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Rosary Prayers

Prayers (all prayers are a request) are the backbone of the Rosary, with ten different ones.  The same four are repeated after each decade (or event in the life of Jesus and Mary), some multiple times each.  Each prayer is listed below. An explanation is given for the Our Father, the Angelic Salutation, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Glory Be.  Explanations are taken from the Secret of the Rosary.

Prayers are listed so to aid the reader in praying them correctly – with a pause at each end of each line or punctuation mark; a Suggestion from the Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort.  

Rosary Prayers

Prayers of the Rosary

The Prayers listed below are all of the prayers that make up the Holy Rosary. If you are new to the Rosary, then the decade prayers are the ones that need to be memorized at the very least.

Our Request of the Holy Mother (Before the Rosary)

O My Dearest Mother Mary,
behold me your child in prayer at your feet.

Accept this Holy Rosary,
which I offer you in accordance with your requests at Fatima,
as a proof of my tender love for you,
for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
in atonement for the offenses committed against your Immaculate Heart,
and for this special favor which I humbly request in This Rosary. 

(Mention your request here)

I beg you to present my petition to your Divine Son.
I ask it for the greater glory of GOD, for your honor,
and the good of all Souls.
If you will pray for me,
I cannot be refused. 
I know,
dearest Mother,
that you want me to seek GOD’s Holy Will concerning my request.

If what I ask for should not be granted,
pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul.
Sweet heart of Mary be my Salvation.


Queen of the Holy Rosary,
you have deigned to come to Fatima,
to reveal to the three shepherd children the treasures of grace hidden in the Rosary.
Inspire my heart with a sincere love of this devotion,
in order that by meditating on the Mysteries of our Redemption which are recalled in it,
I may be enriched with its fruits and obtain peace for the world,
the conversion of sinners and of Russia,
and the favor which I ask of you in this Rosary.

(Mention your request here)

I ask it for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of souls, especially for my own. Amen.

In the Name Of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.


(As you say this, with your right hand
touch your forehead when you say Father,
touch your breastbone when you say Son,
touch your left shoulder when you say Holy,
and touch your right shoulder when you say Spirit.)

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son,
our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified,
and was buried.

He descended into hell;
the third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God,
the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.


Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.


Hail Mary,
full of grace,
the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.


Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning,
is now,
and ever shall be,
world without end.


O my Jesus,
forgive us our sins,
save us from the fires of hell,
lead all souls to Heaven,
especially those who have most need of your mercy.


Hail, holy Queen,
Mother of Mercy!
our life,
our sweetness,
and our hope!

To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears.

Turn, then,
most gracious Advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus;
O clement,
O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us,
O Holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O my Jesus,
forgive us our sins,
save us from the fires of hell,
lead all souls to Heaven,
especially those who have most need of your mercy.


O God, 
whose only begotten Son has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life,
Grant that we beseech Thee while meditating upon these mysteries
of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise,
through the same Christ our Lord.   

How Prayers are Arranged in the Rosary

In the Rosary, the prayers are divided into three seperate sections.  The first section, the Opening Prayers, consists of all prayers that are recited at the beginning of the Rosary before the Mysteries are encountered. These three sections applies to all four Mysteries of the Rosary; the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, the Glorious Mysteries and the Luminous Mysteries. Those Prayers are as follows.

Opening Rosary Prayers

The introductory prayers listed below occur at the very beginning of the Rosary before any mysteries are recited or prayed.

Our Request of the Holy Mother or Queen of the Holy Rosary Prayer
Sign of the Cross
Apostles’ Creed
Our Father 
Hail Mary (There are three here)
Glory Be
Fatima Prayer

Decade Rosary Prayers

The decade prayers listed below occur at the very end each decade mystery.  These prayers will be recited five times each during the recitation of the five mysteries.

Our Father 
Hail Mary (There are three here)
Glory Be
Fatima Prayer

Closing Rosary Prayers

The closing prayers listed below occur at the very end of the Rosary after all mysteries are recited and prayed.

Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen) 
Sign of the Cross
Rosary Closing Prayer
Fatima Pardon Prayer

Explanation of Select Rosary Prayers

Apostles' Creed

Explanation from 
St. Louis de Montfort

Eleventh RoseThe Creed

Creed Overview and tool for overcoming Temptations
34 The Creed or the Symbol of the Apostles, which is said on the crucifix of the rosary, is a holy summary of all the Christian truths. It is a prayer that has great merit, because faith is the root, foundation and beginning of all Christian virtues, of all eternal virtues, and of all prayers that are pleasing to God. “Anyone who comes to God must believe,” and the greater his faith the more merit his prayer will have, the more powerful it will be, and the more it will glorify God.

