JESUS LIVING IN MARY:
HANDBOOK OF THE SPIRITUALITY OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT
ROSARY

Summary
I.	Introduction: 
II.	The Rosary in the Life and Missions of Montfort: 
	1.	"With his Rosary in his hand;" 
	2.	In his missions; 
	3.	Montfort and the Dominican Order; 
	4.	Efficacy of the Rosary during missions. 
	5.	Directives to missionaries. 
III.	The Rosary in Montfort’s Writings: 
	1.	An "exterior practice" of Marian devotion; 
	2.	A teaching on the Rosary; 
	3.	The legacy of a tradition; 
	4.	A secret . . . destined for everyone; 
	5.	In spite of contradictory advice; 
	6.	Praying with faith; 
	7.	"My Hail Mary, my touchstone;" 
	8.	Meditation on the mysteries; 
	9.	"The easiest of all prayers;" 
	10.	"From my own experience;" 
	11.	A blessed way of praying the Rosary: 
	12.	Final advice; 
	13.	A set of instructions: the 150 motives. 
IV.	Montfort’s Methods of Reciting the Rosary: 
	1.	The method of offering of the decades: 
	2.	The method of adding phrases; 
	3.	The Rosary said with a reflection before each Our Father 	
		and Hail Mary; 
	4.	A Rosary in hymns: 
V.	The Rosary in Montfort spirituality: 
	1.	A devotion centered on Jesus Christ; 
	2.	Learning about Jesus through the mysteries of the Rosary;
	3.	Special devotion to the mystery of the Incarnation; 
	4.	"Long live Jesus, long live his Cross"; 
	5.	The place of the Rosary in Montfort’s Spiritual Way. 
VI.	Conclusion: Montfort and the Rosary Today. 

I. INTRODUCTION
Over the last two centuries, Montfort’s doctrine has played an 
important part in bringing about a renewed interest in praying the 
Rosary. How can Montfort spirituality contribute to the practice of 
praying the Rosary in our contemporary world, which seems to be 
searching for methods of prayer?
At the time of the French Revolution, the practice of saying the 
Rosary was common among Catholics. Rosary confraternities were 
established in most parishes. Pauline Jaricot of Lyons added great 
impetus to this devotion with her "Living Rosary" (1826). The Rosary 
carried by Our Lady at Lourdes also contributed to the popularity of 
this prayer. Pope Leo XIII, who was personally very influenced by the 
discovery of the Treatise on the True Devotion, published an encyclical 
on Marian devotion, and on the Rosary in particular, every year from 
1883 to 1901. 
The history of devotion to the Rosary, which for a long time had been 
encumbered by the legend of Alain de la Roche, was gradually clarified 
by historians: from the time of Esser and Thurston, to significant 
articles on the Rosary by W. A. Hinnebusch in the New Catholic 
Encyclopedia (1967) and by P. A. Duva in the Dictionnaire de 
Spiritualité (1988).1 Devotion to the Rosary also has benefited from 
the study, in the years prior to Vatican II, of the biblical sources of 
Marian piety, and from the teachings of Paul VI in Marialis Cultus 
(1974), Nos. 42–55.
Today there seems to be a new hunger for "spirituality" and a desire 
for the support of those "methods of prayer" that have been tested and 
proved worthy by tradition. Montfort helps us rediscover, pray, and 
live the Rosary. 

 

