The Rosary IS Our Weapon, and We Must Pray It to Fight Evil, Especially That Within Our Own Lives

Our fight—and it is a fight—is with principalities and powers:

Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high place. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:

In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6: 11-18.)

All the tribulations in this vale of tears will be over in a blink of an eye. It is most likely that we will stand before Christ the King, Our Divine Judge, long before He is finished with chastising this world filled with men who prefer the stench of their sins to the sweet odor of Sanctifying Grace.

In the meantime, of course, we must use the spiritual weapon—and it is precisely that, a spiritual weapon—given by the Mother of God herself to Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers, to fight the Albigensian heresy, and we must use this same spiritual weapon to fight the advances of the adversary in our own lives, which are a constant battle against the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to pray for the conversion of sinners, for an end to heresies, and in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world.

We have reached quite a state of affairs, ladies and gentlemen, when a writer for a secular magazine, The Atlantic, which published an article by attorney Charles R. Marshall in 1927 questioning New York Governor Alfred Emanuel Smith’s qualifications for the American presidency given Pope Pius XI’s defense of the Social Reign of Christ the King in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925, about which Smith had not heard and had no clue as to what it meant (Smith, who dropped out of grade school to support his family, asked a friend, "What the [Hades] is an encyclical?”), which is why he asked the noted, courageous World War I chaplain, Father Francis Duffy, to write an Americanist response rejecting Quas Primas as binding upon Catholics (see Confirmations of a Different Sort and Cut From the Same Cloth), openly attacks Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary as an instrument of “militants” who bedeck their AR-15 semi-automatic rifles with Rosary beads:

Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or “rad trad”) Catholics. On this extremist fringe, rosary beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture. These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal.

Their social-media pages are saturated with images of rosaries draped over firearms, warriors in prayer, Deus Vult (“God wills it”) crusader memes, and exhortations for men to rise up and become Church Militants. Influencers on platforms such as Instagram share posts referencing “everyday carry” and “gat check” (gat is slang for “firearm”) that include soldiers’ “battle beads,” handguns, and assault rifles. One artist posts illustrations of his favorite Catholic saints, clergy, and influencers toting AR-15-style rifles labeled SANCTUM ROSARIUM alongside violently homophobic screeds that are celebrated by social-media accounts with thousands of followers.

The theologian and historian Massimo Faggioli has described a network of conservative Catholic bloggers and commentary organizations as a “Catholic cyber-militia” that actively campaigns against LGBTQ acceptance in the Church. These rad-trad rosary-as-weapon memes represent a social-media diffusion of such messaging, and they work to integrate ultraconservative Catholicism with other aspects of online far-right culture. The phenomenon might be tempting to dismiss as mere trolling or merchandising, and ironical provocations based on traditionalist Catholic symbols do exist, but the far right’s constellations of violent, racist, and homophobic online milieus are well documented for providing a pathway to radicalization and real-world terrorist attacks.

The rosary—in these hands—is anything but holy. But for millions of believers, the beads, which provide an aide-mémoire for a sequence of devotional prayers, are a widely recognized symbol of Catholicism and a source of strength. And many take genuine sustenance from Catholic theology’s concept of the Church Militant and the tradition of regarding the rosary as a weapon against Satan. As Pope Francis said in a 2020 address, “There is no path to holiness … without spiritual combat,” and Francis is only one of many Church officials who have endorsed the idea of the rosary as an armament in that fight. (The Extremist Gun Culture Trying to Co-Opt the Rosary.)

This poor author, whose identity is entirely irrelevant as far as I am concerned, has castigated believing Catholics for taking their Faith seriously and to use Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary as the spiritual weapon that Our Lady meant for it to be until the end of time. The belief in the Rosary as a spiritual weapon is not an invention of “rad trad,” “ultraconservative” Catholics as the Mother of God herself gave it to Saint Dominic to be precisely that which this poor author thinks is a cooptation:

Since the Holy Rosary is composed, principally and in substance, of the Prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation, that is, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, it was without doubt the first prayer and the first devotion of the faithful and has been in use all through the centuries from the time of the Apostles and disciples down to the present.

But it was only in the year 1214, however, that Holy Mother Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by Saint Dominic who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a powerful means of converting the Albigensian's and other sinners.

I will tell you the story of how he received it, which is found in the very well-known book "De Dignitate Psalterii" by Blessed Alan de la Roche [1]. Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion of the Albingensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse where he prayed unceasingly for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of Almighty God. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma.

At this point Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said: "Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"

"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation."

Then Our Lady replied: 

"I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter." 

So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal, for the conversion of the people in that district he made straight for the Cathedral. At once unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together and Saint Dominic began to preach.

At the very beginning of his sermon an appalling storm broke, out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightning that all were very much afraid. Even greater was their fear when looking at a picture of Our Lady exposed in a prominent place they saw her raise her arms to heaven three times to call down God's vengeance upon them if they failed to be converted, to amend their lives, and seek the protection of the Holy Mother of God. 

God wished, by means of these supernatural phenomena, to spread the new devotion of the Holy Rosary and to make it more widely known. 

At last, at the prayer of Saint Dominic, the storm came to an end, and he went on preaching. So fervently and compellingly did he explain the importance and value of the Holy Rosary that almost all the people of Toulouse embraced it and renounced their false beliefs. In a very short time a great improvement was seen in the town; people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits. [1]. De Dignitate Psalterii. The importance and Beauty of the Holy Rosary, by Blessed Alan de la Roche, O.P., French Dominican Father and Apostle of the Holy Rosary.

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 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 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 brining 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 Blessed Mother.

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 forcefulness.

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 to 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 my heart.

'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 everyday life."

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 heretics.

In another passage Cathagena 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 of souls.

'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 [2] 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.  (Saint Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary.)

Yes, it is no wonder that "all kinds of sin and disorder have spread far and wide" in our day, especially since the false "pontiff" has refused on most occasions, other than a few isolated instances here and there, to exhort the large numbers of people who turn out for his "papal" extravaganza "Masses" to pray Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, whose perfect number of one hundred fifty Hail Marys was, of course, altered by the insidious master of novelty and sacrilege and blasphemy named Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, who claimed to be devoted to the Rosary! Saint Dominic made no compromises with error or blasphemy. He dared not "improve" Our Lady's Psalter.

We have been confirmed to be soldiers in the Army of Christ, which means that we must do battle with against the encroaches of in in our lives and to help others do so in theirs. Pope Leo XIII made this clear in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:

But in this same matter, touching Christian faith, there are other duties whose exact and religious observance, necessary at all times in the interests of eternal salvation, become more especially so in these our days. Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: "Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.'' To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: "Have confidence; I have overcome the world." Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.

The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent. (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.)

The author of The Atlantic’s obscene, blasphemous attack on Our Lady’s Holy Rosary wants his readers to think that it is only “gun-toting” Catholics intent on doing pitched battle with the government who use the Rosary as a weapon.

Well, as one is not a gun-toting Catholic and who believes that all the guns in the world are not going to stop the advance of the forces of Antichrist at this time, I place my total trust in the power of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary, which is Holy Mother Church’s most efficacious after the perfect prayer that is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The guns are not going to save us from the fires of hell, but Our Lady’s Holy Rosary will do so if we pray it fervently while meditating upon the mysteries of our salvation contained therein.

Mind you, duly constituted Catholic kings and princes did use the Holy Rosary in conjunction with armed force to rebel the attacks of Mohammedan forces and/or to repel the advances of heretics and Communists. However, it was the spiritual force of Our Lady’s Rosary that won the day as even civil potentates humbled themselves on their knees to beseech the August Queen of Heaven for her maternal protection in times of both spiritual and temporal danger.

Our Lady's Holy Rosary was victorious this day four hundred forty-seven years ago. It was prayed throughout Europe, led by the Pope of the Rosary, Pope Saint Pius V. It was prayed on the ships of the Christian fleet both before and during the battle with the Turkish forces. One of the admirals of the Christian fleet, Gian Andrea Doria, the nephew of the famed Andrea Doria, carried a small image of Our Lady of Guadalupe with him during the Battle of Lepanto. Our Lady had conquered the barbaric Aztecs and Mayans in the Americas after she left the miraculous image of herself on the tilma of the Venerable Juan Diego. That image had become so revered in the space of less than forty-five years that King Philip II of Spain had given it to the Genoese admiral Gian Andrea Dora to be used in the battle against the Mohammedan infidels Our Lady was thus demonstrating how her Divine Son had assigned to her the task of crushing barbarians and infidels just as much as she had been assigned the task of crushing heresies when she gave the Rosary to Saint Dominic de Guzman.

King Philip II of Spain was vert devoted to the preservation of the Catholic Faith in Spain and elsewhere in Europe, and he relied very tenderly upon Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary as he, more than other other potentate in Christendom, was responsible for providing the naval ships and materiel that were used by the combined Christian forces to repel the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto. William Thomas Walsh provided a stirring account of King Philip II's endeavor to preserve Christendom from yet another attempt by Mohammedans to conquer a land with force that had been conquered by the power of Christ the King's Holy Cross at it was held high by the missionaries who spread throughout pagan and barbaric lands during the First Millennium to win by example what the Mohammedans sought to wrest by the sword:

'Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?"

The Turkish fleet, about that time, was setting out from Constantinople, with instructions to find and destroy the Christian navies and to complete the conquest of Cyprus. Before Ali Pasha left the Bosphorus with forty great galleys, four Christian prisoners were crucified, and others skinned alive, as sacrifices to Mohammed for victory. While an army of 70,000 began the siege of Dolcino, on the coast of Albania, the fleet proceeded to Chios (April eighth) where it was joined by forty more vessels under Mohammed-Bey, governor of Negroponte. A second armada was preparing to follow from Constantinople, and Aluch Ali was cruising from Algiers with twenty more. Before the end of April the Grand Turk had almost 300 heavy warships, with a huge army of crack Janizaries and Spahis on board, on the way to Cyprus, where, on May nineteenth, Mustapha resumed the siege of Famagosta, which had held out heroically for nearly a year under the Venetian general Bragadino.

