Quotes from The Secret of The Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort
The Primacy of the Rosary among all devotions
It is scarcely possible for me to put into words how our Lady esteems the Rosary and how she prefers it to all other devotions. Nor can I sufficiently express how wonderfully she rewards those who work to make known the devotion, to establish it and spread it nor, on the other hand, how strictly she punishes those who work against it.Pg 20
The rose is the queen of flowers, and so the Rosary is the rose of devotions and the most important one.Pg 20
For never will anyone who says his Rosary every day become a formal heretic or be led astray by the devil. This is a statement which I would sign with my blood.Pg 48
Neither feelings, nor consolations, nor sighs, nor transports, nor the continual attention of the imagination are needed; faith and good intentions are quite enough. Sola fides sufficit.Pg 26
If by chance your conscience is burdened with sin, take your Rosary and say at least a part of it in honour of some of the mysteries of the life, passion, and glory of Jesus Christ, and you can be sure that, while you are meditating on these mysteries and honouring them, he will show his sacred wounds to his Father in heaven. He will plead for you and obtain for you contrition and the forgiveness of your sins.Pg 51
Every day unbelievers and un-repentant sinners cry, “Let us crown ourselves with roses.” But our cry should be, “Let us crown ourselves with the roses of the holy Rosary.” How different are theirs from ours! Their roses are pleasures of the flesh, worldly honours 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.Pg 8
Recommendations for Saying the Rosary
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. There are two reasons for doing this: first of all, to honour 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 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 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.Pgs 8-9
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.Pg 10
I would like to add that the Rosary ought to be said reverently, that is to say, it ought to be said as much as possible, kneeling, with hands joined, clasping the rosary. However, if you are ill, you can, of course, say it in bed; or if one is travelling it can be said while walking; if, on account of some infirmity, you cannot kneel you can say it standing or sitting. You can even say it while working if your duties do not allow you to leave your job, for work with one’s hands is not always incompatible with vocal prayer.Pgs75-76
I advise you to divide up your Rosary into three parts and to say each group of five decades at different times of the day. This is much better than saying the whole fifteen decades at once. If you cannot find the time to say five decades all together, say a decade here and a decade there; you will thus be able, in spite of your work and the calls upon your time, to complete the whole Rosary before going to bed. St. Francis de Sales set us a very good example of fidelity in this respect: once when he was extremely tired from the visits he had made during the day and remembered, towards midnight, that he had left a few decades of his Rosary unsaid, he knelt down and said them before going to bed, notwithstanding all the efforts of his secretary, who saw he was tired and begged him to leave the rest of his prayers till the next day. Imitate also the faithfulness, reverence and devotion of the holyPg 76
Priests and the Rosary
All priests say a Hail Mary with the faithful before preaching, to ask for God’s grace.Blessed Alan de la Roche / Pg 15
…many priests want to preach thunderously against the worst kinds of sin at the very outset, failing to realize that before a sick person is given bitter medicine, he needs to be prepared by being put into the right frame of mind to really benefit by it. That is why, before doing anything else, priests should try to kindle a love of prayer in people’s hearts and especially a love of my Angelic Psalter.Mary in an apparition to St. Dominic / Pg 15
‘My son,’ she said one day, ‘do not be surprised that your sermons fail to bear the results you had hoped for. You are trying to cultivate a piece of ground which has not had any rain. Now when God planned to renew the face of the earth, he started by sending down rain from heaven – and this was the Angelic Salutation. In this way God reformed the world. “‘ So when you give a sermon, urge people to say my Rosary, and in this way your words will bear much fruit for souls.’Mary in an apparition to St. Dominic / Pg 15
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 it. If you only did that, 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.Jesus in an apparition to Blessed Alan de la Roche / Pg 17
What is the Rosary?