II. THE ROSARY IN THE LIFE AND MISSIONS OF MONTFORT
1. "With his Rosary in his hand"
It is evident from any biography of Montfort, such as Father Le Crom’s 
work,2 that throughout his life the Rosary was one of the most common 
expressions of Louis Marie’s Marian piety. With Rosary in hand, "He was 
affectionate and devoted to his brothers and sisters. Louise-Guyonne 
was his favorite and in his desire for her to practice virtue, he would 
take her aside while the others played, and they would say the Rosary 
together."3 
In 1699, he made a pilgrimage to Chartres with some students of the 
Seminary of Saint-Sulpice. "When they spoke, they spoke only about Our 
Lady; when they prayed together, they recited the rosary, said their 
breviary and sang hymns from the Psalm Book of Saint Bonaventure."4 
Later he was seen arriving at Ligugé, "his hat under his arm and his 
Rosary in his hand."5
In 1706, at the Dominican convent of Dinan, where his brother Joseph-
Pierre was chaplain, he asked to celebrate Mass at the altar of Blessed 
Alain de la Roche, the famous preacher of the Office of Our Lady.6
2. In his missions
When Montfort left the poorhouse at Poitiers and undertook his first 
missions, the Rosary was the principal practice that he recommended. In 
1705, at Montbernage, he erected a crucifix in the center of a barn: he 
had transformed the structure into an oratory, and had decorated the 
walls with fifteen banners, representing the fifteen mysteries of the 
Rosary. There, in order to obtain grace from God, the Rosary was 
recited before a statue of the Blessed Virgin every evening.7
Before Montfort left Poitiers, he wrote to the people of Montbernage: 
"Remember . . . to have a great love for Jesus and to love him through 
Mary. . . . Do not fail to fulfill your baptismal promises and all that 
they entail. Say your Rosary every day either in private or in public 
and receive the sacraments at least once a month."8
At La Chèze, in the diocese of Saint-Brieuc, Montfort established the 
Society of Virgins, the Society of the Friends of the Cross, and the 
Confraternity of the Rosary, in order to maintain the results of his 
parish mission. The entire Rosary was recited three times daily: 
morning, noon, and evening.9
To aid in praying the Rosary, Montfort used a variety of props. At 
Montbernage there were the fifteen banners representing the fifteen 
mysteries of the Rosary. At the end of the mission of Sallertaine, 
Montfort erected a cross, "whose beams bore a large Rosary wrapped 
around the Body of Christ."10 At the Hermitage of Saint-Lazare, very 
close to his native town, Montfort devised something novel: "In the 
sanctuary on a kneeler there was a large Rosary with iron links and 
beads as large as nuts which several people could finger at the same 
time."11
At the majestic Calvary of Pontchâteau, the Rosary had the place of 
honor: a field of 150 fir trees, interspaced with 15 cypress trees, 
formed an immense Rosary and several small chapels recalled the 
mysteries of Jesus and Mary."12 At Saint-Donatien in Nantes he had 
fifteen banners on the Rosary carried in procession, and during his 
homilies he used fifteen paintings on the mysteries.13 In his 
Testament, dictated on the eve of his death, he said, "I give to each 
parish of Aunis where the Rosary will be continued to be recited, one 
of the banners of the Holy Rosary."14
3. Montfort and the Dominican Order
Saint Dominic is considered by all to be the "originator" of the 
Rosary. Consequently, his order held a monopoly on founding and 
directing Rosary confraternities, especially from the time of Pope Pius 
V.15
Since Montfort was also a great preacher of the Rosary, he decided to 
become affiliated with the Dominican family by entering their Third 
Order. He made profession at the hands of the Prior of the Convent of 
Nantes on November 10, 1710.16
In May, 1712, he wrote to the Master General of the Dominicans to ask 
him for "permission to preach the Holy Rosary wherever the Lord calls 
me, and to enroll into the Rosary Confraternity with the usual 
indulgences as many people as I can. I have already been doing this 
with the permission of the local Priors and Provincials." Montfort made 
his request through the Provincial of France, and it was granted.17
4. Efficacy of the Rosary during missions
At La Rochelle, a Protestant town, it seems that Montfort showed 
particular zeal for the Rosary; he preached his first three missions 
there, in the church of the Dominicans, during the summer of 1711.
According to Besnard, "The apostle of the Rosary . . . used this 
heavenly devotion very advantageously to convert the Protestants, who 
had based some of their false doctrines on the Albigensian heresy. He 
left the controversies to those whom the Bishop had designated for this 
ministry, and dedicated himself to stimulating devotion to the Holy 
Rosary, and to explaining the mysteries that are called to mind at the 
beginning of each decade."18 The conversion of an important Protestant 
woman, Madame de Mailly, "caused a great sensation and convinced 
several people who were hesitant." It was specifically stated that 
"until her death in 1749, she was faithful to the daily recitation of 
the Rosary."19 
According to the testimony of a priest, who had known Montfort in Paris 
during the summer of 1713, "No one was a more faithful disciple of 
Saint Dominic when it came to the devotion to the Rosary. He 
recommended its practice to everyone, and he confided that he himself 
had obtained from God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, 
the conversion of the most obstinate sinners. He had a book on the 
marvels of the Holy Rosary, which he explained with such unction that 
everyone was amazed. I believe that he influenced more than a hundred 
thousand people."20
He summarized his beliefs in such expressions as: "Believe in the 
power of the Rosary; no sinner has ever resisted me once I have 
collared him with my Rosary."21
In September 1714, Montfort visited his good friend J. B. Blain, then 
a canon at Rouen. Blain relates two incidents in which Montfort 
challenged two very different groups of people with his Rosary. 
The first episode took place among the Sisters of Ernemont, to whom he 
had preached a retreat, terminating it with a homily on the Blessed 
Virgin. After he had preached on the Rosary with great ardor and love, 
they asked him to "give them a demonstration" and to recite it himself, 
using his own method. He did so "with such tender devotion to Mary" 
that he inspired everyone to deep piety. He was remembered for his 
Rosary, which had fifteen decades and was worn openly on his belt. 
Thus, he was called the "priest with the big rosary."22
Another episode took place several days later, on a ferry crossing the 
Seine. As Blain described it, "It was a real Noah’s Ark. . . . 
Ordinarily about two hundred people were on board, returning home on 
market days. It was not exactly the most propitious place to talk about 
God. . . . However, as soon as our missionary embarked, he knelt down 
in front of everyone, and with his large Rosary in his hand, invited 
them to pray with him. The sight of the holy priest inviting them to 
say the Rosary became a joke for the group. They were happy to have 
such a butt for their laughter. When they finished laughing, he invited 
them again to say the Rosary. The laughter began again, and continued 
for quite a while. After that, the devoted priest, whose zeal seemed to 
grow with each humiliation, invited them for the third time, to say the 
Rosary. He asked them so dynamically and devoutly, that he convinced 
the group to say the Rosary in its entirety, and to listen to his 
homily which lasted until the boat landed. This story was told to me by 
an eyewitness."23
5. Directives to missionaries
Each time that Montfort gave direction on Christian life, he mentioned 
the Rosary, whether it was in the "Covenant with God" that he wanted 
signed at the end of the missions (CG), in the "Rule of the Forty-four 
Virgins" (RV), or in the "Rule of the Penitents of Saint Pompain on 
Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Saumur" (PS). "Without attracting 
extraordinary attention, you may carry a Rosary and wear a crucifix 
over your heart . . . in their procession they will sing hymns, they 
will recite the Holy Rosary, and they will pray silently. . . . During 
the day they will recite the entire Rosary in two groups" (PS 2-5).
In his directive concerning the Rosary, Montfort was particularly 
insistent on its use for the personal prayer life and missions of the 
Missionaries of the Company of Mary. "Every day they will say all 
fifteen decades of the Rosary as well as the Little Crown of the 
Blessed Virgin." In their missions, "to renew the spirit of 
Christianity among the faithful . . . during the whole of the mission 
they do all they can to establish the great devotion of the daily 
Rosary and they will enroll as many as possible in the Rosary 
Confraternity (they have the faculties for this); they will explain the 
prayers and mysteries of the Rosary, either by instructions, or by 
pictures or statues which they have for this purpose; and they will 
give the people good example by having the whole Rosary recited aloud 
in French every day of the mission at three different times with the 
offering of the mysteries . . . this is one of the greatest secrets to 
have come from heaven" (RM 29, 52, 56–57).
Let us conclude our consideration of the place of the Rosary in the 
life and missions of Montfort with two beautiful expressions from the 
"Prayer for Missionaries." Montfort asks for missionaries who will be 
"men after your own heart . . . like David of old, with the Cross for 
their staff and the Rosary for their sling," and for "true servants of 
the Blessed Virgin, who, like Dominic of old will range far and wide, 
with the Holy Gospel issuing from their mouths like a bright and 
burning flame and the Rosary in their hands" (PM 8, 12). 

 