Mustapha loosed all his fury upon this city for three months. The Italian women fought in the breaches with their men. The children carried dirt and ammunition. Hunger at last got the better of them, and, in August, Bragadino agreed to surrender, if the Turks would spare their lives. Mustapha agreed; but as soon as the Christians had laid down their arms, he had them tortured and butchered, women and children with the men. The valiant Bragadino was skinned alive. There were other atrocities too horrible to mention. Mustapha went sailing off to range the Mediterranean in quest of the Christian fleet, with the stuffed skin of Bragadino swinging from his yardarm,

It seems incredible that with such dangers hanging over their other eastern possessions, and even their own shores, the Venetians should have haggled over the details of the League treaty for fully two months after the Pope had signed it. Pius agreed with the Spanish envoys, who were more tractable, that the demands of Venice were unreasonable (the nuncio blamed politicians among the Senators, and merchants with interests in the Levant), but he begged the King of Spain to send Don Juan to Italy as soon as possible, so that the fleet might sail. Yet Philip, although he had been assembling troops and ships since the first of the year, and had ordered his galleys armed on a war basis when the chief points of dispute were settled on April twelfth, refused to let his brother leave Spain until the treaty was signed. Up to the last minute he expected the Venetians to forsake the League. 1 He decided also that his nephews, Rudolph and Ernest, who were about to return home, must travel with Don Juan as far as Genoa. As both the Princes were ill during April, and Ernest continued so until June, the sailing of the Generalissimo seemed uncertain indeed.

At last, however, the treaty was signed, on May twentieth. 2 The news reached Madrid on the Feast of Corpus Christi, and the nuncio hastened to San Lorenzo, to notify the King. Philip was attending a solemn procession in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. It was a day he had long anticipated, for the monastery portion of the Escorial was finished, and he was formally handing it over to the Jeronymite friars he had chosen as its custodians. He would not grant Castagna an audience until the next day; but he had the Cardinal of Siguenza tell him of his pleasure over the good news, and say that Don Juan would start at once. Philip was waiting for confirmation of the news from his own commissioners. This arrived on the morning of June sixth. 3 He then gave his orders. The Prince left Madrid at three o'clock the same afternoon, reaching Guadalajara, thirty-five miles away, the same night. He was at Barcelona on the fifteenth. Don Juan of Austria was riding to the sea at last.

The Archdukes lagged behind, for Ernest was ill again. It was June twenty-fifth before they arrived. The flagship had to be repaired, and there was further wait for Ernest. Meanwhile some irritating instructions came from Antonio Perez. There was a temperamental antipathy between the suave politician who now handled nearly all the King’s correspondence and possessed the confidence that Philip gave so generously when he did give it, and the impulsive, headstrong young soldier. Perez wrote that it was His Majesty's wish that he be addressed by every one as "Your Excellency" instead of "Your Highness," the term usually employed for members of the royal family. This reminder that he was still a bastard cut Don Juan to the soul. Even the royal ambassador at Rome wrote that in Italy people would naturally call him "Su Alteza," since "Su Excellencia" was used there by people of very low degree.

Philip refused to change his instructions. He foresaw, perhaps, that if Don Juan became famous, there would be a demand that he be considered heir to the throne. And it remained to be demonstrated whether Don Juan would develop the qualities which the rule of an Empire demanded. Moreover, since Queen Anna was already pregnant and seemed likely to accomplish the chief duty for which she had been brought to Spain, he had hopes again of a legitimate heir. Pope Pius and nearly all the other notable persons of Italy called the Prince "Your Highness" from the start, however, and could not be persuaded to change by any intimations from Madrid.

It was July twentieth when Don Juan weighed anchor at Barcelona, July twenty-sixth when he reached Genoa. The greatest enthusiasm greeted him At one function there were fifty-two noted beauties to receive him On all sides his charm and gallantry, his handsome face and fine figure, his manners and his dancing, made him a hero of society. At Genoa he parted with the Austrian princes, who passed on their way to Milan. Meeting his old friend Alexander of Parma, he proceeded with him to Naples.

The Pope was pleased with what he heard of his Generalissimo, and wanted him to come to Rome. King Philip refused to allow this. Pope Pius was compelled, therefore, to send the banner of the Crusade and the Admiral's truncheon, which he blessed, to Naples, where, on August second, an immense crowd gathered to hear Mass, and to see Don Juan seated in a throne on the steps of the high altar in Santa Chiara, a noble figure in steel armor, spangled with gold, his shoulders draped with the decoration of the Golden Fleece, even his hair golden in the soft multicolored light of the old church. After Mass Cardinal Granvelle, as viceroy of Naples and a Prince of the Church, presented to him the truncheon and the azure banner on which was emblazoned the figure of Christ crucified, with the arms of the Pope, King Philip, Venice, and Don Juan at His feet.

"Take, O illustrious Prince," said Granvelle, "the insignia of the true Word Made Flesh. Take the living symbol of the holy Faith whose defender you will be in this enterprise. He gives you glorious victory over the impious enemy, and by your hand shall his pride be laid in the dust." "Amen!" A mighty shout like that of Clermont burst from the people. "Amen!" 4

On August twenty-third, when Don Juan arrived at Messina, the harbor was a cluttered forest of masts, the ancient town swarming with men of all nations. By September first, when the whole fleet was assembled, there were 208 galleys in all, 90 of Spain and her dependencies, 106 of Venice and 12 of the Pope; besides nearly 100 brigantines, frigates and transports, mostly furnished by Spain; with some 50,000 sailors and galley slaves, and 31,000 soldiers: 19,000 of them paid by King Philip (including Germans and Italians), 8,000 Venetians, 2,000 Papal troops, and 2,000 volunteers, chiefly from Spain. 

The Spanish galleys were by far the best built, best equipped and best handled, and would bear the brunt of any fighting. The Venetian ships showed up so badly in a review that Don Juan inspected some of them, and found, to his disgust, that they were not even sufficiently manned. Some had hardly any crews. Others lacked fighting men. He distributed among the worst of them about 4,000 of the famous Spanish and Italian infantry. Then he held a Council of War, attended by seventy officers. Some favored a merely defensive campaign, since the Turks evidently outnumbered them, and the risk would be great, especially as the time for autumn tempests was at hand. Others said that if the Turk galleys were more numerous, they were not as efficient; and "something always had to be left to luck." Don Juan himself apparently hesitated, thinking of the King’s instructions. 5

The Papal influence was all in favor of fighting, whatever the odds. The invincible spirit of the old saint in the Vatican was perhaps the decisive factor. When Bishop Odescalchi, his nuncio, came to bless the fleet and to give a large portion of the True Cross for distribution among the crews, each vessel having a grain of the Precious Wood, he also brought to Don Juan the solemn assurance of Pope Pius V that, if he offered battle, God would give him the victory. If they were defeated, the Pope promised "to go to war himself with his gray hairs, to put idle youth to shame." But with courage they could not fail. Had not several revelations, including two prophecies by Saint Isidore of Sevilla, described such a battle and victory as seemed imminent, won by a youth closely resembling Don Juan?

At the Holy Father's suggestion, Don Juan adopted a modus operandi seldom if ever taught in naval academies. No women were allowed aboard the ships. Blasphemy was to be punished with death. While waiting for a good wind and the return of his scouting squadron with news of where the Turks were, the Generalissimo fasted for three days. All his officers and crews did likewise. Contemporary accounts agree that not one of the 81,000 sailors and soldiers failed to confess and to receive Holy Communion. Even the galley slaves were unshackled from their long benches and led in droves ashore, to confess to the numerous priests who toiled day and night at the Jesuit College helping the chaplains of the galleys.

Saint Francis Borgia and his Society played an important part in the preparation for the voyage. Six Spanish-speaking Jesuits were chaplains of the Spanish fleet. Of the three chaplains on board the Real, two were Jesuits. While Borgia was on his way to Spain with the Pope's nephew to perpetuate the League and to try to settle all differences between the Holy See and Spain, his followers, with Dominicans, Franciscans, Capuchins and others, were going among rough men, some of them offscourings and sweepings of the vilest cities, some criminals condemned to the galleys for foul crimes, urging them to lift up their hearts and cast all sin out of God’s fleet and God's army.

When the last of the Venetians had arrived, the Armada began to put to sea, September fifteenth, in the order agreed upon. Doria led the vanguard with 54 galleys of the right wing, flying green banners. Don Juan followed next morning with the batalla or center, under azure banners, with the blue standard of Our Lady of Guadalupe over the Real. (The Pope’s Standard of the League was reserved for battle.) Marcantonio Colonna, on the flagship of the Pope, was on his right. Veniero, a cantankerous old Venetian sea-dog, at his left. The third squadron of the Venetian Barbarigo followed, with yellow banners: and the Marques of Santa Cruz (Don Alvaro de Bazan) brought up the rear with thirty Spanish galleys and some of Italy, all under white flags.

It was a sight to remember—the papal nuncio, a flaming figure in scarlet from head to foot, standing on the mole with hand uplifted to bless each ship as it passed, the crusaders kneeling on the decks, the knights and men-at-arms glittering with steel, the sailors in red suits and caps, the rowers with dark naked backs glistening with sweat, the brown sails bellying out to catch the first breeze; and on the lofty prow of the flagship, Don Juan in golden armor, like an avenging angel under the outflung blue banner of her who had trodden on the serpent's head. Thus they passed into the open Mediterranean and formed in ranks, two by two. The six great Venetian galeasses, each a bristling fort with 44 heavy guns, led the way into the sapphire-studded morning light. The galeasses kept a full mile ahead, to open the fray with a heavy bombardment. Two by two the whole Armada followed, almost in battle order, according to a plan carefully worked out by old paralyzed Don Garcia de Toledo. 6 The plan was somewhat modified, apparently, to leave spaces between the squadrons, so that Santa Cruz could intervene where his help might be needed. "In this disposition," says Cabrera, "Gianandrea Doria took the leading part, with certain contradictions from those who sought thereby to gain reputation in what they knew least about." 7

Was Don Juan the target of this innuendo of the usually well-informed chronicler? He was certainly the least experienced and most cocksure of the generals. He quarrelled with most of them. He had come to despise Requesens on the voyage from Barcelona to Genoa, when he found him always at his elbow, even at meal times; for Don Luis had had instructions from the King to keep the young hero constantly under supervision. 8 Cardinal Pacheco also had a watchful eye on him. Cardinal Espinosa, whom he heartily detested, had no high opinion of him, nor had Granvelle. Neither the King nor his ministers had much co nfi dence in the capacity of Don Juan for real leadership. The Morisco campaign had shown more courage in him than judgment, and Philip had no intention of leaving the fate of so costly a fleet and the lives of 81,000 men in the hands of an impetuous and inexperienced youth. He wrote his brother that he must attach particular weight to the opinion of Gianandrea Doria; and that he must not risk a battle without the unanimous consent of Doria, Requesens, and Santa Cruz. 9

The wisdom of these precautions was demonstrated on October first, when the fleet was becalmed off the coast of Albania. A quarrel had broken out on one of the Venetian ships, where Don Juan had placed Spanish soldiers. Captain Curcio Anticocio and three of his soldiers were involved, and old Veniero in a rage ordered them hanged on a lateen yard. When Don Juan saw the four bodies in ghastly relief against the sky he was almost beside himself with anger, and would probably have thrown himself upon the seventy-year old Venetian if Colonna, Doria and Requesens had not restrained and calmed him. The Spanish soldiers were all for giving battle immediately to the Venetians. Doubtless, with such a fiery leader as Don Juan, they would have ruined the expedition, if wiser and more moderate heads had not been ready, through the foresight of the King, to intervene. As itwas, Don Juan refused to let Veniero come anymore to his Council. 1

A brief stop at Corfu restored the morale of the fleet. The Turks had been there, and had left the usual mementoes: charred ruins of churches and houses, broken and defiled crucifixes, mangled bodies of priests, women and children, feasted on by dogs and vultures. The sight was enough to remind the Christians of the object of their quest. Informed by scouts that the Turkish fleet had withdrawn to the Gulf of Corinth, preparatory to making their return to Constantinople before the autumn storms began, they set off in pursuit. Ali Pasha was then at Preveza. According to some captured corsairs, Aluch Ali, the best of the Moslem navigators, had returned with his 73 galleys to Algiers. This news seemed to indicate that the odds in favor of the enemy would not be overwhelming.