I shall not take time here to explain the Creed word for word, but I cannot resist saying that the first words, “I believe in God,” are wonderfully effective as a means of sanctifying our souls and putting the devils to rout, because these words contain the acts of the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.

It was by saying these words that many saints overcame temptations, especially those against faith, hope or charity, either during their lifetime or at the hour of their death. They were also the last words of St. Peter, Martyr. A heretic had cleft his head in two by a blow of his sword, and although St. Peter was at his last gasp, he managed to trace these words in the sand with his finger.

Begin the Rosary with the Creed

35 The holy Rosary contains many mysteries of Jesus and Mary, and since faith is the only key which opens up these mysteries for us, we must begin the Rosary by saying the Creed very devoutly, and the stronger our faith the more merit our Rosary will have.

This faith must be lively and informed by charity; in other words, to recite the Rosary properly it is necessary to be in God’s grace, or at least seeking it. This faith must be strong and constant, that is, one must not be looking for sensible devotion and spiritual consolation in the recitation of the Rosary; nor should one give it up because the mind is flooded with countless involuntary distractions, or because one experiences a strange distaste in the soul or an almost continual and oppressive fatigue of the body. Neither feelings, nor consolation, nor sighs, nor transports, nor the continual attention of the imagination are needed; faith and good intentions are quite enough. Sola fides sufficit.  

— St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Eleventh Rose”, n. 34-35, TAN Books

Our Father

Explanation from The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort

Twelfth RoseThe Our Father Part 1

The Our Father – Prayer given by Christ
36 The Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer derives its great value above all from its author, who is neither a man nor an angel, but the King of angels and of men, our Lord Jesus Christ. St. Cyprian says it was necessary that he who came to give us the life of grace as our Saviour should teach us the way to pray as our heavenly Master.

 The beautiful order, the tender forcefulness and the clarity of this divine prayer pay tribute to our divine Master’s wisdom. It is a short prayer but can teach us so very much, and it is well within the grasp of uneducated people, while scholars find it a continual source of investigation into the mysteries of God.

The Our Father contains all the duties we owe to God, the acts of all the virtues and the petitions for all our spiritual and corporal needs. Tertullian says that the Our Father is a summary of the New Testament. Thomas a Kempis says that it surpasses all the desires of all the saints; that it is a condensation of all the beautiful sayings of all the psalms and canticles; that in it we ask God for everything that we need, that by it we praise him in the very best way; that by it we lift up our souls from earth to heaven and unite them closely to God.

The Our Father forgives Venial Sins – St. Augustine
37 St. John Chrysostom says that we cannot be our Master’s disciples unless we pray as he did and in the way that he showed us. Moreover, God the Father listens more willingly to the prayer that we have learned from his Son rather than those of our own making, which have all our human limitations.

 We should say the Our Father with the certitude that the eternal Father will hear us because it is the prayer of his Son, whom he always hears, and because we are his members. God will surely grant our petitions made through the Lord’s Prayer because it is impossible to imagine that such a good Father could refuse a request couched in the language of so worthy a Son, reinforced by his merits, and made at his behest.

St. Augustine assures us that whenever we say the Our Father devoutly our venial sins are forgiven. The just man falls seven times, and in the Lord’s Prayer he will find seven petitions which will both help him to avoid lapses and protect him from his spiritual enemies. Our Lord, knowing how weak and helpless we are, and how many difficulties we endure, made his prayer short and easy to say, so that if we say it devoutly and often, we can be sure that God will quickly come to our aid.

Holding the Our Father Prayer in the highest Esteem
38 I have a word for you, devout souls who pay little attention to the prayer that the Son of God gave us himself and asked us all to say: It is high time for you to change your way of thinking. You only esteem prayers that men have written, as though anybody, even the most inspired man in the whole world, could possibly know more about how we ought to pray than Jesus Christ himself! You look for prayers in books written by other men almost as though you were ashamed of saying the prayer that our Lord told us to say.

 You have managed to convince yourself that the prayers in those books are for scholars and for the rich, and that the Rosary is only for women and children and the poor people. As if the prayers and praises you have been reading were more beautiful and more pleasing to God than those which are to be found in the Lord’s Prayer! It is a very dangerous temptation to lose interest in the prayer that our Lord gave us and to take up prayers that men have written instead.