From the time Saint Dominic established the devotion to the holy Rosary up to the time when Blessed Alan de la Roche reestablished it in 1460, it has always been called the Psalter of Jesus and Mary. This is because it has the same number of Hail Marys as there are psalms in the Book of the Psalms of David. 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. Just as the real thing is more important than its prefiguration and the body surpasses the shadow, so the Psalter of our Lady is greater than David’s Psalter, which did no more than prefigure it;
3. Because our Lady’s Psalter or the Rosary made up of the Our Father and Hail Mary is the direct work of the Blessed Trinity.Pg 18-19
The miraculous way in which the devotion to the holy Rosary was established is something of a parallel to the way in which God gave his law to the world on Mount Sinai, and it obviously proves its value and importance.Pg 13
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 Ghost has revealed this secret to a priest and director of souls, how blessed is that priest!Pg 7
The Rosary is made up of two things: mental prayer and vocal prayer. In the Rosary mental prayer is none other than meditation of the chief mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and of 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 meditating on and contemplating the fifteen principal virtues which Jesus and Mary practised in the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. In the first five decades we must honour the five Joyful Mysteries and meditate on them; in the second five decades, the Sorrowful Mysteries; and in the third group of five, the Glorious Mysteries.Pgs 11-12
The Psalter or Rosary of our Lady is divided into three chaplets of five decades each, for the following reasons:
1. to honour the three persons of the Blessed Trinity;
2. to honour the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ;
3. to imitate the Church triumphant, to help the members of the Church militant, and to bring relief to the Church suffering;
4. to imitate the three groups into which the psalms are divided, the first being for the purgative life, the second for the illuminative life, and the third for the unitive life;
5. to give us graces in abundance during life, peace at death, and glory in eternity.Pg 19
Ever since Blessed Alan de la Roche re-established this devotion, the voice of the people, which is the voice of God, gave it the name of the Rosary, which means “crown of roses.”Pg 19
Blessed Alan de la Roche
Blessed Alan died at Zwolle, in Flanders, on September 8th, 1475, after having brought more than a hundred thousand people into the Confraternity.Pg 21
The Apostles Creed
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.Pg 26
The Creed or the Symbol of the Apostles, which is said on the crucifix of the rosary, is a holy summary of all the Christian truths.Pg 25
I cannot resist saying that the first words, “I believe in God,” are wonderfully effective as a means of sanctifying our souls and putting the devils to rout, because these words contain the acts of the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. It was by saying these words that many saints overcame temptations, especially those against faith, hope or charity, either during their lifetime or at the hour of their death. They were also the last words of St. Peter, Martyr. A heretic had cleft his head in two by a blow of his sword, and although St. Peter was at his last gasp, he managed to trace these words in the sand with his finger.Pg 25
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.Pg 26
St. 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.Pg 27
The just man falls seven times, and in the Lord’s Prayer he will find seven petitions which will both help him to avoid lapses and protect him from his spiritual enemies. OurPg 27
When we say this wonderful prayer, we touch God’s heart at the very outset by calling him by that sweet name of Father.Pg 28
St. Augustine assures us that whenever we say the Our Father devoutly our venial sins are forgiven.Pg 27
So we ought to love our heavenly Father and 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, in sinners by the patience with which thou dost tolerate them, grant that we may always remember that we come from thee; grant that we may live as thy true children; that we may direct our course towards thee alone with all the ardour of our soul.
“Hallowed by thy name.” The name of the Lord is holy and to be feared, said the prophet-king David, and heaven, according to Isaiah, echoes 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 all infidels; that all men may serve and glorify him by a living faith, a staunch hope, a burning charity, and by the renouncing of all erroneous beliefs. In short, we pray that all men may be holy because our God himself is holy.
“Thy kingdom come.” That is to say: May you reign in our souls by your grace, during life, so that after death we may be found worthy to reign with thee in thy kingdom, in perfect and unending bliss; that we firmly believe in this happiness to come; we hope for it and we expect it, because God the Father has promised it in his great goodness, and because it was purchased for us by the merits of God the Son; and it has been made known to us by the light of the Holy Ghost.