Don Juan left Corfu on September twenty-eighth. While the Turkish fleet was skirting the southern shore of Aetolia, making for the Gulf of Corinth (or Lepanto) the Christian Armada, using oars because the wind was contrary, nosed through the waters of the Ionian Sea, with the Albanian shore off the port bows, past Nicopolis and that stretch of sea lying off Actium where the spirit of the East had fled from the spirit of the West in the jaded galleys of Antony and Cleopatra, and around the coast of Santa Maura to Cephalonia, with the narrow isle of Ithaca hugged under its lee shore, still fragrant with the memory of Penelope and the unconquerable fortitude of Odysseus.

It was October fifth when the fleet cast anchor among the Curzolares. That day a brigantine from Candia came by with news of the fall of Famagosta, and the horrible atrocities perpetuated by Mustapha upon the helpless Christians who had surrendered. A quiver of rage passed through the floating city of armed men. Nothing could have been better timed to make them fight like holy madmen.

The wind was east, the sky overcast, the sea gray with fog. All day Saturday and well into the night, the fleet remained inactive, not knowing that the wind which kept them there had brought the Turkish fleet across the Gulf of Patras to the Albanian shore, and that Aluch Ali, with all his Algerian galleys, was still with them With the falling of the starless night a dead silence settled over the sea.

About two o'clock in the morning of Sunday, the seventh, there came up a fresh steady wind from the west, across the Ionian Sea, sweeping the stars and the wide bay clear of the wraiths of fog. Don Juan, lying sleepless in the cabin of his Real, saw that he was in the middle of what seemed a huge lake, flooded with moonlight. He gave the word, the great anchors were weighed and the sails unfurled, the whips cracked over the straining backs of the galley slaves, the great ships hove through the choppy water, as if racing the dawn to the Albanian coast. When the sun came flaming up over the Gulf of Lepanto, Doria's lookout, in the vanguard, sighted a squadron of the enemy about twelve miles away, returning from a scouting trip to Santa Maura. The signal flag agreed upon was on the masthead of the royal frigate, where Doria was on watch.

"We must conquer or die here," said Don Juan, exultantly, and ordered a green banner displayed as a sign for all to get in battle array. The multiple banks of oars on the six great Venetian galeasses plunged into the sea, driving the massive hulks to their positions, two of them a mile in front of each of the three sections of the battle-line.

The Venetian Barbarigo, with sixty-four galleys, veered as closely as possible to the Aetolian shore, to prevent an encircling movement by the enemy on the north. Don Juan commanded the center or batalla of sixty-three galleys, with Colonna and Veniero on either side of him, and Requesens in the ship behind him Doria's squadron of sixty took the right wing, nearest the open sea, the most dangerous post of all. Thirty-five vessels were held in reserve in the rear under the Marques of Santa Cruz, with orders to give help wherever it might be needed. Thus the great fleet advanced into the Gulf of Patras, in a long arc extending over a league-and-a-half of sea and gradually stiffening into a straighter line as the enemy came in sight.

The Turks, having a total of 286 galleys (for HascenBey had just arrived with 22 extra ones from Tripoli) against 208, had decided to fight, and were clearing their decks for action. Mohammed Siroco with 55 galleys opposed Barbarigo. Ali Pasha and Pertew with 96 faced the batalla of Don Juan. Aluch Ali with 73 took the side nearest the open sea, opposite Gianandrea Doria. There was also a squadron of reserve in the rear. The wind had shifted to the east, bringing on the Turks with bellied sails, while the Christians had to use their oars. Toward noon it almost died away. Four hours passed while both fleets made their preparations for combat.

Doria meanwhile came back in a swift frigate to consult with Don Juan and the others. According to one account he was averse, at the start, to giving battle to an enemy with so large a preponderance of heavy ships. He wanted a council of war, at least. But Don Juan cried, "It is time to fight now, not to talk"; and so it was agreed. Cabrera says Doria not only drew up the final battle-order of the fleet, but suggested that the Generalissimo have the espolones cut away from the bows of his galleys. These were sharp spurs, fourteen feet long, which could crash through the side of an enemy ship, doing great damage when propelled by the arms of a hundred galley-slaves. It was obvious that in fighting at close quarters, hand-to-hand, ship locked to ship, they would be useless. Without them, too, Don Juan could place his bow guns lower, and hit the Turkish hulks nearer the waterline. The plan was adopted. One after another down the long line the espolones splashed into the calm sea.

The young Admiral, now in his golden armor, went in a fast frigate from ship to ship, holding up an iron crucifix for all to see. "Hey, valorous soldiers!" he cried. "Here's the chance you wanted. I have done my part. Do you now humble the pride of the enemy and win glory in this holy fight. Live or die, be conquerors; if you die, you go to Heaven." 11 The sight of the gallant young figure and the sound of his fresh voice had an extraordinary effect. A mighty shout answered him from each ship. There passed across the sparkling sea a long broken cheer as the Pope's banner of the League, with the image of Christ Crucified catching the glint of the high sun, rose above the Real beside the blue flag of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On the forward mast of his flagship Don Juan had hung a crucifix which alone of all his effects survived the fire in his house at Alcala.

As the Turks advanced in a great half-moon he knelt on the prow and in a loud voice begged the blessing of God on the Christian arms, while priests and monks throughout the fleet held up crucifixes before the kneeling sailors and soldiers. The sun was now directly overhead. The clear water, almost unrippled, flashed back a tremulous replica in vivid colors of a thousand standards, streamers, pennons and gonfalons, the cold brilliant glitter of weapons and armor, the gold and silver of armaments, all wavering kaleidoscopically between the blue sea and the dazzling sky. A hush like that which comes just before the consecration of the Mass fell over the whole Armada. The Turkish side replied with the usual blood-curdling chorus of screams, hoots, jibes and groans, the clashing of cimeters on shields, the blaring of horns and trumpets. The Christians waited in silence.

At that moment the wind, which had thus far favored the Turks, shifted to the west, and sped the Christian galleys on to the shock. Ali Pasha, in the Moslem center, opened the battle with a cannon shot. Don Juan answered, with another. As the Turkish oarsmen churned the sea, the six great galeasses of Venice opened fire with their 264 guns. This bombardment was not as devastating as had been expected, but it had the effect of breaking the enemy's line. The Turkish right was racing now to gain the open water between the Venetians and the Aetolian shore. Five ships closed upon the galley of Barbarigo, while the Moorish archers let fly clouds of poisoned arrows, which they preferred to firearms and used with more deadly effect. Ship to ship they were lashed now, fighting hand-to-hand. Huge Barbarigo fought like a lion, until, taking his shield from his face to shout an order, he was pierced through the eye with an arrow.

It was the Christian right that stood the heaviest attack. Doria was held in fear and respect by the Moslems. Moreover, he occupied the most dangerous post, where strategy and good sailing counted. If there was a match for him among the mariners of the Mediterranean, it was Aluch Ali, the Italian apostate. As the Turkish left tried to gain the open sea, to attack by poop and prow, Doria extended his line farther to the right, leaving a space between his squadron and the batalla. Aluch Ali swiftly changed his course and came crashing through the open space with his best ships, while his slower sailing galleys took the Genoese on the side toward the open sea. Doria, heavily outnumbered, fought a magnificent engagement. On ten of his vessels, nearly all the soldiers were killed in the first hour of the conflict. The handful of survivors fought on, desperately holding their ships in the hope of succor.

Santa Cruz reserve, however, had gone to the aid of some of the Venetians on the left, and the whole batalla was locked in a mortal conflict with the Turkish center. As soon as Ali Pasha saw where the holy flags flew over the galley of Don Juan, he drove straight for it. The two enormous hulks crashed prow to prow. Ali's ship was higher and heavier, and manned with 500 picked Janizaries.

The wisdom of Doria's advice to cut away the espolones was now apparent; while the Turk's artillery fired through the rigging of the Real, Don Juan's poured death into the ranks of the Janizaries as the ships grappled. Hand-to-hand they fought from one deck to the other, for two hours. Seven Turkish ships stood by to help the Sultana. As fast as the Janizaries fell on the decks, they were replaced by others from the hulks of reserve. Twice the horde of yelling Turks penetrated the Real to the mainmast, and twice the Spaniards thrust them back. But Don Juan, with heavy losses, had only two ships of reserves. Fighting gallantly in a little ring of chosen Spanish cavaliers, he was wounded in the foot. His situation was extremely perilous, in fact, when Santa Cruz, having saved the Venetians, came to his aid and rushed 200 reserves aboard.

Heartened by this fresh blood, the Spanish threw themselves on Ali and his Janizaries so furiously that they hurled them back into their own ship. Three times the Christians charged, and three times the Turks cast them out over decks now red and slippery with blood, piled with heaps of dead men, ghastly mangled trunks, severed arms and legs still quivering. The two fleets were locked in the embrace of death, ships lashed by twos and threes in water already streaked with crimson from floating bodies and limbs. The din of musketry, screams of rage and pain, clash of steel on steel, thunder of artillery, falling of spars and lashing of bloody waters between rocking timbers resounded horribly all through the Sunday afternoon. Splendid and terrible deeds were done. Old Veniero, seventy years old, fought sword in hand at the head of his men. Cervantes arose from his bed of fever to fight and to lose his left hand. Young Alexander of Parma boarded a Turkish galley alone, and survived the experience.

