How to pray the Rosary by S. Francis de Sales

The following passages are excerpted from: http://books.google.com/books?id=qzoPAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA416&dq=francis+sales+rosary+method#PPA417,M1

From his youth, Francis de Sales had
formed the habit of saying his chaplet
daily. Later, he made a vow to do so… To recite it, he employed
a…time  which seemed
to him brief,—
an hour said St. de Chan-
tal,—lingering in pious consideration on
the mysteries of the Rosary; it was a
familiar, childlike talk with his heavenly
Mother, and he readily forgot himself
near her.  

However
great was his fatigue, he never shortened
the prayer [a Chaplet each day] vowed to Mary.
On one occasion extraordinary occupations
had not permitted him to say
the chaplet at the hour appointed; the
night being already advanced, he prepared,
notwithstanding excessive fatigue,
to fulfil this pious duty. His secretary,
having perceived it, begged him
to consider the extreme need he had of
repose, and to defer his chaplet till the
morrow. “My friend,” answered the
Saint, “we must never put off till tomorrow
what can be done to-day.”

The holy Doctor loved to recommend and propagate the daily use of the chaplet, a practice so dear to him. “The chaplet,” said he in the “Introduction to a Devout Life,” “is a most useful manner of praying, provided that you know how to say it properly. For this purpose, procure one of those little books which teach the manner of saying it.” In tracing a rule of life for the Baroness de Chantal while in the world, he wrote: “I desire that the chaplet be said as devoutly as possible every day either at Mass or at some other time.”

St. Francis de Sales’ instruction on how to pray the Rosary:


 “Kiss the cross of your chaplet after having signed yourself therewith, and place yourself in the presence of God, saying the Creed.

“On the first large bead, beg God to accept the service you wish to render Him, and to assist you by His grace to accomplish it worthily. “

On the first three small beads, implore the intercession of the Sacred Virgin, saluting her on the first as the most cherished daughter of God the Father; on the second, as Mother of God the Son, and on the third, as beloved Spouse of God the Holy Ghost.

“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.

 “On the large bead at the end of the last decade, thank God for having been permitted to recite your chaplet. Passing to the three following small beads, salute the most holy Virgin Mary, entreating her at the first to offer your understanding to the Eternal Father that you may continually consider His mercies; at the second, supplicate her to offer your memory to the Son that your thoughts may constantly turn to His Passion and Death; at the third, implore her to offer your will to the Holy Ghost that it may ever be inflamed with His holy love. 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.

“Wear your chaplet at your girdle
or in some other prominent place as a
protestation of your desire to be a servant
of God our Saviour, and of His
most Blessed Virgin Spouse and
Mother, and to live as a true child of
the holy, apostolic, Roman Catholic
Church.”

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