The following are some excerpts taken from the book entitled “The Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis Marie De Montfort. Hopefully they will help our readers to understand the power and importance of reciting the Rosary faithfully every day.
There was a certain pious but self-willed lady who lived in Rome during the time of Saint Dominic. She was so devout and so fervent that she put to shame by her holy life even the strictest religious in the Church.
Having decided to ask Saint Dominic's advice about her spiritual life, she asked him to hear her confession. For her penance, he gave her one whole Rosary to say, and advised her to say it every day. She said that she had no time to say it, excusing herself on the grounds that she made the Stations of Rome every day, that she wore sack-cloth and also a hair shirt, that she gave herself the discipline several times a week, that she carried out so many other penances and fasted so much. Saint Dominic urged her over and over again to take his advice and say the Rosary, but she would not hear of it. She left the confessional horrified at the tactics of this new spiritual director who had tried so hard to persuade her to take on a devotion that was not at all to her liking.
Later on when she was in prayer, she fell into ecstasy and had a vision of her soul appearing before Our Lord's Judgment Seat. Saint Michael put all her penances and other prayers onto one balance of the scales, and all her sins and imperfections onto the other. The tray of her good works was greatly outweighed by that of her sins and imperfections.
Filled with terror, she cried for mercy, imploring the help of the Blessed Virgin, her glorious Advocate, who took the one and only Rosary that she had said for her penance and dropped it onto the tray of her good works. The one Rosary was so heavy that it weighed more than all her sins as well as all her good works. Our Lady then reproved her for having refused to follow the counsel of Her servant Dominic, and for not saying the Rosary every day.
As soon as she came to herself, she rushed and threw herself at the feet of Saint Dominic and told him all that had happened, begged his forgiveness for her unbelief, and promised to say the Rosary faithfully every day. By this means, she rose to Christian perfection, and finally to the glory of everlasting life.
* * *
In 1460, Blessed Alan de la Roche received 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.
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 by 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 every day.
* * *
One day, Saint Gertrude had a vision of Our Lord counting gold coins. She summoned the courage to ask Him what He was doing. He answered: “I am counting the Hail Mary's that you have said; this is the money with which you can pay your way to Heaven.”
* * *
Blessed Alan de la Roche says that a nun who had always had a great devotion to the Holy Rosary appeared after death to one of her sisters in religion, and said to her: “If I were allowed to go back into my body to have the chance of saying just one single Hail Mary — even if I said it quickly and without great fervor — I would gladly go through the suffering that I had during my last illness all over again in order to gain the merit of this prayer.” This is all the more compelling because she had been bedridden and had suffered agonizing pains for several years before she died.
* * *
Our Lady once said to Blessed Alan de la Roche in a vision: “When people say one-hundred and fifty Angelic Salutations, this prayer is very helpful to them and is a very pleasing tribute to Me. But they will do better still and will please Me even more if they say these salutations while meditating on the life, death, and passion of Jesus Christ — for this meditation is the soul of this prayer.”
For, in reality, the Rosary said without meditating on the sacred mysteries of our salvation would be almost like a body without a soul: excellent matter but without the form which is meditation — this latter being that which sets it apart from all other devotions.
Our Lady also revealed to Blessed Alan that no sooner had Saint Dominic begun preaching the Rosary than hardened sinners were touched and wept bitterly over their grievous sins. Young children performed incredible penances, and everywhere that he preached the Holy Rosary, such fervor arose that sinners changed their lives and edified everyone by their penances and change of heart.
Blessed Albert the Great learned in a revelation that by simply thinking of, or meditating on, the passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a Christian gains more merit than if he had fasted on bread and water every Friday for a whole year, or had beaten himself with his discipline once a week until the blood flowed, or had recited the whole Book of Psalms every day. If this is so, then how great must be the merit that we can gain by the Holy Rosary which commemorates the whole life and passion of Our Savior!
One day, Our Lady revealed to Blessed Alan that, after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the most important as well as the living memorial of Our Blessed Lord's passion, there could not possibly be a finer devotion nor one of greater merit than that of the Holy Rosary, which is like a second memorial and representation of the life and passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
* * *
When Saint Dominic was preaching the Rosary near Carcassone, an Albigensian was brought to him who was possessed by the devil. Saint Dominic exorcised him in the presence of a great crowd of people; it appears that over twelve thousand had come to hear him preach.
During the exorcism, the demon was forced to speak the following about devotion to the Mother of God: “Listen well, you Christians: the Mother of Jesus Christ is all-powerful, and She can save Her servants from falling into hell. She is the Sun which destroys the darkness of our wiles. It is She who uncovers our hidden plots, breaks our snares, and makes our temptations useless and ineffectual.
“We have to say, however reluctantly, that not a single soul who has really persevered in Her service has ever been damned with us; one single sigh that She offers to the Blessed Trinity is worth far more than all the prayers, desires, and aspirations of all the saints.
“We fear Her more than all the other saints in Heaven together, and we have no success with Her faithful servants. Many Christians who call upon Her when they are in the hour of death, and who really ought to be damned according to our ordinary standards, are saved by Her intercession.
“Oh, if only that Mary (it is thus in their fury that they called Her) had not pitted Her strength against ours and had not upset our plans, we should have conquered the Church and should have destroyed it long before this, and we would have seen to it that all of the Orders in the Church fell into error and disorder.
“Now that we are forced to speak, we must also tell you this: nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because She obtains for Her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins, and by means of this they obtain God's forgiveness and mercy.”
From John Paul II's Message for World Youth Day 2003:
“Dear young people, do not be ashamed to recite the Rosary alone, while you walk along the streets to school, to the university or to work, or as you commute by public transport. Adopt the habit of reciting it among yourselves, in your groups, movements and associations. Do not hesitate to suggest that it be recited at home by your parents and brothers and sisters, because it rekindles and strengthens the bonds between family members. This prayer will help you to be strong in your faith, constant in charity, joyful and persevering in hope.”