The moment was critical, and the issue still in doubt, when the magnificent Ali Pasha, defending his ship from the last Christian onslaught, was laid low by a ball from a Spanish arquebus. His body was dragged to the feet of Don Juan. A Spanish soldier triumphantly pounced upon it and shore away the head. One version says that Don Juan reproved him for this brutality. Another, more likely, says that the Prince impaled the head on the end of a long pike and held it up for all to see. Hoarse shouts of victory burst from the Christians on the Real, as they brushed the disheartened Turks into the sea and hoisted the banner of Christ Crucified to the enemy masthead. There was not a single hole in this flag, though the spars and masts were riddled, and the mainmast bristled with arrows like a porcupine. From ship to ship the shout of triumph was taken up, with the word that Ali was dead and the Christians had won. A panic seized the enemy, and he took to flight.

As the sun sank over Cephalonia, Doria's right wing was still furiously engaged with the Algerians. Gianandrea was red from head to foot with blood, but escaped without a scratch. When Aluch Ali saw that the Moslem fleet was getting the worse of it, he skilfully withdrew between the right and the center of the Christians. In the rear of Doria's fleet he came upon a galley of the Knights of Malta, whom he especially hated. He pounced upon it from the stern, slew all the knights and the crew, and took possession of the vessel; but when Santa Cruz attacked him, he abandoned his prize, and fled with 40 of his best ships toward the open sea and the crimson sunset. Doria's fleet pursued him until night and the coming of a storm forced him to desist.

The Christians took refuge in the port of Petala, and there counted their casualties, which were comparatively light, and their booty, which was exceedingly rich. They had lost 8,000 slain, including 2,000 Spanish, 800 of the Pope's men, and 5,200 Venetians. The Turks had lost 224 vessels, 130 captured and more than 90 sunk or burned; at least 25,000 of their men had been slain, and 5,000 captured; 10,000 of their Christian captives were set free. 12 Don Juan at once sent ten galleys to Spain to inform the King, and dispatched the Count of Priego to Rome. But Pius V had speedier means of communication than galleys. On the afternoon of Sunday, October seventh, he was walking in the Vatican with his treasurer, Donato Cesis. The evening before he had sent out orders to all convents in Rome and nearby to double their prayers for the victory of the Christian fleet, but now he was listening to a recital of some of his financial difficulties. Suddenly he stepped aside, opened a window, and stood watching the sky as if astonished. Then, turning with a radiant face to the treasurer, he said, "Go with God. This is not the time for business, but to give thanks to Jesus Christ, for our fleet has just conquered."

He then hurried to his chapel to prostrate himself in thanksgiving. Afterwards he went out, and everybody noticed his youthful step and joyous countenance. The first news of the battle, through human agencies, reached Rome by way of Venice on the night of October twenty-first, just two weeks after the event. Saint Pius went to St. Peter's in a procession, singing the Te Deum Laudamus. There was great joy in Rome. The Holy Father commemorated the victory by designating October seventh as the Feast of the Holy Rosary, and by adding "Help of Christians" to the titles of Our Lady in the Litany of Loreto.

It took ten more days for the news to reach Madrid. King Philip was not "in his closet with the fleece about his neck," nor did he hold a crystal phial of poison with "colors like the moon" anywhere except in Chesterton's poem He was in the chapel at the Escorial, listening to the monks sing Vespers, on Hallowe'en, when he heard outside an unwonted commotion, as of some one entering in great haste. Presently there came waddling in, very much out of breath, a fat gentleman of the royal household named Don Pedro Manuel. Leaning over the railing, with little ceremony, he told the King excitedly that Angulo the courier had just arrived with news of a great victory won by Senor Don Juan.

Philip's face did not change its grave and serene expression, nor did he raise his voice, as he said, characteristically, "Sosegaos. Calm yourself. Come around into the choir, so you can tell it better."

On hearing what had occurred, he went quietly back to his seat and prayed until Vespers were over. Then he betook himself to his own gallery to prostrate himself, giving thanks to Almighty God. Finally he announced the news. While the monks joyfully formed a procession, he allowed himself to receive the congratulations of courtiers and ambassadors. He ordered Mass said next morning for the souls of those who died at Lepanto.

He then went back to Madrid, to take part in the general procession next day, on the Feast of All Saints. With all the court, ambassadors and prelates and priests in gorgeous vestments of silk and gold, he walked from the church of Saint Philip to the church of Santa Maria, where Solemn High Mass was sung amid a blaze of lights and with exquisite music, by Cardinal Alexandrino, who had arrived only a few days before with Saint Francis Borgia. All sang the psalm, Domine in virtute tua laetabitur rex. Some verses and responses composed by Cardinal Alexandrino were sung so exquisitely, and the words were so appropriate, that every one, including the King, wept with joy.

The King was so affected that he ordered the psalm and the versicles of the Cardinal written out for him. In the quiet of his study he read them over. The twentieth Psalm must have seemed especially appropriate:

"In thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy: and in thy salvation he shall rejoice, exceedingly. Thou hast given him his heart's desire; and hast not withholden from him the will of his lips. For thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness: thou hast set upon his head a crown of precious stones. He asked life of thee: and thou hast given him length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: glory and great beauty shalt thou lay upon him. For thou shalt give him to be a blessing for ever and ever; thou shalt make him joyful in gladness with thy countenance. For the king hopeth in the Lord: and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.

"Let thy hand be found by all thy enemies: Let thy right hand find out all them that hate thee; thou shalt make them as an oven of fire, in the time of thine anger: the Lord shall trouble them in his wrath, and fire shall devour them. Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth: and their seed from among the children of men. For they have intended evils against thee: they have devised counsel which they have not been able to establish." (William Thomas Walsh, Teresa of Avila, published originally in 1943 by the Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., Rocford, Illinois, 1987, pp. 513-525.)

The Battle of Lepanto was a victory for Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, for Pope Saint Pius V's indomitable fortiude, and for King Philip  II's calmness and resolve in the midst of the one of the greatest dangers that Christendom had faced from the Mohammedans, who have, not so incidentally, won by immigration and the obsequiousness of the conciliar revolutionaries towards them what they lost at the Battle of Lepanto: effective control of large parts of Europe.

Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., explained that the Mohammedans were intent on taking advantages of the divisions brought about by Father Martin Luther's revolution against the Divine Plan that God instituted to effect man's return to Him through the Catholic Church:

Soliman II, the greatest of the Sultans, taking advantage of the confusion caused in the West by Luther, had filled the sixteenth century with terror by his exploits. He left to his son, Selim II the prospect of being able at length to carry out the ambition of his race: to subjugate Rome and Vienna, the Pope and the Emperor, to the power of the Crescent. The Turkish fleet had already mastered the greater part of the Mediterranean, and was threatening Italy when, on the 7th of October, 1571, it came into action, in the Gulf of Lepanto, with the pontifical galleys supported by the fleets of Spain and Venice. It was Sunday; throughout the world the confraternities of the Rosary were engaged in their work of intercession. Supernaturally enlightened, St. Pius V watched from the Vatican the battle undertaken by the leader he had chosen, Don John of Austria, against the three hundred vessels of Islam. The illustrious Pontiff, whose life’s work was now completed, did not survive to celebrate the anniversary of the triumph; but he perpetuated the memory of it by an annual commemoration of our Lady of Victory. His successor, Gregory XIII, altered this title to our Lady of the Rosary, and appointed the first Sunday of October for the new Feast, authorizing its celebration in those churches which possessed an altar under that invocation.

A century and a half later, this limited concession was made general. As Innocent XI in memory of the deliverance of Vienna by Sobieski, had extended the Feast of the most holy Name of Mary to the whole Church; so, in 1716, Clement XI inscribed the Feast of the Rosary on the universal Calendar, in gratitude for the victory gained by Prince Eugene at Peterwardein, on the 5th of August, under the auspices of Our Lady of the Snow. This victory was followed by the raising of the siege of Corfu, and completed a year later by the taking of Belgrade. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year.)

Yes, it was but less than one hundred twelve years after the Battle of Lepanto that Polish King Jan Sobieski used Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary to defeat the Turks at the Battle of the Gates of Vienna. That same Rosary would be used by Austrians in the 1950s to pray for the withdrawal of the forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that occupied half of their country, marking only the second time that Soviet forces had withdrawn voluntarily from a country before the events of 1989-1991 (the other time was in late-1946 when Soviet forces withdrew from the Azerbaijan region of northern Iran). Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary continues to vanquish the demons that plague the gates of our very souls, which is why we must be assiduous in a fervent and recollected recitation of at least one set of its mysteries each and every day of our lives without fail.

Our Lady hates what her Divine Son hates. She hate all evil. Although she, as the Mother of Mercy (Mater Misericordia), has compassion on us erring sinners, she hates sin. She wants us to detest all sin and evil, having experienced in the very depths of her Immaculate Heart and soul the horror of what each one of our sins did to her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death. She was sent to three shepherd children in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal, nearly ninety years ago as a final effort on the part of her Divine Son to save erring sinners from Hell, explaining to Lucia dos Santos on July 13, 1917, that she desired to have instituted in a most particular way devotion to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart by the practice of the Five First Saturdays. Our Lord, Who gave us His Most Blessed Mother to be our Mother as He was dying as a result of our sins on the wood of the Holy Cross, has sent His Blessed Mother to us in these our own very days to rescue us from sins and lukewarmness and indifference and all of the errors of Modernity in the world, represented by the anti-Incarnational errors of Russia, and of Modernism (which is why the conciliarists have been demonically feverish in helping to deconstruct the Third Secret of Fatima).

The Rosary is hated by the adversary with the same degree of passion with which he hates the Immemorial Mass of Tradition in all its unvarnished splendor and beauty. The devil knows how the Rosary has defeated him and his wiles in the past. This is what he, the ultimate trickster of darkness who hates our souls because they are made in the image and likeness of the One He hates, the Blessed Trinity, will use every trick he has in his dirty book to trap us into thinking that we are too tired or too busy or, God forbid, too "sophisticated" to pray the Rosary well or to promote it publicly as the signal means by which a just social order according to the Mind of Christ the King as He has discharged It exclusively in His Catholic Church can be established, maintained and renewed with constant spiritual vigor.