Not that I disapprove of prayers that saints have written to encourage the faithful to praise God, but it is not to be endured that they should prefer these to the prayer which was uttered by Wisdom incarnate. If they ignore this prayer, it is as though they passed by the spring to go to the brook, and refusing the clear water, they drink instead that which is dirty. For the Rosary, made up of the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary, is this clear and ever-flowing water which comes from the fountain of grace, whereas other prayers which they look for in books are nothing but tiny streams which spring from this fountain.

First half of Our Father Explained
39 People who say the Lord’s Prayer carefully, weighing every word and meditating on them, may indeed call themselves blessed, for they find therein everything that they need or can wish for.

 When we say this wonderful prayer, we touch God’s heart at the very outset by calling him by that sweet name of Father.

“Our Father,” he is the dearest of fathers: all-powerful in his creation, wonderful in the way he maintains the world, completely lovable in his divine Providence, all good and infinitely so in the Redemption. We have God for our Father, so we are all brothers, and heaven is our homeland and our heritage. This should be more than enough to teach us to love God and our neighbour, and to be detached from the things of this world.

So we ought to love our heavenly Father and say to him over and over again: “Our Father who art in heaven” – Thou who dost fill heaven and earth with the immensity of thy being, Thou who art present everywhere: Thou who art in the saints by thy glory, in the damned by thy justice, in the good by thy grace, in sinners by the patience with which thou dost tolerate them, grant that we may always remember that we come from thee; grant that we may live as thy true children; that we may direct our course towards thee alone with all the ardour of our soul.

“Hallowed by thy name.” The name of the Lord is holy and to be feared, said the prophet-king David, and heaven, according to Isaiah, echoes with the praises of the seraphim who unceasingly praise the holiness of the Lord, God of hosts.

We ask here that all the world may learn to know and adore the attributes of our God, who is so great and so holy. We ask that he may be known, loved and adored by pagans, Turks, Jews, barbarians and all infidels; that all men may serve and glorify him by a living faith, a staunch hope, a burning charity, and by the renouncing of all erroneous beliefs. In short, we pray that all men may be holy because our God himself is holy.

“Thy kingdom come.” That is to say: May you reign in our souls by your grace, during life, so that after death we may be found worthy to reign with thee in thy kingdom, in perfect and unending bliss; that we firmly believe in this happiness to come; we hope for it and we expect it, because God the Father has promised it in his great goodness, and because it was purchased for us by the merits of God the Son; and it has been made known to us by the light of the Holy Spirit.

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” As Tertullian says, this sentence does not mean in the least that we are afraid of people thwarting God’s designs, because nothing whatsoever can happen without divine Providence having foreseen it and having made it fit into his plans beforehand. No obstruction in the whole world can possibly prevent the will of God from being carried out.

Rather, when we say these words, we ask God to make us humbly resigned to all that he has seen fit to send us in this life. We also ask him to help us to do, in all things and at all times, his holy will, made known to us by the commandments, promptly, lovingly and faithfully, as the angels and the blessed do in heaven.

Second half of Our Father Explained
40 “Give us this day our daily bread.” Our Lord teaches us to ask God for everything that we need, whether in the spiritual or the temporal order. By asking for our daily bread, we humbly admit our own poverty and insufficiency, and pay tribute to our God, knowing that all temporal goods come from his Providence. When we say bread we ask for that which is necessary to live; and, of course that does not include luxuries.

 We ask for this bread today, which means that we are concerned only for the present, leaving the morrow in the hands of Providence.

And when we ask for our daily bread, we recognize that we need God’s help every day and that we are entirely dependent upon him for his help and protection.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Every sin, says St. Augustine and Tertullian, is a debt which we contract with God, and he in his justice requires payment down to the last farthing.

Unfortunately we all have these sad debts.

No matter how many they may be, we should go to God with all confidence and with true sorrow for our sins, saying, “Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our sins of thought and those of speech, forgive us our sins of commission and of omission which make us infinitely guilty in the eyes of thy justice.

“We dare to ask this because thou art our loving and merciful Father, and because we have forgiven those who have offended us, out of obedience to you and out of charity.

“Do not permit us, in spite of our infidelity to thy graces, to give in to the temptations of the world, the devil, and the flesh.

“But deliver us from evil.” The evil of sin, from the evil of temporal punishment and of everlasting punishment, which we have rightly deserved.

“Amen.” This word at the end of the Our Father is very consoling, and St. Jerome says that it is a sort of seal of approbation that God puts at the end of our petitions to assure us that he will grant our requests, as though he himself were answering: “Amen! May it be as you have asked, for truly you have obtained what you asked for.” That is what is meant by this word: Amen.

