The Rosary: A Weapon for Our Days
We are living in a time when we face on a daily basis the threat of terrorist acts by Muslims, senseless crimes of violence and brutality, growing possibilities of nuclear disasters. Many persons are overcome by an unnerving fear of what may happen next. It seems that evil has overwhelmed the entire world. We see the empty Churches and monasteries throughout Western Europe and a diminishing faith in the one true Religion among Catholics young and old. Inter-confessionalism and religious indifferentism are installed in the Church, supported by the highest religious authorities. Yes, even the Pope.
Where can we find hope in this dispiriting scenario? What can we do to nourish hope of a glorious restoration in the Church that we love, and that at times seems that we lost?
To Jesus through Mary
There is one means for certain that Our Lady has given us for times of crisis, heresy and apostasy. We can pray the Rosary constantly and taste its sweet fruits. When we pray the Rosary daily, Our Lady pours abundant grace on our souls, pulls us from despair, instills us with the spirit of the fight, and protects us from the heresies of our day. This is how she acted in the past, and how she continues to safeguard us today.
Examples from the past
In 1214, when the Albigensian heresy was infecting the pure air of Christendom, Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic de Guzman and told him she would give him a weapon to convert the world. “Preach my Psalter,” she said, “if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God.”
After that, every day he said the Rosary and preached that devotion ceaselessly to all - the rich and poor, scholars and the uneducated, believers and disbelievers. Through those sermons Our Lady gave the grace of many conversions and returns to the Faith; the greatest favor was she helped him to crush the Albigensian heresy.
More than a century passed, and the praying of the Rosary had been set aside. The Catholic world suffered great chastisements: the Black Death, the Great Schism, the beginning of the 100 Years War. As the 14th century winded to an end, instead of returning to God, Western Europe was heralding an Age of Man, the Renaissance.
In this scenario, Our Lady appeared to another Dominican, Blessed Alan de Roche, in 1460 and told him to re-establish the devotion of the Rosary. He took the preaching of the Rosary up as his special mission, and under his inspiration hundreds of thousands were enrolled in Rosary Confraternities. Many miracles were worked, many souls converted, and the pious practice installed in numerous homes to fight the evils of the day.
October 7, 1571 was another decisive moment in History, the Battle of Lepanto. A greatly outnumbered galley fleet of the Catholic League defeated the Muslim galleys. It was a crushing defeat for the Mohammedans, who had not lost a battle for more than 70 years and nourished arrogant aims to conquer the whole Catholic world. Pope St. Pius V credited this crucial victory to the praying of the Rosary. He instituted the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7, the day of the Lepanto victory, to show how this devotion is specially linked to victories over the enemies of the Church and Christendom.
Our Lady of Lepanto
A hundred years passed, and we find the Jansenists making great headway in Catholic France. Another great Marian apostle appeared to counter this heresy and rekindle devotion to Mary. With burning zeal, St. Louis Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716) preached the Rosary and holy slavery to Our Lady, especially among the peasants in Bretagne and the Vendée. Faithful to their Rosary, these little people would also remain faithful to the Church and stalwart against the errors of the French Revolution 75 years later. Once again, we see the Rosary’s special role in protecting the faithful from error.
At crucial moments in the History of the Church, Our Lady gave a solution: pray the Rosary daily.
The Twentieth Century
We arrive at the dawn of the 20th century. The perilous errors of Marx, Darwin and Freud were finding acceptance not only in the world, but also in poisoned parcels of the Church. In 1917, with the WEstern world immersed in World War and Communism soon to install itself in Russia, Our Lady appeared at Fatima to three shepherd children with a command to pray the Rosary daily, a warning of a coming chastisement if man did not convert, and the promise of an eventual victory.
One of the most important ways to effect the conversion of sinners in these times of approaching turmoil, she told the children, was to pray the Rosary. Each of the six times she appeared at Fatima, she told the children to pray the Rosary daily. It was, once again, a way she gave the faithful to counter the errors of the times.