The devil will seek to discourage us from carrying extra Rosaries (and Rosary instruction pamphlets) on our person to hand out to the lost souls who are the victims of Modernity's and Modernism's assaults against the Deposit of Faith. The adversary will attempt to convince us that it is "just too much" for us to carry Green Scapulars and blessed Miraculous Medals to hand out to those whom God's Holy Providence puts in our lives on a daily basis. We must call upon Saint Michael the Archangel and to recite the August Queen of Heaven Prayer to resist these demonic efforts to dissuade us in our own devotion to Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary and its public promotion.

Such is the devil's hatred for Our Lady and the power of her Most Holy Rosary that there are, sadly, many Catholics who disparage Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, including some who discount the fact that Our Lady had appeared to Saint Dominic to give him her Psalter. Antipope Emeritus Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI admitted over fifteen years ago that he did not pray the Rosary every day, only when he can find time for it, almost never mentioning this Heavenly weapon to promote the salvation of our souls and to fight heresy in his public allocutions. Anyone who has a cavalier attitude about Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary is, whether or not he realizes it, doing the work of the devil.

Blessed Alan de la Roche, O.P., who was visited by Our Lady and Saint Dominic in 1460 to revive the praying of the Rosary after it had fallen into a period of disuse, made it clear that it is only the devil who seeks to disparage devotion to the Mother of God and to her Most Holy Rosary, which consist of fifteen meditations on the very mysteries of our salvation:

Blessed Alan [de la Roche] relates that a certain Cardinal Pierre, whose titular church was that of Saint Mary-beyond-the-Tiber, was a great friend of Saint Dominic's and had learned from him to have a great devotion to the holy Rosary. He grew to love it so much that he never ceased singing its praises and encouraging everyone he met to embrace it. Eventually he was sent as legate to the Holy Land to the Christians who were fighting against the Saracens. So successfully did he convince the Christian army of the power of the Rosary that they all started saying it and stormed heaven for help in a battle in which they knew they would be pitifully outnumbered. And in fact, their three thousand triumphed over an enemy of one hundred thousand.

As we have seen, the devils have an overwhelming fear of the Rosary. Saint Bernard says that the Angelic Salutation puts them to flight and makes all hell tremble. Blessed Alan assures us that he has seen several people delivered from Satan's bondage after taking up the holy Rosary, even though they had previously sold themselves to him, body and soul, by renouncing their baptismal vows and their allegiance to Jesus Christ.

In 1578, a woman of Antwerp had given herself to the devil and signed a contract with her own blood. Shortly afterwards she was stricken with remorse and had an intense desire to make amends for this terrible deed. So she sought out a kind and wise confessor to find out how she could be set free from the power of the devil.

She found a wise and holy priest, who advised her to go to Father Henry, director of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, at the Dominican Friary, to be enrolled there and to make her confession. Accordingly, she asked to see him but met, not Father Henry, but the devil disguised as a friar. He reproved her severely and said she could never hope to receive God's grace, and there was no way of revoking what she had signed. This grieved her greatly but she did not lose hope in God's mercy and sought out Father Henry once more, only to find the devil a second time, and to meet with a second rebuff. She came back a third time and then at last, by divine providence, she found Father Henry in person, the priest whom she had been looking for, and he treated her with great kindness, urging her to throw herself on the mercy of God and to make a good confession. He then received her into the Confraternity and told her to say the Rosary frequently.

One day, while Father Henry was celebrating Mass for her, Our Lady forced the devil to give her back the contract she had signed. In this way she was delivered from the devil by the authority of Mary and by devotion to the holy Rosary. (Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, pp. 80-82.)

The devil has good reason to hate Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary. Pope Saint Pius V called upon Catholics to pray the Rosary for the success of the combined Christian forces against the infidel Turks in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571, a remarkable feat in the annals of naval warfare, wrought solely by the power of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary.

Saint Rose of Lima, T.O.P., a spiritual daughter of Saint Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers, used Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary to turn back a pending invasion of Lima, Peru, by those hideous, Catholic-hating Dutch Calvinists in 1606:

Saint Rose is most famous for her penances, done not for their own sake, but as pure expressions of her love for Jesus and vicarious satisfaction for souls dear to Him. Her love found other means of expression, as well. Rose prayed long hours for her beloved Archbishop Turibius, himself a saint, in his trials, and beseeched God for the conversion of the Peruvian Indians, who were still practicing pagan religions. She was taught to make herbal medicines and took great delight in distributing these remedies to long lines of the sick poor of Lima. 

It is natural that one with Rose’s pure love of God seek a religious vocation, but for a time even this good desire seemed to be frustrated. She discerned that it was not God’s will that she enter a cloister. A short time later she received a sign in answer to prayer that she was to be a Dominican tertiary and live at home, like Saint Catherine of Siena. At age 20 she made her profession in the Third Order of Saint Dominic. 

It was at this time that perhaps the most spectacular of Rose’s miracles occurred when Dutch pirates invaded Lima’s harbor and defeated the Peruvian fleet. Due to the Reformation, they intended not only to loot the city but also to desecrate churches. The women, children and religious of Lima took refuge in the churches. In the church of Santo Domingo, Rose stirred them all to prayer. It is said that as pirates burst into the church, they were confronted with the terrifying spectacle of a young girl ablaze with light, holding a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament. They turned away and fled to their ships which sailed away.  St. Rose of Lima: Follower of Dominic and Spouse of the Heart of Christ)

It was put a mere forty years later invasion of Dutch Calvinists threatened the Catholic Philippines:

Sculpted by a non-Catholic Chinese artist who was later converted through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, the image of Our Lady of the Rosary was commissioned in 1593 by the Spanish Governor of the Philippines. Luis Perez Dasmarinas, who wanted the statue to memorialize both his deceased father and his own regime. The statue was entrusted to the Dominicans in Manila and was enshrined in Santo Domingo Church, where it received an outpouring of love and devotion.

Fifty-three years later, in March, 1646, while Spanish invaders were still governing the islands and were outright enemies of the Dutch, the people were shocked to learn that a fleet of five Dutch war ships was bearing down on Manila. Carrying the triple threat of conquest, pillage and Dutch Protestantism, the enemy had chosen a tim when Spanish warships were unavailable for defense.

Two commercial galleons, "The Rosary" and "The Incarnation," were donated by their owners and were quickly outfitted in preparation for battle. While sailing into position for the confrontation, the men prayed the Rosary and dedicated themselves to La Naval, Our Lady of the Rosary.

The five Dutch ships were well-equipped with canons, firearms and trained seamen; the two Spanish-Filipino cargo ships were poorly fitted with a few guns. At the end of the day it seemed unbelievable that the Dutch fled the area while the defenders of the city returned home in glory, praising Our Lady for her protection.

For the next four months the two cargo ships patrolled the waters, then, in July, they discovered that they had been trapped in a narrow strait by not five, but seven Dutch ships. Since their position did not afford a proper angle for battle, they prayed and waited. Fearful that they would be attacked, they vowed that if they were victorious they would pilgrimage barefoot to the Church of Santo Domingo to thank Our Lady of the Rosary. Through the intercession of La Naval, the two cargo ships were apparently unseen in the fading sunset since the Dutch ships turned toward Manila without firing on them. The two cargo ships then gave chase and closed in. At sunrise the next day the Dutch retreated in disgrace. As soon as the victors arrived home, they gratefully fulfilled their vow.

After the next battle the people of Manila began to call the cargo ships "the galleons of the miracle." After the fourth confrontation and victory the name was confirmed. Yet a fifth time the Dutch fleet appeared for battle. Anxious to defend their honor and restore their pride, the Dutch resolved to win at any cost. The advantage was definitely theirs when they found the two cargo ships anchored with the wind against them. Unable to move, the new cargo ships fought where they were and defeated the enemy so badly that they limped away, never to return.

Our Lady of the Rosary and the men of her two cargo ships defeated 15 well-equipped warships.

This victory at Manila is similar in many respects to the great naval victory at Lepanto, which was also credited to the intervention of Our Lady and the power of her Holy Rosary. In both instances Our Lady miraculously defended and granted victory to their seamen who placed their trust in her.

Sixteen years after the successful defense of Manila, an Ecclesiastical Council was convened in Cavite to study the unusual aspects of the five naval victories. The Council consisted of theologians, canonists, and prominent religious. On April 9, 1662, after studying all the written testimonies of the participants and eyewitnesses, the Council declared that the victories were:

Granted by the Sovereign Lord through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin and devotion to her Rosary, that the miracles be celebrated, preached and held in festivities and to be recounted among the miracles wrought by the Lady of the Rosary for the greater devotion of the faithful to Our Most Blessed Virgin Mary and her Holy Rosary.

This decree was signed by all eight members of the Ecclesiastical Council. (Joan Carroll Cruz, Miraculous Images of Our Lady: 100 Famous Catholic Portraits and Statues, TAN Books and Publishers, 1993, pp. 367-369.)

King Jan Sobieski of Poland defeated the Mohammedan forces of the Turks in the Battle at the Gates of Vienna on September 12, 1683, an epic battler in which Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary was once again the decisive factor:

In 1683 Turkish forces threatened once again to overrun Europe. They carried the war into Austria for the purpose of annihilating the Catholic religion. Kara Mustapha, Grand Vizier of Mahomet IV, had boasted that he would not rest until he had stabled his master's horses at Saint Peter's in Rome. With an army 300,000 strong, the leader of the infidels arrived at the gates of Vienna and laid siege to the city. Days of enemy assaults, fire, and disease had reduced the Austrian capital to the last extremity. A small garrison of exhausted men, under the command of the courageous Imperial General, Count Starhemberg, himself wounded in the attack, fought desperately, with no earthly help in sight.

Pope Innocent XI urgently appealed to the princes of Europe on behalf of the beleaguered city and, on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the "Unvanquished Lion of the North", John Sobieski, King of Poland, mounted his war-horse, going forth to battle for the glory of the cross and the preservation of all Christendom. (Letter to Blessed Pope Innocent XVI)

Before Our Lady's altar in Her sanctuary in Czestochowa, the King raised his sword and vowed not to sheathe it until the mighty Queen of Heaven had given victory. The army asked Her blessings on their enterprise. Marching towards Vienna, the men prayed the Holy Rosary, Sobieski, wearing an image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, gave his soldiers their battle cry: In the Name of Mary: Lord God, help!