— St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Twelfth Rose”, n. 36-40

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Thirteenth Rose  – The Our Father Part 2

Meaning of the term “Our Father”
41 Each word of the Lord’s Prayer is a tribute we pay to the perfections of God. We honour his fecundity by the name of Father.

 Father, thou who throughout eternity dost beget a Son who is God like thee, eternal, consubstantial with thee, who is of the very same essence as thee; and is of like power and goodness and wisdom as thou art…. Father and Son, who, from your mutual love, produce the Holy Spirit, who is God like unto you; three persons but one God.

Our Father. This means that he is the Father of mankind, because he has created us and continues to sustain us, and because he has redeemed us. He is also the merciful Father of sinners, the Father who is the friend of the just, and the glorious Father of the blessed in heaven.

When we say Who art, we honour by these words the infinity and immensity and fullness of God’s essence. God is rightly called “He who is;” that is to say, he exists of necessity, essentially, and eternally, because he is the Being of beings and the cause of all beings. He possesses within himself, in a supereminent degree, the perfections of all beings, and he is in all of them by his essence, by his presence and by his power, but without being bounded by their limitations. We honour his sublimity and his glory and his majesty by the words Who art in heaven, that is to say, seated as on thy throne, holding sway over all men by thy justice.

When we say Hallowed be thy Name, we worship God’s holiness; and we make obeisance to his kingship and bow to the justice of his laws by the words Thy kingdom come, praying that men will obey him on earth as the angels do in heaven.

We show our trust in his Providence by asking for our daily bread, and we appeal to his mercy when we ask for the forgiveness of our sins.

We look to his great power when we beg him not to lead us into temptation, and we show our faith in his goodness by our hope that he will deliver us from evil.

The Son of God has always glorified his Father by his works, and he came into the world to teach men to give glory to him. He showed men how to praise him by this prayer, which he taught us with his own lips. It is our duty, therefore, to say it often, with attention, and in the same spirit as he composed it.

— St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Thirteenth Rose”, n. 41

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Fourteenth RoseThe Our Father Part 3

Virtues of the Our Father Prayer
42 We make as many acts of the noblest Christian virtues as we pronounce words when we recite this divine prayer attentively.

 In saying “Our Father, who art in heaven,” we make acts of faith, adoration and humility. When we ask that his name be hallowed, we show a burning zeal for his glory. When we ask for the spread of his kingdom, we make an act of hope; by the wish that his will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we show a spirit of perfect obedience. In asking for our daily bread, we practice poverty of spirit and detachment from worldly goods.

When we beg him to forgive us our sins, we make an act of sorrow for them. By forgiving those who have trespassed against us, we give proof of the virtue of mercy in its highest degree. Through asking God’s help in all our temptations, we make acts of humility, prudence and fortitude. As we wait for him to deliver us from evil, we exercise the virtue of patience.

Finally, while asking for all these things, not only for ourselves but also for our neighbour and for all members of the Church, we are carrying out our duty as true children of God, we are imitating him in his love which embraces all men and we are keeping the commandment of love of our neighbour.

43 If we mean in our hearts what we say with our lips, and if our intentions are not at variance with those expressed in the Lord’s Prayer, then, by reciting this prayer, we hate all sin and we observe all of God’s laws.

For whenever we think that God is in heaven, that is to say, infinitely removed from us by the greatness of his majesty, we place ourselves in his presence filled with overwhelming reverence. Then the fear of the Lord will chase away all pride and we will bow down before God in utter nothingness.

When we pronounce the name “Father” and remember that we owe our existence to God, by means of our parents, and even the instruction we have received by means of our teachers, who take the place of God and are his living images, we cannot help paying them honour and respect, or, to be more exact, to honour God in them. And nothing would be farther from our thoughts than to be disrespectful to them or hurt them.

When we pray that God’s holy name be glorified, we cannot be farther from profaning it. If we really look upon the kingdom of God as our heritage, we cannot possibly be attached to the things of this world.

If we sincerely ask God that our neighbour may have the same blessings that we ourselves stand in need of, it goes without saying that we will give up all hatred, quarrelling and jealousy. And if we ask God for our daily bread, we shall learn to hate gluttony and sensual pleasures which thrive in rich surroundings.

While sincerely asking God to forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us, we no longer give way to anger and revenge, we return good for evil and we love our enemies.

To ask God to save us from falling into sin when we are tempted is to give proof that we are fighting laziness and that we are genuinely seeking means to root out vicious habits and to work out our salvation.