III. THE ROSARY IN MONTFORT’S WRITINGS
1. An "exterior practice" of Marian devotion
In the TD, the Rosary is cited among the principal exterior practices 
of devotion to the Blessed Virgin: "Enrolling in her confraternities. . 
. . Singing her praises. . . . Giving alms and fasting in her honor. . 
. . Carrying such signs of devotion to her as the Rosary, the scapular, 
or a little chain. . . . Reciting with attention, devotion and 
reverence the fifteen decades of the Rosary in honor of the fifteen 
principal mysteries of Jesus Christ, or at least five decades which is 
a third of the Rosary." The traditional list of the joyful, sorrowful, 
and glorious mysteries follows (TD 116).25
Even if some proud people "consider the Rosary to be a devotion 
suitable only for ignorant and illiterate people," Montfort affirms, "I 
know no surer way to discover if a person belongs to God than by 
finding out if he loves saying the Hail Mary and the Rosary" (TD 250–
51).
At the beginning of his ministry, Montfort wrote: "For myself, I know 
of no better way of establishing the kingdom of God, Eternal Wisdom, 
than to unite vocal and mental prayer by saying the holy Rosary and 
meditating on its fifteen mysteries" (LEW 193).
We should not be any more concerned than Montfort himself was 
regarding the term "exterior practice" (cf. TD 226). We already 
perceive the essence of what he thinks about the Rosary and his 
insistence on praying it: insistence on the daily rosary, vocal and 
mental prayer, the Our Father and Hail Mary, and meditations on the 
mysteries of Jesus Christ. For Montfort, these would always be deeply 
important. 
2. A teaching on the Rosary
Among Montfort’s manuscripts one finds an explicit teaching on the 
Rosary, in which there are two different forms: a) a text written 
primarily for parish priests and preachers: "The admirable secret of 
the Holy Rosary for conversion and salvation" (SR), which has two 
"blessed methods for the recitation of the holy rosary;" and b) An 
outline of instructions for the people in the form of the Rosary, "150 
motives which oblige us to say the Rosary" which Montfort inserted in 
his Book of Sermons.26
3. The legacy of a tradition
In the first pages of SR, Montfort refers to the sources of his book on 
the Rosary: "All I have done has been to copy from very good 
contemporary authors and, in part, from a book written a short time 
ago, 
The Mystical Rose Tree, by Fr. Antonin Thomas, O.P." (SR 33)27 In 
comparing the texts one perceives that Montfort had in hand the second 
edition (Rennes 1698).28 This was very probably the "marvelous book on 
the rosary" that he had with him in Paris in 1713.29
Montfort began writing his SR in the Notebook (N), which he began 
keeping during his seminary years at St. Sulpice. He copied into it 
many Latin and French texts on the Rosary, in particular those of the 
Franciscan John of Carthagena.30 Also cited are texts by the Jesuits 
Boissieu and Spinelli and the Dominican Cavanoc. He cited one or more 
texts on abandonment by Alain de la Roche, in particular Apology and 
Psalter of the Virgin Mary, which Montfort knew in their Latin 
versions.31 It is evident that SR is for the most part a faithful 
rendering of the Dominican tradition of the Rosary, as explained by 
Alain de la Roche.32
Montfort accepted this tradition unconditionally, as did the Church of 
his time, (save for a few critics), for it had been approved by the 
popes since Pius V. Montfort was a missionary, not an historian. We 
might add that in the context of the Counter-Reformation, the Rosary 
appeared like a sign and a providential weapon against "heretics," very 
similar to how it had been used by Saint Dominic against the Cathars.
In order to highlight the Montfort spirituality of the Rosary, we 
shall concentrate on what Montfort considered essential to this prayer 
tradition and what he added to it.
4. A secret . . . destined for everyone
Antonin Thomas addressed his The Mystical Rose Tree to the Directors of 
the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary—that is, to priests. His intention 
was to supply them with material for preaching and for directing 
confraternities. He assured them that "it is the secret of winning the 
hardest hearts and of converting the most despairing people, of 
conserving penitent souls in the state of grace . . . and of helping 
those people who aspire to perfection, to make great strides in 
virtue." Montfort, after having written his "little book,"33 also 
addressed it with touching fervor to priests and above all to that 
company of missionaries about whom he never ceased to dream: "Ministers 
of the Most High, preachers of the truth, trumpeters of the Gospel . . 
. Let us not be satisfied, my dear brothers, to counsel it [the Rosary] 
to others; we must practice it ourselves . . . Let us imitate Jesus 
Christ, who began by practicing what he preached"(SR 1–2).
Then Montfort spoke directly to sinners, to pious people, and to 
little children: "Poor sinful men and women, I, a greater sinner than 
you, wish to give you this rose, which is crimson because the precious 
blood of Jesus Christ has fallen on it. . . . Even if you are on the 
brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have 
already sold your soul to the devil, . . . sooner or later you will be 
converted and will amend your life and save your soul, if you say the 
Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death" (SR 3–4). 
Truly the Rosary is for everyone: "Let the learned and the ignorant, 
the just and the sinners, the great and the small praise and honor 
Jesus and Mary night and day by saying the Holy Rosary" (SR 8).
5. In spite of contradictory advice
There have always been critics of the Rosary. Montfort was aware that 
his life and preaching were opposed to those of many clergymen and 
well-known people. He was often careful to justify himself in speaking 
to the humble and the sinners: "if I thought that the grace God has 
given me to know by experience the efficacy of preaching the Holy 
Rosary to convert souls would move you to preach this beautiful 
devotion in spite of the fact that priests are not in the habit of 
doing so these days, I would tell you how I have witnessed the most 
wonderful conversions it has wrought, but instead of all this I think 
it will be quite enough for this little summary if I tell you a few 
ancient yet authentic stories about the Holy Rosary." (SR 2; cf. 17, 
33). 
It is not surprising that Montfort seemed to accept without difficulty 
anecdotal stories of the sort that critical contemporary historians 
would never accept. He was a man of his times. It is evident from what 
he says that he discerned clearly the difference between divine faith, 
human faith, and "pious faith." We know that he saw the difficulty in 
being neither "too credulous nor too critical" (SR 33). This keeps us 
from caricaturing him as a person with an insatiable desire for the 
unusual.
6. Praying with faith
Speaking of the Creed that was recited on the crucifix of the Rosary, 
Montfort highlighted the need for faith as the "root, foundation and 
beginning of all Christian virtues" (SR 34). "Since faith is the only 
key which opens all the mysteries of Jesus and Mary for us, we must 
begin the Rosary by saying the Creed very devoutly, and the stronger 
our faith the more merit our Rosary will have. . . . One must not be 
looking for sentimental devotion and spiritual consolation in the 
recitation of the Rosary, nor should one give it up because the mind is 
flooded with countless involuntary distractions nor because one 
experiences a strange distaste in the soul. . . . Neither feelings, nor 
consolations, nor sighs, nor transports, nor the continual attention of 
the imagination are needed to say the Rosary well. Faith and good 
intentions are quite enough" (SR 35).
7. "My Hail Mary . . . my touchstone"
When speaking of the prayers of the Rosary—the Our Father and the Hail 
Mary—Montfort followed the second decade of The Mystical Rose Tree step 
by step. He repeated word for word what seemed truly useful, skipped 
several paragraphs or even whole chapters that seemed very complicated, 
and added his own personal comments here and there. We will examine 
closely what he says about the Hail Mary, highlighting his original 
contributions.
Montfort repeated everything that referred to the Incarnation, the 
Mother of God, and the glory of the Holy Trinity, and he added this 