Joining up with the Imperial army, under the command of Charles, Duke of Lorraine, John Sobieski, whose tranquil presence in the midst of fiercest combat had such power with his own forces, had been unanimously chosen to lead the united armies of Europe. Many a time had his fearless leadership routed the Moslem invaders!

At five o'clock on the morning of September 12, the Holy Sacrifice was celebrated by the papal legate, Father Marco d'Aviano, on the heights of Mount Kalemberg, overlooking the Austrian capital. The King yielded to no one in the honor serving that Mass. The armies of Christendom knelt in humble prayer. Later on that same day, Father Marco was to see a white dove hovering over this very king and his men while the battled raged, a sign of the victory to come.

The King gave a signal. Drums rolled, cannons roared and the great human avalanche plunged down the steep mountain precipices shouting, Jesus! Mary! Sobieski! Jesus! Mary! Sobieski!

Many were the separate and terrible combats on that memorable day, but suffice it to say that by five in the afternoon, the warrior king brandished his sword and charged upon the tent of the Turkish leader, shouting the words of the prophet king [David], Non nobis Domine exercituum, non nobis, sed Nomini tuo da gloriam. Not to us, O Lord of Host, not to us, but to Thy name give the glory. [Psalm 113:9]

The name of Sobieski spread panic throughout the enemy camp. Kara Mustapha, trembling in his boots, turned to the Tarter Khan, Selim Gieray, Can you not save me? he pleaded. I know the Polish king, Selim replied, where he is, flight is our only refuge. Look out upon the firmament and you will see that God Himself is against us. (The two armies saw the crescent moon fade in the skies.) The Moslem army fled in terror. Sobieski and his men attributed their victory to God and the power of Our Lady's name. 

We are now on our march to Hungary, the king wrote, taking advantage of their distraction to defeat the remainder of their scattered troops. I have all the princes of the Empire my companions in this enterprise, who tell me they are ready to follow such a leader not only into Hungary but to the end of the world...Thanks be to Heaven, now the half-moon triumphs no longer over the Cross.

Blessed Pope Innocent XI, established the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary to be celebrated on the twelfth of September each year as a perpetual memory of the victory of Vienna. (The Garland of Roses)

As important as these victories wrought by Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary have been, however, there is a far more important battle which each one of us fights every day: the battle that we must fight every day against the forces of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Our Lady is as indispensable in our battle against those forces as she was in helping the combined Christian forces defeat the Mohammedans 439 years ago. We need Our Lady's constant intercession to help us avoid sin and to scale the heights of sanctity, especially in these times of apostasy and betrayal. 

Make no mistake about it, ladies and gentlemen: the public promotion of the Rosary, which consists, as the Psalter of Our Lady, fifteen decades of ten Hail Marys each, is feared by the adversary, who prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Pope Leo XIII, writing to Italian Catholics in the midst of the ongoing assaults by the Judeo-Masonic regime that had overthrown the Papal States on September 20, 1870, exhorted his fellow Catholics to embrace penance and mortification and fasting a desire to eschew all human respect in order to defend the Holy Faith, words that are as applicable in our day as in his one hundred thirty-one years ago now: 

We ardently exhort you, venerable brethren, devote all your care and zeal to kindle among those committed to your charge a strong, living and active faith, and to call on all to return by penance to grace and to the faithful fulfillment of; all their duties. Among such duties, considering the state of the times, must be reckoned as paramount an open and sincere profession of the fait and teaching of Jesus Christ, casting aside all human respect, and considering before all things the interest of religion and the salvation of souls. It cannot be concealed that, although thanks to the mercy of God religious feeling is strong and widely spread among Italians, nevertheless by the evil influence of men and the times religious indifference is on the increase, and hence there is lessening of that respect and filial love for the Church which was the glory of our ancestors and in which they placed their highest ambition. Let it be your work, venerable brethren, to revive this Christian feeling among your people, an interest in the Catholic cause, a confidence in Our Lady' help, and a spirit of prayer. It is certain that the august Queen, invoked thus well by her man sons, would deign to hear their prayer, console Us in Our sorrow, and crown Our efforts for the Church and for Italy, by granting better times to both. With these desires, We bestow on you venerable brethren, and the clergy and people committed to your care, the Apostolic Benediction as a promise of graces and favors of the highest kind from heaven. (Vi E Ben Noto, September 20, 1887, the seventeenth anniversary of the overthrow of the Papal States.)

The work of changing the world and of combating the errors of the day, both of Modernity and Modernism, depends upon our desire to give up sin forever. Our Lord cannot reign as King of nations if he does not reign first as King in the hearts and souls of men, starting with our own. Saint Louis de Montfort's reminder of this truth should encourage us to get to Confession weekly and to recognize that the state of our own immortal souls will influence the degree to which our efforts to restore all things in Christ the King through Mary our Immaculate Queen will bear fruit:

It is not so much the length of a prayer, but the fervor with which it is said which pleases Almighty God and touches His Heart. One single Hail Mary that is said properly is worth more than one hundred fifty that are badly said. Most Catholics say the Rosary, the whole fifteen mysteries or five of them anyway, or least a few decades. So why is it then that so few of them give up their sins and go forward in the spiritual life? Surely it must be because they are not saying them as they should. It is a good thing to think over how we should pray if we really want to please God and become more holy.

To say the Holy Rosary to advantage one must be in a state of grace or at the very least be fully determined to give up mortal sin. This we know because all our theology teaches us that good works and prayers are only dead works if they are done in a state of mortal sin. Therefore they can neither be pleasing to God nor help us gain eternal life. This is why Ecclesiastes says: "Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner." Praise of God and the salutation of an angel and the very Prayer of Jesus Christ are not pleasing to God when they are said by unrepentant sinners.

Our Lord said: "This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." It is as though He was saying: "Those who join My Confraternity and say their Rosary every day (even perhaps the fifteen decades), but without being sorry for their sins offer Me lip service only and their hearts are far from me."

I have just said that to say the Rosary to advantage one must be in a state of grace "or at least be fully determined to give up mortal sin;" first of all, because if it were true that God only heard the prayers of those in a state of grace it would follow that people in a state of mortal sin should not pray at all. This is an erroneous teaching which has been condemned by Holy Mother Church, because of course sinners need to pray far more than good people do. Were this horrible doctrine true, it would then be useless and futile to tell a sinner to say all, or even part of his Rosary, because it would never help him.

Secondly, because if they join one of Our Lady's confraternities and recite the Rosary or some other prayer, but without having the slightest intention of giving up sin, they join the ranks of her false devotees. These presumptuous and impenitent devotees, hiding under her mantle, wearing the scapular and with rosary in hand, cry out: "Blessed Virgin, good Mother--Hail, Mary! . . ." And yet at the same time, by their sins, they are crucifying Our Lord Jesus Christ and tearing His flesh anew. It is a a great tragedy, but from the very ranks of Our Lady's most holy Confraternities souls are falling into the fires of hell.

We earnestly beg everyone to say the Holy Rosary: the just that they may persevere and grow in God's grace; the sinners that they may rise from their sins. But God forbid that we should ever encourage a sinner to think that Our Lady will protect him with Her mantle if he continues to love sin, for then it will only turn into a mantle of damnation which will hide his sins from the public eye. The Rosary, which is a cure for all our ills, would then be turned into deadly poison. "A corruption of what is best is worst."

The learned Cardinal Hughes says: "One should really be as pure as an angel to approach the Blessed Virgin and to say the Angelic Salutation." One day Our Lady appeared to an immoral man who used to always say his Rosary 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: "This is the way you are honoring me! You are giving me beautiful roses in a filthy bowl. Do you think that I can accept presents of this kind?" (Saint Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, pp. 87-88.)

Powerful words, are they not?

We should take them most seriously.

The members of Judeo-Masonic lodges and other of their naturalist allies and the conciliarists, who certainly bear much responsibility for the evils of our days, are perhaps less to blame for the state of the world and the confusion that exists amongst most Catholics today than perhaps we are. This is something we should ponder during this month of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary as we seek to use this weapon well for our own advantage and for that of our fellow sinners and for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.

And for all those "conservatives" and traditionally-minded Catholics still attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of concilairism in the false belief that they are being "loyal" to the Catholic Church as part of the "resistance, we must remember that it is no accident at all that Antipope Emeritus Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI almost never spoke of the Rosary, refusing to do during his pilgrimage to the United States of America in 2008 or his pilgrimages to Jordan and Israel and the Czech Republic in 2009 year or in his own native Germany in 2011. That he did not do so on a regular basis, especially when addressing the young, was a crime against Our Lady and against the souls redeemed by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To refuse to exhort Catholics on a regular basis to pray the Rosary is to contribute to the worsening of the state of souls and thus of the world. And no one can claim that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has a "Marian devotion of the most traditional sort" as the current universal public face of apostasy dares to blaspheme her Divine Son by proclaiming his adherence to one false doctrine after another and by profaning her own altar at the Basilica di Santa Maggiore in Rome, Italy, by placing a beach ball and a jersey from World Youth Day in Rio di Janiero, Brazil, on Monday, July 29, 2013, the Feast of Saint Martha, and blaspheming her regularly by means of the sewer of apostasy that never ceases to flow out of this figure of Antichrist's foul mouth (for other examples, please see Blessed Among Women: Defending the Sublime Privileges of the Blessed Virgin Mary.)

Saint Louis de Montfort's The Secret of the Rosary reminds us to avoid all worldliness and worldly souls, which includes all immersion in the seemingly never-ending permutations of naturalism, and to never give up on the praying of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary:

Predestinate souls, you who are of God, cut yourselves adrift from those who are damning themselves by their impious lives, laziness and lack of devotion--and, without delay, recite often your Rosary, with faith, with humility, with confidence and with perseverance. . . .

Dear Rosary Confraternity members, if you want to lead a fashionable life and belong to the world--by this I mean if you do not mind falling into mortal sin from time to time and then going to Confession, and if you with to avoid conspicuous sins which the world considers vile and yet at the same time commit "respectable sins"--then, of course, there is no need for you to say many prayers and Rosaries. You only need to do very little be "respectable": a tiny prayer at night and morning, an occasional Rosary which may be given to you for your penance, a few decades of Hail Marys said on your Rosary (but haphazardly and without concentration) when it suits your fancy to say them--this is quite enough. If you did less, you might be branded as a freethinker or a profligate; if you did more, you would be eccentric and a fanatic. But if you want to lead a true Christian life and genuinely want to save your soul and walk in the saints' footsteps and never, never, fall into mortal sin--if you wish to break Satan's traps and divert his flaming darts, you must always pray as Our Lord taught and commanded you to do.