To pray God to deliver us from evil is to fear his justice, and this will give us true happiness, for the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. It is through the virtue of the fear of God that men avoid sin.

— St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Fourteenth Rose”, n. 42-43

Hail Mary

Explanation From the Secret of the Rosary,  St Louis de Montfort

Fifteenth Rose – The Angelic Salutation or Hail Mary

44 The Angelic Salutation, or Hail Mary, is so heavenly and so beyond us in its depth of meaning, that Blessed Alan de la Roche held that no mere creature could ever understand it, and that only our Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, can really explain it.

Its enormous value is due, first of all, to our Lady to whom it was addressed, to the purpose of the Incarnation of the Word, for which reason this prayer was brought from heaven, and also to the archangel Gabriel who was the first ever to say it.

The Angelic Salutation is a most concise summary of all that Catholic theology teaches about the Blessed Virgin. It is divided into two parts, that of praise and that of petition. The first shows all that goes to make up Mary’s greatness; and the second, all that we need to ask her for, and all that we may expect to receive through her goodness.

The most Blessed Trinity revealed the first part of it to us; St. Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, added the second; and the Church gave us the conclusion in the year 430 when she condemned the Nestorian heresy at the Council of Ephesus and defined that the Blessed Virgin is truly the Mother of God. At this time she ordered us to pray to our Lady under this glorious title by saying, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”

Angelic Salutation – the Greatest Historical Event
45 The greatest event in the whole history of the world was the Incarnation of the eternal Word by whom the world was redeemed and peace was restored between God and men. Our Lady was chosen as his instrument for this tremendous event, and it was put into effect when she was greeted with the Angelic Salutation. The archangel Gabriel, one of the leading princes of the heavenly court, was chosen as ambassador to bear these glad tidings.

In the Angelic Salutation can be seen the faith and hope of the patriarchs, the prophets and the apostles.

Furthermore, it gives to martyrs their unswerving constancy and strength, it is the wisdom of the doctors of the Church, the perseverance of the holy confessors and the life of all religious (Blessed Alan). It is the new hymn of the law of grace, the joy of angels and men, and the hymn which terrifies devils and puts them to shame.

By the Angelic Salutation God became man, a virgin became the Mother of God, the souls of the just were delivered from Limbo, the empty thrones in heaven have been filled, sin has been pardoned, grace been given to us, the sick been made well, the dead brought back to life, exiles brought home, the Blessed Trinity has been appeased, and men obtained eternal life.

Finally, the Angelic Salutation is the rainbow in the sky, a sign of the mercy and grace which God has given to the world (Blessed Alan).

– St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Fifteenth Rose”, n. 44-45

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Sixteenth Rose – The Hail Mary – Beauty

Angelic Salutation – A New Hymn
46 Even though there is nothing so great as the majesty of God and nothing so low as man in so far as he is a sinner, Almighty God does not despise our poor prayers. On the contrary, he is pleased when we sing his praises.

And the Angel’s greeting to our Lady is one of the most beautiful hymns which we could possibly sing to the glory of the Most High. “To you will I sing a new song.” This new hymn, which David foretold would be sung at the coming of the Messiah, is none other than the Angelic Salutation.

There is an old hymn and a new hymn: the first is that which the Jews sang out of gratitude to God for creating them and maintaining them in existence, for delivering them from captivity and leading them safely through the Red Sea, for giving them manna to eat, and for all his other blessings.

The new hymn is that which Christians sing in thanksgiving for the graces of the Incarnation and the Redemption. As these marvels were brought about by the Angelic Salutation, so also do we repeat the same salutation to thank the most Blessed Trinity for the immeasurable goodness shown to us.

We praise God the Father because he so loved the world that he gave us his only Son as our Saviour. We bless the Son because he deigned to leave heaven and come down upon earth, because he was made man and redeemed us. We glorify the Holy Spirit because he formed our Lord’s pure body in the womb of our Lady, that body which was the victim for our sins. In this spirit of deep thankfulness should we, then, always say the Hail Mary, making acts of faith, hope, love and thanksgiving for the priceless gift of salvation.

Angelic Salutation Praises the Trinity
47 Although this new hymn is in praise of the Mother of God and is sung directly to her, it is nevertheless most glorious to the Blessed Trinity, for any honour we pay to our Lady returns inevitably to God, the source of all her perfections and virtues. God the Father is glorified when we honour the most perfect of his creatures; God the Son is glorified when we praise his most pure Mother; the Holy Spirit is glorified when we are lost in admiration at the graces with which he has filled his spouse.