conviction: "The Angelic Salutation is a most concise summary of all 
that Catholic theology teaches about the Blessed Virgin" (SR 44).
At the beginning of the subsequent chapter of The Mystical Rose Tree 
Montfort found these words, attributed to Mary by Alain de la Roche: 
"It is a probable and imminent sign of eternal damnation to have an 
aversion for the Rosary, to be lukewarm and negligent in the recitation 
of the Angelic Salutation which has saved the world; and on the 
contrary, it is a great sign of predestination to be devoted to it" 
(The Mystical Rose Tree II, 10). Montfort felt challenged; he affirmed 
and completed the thought using Alain’s Latin quote, and added his 
personal comments: "Heretics, all of whom are children of the devil . . 
. have a horror of the Hail Mary. . . . Among Catholics, those who bear 
the mark of God’s reprobation, think but little of the Rosary. . . . 
Even if I did not believe what was revealed to Blessed Alain, even so 
my own experience would be enough to convince me of this terrible but 
consoling truth . . . that a devotion which appears to be so 
insignificant can be the infallible sign of eternal salvation, and its 
absence can be a sign of God’s eternal displeasure. 
The Hail Mary, the Rosary, is the prayer and the infallible touchstone 
by which I can tell those who are led by the Spirit of God from those 
who are deceived by the devil. The Hail Mary is a blessed dew that 
falls from heaven upon the souls of the predestined, giving them a 
marvelous spiritual fecundity. . . . The Hail Mary is a sharp and 
flaming blade which, joined to the Word of God, gives the preacher the 
strength to pierce, move, and convert the most hardened hearts." (SR 
50–51)34 After these very personal asides, Montfort takes up the text 
of The Mystical Rose Tree  from where he left off: "This divine 
salutation." He pauses once again to include two other statements of 
Alain de la Roche cited by John of Carthegena, which he had copied a 
long time previously in his notebook: "The court of heaven rejoices and 
earth is lost in wonderment whenever I say Hail, Mary" (SR 55).
Finally he excerpted exactly the beautiful paraphrase of the Angelic 
Salutation that followed in The Mystical Rose Tree: "Are you in the 
miserable state of sin?" Evidently, Montfort loved to cite this text 
which concurred admirably with his own personal devotion, and with his 
pastoral zeal.35
To transmit his love for the Hail Mary to Christians, Montfort 
composed a hymn with twenty-six stanzas: "The Triumph of the Hail 
Mary," with its well-known chorus: "Through the Hail Mary / Sin will be 
no more. Through the Hail Mary / Jesus we adore" (H 89).
8. Meditation on the mysteries
"Those who pray the Rosary say it better if they say the Hail Marys 
while meditating on the life, passion, and glory of Jesus Christ. 
Meditation is the soul of this prayer. The Rosary without meditating on 
the sacred mysteries of our salvation would almost be a body without a 
soul, excellent matter, but without the form which is the meditation, 
and which distinguishes it from other devotions" (SR 61).
Montfort has taken these two statements from The Mystical Rose Tree 
(IV, I), the first from Blessed Alain’s tradition. Pope Paul VI, (in MC 
47) repeats the same idea: "Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body 
without a soul." We are now at the heart of the Rosary.
The numbering of the fifteen mysteries (SR 62–64) is identical to that 
in The Mystical Rose Tree with two slight differences: the Presentation 
of Jesus in the Temple comes before the Purification of the Blessed 
Virgin; and the crucifixion of Jesus is completed by his death on 
Calvary. While summarizing, Montfort made his own the teaching of 
Father Antonin Thomas on the meditated Rosary, in the fourth, fifth, 
and sixth decades of The Rose Tree. The titles that Montfort added at 
the beginning of the twenty-second, twenty-third, and twenty-fourth 
roses highlight what seemed most important to him: "The meditation of 
the mysteries conforms us to Jesus; the Rosary is a memorial of the 
life and death of Jesus; the meditation of the mysteries is a great 
means of perfection."
Montfort adds a personal remark: "A Christian who does not meditate on 
the mysteries of the Rosary is very ungrateful to Our Lord and shows 
how little he cares for all that our divine Savior has suffered to save 
the world" (SR 70).
9. "The easiest of all prayers" (SR 76)
There was lively debate in the spiritual centers of Montfort’s time 
concerning the importance of meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. 
Montfort alludes to this debate when he mentions the "false Illuminists 
and Quietists of our times." He is certainly referring to the notion of 
Quietism, revived in France in 1685 by the publication of A Short and 
Easy Way to Pray by Madame Guyon. Saint Sulpice considered as suspect 
anything related to "Illuminism," and Father Tronson was at Bossuet’s 
side in 1694–1695, at the Seminary of Issy, to question Madame Guyon 
about her doctrine. In 1698, Bossuet published his rigorous treatise On 
Quietism.36
These were precisely the years when Montfort was a student for the 
priesthood. Torn between his spiritual fervor and his Sulpician 
formation, he was certainly knowledgeable about the essence of the 
debate: should one consider as opposites "prayer of the mind" and 
"prayer of the heart," meditation and union with God, the practice of 
virtue and infused prayer?
The Mystical Rose Tree (V, 9) answers the questions that Montfort 
pondered: "There are three types of prayer: meditation, which is a form 
of reasoning within oneself . . . ; contemplation, which is the union of 
a soul with God . . . ; and the prayer of the heart. . . . It is this 
last type of prayer that one engages in ordinarily while meditating on 
the mysteries of the Rosary, and considering lovingly and gratefully 
Jesus Christ in the stages of his hidden life—his suffering life and 
his glorious life to encourage oneself in the practice of virtue and 
the avoidance of sin. Prayer of the heart is the balance between 
meditation and contemplation, it shares the advantages of both, and is 
the end toward which they tend, which is the love of and transformation 
into Jesus Christ."
But Montfort knows very well that this debate will do nothing for his 
"dear member of the Rosary Confraternity" (SR 78). So he gives free 
rein to his heart and to his pen: "Never will anyone be able to 
understand the marvelous riches of sanctification which are contained 
in the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. . . . Nor is there anything in the 
world more moving than the wonderful story of the life, death and glory 
of Our Savior, unfolding before our eyes in the fifteen mysteries. How 
could there be any prayer more wonderful and sublime than the Lord’s 
Prayer and the angel’s Ave? . . . For learned men and women, these 
mysteries are the source of the most profound doctrine, while simple 
men and women find in them a means of instruction well within their 
reach. We need to learn this easy form of meditation before progressing 
to the more sublime heights of contemplation. . . . It is dangerous, 
not to say fatal, to give up saying the Rosary under pretext of seeking 
a more perfect union with God. . . . Believe me, dear member of the 
Rosary Confraternity, if you genuinely wish to arrive at a high degree 
of prayer in all honesty and without falling into the illusions of the 
devil so common with those who practice mental prayer, say the whole 
Rosary every day, or at least five decades of it . . . on the other 
hand, if while saying the Rosary, God in his infinite mercy draws you 
to himself as forcibly as he did some of the saints, let yourself be 
drawn to him, let God work and pray in you and let him say your Rosary 
in his own way" (SR 75–77).
For Montfort, the Rosary was more than an easy way of prayer available 
to everyone: it was a spiritually sure way to the highest forms of 
union with God. "The Rosary, recited while meditating the mysteries, 
brings about marvelous results: it gradually brings us a perfect 
knowledge of Jesus Christ; it purifies our souls from sin; it gives us 
victory over all our enemies; it makes the practice of virtue easy; it 
enflames us with the love of Jesus Christ; it enriches us with graces 
and merits"(SR 81). Knowledge and love, practice of the virtues and 
