Dominic's Cousin Needed a Push
Dominic had a cousin named Don Perez who was living a rather immoral life and despaired of ever changing his ways. However, he gained a glimmer of hope based on his cousin's faith in the Rosary.
Thus, Don Perez went to hear his cousin preach. Dominic caught sight of Don Perez and stepped up his rhetoric in order to drive home the dangers of living in sin and the mercy of God which can free men from their sins. Don Perez became frightened but was still unable to see himself to altering his lifestyle.
Dominic increased his prayers for his cousin, and his cousin returned to hear him preach once more. However, Dominic discerned that something special would need to take place to bring about a conversion. So, Dominic cried out in a loud voice for everyone to be able to see the actual state of the soul of the man.
Suddenly, everyone could see demons surrounding Don Perez. They appeared as foul animals who had the man completely chained to them. People scrambled to get away from the hideous sight.
Then Dominic asked him if he would be willing to ask for Our Lady's help to free him from his bondage to sin. Noting his acknowledgment, Dominic handed him a Rosary and instructed him to pray with firm devotion and desire to change his life.
Don Perez got down on his knees and prayed like he had never prayed before in his life. When he was done, he asked to make his confession.
Don Perez agreed to pray the Rosary every day and joined the Rosary Confraternity to confirm his promise. It is said that he was faithful to his commitment and lived an upright life until his happy death.
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The Queen who Prayed the Rosary
The queen of France, Blanche, was very upset because twelve years after her marriage, she remained childless. Of course, this was also upsetting to the king and the people of France who were concerned about having an heir to the throne.
St. Dominic visited with the queen and suggested that she pray the Rosary at least once a day for the intention of the grace of motherhood. The queen was more than eager to do so and faithfully prayed the Rosary.
Not too long after, Blanche conceived a child. Sadly, the child named Philip died in infancy. However, the queen was not one to give in so easily. And she sought to increase the praying of the Rosary. The queen distributed Rosaries among the members of the royal court and to family members and friends who lived throughout the Kingdom of France. Blanche asked them to pray the Rosary and include a petition for the grace of her motherhood and a strong and healthy child.
Within two years after the birth of her first child, the queen gave birth to a boy who was named Louis. Louis would grow up to be a man of holiness, served as king of France, and be canonized a saint--St. Louis IX.
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The Weight of One Rosary
A pious woman came to see St. Dominic in order to receive his advice and for him to hear her confession. She was well known for her religious practices including wearing a hair shirt, making the Stations of the Cross, and fasting.
For her penance, St. Dominic asked her to say a whole Rosary, and Dominic also suggested that she pray the Rosary every day. After explaining all of her religious devotions, she asked to be excused from saying the Rosary. However, Dominic did not change her penance, and he, again, recommended that she pray the Rosary daily. The woman took her leave from Dominic very frustrated and did not hold him in much favor.
Several days later, during her time of prayer, she went into ecstasy and she envisioned herself before the Lord in judgment. The archangel St. Michael placed all of her penances, prayers, and devotions into one side of a large balance scale. The other side contained her sins. The sins were much heavier than her prayers, devotions, and penances.
The woman was filled with fear and cried out to Our Lady for mercy. The Blessed Virgin Mary responded by taking the one Rosary that the woman had said for her penance and placed it along with the other good works. This single rosary was heavier than all of her penances, prayers, and devotions and her sins. Our Lady then admonished the woman for not following the advice of her servant Dominic which was to pray the Rosary every day.
When she came out of ecstasy, the woman rushed to Dominic and asked for forgiveness for her lack of trust in his holy advice. In reparation, she promised to pray the Rosary every day. Through that beautiful devotion to Our Lady she grew in holiness and prepared herself for a holy death.
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