When we praise and bless our Lady by saying the Angelic Salutation, she always refers these praises to God in the same way as she did when she was praised by St. Elizabeth. The latter blessed her in her high dignity as Mother of God and our Lady immediately returned these praises to God in her beautiful Magnificat.

Angelic Salutation is the highest praise we can give Mary, she describes the words of the Angelic Salutation and their meaning
48 Just as the Angelic Salutation gave glory to the Blessed Trinity, it is also the very highest praise that we can give to Mary.

One day, when St. Mechtilde was praying and was trying to think of some way in which she could express her love of the Blessed Virgin better than before, she fell into ecstasy. Our Lady appeared to her with the Angelic Salutation written in letters of gold upon her breast and said to her, “My daughter, I want you to know that no one can please me more than by saying the greeting which the most adorable Trinity presented to me and by which I was raised to the dignity of the Mother of God.

“By the word Ave, which is the name of Eve, Eva, I learned that God in his infinite power had preserved me from all sin and its attendant misery which the first woman had been subject to.

“The name Mary, which means ‘lady of light,’ shows that God has filled me with wisdom and light, like a shining star, to light up heaven and earth.

“The words, full of grace, remind me that the Holy Spirit has showered so many graces upon me that I am able to give these graces in abundance to those who ask for them through my mediation.

“When people say, The Lord is with thee, they renew the indescribable joy that was mine when the eternal Word became incarnate in my womb.

“When you say to me, Blessed art thou among women, I praise the mercy of God who has raised me to this exalted degree of happiness.

“And at the words, Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, the whole of heaven rejoices with me to see my Son Jesus adored and glorified for having saved mankind.”

– St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Sixteenth Rose”, n. 46-48

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Seventeenth Rose – The Hail Mary – Fruits

Three truths of the Hail Mary from Blessed Alan de la Roche
49 Blessed Alan de la Roche, who was so deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin, had many revelations from her, and we know that he confirmed the truth of these revelations by a solemn oath. Three of them stand out with special emphasis: the first, that if people fail to say the Hail Mary, which has saved the world, out of carelessness, or because they are lukewarm, or because they hate it, this is an indication that they will probably be condemned to eternal punishment.

The second truth is that those who love this divine salutation bear the very special stamp of predestination.

The third is that those to whom God has given this favour of loving our Lady and of serving her out of love must take very great care to continue to love and serve her until the time when she shall have had them placed in heaven by her Son in the degree of glory which they have earned (Blessed Alan)

Heretics, Reprobates and the Hail Mary
50 Heretics, all of whom are children of the devil and who clearly bear the sign of God’s reprobation, have a horror of the Hail Mary. They still say the Our Father, but never the Hail Mary; they would rather carry a poisonous snake about them than a rosary.

Among Catholics, those who bear the mark of God’s reprobation think but little of the Rosary. They either neglect to say it or only say it quickly and in a lukewarm manner.

Even if I did not believe what was revealed to Blessed Alan de la Roche, even then my own experience would be enough to convince me of this terrible but consoling truth. I do not know, nor do I see clearly, how it can be that a devotion which seems to be so small can be the infallible sign of eternal salvation, and how its absence can be the sign of God’s eternal displeasure; nevertheless, nothing could be more true.

In our own day we see that people who hold new doctrines that have been condemned by the Church, with all their would-be piety, ignore the devotion to the Rosary and often dissuade their acquaintances from saying it with all sorts of fine pretexts. They are very careful not to condemn the Rosary and the Scapular, as the Calvinists do, but the way they set about attacking them is all the more deadly because it is the more cunning.

I shall refer to it again later on.

Effect on those who avoid the Hail Mary
51 The Hail Mary, the Rosary, is the prayer and the infallible touchstone by which I can tell those who are led by the Spirit of God from those who are deceived by the devil. I have known souls who seemed to soar like eagles to the heights by their sublime contemplation and yet were pitifully led astray by the devil. I only found out how wrong they were when I learned that they scorned the Hail Mary and the Rosary, which they considered as being far beneath them.

The Hail Mary is a blessed dew that falls from heaven upon the souls of the predestinate. It gives them a marvellous spiritual fertility so that they can grow in all virtues. The more the garden of the soul is watered by this prayer, the more enlightened in mind we become, the more zealous in heart, the stronger against all our enemies.

The Hail Mary is a sharp and flaming shaft which, joined to the Word of God, gives the preacher the strength to pierce, move, and convert the most hardened hearts, even if he has little or no natural gift for preaching.