grace; the Rosary is a complete prayer. And Montfort concluded, "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 men" (SR 
95). 
10. "From my own experience" (SR 113)
The fourth decade of SR is somewhat deceiving: there Montfort copies 
entire pages from The Mystical Rose Tree on "the marvels that God has 
performed through the Rosary," and these marvels are of almost no 
interest to us today. But at the end Montfort abruptly adds: "I, who 
write this, have learned from my own experience that the Rosary has the 
power to convert even the most hardened hearts. . . . When I have 
returned to Parishes where I have preached missions, I have seen 
tremendous differences between them. In the parishes where the people 
had given up the Rosary, they had generally returned to their sinful 
ways, whereas in places where the Rosary is said faithfully, I found 
the people were persevering in the grace of God and advancing in virtue 
day by day. . . . Dear reader, if you practice and preach this 
devotion, you will learn more by your own experience than from any 
spiritual book" (SR 113–114). Montfort was not a theoretician but a 
spiritual master, and a missionary who knew how to judge the tree of 
the Rosary by its fruits.
11. A blessed way of praying the Rosary
With Montfort, we shall now look at the eighth decade of The Mystical 
Rose Tree or "the guidelines for reciting the Rosary devoutly and 
fruitfully." These include the states of grace, attention, humility, 
and 
universal charity. Here we have a practical method of reciting the 
Rosary while meditating on the mysteries of our Redemption in order to 
imitate the virtues of Jesus and Mary and to plead for our neighbors’ 
needs. Montfort also tells us how to pray the Rosary in two choirs. 
Finally a series of fifteen meditations is suggested.
The fifth decade is by far the most personal, starting with this 
beautiful prelude: "It is not so much the length of a prayer as the 
fervor with which it is said which pleases God and touches his heart. A 
single Hail Mary said properly is worth more than a hundred and fifty 
said poorly . . . . Let us consider how we should pray if we want to 
please God and become more holy"(SR 116–117).
a. State of grace. (cf. The Rose Tree VIII, 1). 
This is a delicate issue, and a pastoral one. One could cite the words 
of Cardinal Hugues: "One must be as pure as an angel to approach the 
Blessed Virgin and say the Angelic Salutation" (SR 118).
Between the rigidity of the Jansenists and the moral laxity of the 
Quietists, Montfort suggested in The Mystical Rose Tree an excellent 
alternative: "To say the Holy Rosary well, one must be in the state of 
grace or at least be fully determined to give up sin" (SR 117). This 
allowed him to add this comment: "We earnestly advise everyone to say 
the Rosary: the virtuous, that they may persevere and grow in the grace 
of God; sinners, that they may rise from their sins" (SR 118).
b. Sufficient attention. (The Rose Tree VIII, 2). 
This is another problem inevitably encountered by anyone who truly 
tries to pray. "For God listens to the pleas of the heart rather than 
to 
the voice. It would be gravely irreverent to pray with voluntary 
distractions and this would make saying the Rosary useless and even 
sinful" (SR 119). Here again, Montfort, like a good teacher, highlights 
that he is speaking about voluntary distractions. "Of course, you 
cannot 
say the Rosary without having a few involuntary distractions . . . but 
you can say it without voluntary distractions, and you must try to 
lessen involuntary distractions and control your imagination . . . 
above 
all, do not fail to offer each decade in honor of one of the mysteries, 
and try to form a picture in your mind of Jesus and Mary in connection 
with that mystery" (SR 120). 
c. Invoking the Holy Spirit. 
"After you have prayed the Holy Spirit for the grace to say your 
Rosary well, recall for a moment that you are in the presence of God" 
(SR 126). The Mystical Rose Tree does not mention the Holy Spirit, but 
Montfort insists that we do so, and at the beginning of his first 
method he writes: "Veni, Sancte Spiritus."
d. Practical advice. 
From his own experience Montfort knew what would improve prayer the 
most: "Whenever you say the Rosary, be sure to ask for some special 
grace or virtue, or strength to overcome some sin. . . . Control your 
tendency to hurry and pause at times while saying the Our Father and 
the 
Hail Mary. . . . Whenever possible, the Rosary should be said kneeling, 
with hands joined, clasping the Rosary. . . . But it can be said while 
walking or even working . . . If you cannot find the time to say five 
decades continuously, say a decade here and a decade there; you will in 
this way be able, in spite of your work and other demands on your time, 
to complete the whole Rosary before going to bed"(SR 126–30).
e. The Rosary said in common. 
"Of all the ways of saying the Holy Rosary, the most glorious to God, 
the most salutary for our souls, and the most terrible to the devil is 
that of saying or chanting the Rosary publicly in two choirs. God is 
very pleased when people pray together. . . . If you live near your 
parish church or a chapel, go there at least every evening, with the 
approval of the pastor, together with all who want to participate and 
say the Rosary in two choirs; do the same at home or in a neighbor’s 
house if a church or chapel is not available" (SR 131–34).37 Today many 
people who pray the "family Rosary" find these words very encouraging.
12. Final advice
Like all good preachers, Montfort concludes with a powerful expression: 
"Say the Rosary often with faith, humility, confidence and 
perseverance" (SR 136). Then he develops each of these aspects with the 
help of the Gospel on which he had often meditated.
Montfort insisted, "Never omit the least part of your Rosary, even if 
you experience boredom, distaste for prayer and discouragement . . . 
like a brave follower of Jesus and Mary, say the Our Fathers and Hail 
Marys without seeing, feeling or tasting, concentrating as well as you 
can on the mysteries" (SR 143).
Having arrived at the end of his treatise on the Rosary, Montfort says 
freely, "To arm yourselves against attacks . . . from those who are 
considered ‘respectable’ and even from devout people who have no use 
for the Rosary, I am going to tell you simply some of what they say 
every day. . . . What is this babbler of the Rosary saying? He is lazy! 
All he does is finger his beads, it would be much better for him to 
work, rather than amuse himself with such foolishness! He thinks that 
all you have to do is say your Rosary and good luck will drop from 
heaven . . . how many saints have never said it? . . . The Rosary is 
fine for little old ladies who 
can’t read . . . Forget about exterior devotions; true devotion is in 
the heart, etc. . . . Finally, dear brothers and sisters, the daily 
Rosary has so many enemies that I consider the grace of persevering in 
it until death as one of the greatest favors God can give us" (SR 148–
50). 
13. A set of instructions: the 150 motives
Montfort’s LS does not contain a single sermon on the Rosary. The third 
mission sermon on Palm Sunday, probably in the evening, speaks of the 
Rosary.38 But, under the title "150 Motives for saying the Holy Rosary" 
(cf. MR 32-37), we find an outline in Rosary format with a reflection 
for each Our Father and Hail Mary, but without any allusion to the 
customary mysteries. It seems to be a type of memory aid that Montfort 
devised spontaneously for speaking to people in parishes. Several 
passages are especially worth noting.
(V.) "The Hail Mary is a divine compliment which wins the Virgin 
 Mary’s heart. . . . It is the prayer of Catholics and of souls 
 who are destined for heaven"
(VI.) "The Rosary is the divine summary of the mysteries of Jesus 
 and Mary . . . . After Holy Mass, saying the Rosary is the best 
 thanksgiving one can make, because it is both a memento and a 
 re-enactment of what Jesus did and suffered for us."39
(XV.) "Of the different ways to say the Rosary . . . say only the 
 Our Father and Hail Mary with the intention of the mystery . . . 
 add a few words pertinent to each mystery . . . make a small 
 offering at each decade . . . genuflect at each Hail Mary," etc.
The outline in "150 Motives" . . . gives us a precise idea of what 
Montfort preached about the Rosary to the people.40

