by Saint Louis de Montfort
MONTFORT PUBLICATIONS, New York
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1954
ROSE: SUBLIME PRAYER
WHATEVER YOU DO, do not be like a certain
self-willed lady in Rome, so often referred to when speaking about the
Rosary. 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 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 gracious 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. This 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.
You who are people of prayer----learn from this how tremendous is the
power, the value and the importance of this devotion of the Most Holy
Rosary when it is said together with meditation on the mysteries.
Few Saints have reached the same heights of prayer as Saint Mary
Magdalene who was lifted up to Heaven each day by Angels, and who had
had the privilege of learning at the feet of Our Lord Himself and His
Blessed Mother. Yet one day when she asked God to show her a sure way
of advancing in His love and of arriving at the height of perfection,
He sent Saint Michael the Archangel to tell her, on His behalf, that
there was no other way for her to arrive at perfection than to meditate
on Our Lord's passion. So he placed a Cross in the front of her cave
and told her to pray before it, contemplating the Sorrowful Mysteries
which she had seen take place with her own eyes.
The example of Saint Francis de Sales, the great spiritual director of
his time, should spur you on to join the holy confraternity of the
Rosary, since, great Saint that he was, he bound himself by oath to say
the whole Rosary every single day as long as he lived.
Saint Charles Borromeo said it every day also and strongly recommended
the devotion to his priests and to the ecclesiastics in the seminaries
and also to all his people.
Saint Pius V, one of the greatest Popes who have ever ruled the Church,
said the Rosary every day. Saint Thomas of Villanova, Archbishop of
Valence, Saint Ignatius, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Francis Borgia,
Saint Theresa and Saint Philip Neri as well as many other great men
whom I have not mentioned were deeply devoted to the Holy Rosary.
Follow their example; your spiritual directors will be pleased and if
they are aware of the benefit that you can derive from this devotion,
they will be the very first to urge you to adopt it.
1. This is a devotion that
the very early Church; it consists in visiting certain stational
churches in Rome and saying prescribed prayers in each one. This
practice was usually penitential (Catholic Encyclopedia) M.D.
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