Third Rose - Saint Dominic
THIS MIRACULOUS WAY in which the devotion to the
Holy Rosary was established is something of a parallel to the
way in which Almighty God gave His law to the world on
Mount Sinai and obviously proves its value and importance.
Inspired by the Holy Ghost, instructed by the Blessed Virgin
as well as by his own experience, Saint Dominic preached
the Holy Rosary for the rest of his life. He preached it by his
example as well as by his sermons, in cities and in country
places, to people of high station and low, before scholars and
the uneducated, to Catholics and to heretics.
The Holy Rosary which he said every day was his
preparation for every sermon and his little tryst with Our
Lady immediately after preaching.
One day he had to preach at Notre Dame in Paris, and it
happened to be the feast of St. John the Evangelist. He was
in a little chapel behind the high altar prayerfully preparing
his sermon by saying the Rosary, as he always did, when
Our Lady appeared to him and said:
"Dominic, even though what you have planned to say may
be very good, I am bringing you a much better sermon."
Saint Dominic took in his hands the book Our Lady
proffered, read the sermon carefully and when he had
understood it and meditated on it, he gave thanks to the
When the time came, he went up into the pulpit and, in spite
of the feast day, made no mention of Saint John other than to
say that he had been found worthy to be the guardian of the
Queen of Heaven. The congregation was made up of
theologians and other eminent people who were used to
hearing unusual and polished discourses; but Saint Dominic
told them that it was not his wish to give them a learned
discourse, wise in the eyes of the world, but that he would
speak in the simplicity of the Holy Spirit and with His
So he began preaching the Holy Rosary and explained the
Hail Mary word by word as he would to a group of children
and used the very simple illustrations which were in the
book Our Lady had given him.
Carthagena, the great scholar, quoting Blessed Alan de la
Roche in De Dignitate Psalterii, describes how this took place:
"Blessed Alan writes that one day Father Dominic said to
him in a vision: 'My son, it is good to preach; but there is
always a danger of looking for praise rather than the
salvation of souls. Listen carefully to what happened to me
in Paris so that you may be on guard against this kind of
mistake: I was to preach in the great church dedicated to the
Blessed Virgin Mary and I was particularly anxious to give a
brilliant sermon, not out of pride, but because of the high
intellectual stature of the congregation.
'An hour before the time I had to preach, I was recollectedly
saying my Rosary----as I always did before giving a sermon--
--when I fell into ecstasy. I saw my beloved friend the
Mother of God coming towards me with a book in her hand.
'Dominic,' she said, 'your sermon for today may be very
good indeed, but no matter how good it is I have brought
you one that is very much better.'
'Of course I was overjoyed, took the book and read every
word of it. Just as Our Lady had said, I found exactly the
right things to say in my sermon, so I thanked her with all
'When it was time to begin, I saw that the University of Paris
had turned out in full force as well as a large number of
noblemen. They had all seen and heard of the great things
that the good Lord had been doing through me. So I went up
into the pulpit.
'It was the feast of Saint John the Apostle but all I said about
him was that he had been found worthy to be the guardian
of the Queen of Heaven. Then I addressed the congregation:
" 'My Lords and illustrious Doctors of the University, you
are accustomed to hearing learned sermons suited to your
aesthetic tastes. Now I do not want to speak to you in the
scholarly language of human wisdom but, on the contrary,
to show you the Spirit of God and His Greatness.' "
Here ends the quotation from Blessed Alan, after which
Carthagena goes on to say in his own words:
"Then Saint Dominic explained the Angelic Salutation to
them, using simple comparisons and examples from
Blessed Alan, according to Carthagena, mentioned several
other times when Our Lord and Our Lady appeared to Saint
Dominic to urge and inspire him to preach the Rosary more
and more in order to wipe out sin and to convert sinners and
In another passage Carthagena says:
"Blessed Alan said Our Lady revealed to him that after she
had appeared to Saint Dominic, her Blessed Son appeared to
him and said:
'Dominic, I rejoice to see that you are not relying upon your
own wisdom and that, rather than seek the empty praise of
men, you are working with great humility for the salvation
'But 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 in the right frame of mind to really
benefit by it.
"This 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. If only they would all start
saying it and would really persevere, God, in His mercy,
could hardly refuse to give them His grace. So I want you to
preach my Rosary.' "
In another place Blessed Alan says: "All priests say a Hail
Mary with the faithful before preaching, to ask for God's
grace. They do this because of a revelation that Saint
Dominic had from Our Lady. '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 Almighty
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 made over 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.'
"Saint Dominic lost no time in obeying, and from then on he
exerted great influence by his sermons."
This last quotation is from the Book of Miracles of the Holy
Rosary (written in Italian) and it is also to be found in Justin's
works (143d Sermon).
I have been very glad to quote these well-known authors
word for word in the original Latin for benefit of any
priests or other learned people who might otherwise have
doubts as to the marvelous power of the Holy Rosary.
As long as priests followed Saint Dominic's example and
preached devotion to the Holy Rosary, piety and fervor
thrived throughout the Christian world and in those
religious orders which were devoted to the Rosary. But since
people have neglected this gift from Heaven, all kinds of sin
and disorder have spread far and wide.
1. We have omitted the Latin quotations so as to not
encumber the text. English translations have been given
The Canada54 National Novena includes a daily reading from the Secret of the Rosary.
- A white rose for priests;
- A red rose for sinners;
- A mystical rose tree for devout souls;
- A rosebud for little children;
- Plus 50 roses representing each Hail Mary recited during 5 decades of the Rosary
JesusMarie.com - Le Secret du Rosaire - ICI
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A priest discovers a pig chewing on a Rosary. What he does next transforms his dying parish into a National Shrine!
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