 

IV. MONTFORT’S METHODS OF RECITING THE ROSARY
The strength of the Rosary lies in its uniting the body, the mind, and 
the heart. It consists of a sequence of specific prayers known by 
everyone; it suggests fifteen specific themes to meditate on, which 
encompass the core of the mystery of Christ; finally, it puts one in 
contact with Mary, our Spiritual Mother.
Like all his great predecessors—Dominic the Carthusian, Alain de la 
Roche, Sprenger, Castellano, and even Father Antonin Thomas—Montfort 
suggested different "methods" to say the Rosary well, that is, to 
meditate on the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of Jesus and 
Mary (cf. SR 154).41
1. The method of offering of the decades
This method consists in saying or listening to simple formulas before 
each prayer to be recited. (cf. MR 1-5, 7-13) 
a. Introductory prayers. 
Besides the "general intention of the Rosary," one may develop an 
instruction on the Trinitarian structure of Christian prayer in union 
with Mary and all the saints (cf. MR 1). 
b. The mysteries of the Rosary. 
The fifteen formulas have an identical format: "We offer you O Lord 
Jesus, this first decade in honor of the mystery of your Incarnation," 
"this second decade in honor of the Visitation of your Holy Mother to 
her cousin Saint Elizabeth." Let us take note of some variations. The 
decade of the Nativity is offered to the Child Jesus, and the decade of 
Pentecost to the Holy Spirit. The fourteenth decade is offered to 
Jesus, but in honor of the mysteries of the Immaculate Conception and 
of Mary’s Assumption. Montfort’s method is simple: "Above all, do not 
fail to offer each decade in honor of one of the mysteries, and try to 
form a picture in your mind of Jesus and Mary in connection with that 
mystery"  120).
c. The grace of the mysteries. 
During the great discussions of the seventeenth century on the "ways of 
prayer," the Illuminists and the Quietists were accused of being 
insufficiently concerned with the practice of the virtues, with 
striving to lead a moral life. That is why The Mystical Rose Tree 
insists on the imitation of the virtues of Jesus and Mary, as Montfort 
also did: "The chief concern of the Christian should be to try to be 
perfect . . . the Christian must always have before his eyes the life 
and virtues of Jesus Christ" (SR 65). That is why he said, "Always be 
sure to ask, by this mystery and through the intercession of the 
Blessed Virgin, for one of the virtues that is most evident in that 
particular mystery or one of which you are in special need" (SR 126). 
This request is expressed in the offering of each mystery: "We ask you 
by this mystery and through the intercession of your Holy Mother, 
profound humility." It is also recalled after the decade has been 
recited: "May the grace of the mystery of the Incarnation descend into 
our hearts and make them truly humble" (MR 2).
Here we find once again an explicit application of what the French 
School, following Bérulle, said of the states of Jesus (the profound 
sentiments which motivated Christ in his mysteries, and which have 
permanent value). If his acts are completed, his states last forever; 
and they should penetrate us in such a way as to transform us gradually 
into his image. This communion with the states of Jesus should allow us 
to say with Saint Paul, "it is no longer I who live, it is Christ who 
lives in me" (Ga 2:20). It is Mary’s mission to form us into Jesus 
Christ, and to form Jesus Christ in us. She is there to help us 
interiorize this grace of the mysteries, upon which we meditate in the 
Rosary.
2. The method of adding phrases
After the method of "Offering Each Decade", Montfort suggests a 
"shorter method of celebrating the life, death and glory of Jesus and 
Mary, and of decreasing distractions. To do this, a word or two is 
added to each Hail Mary of the decade reminding us of the mystery we 
are celebrating. The words should follow the name of Jesus in the 
middle of the Hail Mary" (MR 6). Then Montfort suggests a list of 
fifteen "phrases" corresponding to each mystery. The first decade then 
becomes "Hail Mary . . . and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus 
becoming man. Holy Mary . . ." The following decades of Hail Marys 
includes "Jesus sanctifying" . . . Then, "Jesus born in poverty . . . 
Jesus sacrificed . . . Jesus holy of holies . . . Jesus in his agony," 
to "Jesus raising you up,. . . Jesus crowning you." This venerable 
method of phrases, older than the Rosary itself42 is very useful to 
unite the heart to the voice, the mind to the word. It integrates vocal 
prayer with the meditation of the mysteries, and simultaneously 
highlights the fact that these are Jesus’ mysteries that we meditate 
with Mary. It also encourages creativity because there are no limits on 
the choice of the phrases.43 
3. The Rosary said with a reflection before each Our Father and Hail
 Mary
In Montfort’s LS, under the title "Summary of the life, death, passion 
and glory of Jesus and Mary in the Holy Rosary" (MR 16–31) there is a 
plan for saying a short reflection before each prayer of the Rosary; 
"Credo: 1. Faith in the presence of God, 2. Faith in the Gospel, 3. 
Faith in and obedience to the Pope as vicar of Jesus Christ. Pater: 
unity of one, living and true God, 1. Ave: to honor the eternal Father. 
. ." For each of the one hundred fifty Hail Marys of the decades a 
different focus is suggested, which allows us to expand on the theme of 
each mystery. For example, the mystery of the Finding of Jesus in the 
temple spans the whole life of Jesus up to Holy Thursday: 1. Ave: To 
honor his hidden, laborious and obedient life at Nazareth. 2. Ave: His 
preaching and his being found in the temple among the doctors. 3. Ave: 
His fasting and his temptations in the desert. 4. Ave: His baptism by 
St. John the Baptist. 5. Ave: His wonderful preaching. 6. Ave: His 
astounding miracles. . ." (MR 21).
The mystery of Pentecost may give rise to a vast catechesis on the 
Holy Spirit. As for the mystery of the Assumption, it celebrates the 
whole life of Mary, including her eternal predestination, her 
immaculate conception, her fullness of grace, her nativity, etc.(MR 
30).
The meditated Rosary is solid catechesis, organized around the fifteen 
mysteries of the Rosary.44
4.  A Rosary in hymns:
a. "The new Rosary or crown of the Blessed Virgin" (H 90). 
The stanzas of this hymn correspond to a Rosary with five decades. The 
first decade is dedicated to the joyful mysteries of Mary—from her 
"pure conception" and birth, to the finding of Jesus in the temple. The 
second decade is dedicated to the sorrowful and glorious mysteries, up 
to the "descent of your Spouse" (Pentecost). The third decade honors 
Mary’s life, death, Assumption, and Crowning in heaven. What follows is 
a Marian litany: Virgin and Mother, Full of grace and beauty, Sovereign 
of the universe, Treasurer of divine gifts, Mirror of the Divinity. . 
.etc. The end of each stanza is often a request, very similar to the 
"grace of the mystery."
The "New Rosary" is a beautiful spiritual poem, in which Montfort 
freely expresses his Marian piety, without the confining structure of 
the mysteries of the Rosary.
b. "A Hymn on the Rosary." 
This hymn is found only in Fradet’s collection of Montfort’s 
cantiques.45 The first five stanzas are a brief instruction on the 
Rosary, a summary of the "150 motives." Then follows a stanza on the 
Creed and one each for the fifteen customary mysteries. The stanzas are 
very simple: "An Angel from Heaven came down/And greeted Mary;/ She 
conceived by the Holy Spirit/ Jesus, our Life". . .There is a petition 
after each mystery. Undoubtedly the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail 
Mary and the Gloria were recited after each stanza.
Summary: We have seen at least four of Montfort’s methods of worthily 
reciting the Holy Rosary: making offerings, adding phrases, providing 
reflections for each Our Father and Hail Mary, and hymns. It seems that 
he did not use the method of including biblical verses for each Hail 
Mary, which is a practice that comes from the modern biblical renewal. 