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” As Tertullian says, this sentence does not mean in the least 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 these words, 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 angels and the blessed do in heaven.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Our Lord teaches us to ask God for everything that we need, whether in the spiritual or the 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 Providence. When we say bread we ask for that which is necessary to live; and, of course that does not include luxuries. We ask for this bread today, 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, says St. Augustine and Tertullian, is a debt which we contract with God, and he in his justice requires payment down to the last farthing. Unfortunately we all have these sad debts. No matter how many they may be, we should go to God with 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 of omission which make us infinitely guilty in the eyes of thy justice. “We dare to ask this because thou art our loving and merciful Father, and because we have forgiven those who have offended us, out of obedience to you 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, from the evil of temporal punishment and of everlasting punishment, which we have rightly deserved.
“Amen.” This word at the end of the Our Father is very consoling, and St. Jerome says that it is a sort of seal of approbation that God puts at the end of our petitions to assure us that he will grant our requests, as though he himself were answering: “Amen! May it be as you have asked, for truly you have obtained what you asked for.” That is what is meant by this word: Amen.Pg 28-29
…We honour his sublimity and his glory and his majesty by the words Who art in heaven, that is to say, seated as on thy throne, holding sway over all men by thy justice. When we say Hallowed be thy Name, we worship God’s holiness; and we make obeisance to his kingship and bow to the justice of his laws by the words Thy kingdom come, praying that men will obey him on earth as the angels do in heaven. We show our trust in his Providence by asking for our daily bread, and we appeal to his mercy when we ask for the forgiveness of our sins. We look to his great power when we beg him not to lead us into temptation, and we show our faith in his goodness by our hope that he will deliver us from evil.Pg 30
Are you groping in the darkness of ignarance and error? Go to Mary and say to her, “Ave”Hail Mary,” which means “Hail, thou who art bathed in the light of the Sun of Justice,” and she will give you a share in her light. Have you strayed from the path leading to heaven? Then call on Mary, for her name means “Star of the Sea, the Polar Star which guides the ships of our souls during the voyage of this life,” and she will guide you to the harbour of eternal salvation. Are you in sorrow? Turn to Mary, for her name means also “Sea of Bitterness which has been filled with bitterness in this world but which is now turned into a sea of purest joy in heaven,” and she will turn your sorrow into joy and your affliction into consolation.
Have you lost the state of grace? Praise and honour the numberless graces with which God has filled the Blessed Virgin and say to her, Thou art full of grace and filled with all the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and she will give you some of these graces.
Are you alone, having lost God’s protection? Pray to Mary and say, The Lord is with thee, in a nobler and more intimate way than he is with the saints and the just, because thou art one with him. He is thy Son and his flesh is thy flesh; thou art united to the Lord because of thy perfect likeness to him and by your mutual love, for thou art his Mother. And then say to her, “The three persons of the Godhead are with thee because thou art the Temple of the Blessed Trinity,” and she will place you once more under the protection and care of God.
Have you become an outcast and been accursed by God? Then say to our Lady, “Blessed art thou above all women and above all nations by thy purity and fertility; thou hast turned God’s maledictions into blessings for us.” She will bless you.
Do you hunger for the bread of grace and the bread of life? Draw near to her who bore the living Bread which came down from heaven, and say to her, “Blessed be the fruit of thy womb, whom thou hast conceived without the slightest loss to thy virginity, whom thou didst carry without discomfort and brought forth without pain. Blessed be Jesus who redeemed our suffering world when we were in the bondage of sin, who has healed the world of its sickness, who has raised the dead to life, brought home the banished, restored sinners to grace, and saved men from damnation.
Without doubt, your soul will be filled with the bread of grace in this life and of eternal glory in the next. Amen.”
Conclude your prayer with the Church and say, “Holy Mary,” holy because of thy incomparable and eternal devotion to the service of God, holy in thy great rank as Mother of God, who has endowed thee with eminent holiness, in keeping with this great dignity.
“Mother of God, and our Mother, our Advocate and Mediatrix, Treasurer and dispenser of God’s graces, obtain for us the prompt forgiveness of our sins and grant that we may be reconciled with the divine majesty.