As I have already said, this was the great secret that our Lady taught St. Dominic and Blessed Alan for the conversion of heretics and sinners. Saint Antoninus tells us that that is why many priests acquired the habit of saying a Hail Mary at the beginning of their sermons.

– St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Seventeenth Rose”, n. 49-51

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Eighteenth Rose – The Hail Mary – Blessings

The Blessings of the Hail Mary
52 This heavenly salutation draws down upon us the blessings of Jesus and Mary in abundance, for it is an infallible truth that Jesus and Mary reward in a marvelous way those who glorify them. “I love those who love me. I enrich them and fill their treasures.” That is what Jesus and Mary say to us. “Those who sow blessings will also reap blessings.”

Now if we say the Hail Mary properly, is not that a way to love, bless and glorify Jesus and Mary? In each Hail Mary we bless both Jesus and Mary: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”

By each Hail Mary we give our Lady the same honour that God gave her when he sent the archangel Gabriel to greet her for him. How could anyone possibly think that Jesus and Mary, who often do good to those who curse them, could ever curse those who bless and honour them by the Hail Mary?

Both Saint Bernard and Saint Bonaventure say that the Queen of Heaven is certainly no less grateful and good than gracious and well-mannered people of this world. Just as she excels in all other perfections, she surpasses us all in the virtue of gratitude; so she will never let us honour her with respect without repaying us a hundredfold. Saint Bonaventure says that Mary will greet us with grace if we greet her with the Hail Mary.

Who could possibly understand the graces and blessings which the greeting and tender regard of the Virgin Mary effect in us? From the very first instant that Saint Elizabeth heard the greeting given her by the Mother of God, she was filled with the Holy Spirit and the child in her womb leaped for joy. If we make ourselves worthy of the greeting and blessing of our Lady, we shall certainly be filled with graces and a flood of spiritual consolations will flow into our souls.

– St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Eighteenth Rose”, n. 52

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Nineteenth Rose – The Hail Mary – Happy Exchange

Honoring Our Mother through the Angelic Salutation
53 It is written, “Give, and it shall be given to you.” To take Blessed Alan’s illustration of this: “Supposing I were to give you a hundred and fifty diamonds every day, even if you were an enemy of mine, would you not forgive me? Would you not treat me as a friend and give me all the graces that you were able to give? If you want to gain the riches of grace and of glory, salute the Blessed Virgin, honour your good Mother.”

“He who honours his Mother (the Blessed Virgin) is as one who lays up a treasure.” Present her every day with at least fifty Hail Marys, for each one is worth fifteen precious stones, which are more pleasing to her than all the riches of this world put together.

And you can then expect great things from her generosity. She is our Mother and our friend. She is the empress of the universe and loves us more than all the mothers and queens of the world have ever loved any one human being, for, as St. Augustine says, the charity of the Blessed Virgin far surpasses the natural love of all mankind and even of all the angels.

Value of the Angelic Salutation
54 One day Saint Gertrude had a vision of our Lord counting gold coins. She summoned the courage to ask him what he was doing, and he answered, “I am counting the Hail Marys that you have said; this is the money with which you purchase heaven.”

The holy and learned Jesuit, Father Suarez, was so deeply aware of the value of the Angelic Salutation that he said he would gladly give all his learning for the price of one Hail Mary well said.

Alan de la Roche – Saying “Hail Mary”
55 Blessed Alan de la Roche said, “Let everyone who loves you, O most holy Mary, listen to this and drink it in: “Whenever I say Hail, Mary, the court of heaven rejoices and earth is lost in wonderment; I despise the world and my heart is filled with the love of God, when I say ‘Hail, Mary.’ All my fears wilt and die and my passions are quelled, if I say ‘Hail, Mary’; devotion grows within me and sorrow for sin awakens, when I say ‘Hail, Mary.’

“Hope is made strong in my breast and the dew of consolation falls on my soul more and more, because I say, ‘Hail, Mary.’ And my spirit rejoices and sorrow fades away, when I say ‘Hail, Mary.’

“For the sweetness of this blessed salutation is so great that there are no words to explain it adequately, and even when its wonders have been sung, we still find it so full of mystery and so profound that its depths can never be plumbed. It has but few words but is exceeding rich in mystery; it is sweeter than honey and more precious than gold. We should often meditate on it in our hearts, and have it ever on our lips so as to say it devoutly again and again.”