 

V. THE ROSARY IN MONTFORT SPIRITUALITY
After having examined what Montfort explicitly said about the Rosary, 
we shall now look at his writings to discover what might contribute to 
a Spirituality of the Rosary, and also to discover what influence the 
Rosary might have on one’s spiritual life.
1. A devotion centered on Jesus Christ
The Rosary has been faulted with being a "Marian devotion" which risks 
obscuring somewhat the central and unique focus on Jesus Christ. This 
was certainly not true of Montfort.
Montfort’s faith and piety were resolutely centered on Jesus Christ, 
Incarnate Wisdom. For him, "If devotion to Mary distracted us from 
Jesus Christ, we would have to reject it as an illusion of the devil" 
(TD 62). On the contrary, according to Montfort, true devotion to Mary 
is "an easy, short, perfect and sure means of attaining union with 
Jesus Christ" (TD 152). "Mary is the surest, the easiest, the shortest 
and the holiest of all the means of possessing Jesus Christ" (LEW 212).
Montfort loved the Rosary because he found in it an efficacious means 
of meeting Jesus Christ, particularly by means of the "short phrases" 
attached to the name of Jesus. 
2. Learning about Jesus through the mysteries of the Rosary
"Why is Jesus, the adorable, eternal and incarnate Wisdom loved so 
little if not because he is either too little known or not known at 
all" (LEW 8). Full know-ledge of God is not "esoteric knowledge," a 
human speculation on the unknowable mysteries and greatness of God. It 
is a discovery of the love of God through the mysteries of the life, 
death and glorification of Jesus, Incarnate Wisdom. The "summary of the 
divine life" of Jesus, from his Conception to his Ascension is very 
close to the mysteries of the Rosary (cf. LEW 109–116). This is why 
Montfort insists that the Rosary be "recited while meditating on its 
mysteries," for in this way it "raises us unconsciously to the perfect 
knowledge of Jesus Christ" (SR 81).
In particular, the structure of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious 
mysteries helps us to efficaciously focus our meditation on what is 
essential in the mystery of Jesus Christ: Incarnation, Cross and Glory.
3. Special devotion to the mystery of the Incarnation
Those who are truly devoted to Mary should esteem highly devotion to 
the great mystery of the Incarnation (TD 243) because "this mystery is 
a summary of all his mysteries" (TD 248).
We have already said that for Montfort, the first mystery of the 
Rosary is almost always designated "the Incarnation," not the 
Annunciation. One could even say that one of the principal bases of the 
TD (and thus with even stronger logic one of the principal bases of the 
perfect practice of the true devotion), is precisely "the Incarnation, 
where we find Jesus only in Mary . . . Jesus living and reigning in 
Mary" (TD 246).
In the Rosary, this special devotion to the Incarnation is expressed 
not only in the first mystery or in the joyful mysteries (e.g., the 
Visitation or the Nativity), but throughout the whole Rosary by the 
recitation of the Hail Mary: Jesus, the fruit of your womb . . . Mother 
of God. In this way, all the mysteries are associated with the 
Incarnation.46
4. "Long live Jesus, long live his Cross"
Surely, one of the reasons for Montfort’s devotion to the Rosary is his 
strong experience of the mystery of the Cross, meditated in the 
sorrowful mysteries. To pray the Rosary in the spirit of Montfort, one 
must allow oneself to be filled with Montfort’s love for the Cross, and 
to follow Jesus: "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must renounce 
himself, take up his cross and follow me" (FC 13).
In the Rosary with Mary we already experience the Cross in the poverty 
of the Crib (Nativity) in the prophecy of the "piercing sword"(FC 31) 
and in the three days of anguish spent searching for Jesus. With Mary 
we accompany Jesus as he carries his Cross to Calvary and in his last 
prayer on the Cross. But it is also with Mary that we enter into the 
joy of Easter and of the Ascension, which draws us to Heaven. The 
Rosary can make us gradually become "Friends of the Cross."
5. The place of the Rosary in Montfort’s Spiritual Way
Every "true devotion" leads one to live ever more intensely with Mary. 
Life in Mary attains exceptional intensity through what Montfort calls 
"the perfect practice of the true devotion." This demands that 
intention "to perform all one’s actions through Mary, with Mary, in 
Mary and for Mary in order to perform them more perfectly through Jesus 
Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus and for Jesus" (TD 157). It is 
evident that the Rosary assists us in meditating on the conduct and 
sentiments of Mary as found in the Gospel, "especially: her lively 
faith, by which she believed the angel’s word without the least 
hesitation, and believed faithfully and constantly even to the foot of 
the Cross; her deep humility . . . , her truly divine purity" (TD 260). 
The mystery of the Visitation implores "that Mary’s spirit be in each 
of us to glorify the Lord" (TD 258).
The Rosary leads us to "look upon Mary as a perfect model of every 
virtue and perfection fashioned by the Holy Spirit for us to imitate, 
as far as our limited capacity allows"(TD 260). The Rosary prayed 
regularly helps us to remain in the beautiful interior of Mary with 
delight (TD 264). The recitation of the fifth glorious mystery, the 
"Coronation of Mary" encourages us not to remain idle, and to undertake 
and carry out great things for our illustrious queen (TD 265). 
The Rosary in having us repeat untiringly, "Holy Mary, pray for us," 
teaches us to have recourse to Mary with great confidence, as "our 
Mediatrix of intercession" (TD 86).
Thus, one sees that there is a close link between the spiritual way of 
Montfort and devotion to the Holy Rosary: both are rooted in 
contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation. Meditation on the 
mysteries of the Rosary is a privileged way of living day by day with 
Mary in order to live more perfectly with Jesus.

 

VI. Conclusion: Montfort and The Rosary Today
For a century, the work of historians, biblical scholars, and 
theologians, as well as the doctrinal teachings of Vatican II (cf. LG. 
chapter 8) have elicited a profound renewal of Marian devotion, and 
thus a renewal of interest in the Rosary.47 But Montfort’s spiritual 
experience and his undying devotion to the Rosary have never aged. 
Montfort encourages us to deepen our meditation on the Rosary, in light 
of the Incarnation, the Cross, and our desire for Heaven. On the 
practical level, he helps us to rediscover the method of "phrases" 
attached to the name of Jesus.48 Our times demand Spiritual Masters; 
Montfort is one who shows us the way to union with Jesus Christ, the 
only Savior.49
J. C. Laurenceau

 