If you really have this wish at heart, then you must at least say your Rosary or the equivalent, every day. I have said "at least" because probably all that you will accomplish through your Rosary will be to avoid mortal sin and to overcome temptation. This is because you are so exposed to the strong current of the world's wickedness by which many a strong soul is swept away; you are in the midst of the thick, clinging darkness which often blinds even the most enlightened souls; you are surrounded by evil spirits who being more experienced than ever and knowing that their time is short are more cunning and more effective in tempting you.

It will indeed be a marvel of grace wrought by the Most Holy Rosary if you manage to keep out of the clutches of the world, the devil and the flesh and avoid mortal sin and gain heaven! If you do not want to believe me, at least learn from your own experience. I should like to ask you, if when you were in the habit of saying no more prayers than people usually say in the world and saying them they way they usually say them, you were able to avid serious faults and sins that were grievous but which seemed nothing much to you in your blindness. Now at last you must wake up, and if you want to live and die without sin, at least mortal sin, pray unceasingly; say your Rosary every day as members always used to do in the early days of the Confraternity. . . .

Even if you suffer from dryness of soul, boredom and interior discouragement, never give up even the least little bit of your Rosary--for this would be a sure sign of pride and faithlessness. On the contrary, like a real champion of Jesus and Mary, you should say your Our Fathers and Hail Marys quite drily if you have to, without seeing, hearing or feeling any consolation whatsoever, and concentrating as best you can on the mysteries. You ought not to look for candy or jam to eat with your daily bread, as children do--but you should even say your Rosary more slowly sometimes when you particularly find it hard to say. Do this to imitate Our Lord more perfectly in His agony in the garden: "Being in agony, he prayed the longer," so that what was said of Our Lord (when He was in His agony of prayer) may be said of you too: He prayed even longer.

Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray. The Eternal Father yearns for nothing so much as to share the life-giving waters of His grace and mercy with us. He is entreating us: "All you that thirst, come to the waters . . ." This means "Come and drink of My spring through prayer," and when we do not pray to Him He sorrowfully says that we are forsaking Him: "They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water." (Saint Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary;  pp. 99-101; 103)

Let us not forsake Our Lord. Let us go to Him through the very instrument His Most Blessed Mother gave to Saint Dominic, the Holy Rosary. Let us take seriously the words that Our Lady told Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria to pray many Rosaries and to do penance for the conversion of poor sinners and to save them from Hell. We are poor sinners in need of conversion! We need to be saved from the fires of Hell. We must use the spiritual weapon that Our Lord has given us through His Most Blessed Mother to defeat the enemies of our salvation at the very gates of our soul this day and every day our lives as we lift high the standard of His Most Holy Cross, which is adorned to every Rosary of His Most Blessed Mother, as we seek to spread devotion to this paramount weapon against all sin and heresy.

Fidelity to the Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary has won the day not only at Lepanto or the Gates of Vienna or The Philippines or Peru or Austria in 1955 as the Soviets ended the occupation of their part of the country, of course. Fidelity to Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary has saved countless souls from sin and error, saving them from eternal damnation in the process. In the process, of course, Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary has helped to reform nations, especially during the era of Christendom in the High Middle Ages.

Consider these words of Pope Leo XIII, contained in Laetitiae Sanctae, September 8, 1893:

13. But men of carnal mind, who love nothing but themselves, allow their thoughts to grovel upon things of earth until they are unable to lift them to that which is higher. For, far from using the goods of time as a help towards securing those which are eternal, they lose sight altogether of the world which is to come, and sink to the lowest depths of degradation. We may doubt if God could inflict upon man a more terrible punishment than to allow him to waste his whole life in the pursuit of earthly pleasures, and in forgetfulness of the happiness which alone lasts for ever.

14. It is from this danger that they will be happily rescued, who, in the pious practice of the Rosary, are wont, by frequent and fervent prayer, to keep before their minds the glorious mysteries. These mysteries are the means by which in the soul of a Christian a most clear light is shed upon the good things, hidden to sense, but visible to faith, "which God has prepared for those who love Him." From them we learn that death is not an annihilation which ends all things, but merely a migration and passage from life to life. By them we are taught that the path to Heaven lies open to all men, and as we behold Christ ascending thither, we recall the sweet words of His promise, "I go to prepare a place for you." By them we are reminded that a time will come when "God will wipe away every tear from our eyes," and that "neither mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow, shall be any more," and that "We shall be always with the Lord," and "like to the Lord, for we shall see Him as He is," and "drink of the torrent of His delight," as "fellow-citizens of the saints," in the blessed companionship of our glorious Queen and Mother. Dwelling upon such a prospect, our hearts are kindled with desire, and we exclaim, in the words of a great saint, "How vile grows the earth when I look up to heaven!" Then, too, shall we feel the solace of the assurance "that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. iv., 17).

15. Here alone we discover the true relation between time and eternity, between our life on earth and our life in heaven; and it is thus alone that are formed strong and noble characters. When such characters can be counted in large numbers, the dignity and well-being of society are assured. All that is beautiful, good, and true will flourish in the measure of its conformity to Him who is of all beauty, goodness, and truth the first Principle and the Eternal Source. (Pope Leo XIII, Laetitiae Sanctae, September 8, 1893.) 

We need Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary.

Men need to be reminded of this fact on a daily basis. Our Lady has exhorted us to pray her Most Holy Rosary. This may not get “votes.” This is one sure way to win the favor of Heaven and of planting seeds for the conversion of men and their nations to the true Faith, without which there can be true order in the souls of men or in their societies.

None of the current problems we face can be remedied or even ameliorated as long as men continue to sin unrepentantly and as their nations protect grievously sinful behavior under cover of the civil law.

We need Our Lady. We need her Most Holy Rosary.

It is that simple.

We are lost without Our Lady and her Most Holy Rosary. 

Nations are lost without pilgrimages in honor of the Mother of God.


Done for.


Everyone is but a midget naturalist who rejects the simple belief that all men and all nations must honor Our Lady. She told us so: 

My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because He as regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Because He that is mighty, hath done great things for me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him.

He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy: as He spoke to Abraham and his seed for ever. (Lk. 1: 46-55) 

There is Heavenly work for us to do.

Let us quit our selfishness and our pessimism and anger and disordered pride once and for all.

As noted before in this commentary, God is visiting chastisements upon us for our own sins, our own lukewarmness, our own worldliness and for the many ways we waste our time by permitting us to succumb to the adversary’s agitations.

In this regard, therefore, it would be wise to consider the words spoken by Our Lady to the Venerable Mary of Agreda that are contained in The Mystical City of God, which explains that we are far from the sort of governance whereby those who exercise civil authority do so according to the mind of her Divine Son, Christ the King, as He has discharged It entirely to His Holy Church:

587. From many kingdoms and provinces where the Apostles were preaching numbers of converts came to Jerusalem in order to visit and converse with the Mother of the Redeemer of the world, at the same time offering rich gifts. Among others four sovereign princes, who were royal governors of provinces, visited Her and brought many valuable presents which they placed at her disposal for her own use and for the Apostles and disciples. The great Lady answered that She was poor like her Son, and the Apostles likewise were poor in imitation of their Master, and thus these riches were not appropriate to the life they professed. They begged Her to console them by accepting their gifts for the poor or for divine worship. Due to their persistent requests She received part of what they offered, and from some of it She wove rich vestments for the altar, while the rest She distributed among the indigent and the infirmaries, for She was accustomed to visit such places and often served and washed the poor with her own hands, performing such services, as well as distributing the alms, on her knees. Whenever it was possible She consoled the needy and assisted the sick in their last agony, nor did She ever rest from works of charity, either actually engaging in them or pleading and praying for others in her retirement.

588. She gave salutary advice to those princes or kings at their visit, admonishing them and instructing them in regard to the good government of their provinces. She charged them to watch over the equitable administration of justice without acceptation of persons; to consider themselves mortal men as all the rest; to fear the supreme Judge, by whom all are to be judged according to their own works; and above all to further the exaltation of the name of Christ and the propagation and security of the holy faith, in which alone the governments and monarchies can be solidly established, for without this government is but a lamentable and most unhappy slavery of the demons which is permitted by the hidden judgments of God for the punishment of both those who govern and who are governed. The fortunate princes promised faithfully to execute all of her instructions, and they afterwards remained in communication with the heavenly Queen through letters and other correspondence. The same happened to each one in particular who visited Her, for all of them left her presence more ardent in virtue, full of light, joy, and unspeakable consolation. Many upon seeing Her who were as yet unbelievers loudly professed their belief in the true God, for they were unable to restrain the interior forces awakened by the presence of his Blessed Mother. (The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God: The Coronation, Book 8, Chapter 10.)

This is the most precise summary of the Social Reign of Christ the King and what happens to men and their nations absent it that can be found.

Are there any more questions about why the world is in a mess?

Nations that do not acknowledge Christ the King and do not promote public no devotion to Our Lady, especially through her Most Holy Rosary, are doomed to be in “a lamentable and most unhappy slavery of the demons which is permitted by the hidden judgments of God for the punishment of both those who govern and who are governed,” and if the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil want to attack us for using our Rosaries as the spiritual weapons against evil for which she gave her Psalter to Saint Dominic de Guzman, I say, “Let ‘em!” I will resist only by means of my prayers, knowing that I have much to suffer for my sins and am lost without Our Lady and her Most Holy Rosary.

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us now and the hour of our deaths. Amen.

All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls! 

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saint Roch, pray for us.


Excerpts From Pope Leo XIII’s Laetitiae Sanctae, December 8, 1893

3. For We are convinced that the Rosary, if devoutly used, is bound to benefit not only the individual but society at large.

No one will do Us the injustice to deny that in the discharge of the duties of the Supreme Apostolate We have labored -- as, God helping, We shall ever continue to labor -- to promote the civil prosperity of mankind. Repeatedly have We admonished those who are invested with sovereign power that they should neither make nor execute laws except in conformity with the equity of the Divine mind. On the other hand, we have constantly besought citizens who were conspicuous by genius, industry, family, or fortune, to join together in common counsel and action to safeguard and to promote whatever would tend to the strength and well-being of the community. Only too many causes are at work, in the present condition of things, to loosen the bonds of public order, and to withdraw the people from sound principles of life and conduct.

