An excerpt from Saint Louis de Montfort’s “The Secret of the Rosary”
(Published by TAN Books)
“Whatever you do, do not be like a certain pious but stubborn lady in
Rome, so often mentioned 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 sackcloth and a hair shirt, that she carried out so many
other penances and fasted so much.
Saint Dominic urged her repeatedly 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
“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 tray of the
scales and all her sins and imperfections onto the other tray. The
tray of her good works was greatly outweighed by the tray with her
sins and imperfections.
“Filled with terror she cried for mercy, imploring the Blessed Virgin
Mary’s help. Her gracious Advocate 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
refusing to follow the counsel of her servant Dominic and for not
saying the Rosary every day.
“As soon as she came to she rushed and threw herself at Saint
Dominic’s feet, and told him all that had happened. She begged his
forgiveness for her unbelief and promised to say the Rosary faithfully
every day. By this means she arose 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.”
“The Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis de Montfort
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