“I want the Rosary said every day with as much love as possible.” – St. Francis de Sales
There are many options for praying the Rosary, some creative and others more conventional or traditional. However, St. Francis de Sales wrote to the men and women of his order the ways in which he personally offered this devotion to the Blessed Mother. Here are some of his words of wisdom, which are beautiful, gentle, and powerful.
To begin, he recommended that the devotee “place [him/herself] in the presence of God. Be aware that God is always where you are, most especially in your heart. Kiss the crucifix, make the Sign of the Cross, and say: ‘My God, by the sign of your cross, deliver me from evil.’ Then, recite the Profession of Faith.”
On the first large bead, ask God to assist you to pray well. Consider the Holy Trinity “with the intention and desire of adoring and honoring” Him by lifting up this short aspiration: “God, come to my assistance.”
St. Francis de Sales also added a beautiful devotion to the Dominican Rosary by offering these two simple prayers on the first three beads; the first is prayed at the beginning of the Rosary, while the second is to be said at the conclusion:
>> Ask for Our Lady’s intercession, “greeting her on the first bead as the most dear daughter of God the Father; on the second one as the Mother of God the Son; and on the third as the well-beloved spouse of God the Holy Spirit.”
>> Ask Mary “to offer your understanding to the eternal Father so that you may always consider his mercies. On the second bead entreat her to offer you yourself to her Son, so that you may continually think on his passion and death. On the third bead you will beseech her to offer your will to the Holy Spirit so that you can forever be on fire with His holy love.”
As a man who chose to pray the Rosary simply, as a pure meditation, he also suggested:
At each decade think of one of the mysteries of the Rosary according to your leisure, remembering it principally when pronouncing the holy names of Jesus and Mary, with great reverence of heart and body. If any other sentiment should animate you (sorrow for past sin or a purpose of amendment) meditate thereon throughout the chaplet as well as you can, recalling this sentiment or any other that God may inspire in a special manner when murmuring the sacred names of Jesus and Mary.
Here are some additional thoughts about how to pray the Rosary from St. Francis de Sales:
>> “On the large bead at the end of the last decade, thank God for having been permitted to recite your chaplet.
>> On the large bead at the end, beg the divine Majesty to accept all for His glory and the good of His Church, asking Him to keep you ever in its pale and to bring back those who have wandered; pray for your friends, and conclude as you commenced by the profession of faith, the Creed and Sign of the Cross.
>> Ask for the grace to know God’s will for you this day and carry it out. Do little things with great attention and intention, seeking to grow in the meekness of Christ Himself.
>> Ask God to accept your prayers for yourself as well as for the intentions of others.
>> As you conclude your prayers, ask for the grace to recall any holy affections or resolutions that you may have entertained during the rosary.”
An interesting story is that St. Francis prayed his rosary with such devotion that, on one occasion, he became extremely exhausted from the day’s work and realized at midnight that he still had a few decades yet to recite. He was so faithful to this devotion that he fell to his knees and finished his rosary before retiring for the night.
What inspiring ways or methods do you use to pray the Rosary? Please share your experiences with us below.
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