BIOGRAPHERS have already told us much about St. Louis De Montfort and the Rosary; now, with this first English edition of THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY, we can listen to Montfort speaking for himself. Drawing upon his own experience as well as upon the experience of others, [1] See "Tenth Rose," for some of his sources. he endeavors to bring home to the reader, "in a simple and straightforward manner," as he himself tells us, the authentic message of the Rosary; namely, that it is a veritable school of Christian life. He sees it as including essentially the meditation of the mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus and Mary, with a view not only to honoring but especially imitating their virtues as held up to our consideration in each mystery.

    For our Saint, the Rosary was not simply a method of prayer: it was his most effective tool and weapon in his apostolic work. Fittingly has the Church called him an "Extraordinary preacher of the Rosary." He preached it in season and out of season; established it in every parish where he gave a mission [2] It is estimated that he enrolled over 100,000 persons in the Rosary Confraternity. (Le Crom, S.M.M. "St. Louis-Marie de Montfort" Ch. XV, p. 311.) and judged the fruits of the mission by the subsequent perseverance in its recitation. There was no limit to the power of the Rosary and to it he attributed much of his success with sinners. "Let me but place my rosary around a sinner's neck," he was wont to say, "and he will not escape me."

    A Dominican Tertiary himself, De Montfort represents the best in the Dominican Rosary tradition. Speaking of our Saint's contribution to the Rosary, Father R. Poupon, well known Dominican writer says, "Montfort's genius prolongs in one straight line that of Blessed Alan de la Roche and of St. Dominic. He completes them by bringing forth a personal grace and interpretation." Commenting on De Montfort's book, Father William says, "It goes far beyond mere research. We might say that it contains everything that can be said about the Rosary, about its content and form, its real worth, about the instruction necessary for its appreciation and use." [3] F. M. William. The Rosary: Its History and Meaning, Benziger Bros., 1952, p. 115.

    THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY was written almost two and a half centuries ago, it is true, but it has lost none of its freshness and timeliness. Indeed, today, in the light of the specific requests of Our Lady of Fatima, it will be doubly welcomed by all true clients of Our Lady. We feel confident that it will bring many souls to a better understanding of the Rosary not only as a prayer but especially as a way of spiritual life.

St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort's The Secret of the Rosary