about the devotion and the graces received by those who practice praying the Rosary, as well as the story of Our Lady’s last apparition at Fatima. By special design of God’s infinite mercy, Mary Most Holy revealed to the great Saint Dominic of Gusmão, founder of the Dominican Order, an easy and sure means of salvation: the Holy Rosary.

Whenever men use it, everything in the Church flourishes, peace reigns on earth, families live in harmony, and hearts are aflame with love for God and neighbor. When they forget it, misfortunes multiply, discord is implanted in homes, chaos is established in the world…

The Hail Mary, Basis of the New Testament

Saint Dominic lived in a time of great tribulation for the Church.

The terrible heresy of the Albigenses had spread in southern France and threatened all of Europe. The resulting deep moral corruption was shaking the very foundations of temporal society.

By means of ardent preaching, he tried for years to bring back to the bosom of the Church those unfortunates who had strayed from the truth. But his eloquent and impassioned words could not penetrate those hardened and vicious hearts.

The Saint intensified his prayers…

He founded a religious institute to welcome the converted… His efforts were to little or no avail. Conversions were few and short-lived.

What to do? One day, determined to draw superabundant graces from God to move those souls to conversion, Dominic entered a forest near Toulouse and gave himself to prayer and penance, determined not to leave without obtaining a favorable response from Heaven.

After three days and three nights of ceaseless supplications, when his physical strength was almost gone, the Virgin Mary appeared to him, saying with ineffable gentleness to her – Lady, you know better than I do, because, after your Son Jesus Christ, you were the principal instrument of our salvation.

– I tell you, then, that the most important instrument was the Angelic Salutation, the Hail Mary, which is the foundation of the New Testament. And therefore, if you want to win those hardened hearts to God, pray my Rosary.

Lightning and Thunder to Reinforce the Preaching

With new courage, the zealous Dominican went immediately to Toulouse Cathedral to preach. As soon as he stepped through the door of the temple, the bells started ringing, by the work of angels, to gather the inhabitants of the city.

As soon as he began to speak, thick clouds covered the sky and a terrible storm broke out, with lightning and thunder, aggravated by a terrifying earthquake.

The dread of the audience increased when an image of Our Lady, situated in a very visible place, raised its arms three times to ask God for vengeance against them if they did not convert and ask for the protection of His Most Holy Mother.

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The holy preacher implored God’s mercy, and the storm ceased, allowing him to speak in all calmness about the wonders of the Rosary.

The inhabitants of Toulouse repented of their sins, abandoned their error, and began to pray the Rosary. As a result, customs in that city changed greatly.

From then on, Saint Dominic, in his sermons, began to preach devotion to the Rosary, inviting his listeners to pray it with fervor every day. Thus he obtained that the mercy of Our Lady enveloped souls and profoundly transformed them.

Mary was the true victor over the errors of the Albigensians.

A Sermon Written by the Blessed Virgin

Blessed Alano relates an apparition of Saint Dominic, in which he told him the following episode: While praying the Rosary, he was preparing to give a sermon on Saint John the Evangelist in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Then Our Lady appeared to him and gave him a parchment, saying: “Dominic, as good a sermon as you have decided to give, I have here a better one”.Very pleased, he read the parchment, thanked Mary wholeheartedly, and went to the pulpit to begin his sermon. Before him stood the professors and students of the University of Paris, as well as a great number of important people.

About the Apostle St. John, he simply stated how much he deserved to have been chosen as guardian of the Queen of Heaven. Then he added: “Gentlemen and distinguished masters, you are accustomed to hearing elegant and wise sermons, but I do not want to address to you the learned words of human wisdom, but to show you the Spirit of God and its virtue.”

And then Saint Dominic went on to explain the Hail Mary, as Our Lady had taught him, thus deeply moving that audience of learned men.

Blessed Alan de la Roche

The very graces and miracles granted by God through the recitation of the Rosary took care of spreading it far and wide, and it became the most beloved devotion of the Christian faithful. While it was practiced, piety flourished in religious orders and in the Catholic world.

But, one hundred years after it had been spread by St. Dominic, it had already fallen almost into oblivion. As a consequence, evils multiplied over Christendom: the Black Plague devastated Europe, decimating a third of the population, new heresies appeared, the Hundred Years’ War spread disorder everywhere, and the Great Schism of the West divided the Church for a long period.

To counteract the evil and, above all, to prepare the Church for future conflicts, God raised up Blessed Alan de la Roche, of the Dominican Order, with the mission of restoring the ancient fervor for the Rosary.

One day while he was celebrating Mass, in 1460, Our Lord asked him: “Why do you crucify me again? And you crucify me, not only for your sins but also because you know how necessary it is to preach the Rosary and thus turn many souls away from sin. If you don’t do it, you are guilty of the sins they commit”.

From then on, Blessed Alano became a tireless spreader of this devotion, and thus converted a great number of souls.

Decisive Factor of Great Victories

It was especially in times of great danger and trial for the Church that the Rosary played a decisive role, fostered the perseverance of Catholics in the Faith, and raised a barrier against evil.

Seeing Europe threatened by the armies of the Ottoman Empire, which advanced by sea and land, devastating everything and persecuting Christians, Pope Saint Pius V ordered the Rosary to be prayed throughout Christendom, imploring Our Lady’s protection. At the same time, with the help of Spain and Venice, he assembled a fleet in the Mediterranean Sea to defend the Catholic countries.