Notes:
(1) A. Duval, Rosaire (Rosary), in DSAM, Vol. 13, Beauchesne, 
Paris, 1988, 938–80. This is a synthesis of the history of the rosary 
from the beginnings to the present day, with a complete 
bibliography. (2) L. Le Crom, Un apôtre marial: saint Louis-Marie 
Grignion de Montfort (A Marian Apostle: Saint Louis Marie Grignion de 
Montfort), Librairie mariale, Pontchâteau, 1942. (3) Ibid., 10. (4) 
Ibid., 77. (5) Ibid., 165. (6) Ibid., 177–78. (7) Ibid., 137–38. (8) 
Ibid. 154; cf. LPM 2. (9)Ibid. 189–190. (10) Ibid., 268. (11) Ibid., 
200. (12) Ibid., 229–32. (13) Ibid., 439; cf. 351. (14) Ibid., 371; OC 
832. (15) Cf. A. Duval, Rosaire, 952–55. (16) Le Crom, Un apôtre marial 
(A Marian Apostle), 245. (17) Ibid., 284–85; cf. L 23. (18) Le Crom, Un 
apôtre marial, 258, 283; cf. 255. (19) Ibid, 286. (20) Ibid., 311. (21) 
Cf. Ibid., 306. (22) According to Le Crom, Father de Montfort’s seal 
showed "a religious on his knees with a rosary hanging from his 
cincture", ibid., 333. (23) L. Pérouas, Grignion de Montfort ou 
l’aventurier de l’Évangile (Grignion de Montfort a Gospel Adventurer), 
Ed. Ouvrières, Paris, 1990, 100–101. Cf another intervention in Rennes, 
Le Crom, 339. (24) The Rosary is also mentioned in H 12:43; 15:33; 
89:25; 90; 92:4,16,22; 93:5; 95:8; 115:13; 139:20; 147:4; 159:14. 
Additionally, in H 109 Montfort paraphrases the Our Father and the Hail 
Mary. (25) Other mentions of the rosary in TD are at 42, 229, 254. (26) 
Despite the indication of Our Father and Hail Mary, we regard this text 
as didactic. This sort of presentation of a teaching on the rosary, 
taking the form of fifteen decades, was common at the time. (27) Fr. 
Antonin-Thomas (Drugeon) was born in Rennes and took the habit of the 
Domnicans at Dinan Priory in Brittany on August 15, 1653. He died in 
1701 at the age of seventy and was buried in the Chapter Room of the 
Priory at Dinan. Besides Rosier mystique, his known works are Les 
marques les plus sensibles de la tendresse de la T. S. Vierge envers 
l’Ordre des Frères Prêcheurs (The Most Touching Marks of Tenderness 
shown by the Blessed Virgin to the Order of Friars Preachers) (1688) 
and a translation of Traité de la Vie Spirituelle by St. Vincent Ferrer. It 
is worth noting that Alain de la Roche also took the habit at Dinan 
Priory about 1445. Cf. J. Quétif et J. Echard, Scriptores Ordinis 
Praedicatorum, published by R. Coulon, Rome, 1909. (28) Le Rosier 
mystique de la T. S. Vierge Marie ou le T. Sacré Rosaire (inventé) par 
S. Dominique (The Mystical Rose Tree of the Blessed Virgin Mary or The 
Sacred Rosary of St. Dominic). . . went through two editions in Fr. 
Antonin-Thomas’s lifetime: one at Vennes (i.e. Vannes, where St. 
Vincent Ferrer died: cf. Preface) in 1686, and the other at Rennes in 1698. The 
two editions are in the Bibliothèque du Saulchoir, Paris. (29) Cf. Le 
Crom, Un apôtre marial, 311. (30) Jean de Carthagène (d. 1618), cf. 
DSAM, Vol. 8, 323. (31) Probably in B. Alanus de Rupe redivivus, de 
Psalterio seu Rosario Christi ac Mariae. . . by J. A. Coppenstein, 
o.p., Fribourg/Br 1619 or Cologne 1624. The latter warns us, "Materia Alani, 
forma mea." (32) Concerning Alain de la Roche (d. 1475), see A. Duval, 
Rosaire, Vol. 13, 946–49; or La dévotion mariale dans l’Ordre des 
Frères Prêcheurs (Marian Devotion in the Order of Friars Preachers), in Maria, 
Vol. 2. Beauchesne, Paris, 1952, 739–82. (33) Cf. SR 1. (34) This 
passage of SR is almost identical to TD 249–53. Other mentions of the 
Hail Mary in TD 8, 9, 95. (35) See also the paraphrase of the Hail Mary 
in two verses of H 109:39–40. (36) See the dictionary Catholicisme 
(Catholicism) under "Guyon et Quiétisme" (Guyon and Quietism) and DSAM 
under "Guyon et Oraison" (Guyon and Prayer). (37) The stress on the 
fifteen decades of the Rosary prayed every day, "as all the confrères 
used to do," ties in with the preaching of Alain de la Roche, who asked 
his confrères to pray every day the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin, 
i.e., 150 Hail Marys. (38) Cf. OC 1745. (39) On the connection between the 
Rosary and the Eucharist, see also SR 88. (40) Also informative on the 
Rosary are the first five verses of Rosaire en cantique , ed. Fradet 
(S. 31). (41) The various methods proposed by Montfort are grouped together 
in GA, 233–62, quoted in MR; except the Rosaire en cantique. (42) The 
"short clauses" of the Rosary had been forgotten until about 1950, 
except in German-speaking countries. The historical studies of Dom 
Gourdel, Klinkhammer, and Heinz take us further back than Dominic the 
Carthusian to the Cistercian nuns of the diocese of Trier, who, by 
about a.d. 1300 already said the Hail Mary with short clauses like, "Jesus 
adored by the Magi," "Jesus tempted by the devil," and "Jesus who 
washed his disciples’ feet." Cf. Duval, DSAM. Vol. 13, 943–46. (43) The 
practice of short clauses, which was reintroduced in France in the 
years 1967–1968 (Esnard, Eyquem-Laurenceau) is mentioned favourably by Paul 
VI in Marialis Cultus, No. 46. It is a pity that the word "clausule" used 
in the original (Latin or Italian) has been left out of the French and 
English translations. (44) The first method indicates the "Glory be . . 
." Cf. SR 59. (45) Le Rosaire en cantique is not included in the 
Oeuvres Complètes (1966) nor in God Alone (1987) because the work was not 
included in Montfort’s manuscript notebooks, but Fradet regards it as 
"undeniably authentic" (cf. Fradet, 777). (46) Paul VI is in perfect 
agreement with Montfort when, in Marialis Cultus No. 46, he writes, "As 
a Gospel prayer, centred on the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation, 
the Rosary is therefore a prayer with a clearly Christological 
orientation." (47) Among the recent works that have benefited from this 
renewal is R. Barile, Il Rosario, Salterio della Vergine, EDB, Bologna, 
1990. After some courageous historical clarification, the author 
proposes a judicious revision of the fifteen mysteries, with short 
clauses. (48) In the Livre d’Or, new edition, Librairie Mariale 
Nouvelle Cité, Paris, 1989, the Montfort Rosary of the Daughters of Wisdom, 
which combines offerings and short clauses, is followed by the refreshing 
proposal of a Rosary "in the spirit of Father de Montfort" with 150 
short clauses to be added to the name of Jesus. (49) For more on the 
Rosary, cf. Brother Gabriel-Marie, Notre rosaire ou le Secret d’aller à 
Jésus par Marie (Our Rosary or the Secret Path to Jesus through Mary), 
St. Gabriel, St. Laurent-sur Sévre, 1958. Brothers of Saint Gabriel, 
Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, 1958.

 


Taken from: Jesus Living in Mary: Handbook of the Spirituality of St.
Louis de Montfort (Litchfield, CT: Montfort Publications, 1994).
Provided courtesy of the Montfort Fathers © All Rights Reserved.

 

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