Saint Louis Marie De Montfort was often called “the priest with the big rosary,” because he was never seen without one, as it occupied an important place in his own spiritual life and in his apostolate.
In the compilation of his writings published by the Montfort Fathers entitled “God Alone,” the following is related about Saint Louis and his devotion to the rosary; “As he was primarily a missionary of the ordinary people, concentrating especially on the poor and abandoned, he set out to renew in them Christianity, believing that this could be achieved by devotion to Mary which could only lead men to Jesus and holiness. He believed that the Rosary was a wonderfully secret way of knowing Mary and finding Jesus through her. He saw how much more fervent were those parishes whose people had maintained the practice of saying the Rosary than those whose people had abandoned it. He established the devotion of the Rosary where ever he preached and had it recited publicly every day during his missions.”
In his book “The Secret of the Rosary” he opens the chapters with the title “The Secret of the Rosary for Renewal and Salvation.” Chapter by chapter he offers compelling evidence of this powerful tool taken from the annals of history showing its effects on souls. Saint Louis’ passionate love for Mary is so compelling in this treatise that no one can read it and escape the mystical attraction to this devotion.
What is the Rosary?
After the Mass, the Holy Rosary is the most powerful prayer of the Church. Visibly it is a simple sacramental made of a crucifix and a string of beads. Its hidden power lies in the strength of its prayer and meditation on the mysteries of Christ’s life.
A simple chaplet consists of 5 decades of beads upon which are recited the Hail Mary (Angelic Salutation). The Our Father (The Lord’s Prayer) and the Glory Be (The Doxology) are said between decades while the Apostles’ Creed and the Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina) begin and conclude the rosary respectively.
Blessed Alan de la Roche (c. 1460) affirms the strong Catholic tradition that it was Our Lady herself who gave the Holy Rosary to Saint Dominic. In the thirteenth century the Blessed Mother appeared to him in the forest of Bouconne, near Toulouse, France. Clothed in resplendent light, she approached the ecstatic friar, extended to him the new sacramental, and proclaimed the following words, “The earth shall remain barren till watered by the heavenly dew of this devotion as a practice of piety most dear to my Son and to me, as a powerful means of dissipating heresy, extinguishing vice, spreading virtue, imploring the divine mercy, and obtaining my protection. I desire that this manner of prayer shall be perpetually promoted and practiced. The faithful shall obtain by it numberless benefits, and shall always find me ready to aid them in all their wants. This is the precious gift which, through you, I bequeath to thee world.”