4. There are three influences which appear to Us to have the chief place in effecting this downgrade movement of society. These are -- first, the distaste for a simple and laborious life; secondly, repugnance to suffering of any kind; thirdly, the forgetfulness of the future life.

5. We deplore -- and those who judge of all things merely by the light and according to the standard of nature join with Us in deploring-that society is threatened with a serious danger in the growing contempt of those homely duties and virtues which make up the beauty of humble life. To this cause we may trace in the home, the readiness of children to withdraw themselves from the natural obligation of obedience to the parents, and their impatience of any form of treatment which is not of the indulgent and effeminate kind. In the workman, it evinces itself in a tendency to desert his trade, to shrink from toil, to become discontented with his lot, to fix his gaze on things that are above him, and to look forward with unthinking hopefulness to some future equalization of property. We may observe the same temper permeating the masses in the eagerness to exchange the life of the rural districts for the excitements and pleasures of the town. Thus the equilibrium between the classes of the community is being destroyed, everything becomes unsettled, men's minds become a prey to jealousy and heart-burnings, rights are openly trampled under foot, and, finally, the people, betrayed in their expectations, attack public order, and place themselves in conflict with those who are charged to maintain it.

6. For evils such as these let us seek a remedy in the Rosary, which consists in a fixed order of prayer combined with devout meditation on the life of Christ and His Blessed Mother. Here, if the joyful mysteries be but clearly brought home to the minds of the people, an object lesson of the chief virtues is placed before their eyes. Each one will thus be able to see for himself how easy, how abundant, how sweetly attractive are the lessons to be found therein for the leading of an honest life. Let us take our stand in front of that earthly and divine home of holiness, the House of Nazareth. How much we have to learn from the daily life which was led within its wallsWhat an all-perfect model of domestic society! Here we behold simplicity and purity of conduct, perfect agreement and unbroken harmony, mutual respect and love -- not of the false and fleeting kind -- but that which finds both its life and its charm in devotedness of service. Here is the patient industry which provides what is required for food and raiment; which does so "in the sweat of the brow," which is contented with little, and which seeks rather to diminish the number of its wants than to multiply the sources of its wealth. Better than all, we find there that supreme peace of mind and gladness of soul which never fail to accompany the possession of a tranquil conscience. These are precious examples of goodness, of modesty, of humility, of hard-working endurance, of kindness to others, of diligence in the small duties of daily life, and of other virtues, and once they have made their influence felt they gradually take root in the soul, and in course of time fail not to bring about a happy change of mind and conduct. Then will each one begin to feel his work to be no longer lowly and irksome, but grateful and lightsome, and clothed with a certain joyousness by his sense of duty in discharging it conscientiously. Then will gentler manners everywhere prevail; home-life will be loved and esteemed, and the relations of man with man will be loved and esteemed, and the relations of man with man will be hallowed by a larger infusion of respect and charity. And if this betterment should go forth from the individual to the family and to the communities, and thence to the people at large so that human life should be lifted up to this standard, no one will fail to feel how great and lasting indeed would be the gain which would be achieved for society.

7. A second evil, one which is specially pernicious, and one which, owing to the increasing mischief which it works among souls, we can never sufficiently deplore, is to be found in repugnance to suffering and eagerness to escape whatever is hard or painful to endure. The greater number are thus robbed of that peace and freedom of mind which remains the reward of those who do what is right undismayed by the perils or troubles to be met with in doing so. Rather do they dream of a chimeric civilization in which all that is unpleasant shall be removed, and all that is pleasant shall be supplied. By this passionate and unbridled desire of living a life of pleasure, the minds of men are weakened, and if they do not entirely succumb, they become demoralized and miserably cower and sink under the hardships of the battle of life.

8. In such a contest example is everything, and a powerful means of renewing our courage will undoubtedly be found in the Holy Rosary, if from our earliest years our minds have been trained to dwell upon the sorrowful mysteries of Our Lord's life, and to drink in their meaning by sweet and silent meditation. In them we shall learn how Christ, "the Author and Finisher of Our faith," began "to do and teach," in order that we might see written in His example all the lessons that He Himself had taught us for the bearing of our burden of labor -- and sorrow, and mark how the sufferings which were hardest to bear were those which He embraced with the greatest measure of generosity and good will. We behold Him overwhelmed with sadness, so that drops of blood ooze like sweat from His veins. We see Him bound like a malefactor, subjected to the judgment of the unrighteous, laden with insults, covered with shame, assailed with false accusations, torn with scourges, crowned with thorns, nailed to the cross, accounted unworthy to live, and condemned by the voice of the multitude as deserving of death. Here, too, we contemplate the grief of the most Holy Mother, whose soul was not merely wounded but "pierced" by the sword of sorrow, so that she might be named and become in truth "the Mother of Sorrows." Witnessing these examples of fortitude, not with sight but by faith, who is there who will not feel his heart grow warm with the desire of imitating them?

9. Then, be it that the "earth is accursed" and brings forth "thistles and thorns," -- be it that the soul is saddened with grief and the body with sickness; even so, there will be no evil which the envy of man or the rage of devils can invent, nor calamity which can fall upon the individual or the community, over which we shall not triumph by the patience of suffering. For this reason it has been truly said that "it belongs to the Christian to do and to endure great things," for he who deserves to be called a Christian must not shrink from following in the footsteps of Christ. But by this patience, We do not mean that empty stoicism in the enduring of pain which was the ideal of some of the philosophers of old, but rather do We mean that patience which is learned from the example of Him, who "having joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame" (Heb. xvi., 2). It is the patience which is obtained by the help of His grace; which shirks not a trial because it is painful, but which accepts it and esteems it as a gain, however hard it may be to undergo. The Catholic Church has always had, and happily still has, multitudes of men and women, in every rank and condition of life, who are glorious disciples of this teaching, and who, following faithfully in the path of Christ, suffer injury and hardship for the cause of virtue and religion. They reecho, not with their lips, but with their life, the words of St. Thomas: "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (John xi., 16).

10. May such types of admirable constancy be more and more splendidly multiplied in our midst to the weal of society and to the glory and edification of the Church of God!

11. The third evil for which a remedy is needed is one which is chiefly characteristic of the times in which we live. Men in former ages, although they loved the world, and loved it far too well, did not usually aggravate their sinful attachment to the things of earth by a contempt of the things of heaven. Even the right-thinking portion of the pagan world recognized that this life was not a home but a dwelling-place, not our destination, but a stage in the journey. But men of our day, albeit they have had the advantages of Christian instruction, pursue the false goods of this world in such wise that the thought of their true Fatherland of enduring happiness is not only set aside, but, to their shame be it said, banished and entirely erased from their memory, notwithstanding the warning of St. Paul, "We have not here a lasting city, but we seek one which is to come" (Heb. xiii., 4).

12. When We seek out the causes of this forgetfulness, We are met in the first place by the fact that many allow themselves to believe that the thought of a future life goes in some way to sap the love of our country, and thus militates against the prosperity of the commonwealth. No illusion could be more foolish or hateful. Our future hope is not of a kind which so monopolizes the minds of men as to withdraw their attention from the interests of this life. Christ commands us, it is true, to seek the Kingdom of God, and in the first place, but not in such a manner as to neglect all things else. For, the use of the goods of the present life, and the righteous enjoyment which they furnish, may serve both to strengthen virtue and to reward it. The splendor and beauty of our earthly habitation, by which human society is ennobled, may mirror the splendor and beauty of our dwelling which is above. Therein we see nothing that is not worthy of the reason of man and of the wisdom of God. For the same God who is the Author of Nature is the Author of Grace, and He willed not that one should collide or conflict with the other, but that they should act in friendly alliance, so that under the leadership of both we may the more easily arrive at that immortal happiness for which we mortal men were created.

13. But men of carnal mind, who love nothing but themselves, allow their thoughts to grovel upon things of earth until they are unable to lift them to that which is higher. For, far from using the goods of time as a help towards securing those which are eternal, they lose sight altogether of the world which is to come, and sink to the lowest depths of degradation. We may doubt if God could inflict upon man a more terrible punishment than to allow him to waste his whole life in the pursuit of earthly pleasures, and in forgetfulness of the happiness which alone lasts for ever.

14. It is from this danger that they will be happily rescued, who, in the pious practice of the Rosary, are wont, by frequent and fervent prayer, to keep before their minds the glorious mysteries. These mysteries are the means by which in the soul of a Christian a most clear light is shed upon the good things, hidden to sense, but visible to faith, "which God has prepared for those who love Him." From them we learn that death is not an annihilation which ends all things, but merely a migration and passage from life to life. By them we are taught that the path to Heaven lies open to all men, and as we behold Christ ascending thither, we recall the sweet words of His promise, "I go to prepare a place for you." By them we are reminded that a time will come when "God will wipe away every tear from our eyes," and that "neither mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow, shall be any more," and that "We shall be always with the Lord," and "like to the Lord, for we shall see Him as He is," and "drink of the torrent of His delight," as "fellow-citizens of the saints," in the blessed companionship of our glorious Queen and Mother. Dwelling upon such a prospect, our hearts are kindled with desire, and we exclaim, in the words of a great saint, "How vile grows the earth when I look up to heaven!" Then, too, shall we feel the solace of the assurance "that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. iv., 17).

15. Here alone we discover the true relation between time and eternity, between our life on earth and our life in heaven; and it is thus alone that are formed strong and noble characters. When such characters can be counted in large numbers, the dignity and well-being of society are assured. All that is beautiful, good, and true will flourish in the measure of its conformity to Him who is of all beauty, goodness, and truth the first Principle and the Eternal Source. 


16. These considerations will explain what We have already laid down concerning the fruitful advantages which are to be derived from the use of the Rosary, and the healing power which this devotion possesses for the evils of the age and the fatal sores of society. These advantages, as we may readily conceive, will be secured in a higher and fuller measure by those who band themselves together in the sacred Confraternity of the Rosary, and who are thus more than others united by a special and brotherly bond of devotion to the Most Holy Virgin. In this Confraternity, approved by the Roman Pontiffs, and enriched by them with indulgences and privileges, they possess their own rule and government, hold their meetings at stated times, and are provided with ample means of leading a holy life and of laboring for the good of the community. They are, are so to speak, the battalions who fight the battle of Christ, armed with His Sacred Mysteries, and under the banner and guidance of the Heavenly Queen. How faithfully her intercession is exercised in response to their prayers, processions, and solemnities is written in the whole experience of the Church not less than in the splendor of the victory of Lepanto. (Pope Leo XIII, Laetitiae Sanctae, September 8, 1893.)