There is nothing more divine, according to the mind of St. Denis, nothing more noble or agreeable to God than to cooperate in the work of saving souls and to frustrate the devil’s plans for ruining them. The Son of God came down to earth for no other reason than to save us. He upset Satan’s empire by founding the Church, but the devil rallied his strength and wreaked cruel violence on souls by the Albigenseans heresy, by the hatred, dissensions and abominable vices which he spread throughout the world in the eleventh century.
Only severe remedies could possible cure such terrible disorders and repel Satan’s forces. The Blessed Virgin, protectress of the Church, has given us a most powerful means for appeasing her Son’s anger, uprooting heresy and reforming Christian morals, in the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, as events have shown. It has brought back charity and the frequent reception of the sacraments as in the first golden centuries of the Church, and it has reformed Christian morals.
Pope Leo X said in his bull that this Confraternity had been founded in honor of God and of the Blessed Virgin as a wall to hold back the evils that were going to break upon the Church.
Gregory XIII said that the Rosary was inspired by God that heaven might be more easily opened to us through the favors or our Lady.
Paul III and Blessed Pius V declared that the Rosary was given to the faithful in order that they might have spiritual peace and consolation more easily. Surely everyone will want to join a confraternity which was founded for such noble purposes.
Father Dominic, a Carthusian, who was deeply devoted to the holy Rosary, had a vision in which he saw heaven open and the whole heavenly court assembled in magnificent array. He heard them sing the Rosary in an enchanting melody, and each decade was in honor of a mystery of the life, passion, or glory of Jesus Chris and his holy Mother. Fr. Dominic noticed that whenever they pronounced the holy name of Mary they bowed their head, and at the name of Jesus they genuflected and gave thanks to God for the great good that he had wrought in heaven and on earth through the holy Rosary. He also saw how 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 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?
It must not be imagined that the Rosary is only for women, and for simple and unlearned people; it is also for men and for the greatest of men. As soon as St. Dominic acquainted Pope Innocent III with the fact that he had received a command from heaven to establish the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, the Holy Father gave it his full approval, urged St. Dominic to preach it, and said that he wished to become a member himself. Even Cardinals embraced the devotion with great fervor, which prompted Lopez to say, “Neither sex nor age nor any other condition has kept anyone from devotion to the Rosary.”
Members of the Confraternity have come from all walks of life: dukes, princes, kings, as well as prelates, cardinals, and Sovereign Pontiffs. It would take too long to list them in this little book. If you join this Confraternity, dear reader, you will share in their devotion and their graces on earth and their glory in heaven. “Since you are united to them in their devotion, you will share in their dignity.”