This October, Take Up Your Rosary and Prepare for Battle

“Arm yourself with the arms of God, with the holy Rosary, and you will crush the devil’s head and stand firm in the face of all his temptations.” —St. Louis de Montfort

Bernardo Cavallino [1616-1656], “The Vision of St. Dominic”
Bernardo Cavallino [1616-1656], “The Vision of St. Dominic” )

When you hold a rosary in your hands, you enlist yourself in the Church Militant as a warrior for the Truth. You enter the ultimate battlefield — the only one that has eternal consequences.

When you hold rosary beads near your heart in prayer, you make the beauty of the Heavenly Father come alive, and his goodness flourish upon the earth. When you cling to the Most Holy Rosary, you send demons to flight and call upon the angels to surround you and your loved ones. You allow the rain of God’s goodness to shower the parched earth, and his light to illuminate the most dismal crevices of this world. You bring hope to the hopeless and joy to those worn down by angst and sorrow.

Each Hail Mary you recite is the fruit of graces won by Christ the Suffering Servant, with the cooperation of Mary, Mediatrix of Grace. With each one you pray, you add more luminous stars to her crown, so that those in darkness can find their way back to Mary, the Star of the Sea.

As St. Louis de Montfort wrote in The Secret of the Rosary: “So arm yourself with the arms of God, with the holy Rosary, and you will crush the devil’s head and stand firm in the face of all his temptations. That is why even a pair of rosary beads is so terrible to the devil, and why the saints have used them to fetter him and drive him from the bodies of those who were possessed. Such happenings have been recorded more than once.”

Legions of testimonies bear witness to this reality, and those who have promoted this beautiful devotion have shared story after story of the wonders that it has brought about.

Dominican Father Jean Amat was once giving a series of Lenten sermons in the Kingdom of Aragon when a young girl was brought to him who was possessed by the devil. After he had exorcised her several times without success, he touched his rosary to her, with faith in Our Lady. As soon as he had done this, the girl began to scream and yell in a fearful way, shrieking: “Take them off! Take them off! These beads are torturing me!”

The next night, when Father Amat was in bed, the same devils who had possession of the girl came to him foaming with rage and tried to overtake him. However, he was holding his rosary tightly in his hand, and nothing they did could wrench it from him. As it further explains in the Secret of the Rosary:

He managed to beat them with it very well indeed and chased them away, crying out: “Holy Mary, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, come to my help!” The next day when he went to the Church he met the poor girl — still possessed — and one of the devils within her started to laugh and said in a mocking voice: “Well, Brother, if you had been without your rosary, we should have made short shrift of you!” Then the good Father threw his rosary around the girl’s neck without more ado and said: “By the sacred name of Jesus and that of Mary His Holy Mother, and by the power of the Most Holy Rosary I command you, evil spirits, to leave the body of this girl,” and they were immediately forced to obey and she was delivered from them.

These powerful testimonies should speak to our hearts during this time of crisis in the Church and the world, and encourage us to commit to praying the Holy Rosary every day. Such a generous promise to Our Lord and Our Lady will not go unrewarded. When we take up this armor with blazing confidence in the mercy of Our Creator, we demolish the plans of the infernal enemy, forcing the demons to put up their white flags of surrender. As Blessed Pope Pius XI once said, “The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin… If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.”

As we approach this critical presidential election, we must wrap the sweet chain that links us to Heaven around our fingers and pray. As Catholics, we should pray for Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, and beg Our Lady to protect her family during this time. As we do so, let us remember, as the Venetian senators did after the Battle of Lepanto: “It was not courage, not arms, not leaders, but Mary of the Rosary, that made us victors.”

If we turn to our Blessed Mother from the very depths of our being, she will draw us into authentic contemplation, and help us achieve eternal salvation. It is little wonder that the Rosary is known as the “sweet chain” that links our souls to Heaven. And if Pope St. Leo the XIII wrote 11 encyclicals on it, it must be worth our attention.             

This beautiful, beautiful prayer is a lighthouse at sea for us, and a saving grace — one that should definitely not be passed up. Throughout October, the month traditionally dedicated to the Rosary, let's rediscover this awesome “buried” treasure of the Church.

“If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, you shall receive a never fading crown of glory,” writes St. Louis de Montfort. “For even if you are now on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil… sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and save your soul — if you say the Rosary devoutly every day of your life.”

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