"Pray the Rosary" - the command of Our Lady at Fatima
Years later in 1957, the last remaining Fatima seer Sister Lucia again stressed the importance of the Rosary in a private interview with a confidante, Fr. Augustin Fuentes [see interview here]. She told him the Devil was prepared to engage in a decisive battle against the Holy Virgin, and that God was giving two last remedies to the world – the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She said:
“In these latter times in which we live, the Most Holy Virgin has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary.
“There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.”
It was just a few years before the opening of the disastrous Council Vatican II when she spoke these words. Perhaps that is why Our Lady gave as a remedy the Rosary - and not the Mass, which would be changed almost beyond recognition. Perhaps, also, Sister Lucy realized that the Secret she was charged by Our Lady with revealing in 1960 was going to be “suppressed,” and Progressivism, which encompassed the ensemble of heresies, would take over within the very walls of the Church herself.
Once again, in face of manifold errors and heresies, Our Lady sent her message: Pray the Rosary daily. Don’t give up this holy practice. Indeed, wherever there are individuals, families, pockets of persons praying the Rosary, Our Lady enters and finds a way to bring them to the truth. She does not abandon her children. Sooner or later they will be called to understand the problems in the Church, fight against the error, and not give up in sadness or despair.
The false prophets encourage setting aside the Rosary
In his work The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort says Our Lady prefers the Rosary to all other devotions. There are no words to express how she rewards those who pray it, spread it, and make it known. At the same time, words cannot tell how displeased she is with those who deride or work against it.
There will always be those of bad spirit or puffed up with intellectual pride who think the Rosary is too repetitious and for the ignorant. Others, in the spirit of Vatican II, set aside the Rosary because it is too Mary-oriented - it upsets the Protestants. These “free-thinkers,” as St. Louis calls them, who cannot bear to have people saying the Rosary, are very likely to fall into a heretical state of mind without realizing it.
I once knew a man, the father of seven, who converted from some fundamentalist Protestant sect to the Catholic Faith. He was very moved by the Fatima devotion and prayed the daily Rosary. He was shocked by the innovations in doctrine of Vatican II, and attracted to the Traditional Mass, but he did not have the courage to enter the counter-revolutionary fight. After a while, a new confessor counseled him to set aside the daily Rosary. It was much more edifying to read from Scriptures every day, the priest advised.
Before long, this man’s fervor of faith had cooled and he was making concessions to Progressivism. The last time I heard from him, he had decided it was a waste of time to follow the great crisis in the Church – it was too negative. He suggested to me that I should also put aside the fight and accept the “New Church.”
Speaking about those who either condemn the Rosary or try to turn others away from it, St Louis de Montfort had very harsh words:
St. Louis had harsh words for those who criticize the Rosary
“It is easy to see that they have absorbed the poison of Hell and that they are inspired by the Devil, for no one can condemn devotion to the holy Rosary without condemning all that is most holy to the Catholic Faith.”
This great St. Louis de Montfort then makes a very strong assurance about the efficacy of the Rosary, words quite similar to those of Sr. Lucy. He affirms:
“If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, ‘you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.’ (1 Pet 5:4) 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 the sorcerers of black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a Devil, sooner or later you will be converted, 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.”
We should read, and re-read these words, set them deep in our memory for those moments when we are tempted to abandon the practice of the daily Rosary.
In face of the many evils of our times, the greatest of which is the installation of Progressivism inside the Church, we should not despair. We have Our Lady’s word that the Rosary is the weapon to wield against heresies and the solution for our problems.
Posted October 13, 2006
Related Topics of Interest
Our Lady of the Rosary
Fatima and the Last Time Remedies
Rosary and Scapular: Weapons Against Pride and Sensuality
Praying the 15 Decades of the Rosary
Don’t Forget Sacramentals - Aids to the Spiritual Life
La Conquistadora - Our Country's Oldest Madonna
The Symbol of the Crown in the Reign of Mary
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