These inspiring stories are taken from ‘The Secret of The Rosary’ by St. Louis de Montfort:
+ 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.
+ Blessed Alan also relates that a nun who had always had a great devotion to the Rosary appeared after her death to one of her sisters in religion and said to her, “If I were able to return in my body to have the chance of saying just a single Hail Mary, even without great fervour, I would gladly go through the sufferings that I had during my last illness all over again, in order to gain the merit of this prayer.” It is to be noted that she had been bed-ridden and suffered agonizing pains for several years before she died.
+ The Jesuit brother, Alphonsus Rodriguez, used to say his Rosary with such fervour that he often saw a red rose come out of his mouth at each Our Father, and a white rose at each Hail Mary, both equal in beauty and differing only in colour. The chronicles of St. Francis tell of a young friar who had the praiseworthy habit of saying this crown of our Lady every day before dinner. One day, for some reason or other, he did not manage to say it. The refectory bell had already been rung when he asked the Superior to allow him to say it before coming to the table, and, having obtained permission, he withdrew to his cell to pray. After he had been gone a long time, the Superior sent another friar to fetch him, and he found him in his room bathed in a heavenly light in the presence of our Lady and two angels. Beautiful roses kept issuing from his mouth at each Hail Mary, and the two angels were taking them one by one and placing them on our Lady’s head, while she smilingly accepted them. Finally, two other friars who had been sent to find out what had happened to the first two saw the same scene, and our Lady did not leave until the whole Rosary had been said.
+ One day Saint Gertrude had a vision of our Lord counting gold coins. She summoned the courage to ask Him what he was doing, and he answered, “I am counting the Hail Marys that you have said; this is the money with which you purchase Heaven.” (Do not misunderstand this story; we cannot attain Heaven on our own, but it is also true that “faith without deeds is dead” – James 2:17)
+ One day, when St. Mechtilde was praying and was trying to think of some way in which she could express her love of the Blessed Virgin better than before, she fell into ecstasy. Our Lady appeared to her with the Angelic Salutation written in letters of gold upon her breast and said to her, “My daughter, I want you to know that no one can please me more than by saying the greeting which the most adorable Trinity presented to me and by which I was raised to the dignity of the Mother of God. By the word Ave, which is the name of Eve, Eva, I learned that God in his infinite power had preserved me from all sin and its attendant misery which the first woman had been subject to. The name Mary, which means ‘lady of light,’ shows that God has filled me with wisdom and light, like a shining star, to light up heaven and earth. The words, full of grace, remind me that the Holy Spirit has showered so many graces upon me that I am able to give these graces in abundance to those who ask for them through my mediation. When people say, The Lord is with thee, they renew the indescribable joy that was mine when the eternal Word became incarnate in my womb. When you say to me, Blessed art thou among women, I praise the mercy of God who has raised me to this exalted degree of happiness. And at the words, Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, the whole of heaven rejoices with me to see my Son Jesus adored and glorified for having saved mankind.”
+ One night when a woman Confraternity member had retired, Our Lady appeared to her and said: “My daughter, do not be afraid of me. I am your loving Mother whom you praise so faithfully every day. Be steadfast and persevere; I want you to know that the Angelic Salutation gives me so much joy that no man could ever really explain it.” (Guillaume Pepin, in Rosario aureo Sermon 47)
Saint Gertrude corroborated this in one of her visions; in her Revelations, Book IV, Chapter II, we find this story: It was the morning of the feast of the Annunciation and the Hail Mary was of course being sung in Saint Gertrude’s monastery. During the singing she had a vision in which three streams gushed forth from the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost and gently flowed into Mary’s virginal heart. The minute they reached her heart they bounded back to the source from where they had come. From this Saint Gertrude learned that the Blessed Trinity has allowed Our Lady to be most powerful next to God the Father, the wisest after God the Son, and the most loving after God the Holy Ghost. She also learned that every time the Angelic Salutation is said by the faithful the three mysterious streams surround Our Lady in a mighty, swirling current and rush into her heart. After they have completely bathed her in happiness they gush back into the bosom of Almighty God. The Saints and Angels share in this abundance of joy as do the faithful on earth, who say this prayer. For the Angelic Salutation is the source of all good for God’s children.
+ This is what Our Lady herself said to Saint Gertrude: “Never has any man composed anything more beautiful than the Hail Mary. No salutation could be dearer to my heart than those beautiful and dignified words that God the Father addressed to me Himself.”
+ One day Our Lady said to Saint Mechtilde: “All the Angelic Salutations that you have given me are blazoned on my cloak.” (Then she held out a portion of her mantle.) “When this part of my cloak is full of Hail Marys I shall gather you up and take you into the Kingdom of my Beloved Son.”
+ Denis the Carthusian, speaking of a vision of Our Lady to one of her clients, said:
“We should salute the most Blessed Virgin with our hearts, our lips, and our deeds, so that she will not be able to say to us: ‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’”
+ One day, our Lady showed herself to an immoral man who used to say the Rosary regularly every day. She showed him a bowl of beautiful fruit, but the bowl itself was covered with filth. The man was horrified to see this, and our Lady said to him, “This is the way you are honouring me. You are giving me beautiful roses in a dirty bowl. Do you think I can find them pleasing to me?”
+ Father Dominic, a Carthusian, who was deeply devoted to the holy Rosary, had a vision in which he saw Heaven opened and the whole heavenly court assembled in magnificent array. He heard them sing the Rosary in an enchanting melody, and each decade was in honour of a mystery of the life, passion, or glory of Jesus Christ and his holy Mother. Fr. Dominic noticed that whenever they pronounced the holy name of Mary they bowed their heads, and at the name of Jesus they genuflected and gave thanks to God for the great good he had wrought in heaven and on earth through the holy Rosary. He also saw our Lady and the Saints present to God the Rosaries which the Confraternity members say here on earth. He noticed too that they were praying for those who practice this devotion. He also saw beautiful crowns without number, which were made of sweet-smelling flowers, for those who say the Rosary devoutly. He learned that by every Rosary that they say they make a crown for themselves which they will be able to wear in heaven. This holy Carthusian’s vision is very much like that which the Beloved Disciple had, in which he saw a great multitude of angels and saints, who continually praised and blessed Jesus Christ for all that he had done and suffered on earth for our salvation. And is not this what the devout members of the Rosary Confraternity do?
+ One day our Lady said to Blessed Alan, “Just as God chose the Angelic Salutation to bring about the Incarnation of his Word and the redemption of mankind, so those who want to bring about moral reforms and regenerate them in Jesus Christ must honour me and greet me with the same salutation. I am the channel by which God came to men, and so, next to Jesus Christ, it is through me that men must obtain grace and virtue.”
+ I, who write this, have learnt from my own experience that the Rosary has the power to convert even the most hardened hearts. I have known people who have gone to missions and heard sermons on the most terrifying subjects without being in the least moved; and yet, after they had, on my advice, started to say the Rosary every day, they eventually became converted and gave themselves completely to God. When I have gone back to parishes where I had given missions, I have seen tremendous differences between them; in those parishes where the people had given up the Rosary, they had generally fallen back into their sinful ways, whereas in places where the Rosary was said faithfully I found the people were persevering in the grace of God and advancing in virtue day by day.
+ One day our Lord said to Blessed Alan, “If only these poor wretched sinners would say my Rosary often, they would share in the merits of My Passion, and I would be their Advocate and would appease the justice of God.”
“A single Hail Mary said properly is worth more than a hundred and fifty said badly”.
“I am the Lady of the Rosary. You must say the Rosary every day, and say it properly”.
– Our Lady of Fatima