“Pray for us sinners, thou who art always filled with compassion for those in need, who never despise sinners or turn them away, for without them you would never have been Mother of the Redeemer.
“Pray for us now, during this short life, so fraught with sorrow and uncertainty; now, because we can be sure of nothing except the present moment; now that we are surrounded and attacked night and day by powerful and ruthless enemies. “And at the hour of our death, so terrible and full of danger, when our strength is waning and our spirits are sinking, and our souls and bodies are worn out with fear and pain; at the hour of our death when the devil is working with might and main to ensnare us and cast us into perdition; at that hour when our lot will be decided forever and ever, heaven or hell. “Come to the help of your poor children, gentle Mother of pity, Advocate and Refuge of sinners, at the hour of our death drive far from us our bitter enemies, the devils, our accusers, whose frightful presence fills us with dread. Light our path through the valley of the shadow of death. Lead us to thy Son’s judgment-seat and remain at our side. Intercede for us and ask thy Son to pardon us and receive us into the ranks of thy elect in the realms of everlasting glory. Amen.”Pg 37-38
Heretics, all of whom are children of the devil and who clearly bear the sign of God’s reprobation, have a horror of the Hail Mary.Pg 35
The Hail Mary, the Rosary, is the prayer and the infallible touchstone by which I can tell those who are led by the Spirit of God from those who are deceived by the devil.Pg 35
Remarkable effects of the Rosary
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 practice 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 Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.Pg 9
Blessed Alan relates that a man he knew had tried desperately all kinds of devotions to rid himself of the evil spirit which possessed him, but without success. Finally, he thought of wearing his rosary round his neck, which eased him considerably. He discovered that whenever he took it off the devil tormented him cruelly, so he resolved to wear it night and day. This drove the evil spirit away forever because he could not bear such a terrible chain. Blessed Alan also testifies that he delivered a great number of those who were possessed by putting a rosary round their necks.Pg 52
Finally, I shall content myself with saying, in company with Blessed Alan de la Roche, that the Rosary is a source and a store-house of countless blessings:
1. Sinners obtain pardon;Pg 68
2. Those who thirst are refreshed;
3. Those who are fettered are set free;
4. Those who weep find joy;
5. Those who are tempted find peace;
6. Those in need find help;
7. Religious are reformed;
8. The ignorant are instructed;
9. The living learn to resist spiritual decline;
10. The dead have their pains eased by suffrages.
Our Lady has approved and confirmed this name of the 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.Pg 20
Avoiding distractions while you pray
In order to pray well, it is not enough to give expression to our petitions by means of that most excellent of all prayers, the Rosary, but we must also pray with great attention, for God listens more to the voice of the heart than that of the mouth. To be guilty of wilful distractions during prayer would show a great lack of respect and reverence; it would make our Rosaries unfruitful and make us guilty of sin.Pg 70
Of course, you cannot say your Rosary without having a few involuntary distractions; it is even difficult to say a Hail Mary without your imagination troubling you a little, for it is never still; but you can say it without voluntary distractions, and you must take all sorts of precautions to lessen involuntary distractions and to control your imagination. To do this, put yourself in the presence of God and imagine that God and his Blessed Mother are watching you, and that your guardian angel is at your right hand, taking your Hail Marys, if they are well said, and using them like roses to make crowns for Jesus and Mary. But remember that at your left hand is the devil, ready to pounce on every Hail Mary that comes his way and to write it down in his book of death, if they are not said with attention, devotion, and reverence. Above all, do not fail to offer up each decade in honour of one of the mysteries, and try to form a picture in your mind of Jesus and Mary in connection with that mystery. 121 We readPg 70-71
When we say the Little Office of Our Lady, or the Seven Penitential Psalms, or any prayers other than the Rosary, the variety of words and expressions keeps us alert, prevents our imagination from wandering, and so makes it easier for us to say them well. On the contrary, because of the constant repetition of the Our Father and Hail Mary in the same unvarying form, it is difficult, while saying the Rosary, not to become wearied and inclined to sleep, or to turn to other prayers that are more refreshing and less tedious. This shows that one needs much greater devotion to persevere in saying the Rosary than in saying any other prayer, even the psalter of David.Pg 71-72