Blessed Alan also relates that a nun who had always had a great devotion to the Rosary appeared after her death to one of her sisters in religion and said to her, “If I were able to return in my body to have the chance of saying just a single Hail Mary, even without great fervour, I would gladly go through the sufferings that I had during my last illness all over again, in order to gain the merit of this prayer” It is to be noted that she had been bedridden and suffered agonizing pains for several years before she died.

Angelic Salutation and Michel de Lisle, a remedy for all ills
56 Michel de Lisle, Bishop of Salubre, who was a disciple and co-worker of Blessed Alan de la Roche in the re-establishment of the holy Rosary, said that the Angelic Salutation is the remedy for all ills that we suffer as long as we say it devoutly in honour of our Lady.

– St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Nineteenth Rose”, n. 53-56

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Twentieth Rose – Brief explanation of the Hail Mary

What does Mary benefit us?
57 Are you in the miserable state of sin? Then call on Mary and say to her, “Ave,” which means “I greet thee with the most profound respect, thou who art without sin,” and she will deliver you from the evil of your sins.

Are you groping in the darkness of ignorance and error? Go to Mary and say to her, “Hail Mary,” which means “Hail, thou who art bathed in the light of the Sun of Justice,” and she will give you a share in her light.

Have you strayed from the path leading to heaven? Then call on Mary, for her name means “Star of the Sea, the Polar Star which guides the ships of our souls during the voyage of this life,” and she will guide you to the harbour of eternal salvation.

Are you in sorrow? Turn to Mary, for her name means also “Sea of Bitterness which has been filled with bitterness in this world but which is now turned into a sea of purest joy in heaven,” and she will turn your sorrow into joy and your affliction into consolation.

Have you lost the state of grace? Praise and honour the numberless graces with which God has filled the Blessed Virgin and say to her, Thou art full of grace and filled with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and she will give you some of these graces.

Are you alone, having lost God’s protection? Pray to Mary and say, The Lord is with thee, in a nobler and more intimate way than he is with the saints and the just, because thou art one with him. He is thy Son and his flesh is thy flesh; thou art united to the Lord because of thy perfect likeness to him and by your mutual love, for thou art his Mother. And then say to her, “The three persons of the Godhead are with thee because thou art the Temple of the Blessed Trinity,” and she will place you once more under the protection and care of God.

Have you become an outcast and been accursed by God? Then say to our Lady, “Blessed art thou above all women and above all nations by thy purity and fertility; thou hast turned God’s maledictions into blessings for us.” She will bless you.

Do you hunger for the bread of grace and the bread of life? Draw near to her who bore the living Bread which came down from heaven, and say to her, “Blessed be the fruit of thy womb, whom thou hast conceived without the slightest loss to thy virginity, whom thou didst carry without discomfort and brought forth without pain. Blessed be Jesus who redeemed our suffering world when we were in the bondage of sin, who has healed the world of its sickness, who has raised the dead to life, brought home the banished, restored sinners to grace, and saved men from damnation. Without doubt, your soul will be filled with the bread of grace in this life and of eternal glory in the next. Amen.”

58 Conclude your prayer with the Church and say, “Holy Mary,” holy because of thy incomparable and eternal devotion to the service of God, holy in thy great rank as Mother of God, who has endowed thee with eminent holiness, in keeping with this great dignity.

“Mother of God, and our Mother, our Advocate and Mediatrix, Treasurer and dispenser of God’s graces, obtain for us the prompt forgiveness of our sins and grant that we may be reconciled with the divine majesty.

“Pray for us sinners, thou who art always filled with compassion for those in need, who never despise sinners or turn them away, for without them you would never have been Mother of the Redeemer.

“Pray for us now, during this short life, so fraught with sorrow and uncertainty; now, because we can be sure of nothing except the present moment; now that we are surrounded and attacked night and day by powerful and ruthless enemies.

“And at the hour of our death, so terrible and full of danger, when our strength is waning and our spirits are sinking, and our souls and bodies are worn out with fear and pain; at the hour of our death when the devil is working with might and main to ensnare us and cast us into perdition; at that hour when our lot will be decided forever and ever, heaven or hell.

“Come to the help of your poor children, gentle Mother of pity, Advocate and Refuge of sinners, at the hour of our death drive far from us our bitter enemies, the devils, our accusers, whose frightful presence fills us with dread. Light our path through the valley of the shadow of death. Lead us to thy Son’s judgment-seat and remain at our side. Intercede for us and ask thy Son to pardon us and receive us into the ranks of thy elect in the realms of everlasting glory. Amen.”

– St Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, “Twentieth Rose”, n. 57

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