Fifteen Promises of the Rosary
In the thirteenth century, Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan received the following promises from Our Lady for all those who faithfully pray the Rosary:
- To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
- Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive some special grace.
- The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy.
- The rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
- Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
- Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
- Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
- Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
- I will deliver promptly from purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
- True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in heaven.
- What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
- To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.
- I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.
- Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
- Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.
Our Lady of Fatima
In 1917, a beautiful woman. “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun” appeared to three shepherd children in a field at Fatima in Portugal. These visits happened on the 13th day of six consecutive months.
When asked who She was, the beautiful woman said that She was the “Lady of the Rosary.”
Our Lady asked the children to pray the rosary every day, repeating many times that the rosary was the key to personal and world peace. A prayer was given to them to add at the end of each decade.
“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.”
During Her visits, the children were asked to pray much for the world, and to do penance for the grave sins that were offending Our Lord. The Lady explained that if people did not repent, a much graver world war would happen.
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate o fPius XI. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
She said that this war would be signaled by a strange bright light. One of the children, Lucia, saw this light in 1938, before Hitler marched on Poland. Pope John Paul II was to fulfill all the requirements for the Consecration of Russia, and soon communism fell.
The beautiful Lady also said that the other two children, Jacinta and Francisco would soon come to Heaven. In 1919-1920, both children died during the influenza epidemic. Lucia was to live until the age of 97, and passed away in 2005, after a life dedicated to Our Lady and Her requests.
In 1925, Lucia made known to the world, another of Our Lady’s requests that had been made during a recent apparition.
“Look, my daughter, at my Heart encircled by these thorns with which men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, strive to console me, and so I announce: I promise to assist at the hour of death with the grace necessary for salvation all those who, with the intention of making reparation to me, will, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the beads, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.”
Although he was not the only pope to be devoted to Our Lady, Pope John Paul II had a special reason. On Wednesday, May 13, 1981, on the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima, there was an assassination attempt made upon the pope’s life. He gave full credit to Our Lady, because he said that” She guided the bullet.” The bullet had entered his body, but not hit any major organs, despite the angle from which it came. On May 12th, 1987,he came to Fatima to express his gratitude to the Virgin Mary for saving his life.
An example of the power of the Rosary is the battle of Lepanto. On October 7th, 1571, Don Juan of Austria led vastly outnumbered naval forces from Spain, Venice, and Genoa, to a great victory over 12,000 to 15, 000 Moslem forces. It is said that the Christians fought with their rosaries on their arms.
Knowing that the Christians were at a distinct disadvantage, Pope St. Pius V called for all of Europe to pray for victory. When it was apparent that the Moslems had been crushed, Pope St. Pius V rose from a meeting, went to the window and proclaimed the victory, even though he was hundreds of miles away in the Vatican. He then proclaimed October 7th as the Feast of the Holy Rosary.
The Battle of Lepanto was at first celebrated liturgically as “Our Lady of Victory.” Later, the feast of October 7th was renamed “Our Lady of the Rosary” and extended throughout the Universal Church by Pope Clement XI in 1716 (who canonized Pope Pius V in 1712).
History of the Rosary
Tradition states that Our Lady appeared to Saint Dominic in the twelfth century. Dominic was praying about the heresy that seemed to overwhelm Europe at that time. It is that Our Lady gave him a rosary and promised him that if he spread devotion to it, he would overcome the heresy, and his order would flourish.
Around that time, it was known that religious orders would recite together the 150 Psalms at different times throughout the day, and night. Since many of the people at that time could not read, but wanted to participate in this devotion, they started to pray using 150 pebbles, which were quite awkward. Then they began to use a string with 150 beads or knots.
As they ran their fingers over each bead or knot, they would recite an “Our Father” or “Hail Mary”.
The latter prayer was developed over time, first using the salutation of Gabriel to announce to Mary “Hail Mary, full of grace.”
Later, the greeting of Elizabeth was added, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
In the sixteenth century, the words “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death” finished the “Hail Mary” as we know it.
In the fifteenth century, a Carthusian monk divided the rosary into the fifteen groups or decades. The first five were the Joyful, the second were the Sorrowful, and the third the Glorious. A Dominican assigned mysteries to each of the decades. These mysteries were events in the life of Jesus, ending with the last two being Mary’s Assumption, and Coronation.
In 2002, Pope John Paul II proclaimed the next year to be the “Year of the Rosary”, and added another five mysteries, the Mysteries of Light. These focused on the public life of Jesus, and the proclamation of the kingdom of God.
Each set of mysteries can be prayed on designated days, or all can be prayed. Usually the Joyful are prayed on Mondays and Saturdays, the Luminous (or Light) on Thursdays, the Sorrowful on Tuesdays and Fridays, and the Glorious on Wednesdays and Saturdays. By meditating on the mysteries while we pray, the rosary helps us to remember and focus on the lives of Jesus and His Mother. As Our Lady says, the rosary can bring us to personal and world peace.