…even if your imagination has been bothering you throughout your Rosary, filling your mind with all kinds of distracting thoughts, so long as you tried your best to get rid of them as soon as you noticed them. Always remember that the best Rosary is the one with the most merit, and there is more merit in praying when it is hard than when it is easy. Prayer is all the harder when it is, naturally speaking, distasteful to the soul and is filled with those annoying little ants and flies running about in your imagination, against your will, and scarcely allowing you the time to enjoy a little peace and appreciate the beauty of what you are saying.Pg 72
The chief concern of the Christian should be to tend to perfection. “Be faithful imitators of God, as his well-beloved children,” the great Apostle tells us.Pg 42
Saint Gregory of Nyssa makes a delightful comparison when he says that we are all artists and that our souls are blank canvasses which we have to fill in. The colours which we use are the Christian virtues, and the original which we have to copy is Jesus Christ, the perfect living image of God the Father. Just as a painter who wants to do a life-like portrait places the model before his eyes and looks at it before making each stroke, so the Christian must always have before his eyes the life and virtues of Jesus Christ, so as never to say, think or do anything which is not in conformity with his model.Pg 42-43
One day Blessed Angela of Foligno begged our Lord to let her know by which religious exercise she could honour him best. He appeared to her nailed to his cross and said, “My daughter, look at my wounds.” She then realized that nothing pleases our dear Lord more than meditating upon his sufferings.Pg 44
…if you genuinely wish to attain a high degree of prayer in all honesty and without falling into the illusions of the devil so common with those who practice mental prayer, say the whole Rosary every day, or at least five decades of it.Pg 47
1. it gradually brings us a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ;
2. it purifies our souls from sin;
3. it gives us victory over all our enemies;
4. it makes the practice of virtue easy;
5. it sets us on fire with the love of our Lord;
6. it enriches us with graces and merits;
7. it supplies us with what is needed to pay all our debts to God and to our fellow-men, and finally, it obtains all kinds of graces from God.Regarding the practice of saying the Rosary / Pg 50
Resistance to the Rosary
Everyone knows that there are three different kinds of faith by which we believe different kinds of stories. To stories from Holy Scripture we owe divine faith; to stories on non-religious subjects which are not against common sense and are written by trustworthy authors, we pay the tribute of human faith; and to stories about holy subjects which are told by good authors and are not in any way contrary to reason, to faith or to morals (even though they may sometimes deal with happenings which are above the ordinary), we pay the tribute of a pious faith. I agree that we must be neither too credulous nor too critical, and that we should keep 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 believes all things,” in the same way as pride induces us to doubt even well authenticated stories on the plea that they are not to be found in Holy Scripture. 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 or their own spirit of pride and independence.Pg 24-25
Sometimes a soul that is proud in a subtle way and who may have done everything that he can do interiorly to rise to the sublime heights of contemplation that the saints have reached may be deluded by the noonday devil into giving up his former devotions which are good enough for ordinary souls.Pg 48
To what ends does not the evil one go against us while we are engaged in saying our Rosary against him. Being human, we easily become tired and slipshod, but the devil makes these difficulties worse when we are saying the Rosary. Before we even begin, he makes us feel bored, distracted, or exhausted; and when we have started praying, he oppresses us from all sides, and when after much difficulty and many distractions, we have finished, he whispers to us, “What you have just said is worthless. It is useless for you to say the Rosary. You had better get on with other things.Pg 72
Saint Dominic compels the demons of a possessed man to speak
“Then listen, you Christians. This Mother of Jesus is most powerful in saving her servants from falling into hell. She is like the sun which destroys the darkness of our wiles and subtlety. It is she who uncovers our hidden plots, breaks our snares, and makes our temptations useless and ineffective. “We have to say, however, reluctantly, that no 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 on her at the hour of death and who really ought to be damned according to our ordinary standards are saved by her intercession. And if that Marietta (it is thus in their fury they called her) did not counter our plans and our efforts, we should have overcome the Church and destroyed it long before this, and caused all the Orders in the Church to fall into error and infidelity. “Now that we are forced to speak, we must also tell you that nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because she obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins by which they obtain pardon and mercy.”Demons leaving a possessed man / Pg 62