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On October 7, 1571, the Catholic fleet encountered the powerful Ottoman fleet in the Gulf of Lepanto. And despite the numerical superiority of the adversary, the Christians emerged triumphant, definitively averting the risk of an invasion. Before the combat, all the Catholic soldiers and sailors prayed the Rosary with great devotion.

The victory, which seemed almost impossible, was due to the protection of the Blessed Virgin, who – according to testimony given by the Muslims themselves – appeared during the battle, infusing them with great terror.

In the 18th century, to commemorate Prince Eugene of Saboya’s victory over the Ottoman army, also due to the effectiveness of the Rosary, Pope Clement XI ordered that the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary be celebrated universally.

Saint Louís Grignion de Montfort

In order to strengthen his children and prepare them to endure the great trials to come, God raised up a soul of fire with the mission of rekindling the flame of devotion to the Rosary, which had once again fallen into oblivion. St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, the great doctor of devotion to the Mother of God, exercised his prophetic mission a century before the French Revolution. The regions where his preaching was heard were those which best resisted the errors of his time and preserved the Faith intact.

Fatima, 1917: “I am the Lady of the Rosary”

Already in the 20th century, when World War I was at its height, Our Lady herself came, in person, to remind men that the solution to their ills was at hand, in the beads of the Rosary: “Pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace and the end of the war,” She repeated maternally to the three shepherd children at Fatima. At the last apparition, in October 1917, the Virgin Mary said who she was: “I am the Lady of the Rosary. And to attest to the authenticity of the apparitions and the importance of the Rosary, she performed a miracle of unprecedented magnitude, witnessed by the crowd of 70,000 people who were there: the sun rotated in the sky at noon, seeming to fall to the earth, and then resuming its usual position in the firmament.

Miracles of this magnitude are found only in the Old Testament. But not even then did the world listen to the Mother of God. Never has so much misfortune befell the earth, never have there been so many wars, never has moral disintegration reached so low a level.

Nevertheless, the means of obtaining peace for the world, for families, for hearts, is still within reach, in the blessed beads of the Rosary, which the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying suspended from her arm when she appeared at Fatima.

He was Saved Because he was Wearing the Rosary around his Waist

It is impossible to express how much the Blessed Virgin esteems the Rosary above all other devotions, and how generous she is in rewarding those who work to spread it.

St. Louis de Montfort relates the case of Alfonso IX, King of Leon, whom Our Lady protected in a special way, simply because he carried the Rosary around his waist.

Desiring that his subjects honor the Blessed Virgin, and to encourage them by her example, it occurred to this monarch to wear a large Rosary ostentatiously, even though he did not pray it. This was enough to encourage his courtiers to pray it devoutly.

Some time later, the king was near death, afflicted by a serious illness. He was then carried in spirit to God’s tribunal, where the demons accused him of all his crimes. And when he was about to be condemned to eternal punishment, the Blessed Virgin presented herself in his defense before Jesus.

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On one side of the scales, the sins of the King were placed. On the other, the Virgin Mary placed the great Rosary that he had carried in Her honor, together with the Rosaries that, because of his example, other people had prayed, and these weighed more than all the sins he had committed.

Then Mary most holy, looking mercifully at the King, said: “I have obtained from my Son, as a reward for the little service you have done Me by wearing the Rosary around your waist, the prolongation of your life for a few more years. Use them well, and do penance.

Coming to his senses, the king exclaimed, “Oh, blessed Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, by it I have been delivered from eternal damnation!” And, regaining his health, he began to pray the Rosary every day until the end of his life.

The word of the Pope, spokesman for Jesus

“The Rosary mystically transports us to Mary (…) so that she may educate us and mold us until Christ is fully formed in us,” teaches Pope John Paul II. And he adds: “Never, as in the Rosary, do the way of Christ and the way of Mary appear so profoundly united. Mary lives only in Christ and for Christ.”

Let us recall his inspired words in the Apostolic Letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae“: “The Rosary has accompanied me in times of joy and in trials.

To it I have entrusted so many worries; in it, I have always found comfort. The Rosary is my favorite prayer. O blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which binds us to God, bond of love which unites us to the Angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe port in the general shipwreck! We will never leave you again! You will be our comfort in the hour of agony. Be to thee the last kiss of life that is quenched. And the last word from our lips shall be your gentle name, O Queen of the Rosary, O our dear Mother, O Refuge of sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the sorrowful. Be blessed everywhere, today and forever, on earth and in Heaven. Amen.”

Never Stop Praying It!

Yes, faithfully heeding this exhortation from the Pope, never stop praying the Rosary, under the pretext of having too many involuntary distractions, lack of pleasure in praying it, too much fatigue, not enough time, or any other. To pray the Rosary well, it is not necessary to have pleasure, consolations, or a continuous application of the imagination. Pure faith and a good intention are enough.

And see how many benefits the recitation of the Rosary gives us!

– It raises us to a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ.
– It purifies our souls from sin.
– It makes us victorious against all our enemies.
– It makes it easy for us to practice the virtues.
– Absorb us in the love of Jesus Christ.
– Enriches us with graces and merits.
– It provides us with the means to pay all our debts to God and to men.

To all this, Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort adds: “Even if you find yourself on the edge of the abyss or already with one foot in hell, even if you are hardened and obstinate like a demon, sooner or later you will be converted and saved, provided you pray the Holy Rosary devoutly every day, to know the truth and obtain contrition and forgiveness of your sins.

By Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias

(In “Heralds of the Gospel Magazine”, Out/2004, n. 34, p. 34 a 38)

Compiled by Camille Mittermeier

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