Saying the Rosary as a group
Of all the ways of saying the holy Rosary, the most glorious to God, most salutary to our souls, and the most terrible to the devil is that of saying or chanting the Rosary publicly in two choirs.Pg 76
…every time you say the Rosary in common, you gain a hundred days’ indulgence. Public prayer is more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and call down his mercy, and the Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, has always advocated it in times of disasters and general distress.Pg 77
Finally, when the Rosary is said in common, it is far more formidable to the devil, because in this public prayer it is an army that is attacking him. He can often overcome the prayer of an individual, but if it is joined to that of others, the devil has much more trouble in getting the best of it.Pg 78
Confraternity of the Rosary
Strictly speaking, there can be only one kind of Confraternity of the Rosary, that is, one whose members agree to say the entire Rosary of 150 Hail Marys every day. However, considering the fervour 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 to be said only once a year; Daily Membership, which obliges one to say it all every day, that is, the fifteen decades made up of 150 Hail Marys. None of these oblige 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 fulfil 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 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 you forfeit your participation in the prayers, good works and merits of the Confraternity.Pg 17-18
…the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary retained its first fervour for a 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 Rosary, and thus block the flow of God’s grace which it had drawn upon the world. Thus, in 1349 God punished the whole of Europe with the most terrible plague that had ever been known…This scourge of God was quickly followed by two others, the heresy of the Flagellants and a tragic schism in 1376.Pg 16
1. Members may gain a plenary indulgence on the day of joining the Confraternity;
2. A plenary indulgence at the hour of death;
3. For each rosary of five decades recited: ten years and ten quarantines;
4. Each time that members say the holy names of Jesus and Mary devoutly: seven days’ indulgence;
5. For those who assist with devotion at the procession of the holy Rosary: seven years and seven quarantines of indulgence;
6. Members who have made a good confession and are genuinely sorry for their sins may gain a plenary indulgence on certain days by visiting the Rosary Chapel in the church where the Confraternity is established. This may be gained on the first Sunday of every month, and on the feasts of our Lord and our Lady;
7. To those who assist at the Salve Regina: a hundred days’ indulgence;
8. To those who openly wear the rosary out of devotion and to set a good example: a hundred days’ indulgence;
9. Sick members who are unable to go to church may gain a plenary indulgence by going to confession and Communion and by saying that day the whole Rosary, or at least five decades;
10. The Sovereign Pontiffs have shown their generosity towards members of the Rosary Confraternity by allowing them to gain the indulgences attached to the Stations of the Cross by visiting five altars in the church where the Rosary Confraternity is established, and by saying the Our Father and Hail Mary five times before each altar, for the well-being of the Church. If there are only one or two altars in the Confraternity church, they should say the Our Father and Hail Mary twenty-five times before one of them.Pg 56-57
A plenary indulgence is a remission of the whole punishment due to sin; a partial indulgence of, for instance, a hundred or a thousand years can be explained as the remission of as much punishment as could have been expiated during a hundred or a 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 a 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.Pg 87
Members of the Rosary Confraternity who want to gain the indulgences must:
1. Be truly repentant and go to confession and communion, as the Papal Bull of indulgences states.
2. Be entirely free from affection for venial sin, because if affection for sin remains, the guilt also remains, and if the guilt remains the punishment cannot be lifted.
3. Say the prayers and perform 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 a hundred years) without gaining a plenary indulgence, it is not always necessary to go to confession and communion in order to gain it. Many such partial indulgences are attached to the Rosary (either of five or fifteen decades), to processions, blessed rosaries, etc. Do not neglect these indulgences.