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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Alfonso VIII, king of Castile, having lost the fear of God, was indulging in all sorts of crimes, and the queen, instead of trying to remove him from this deplorable state, only led him further into evil. To bring him back to better feelings, God struck him in his wife, who became blind, and took away all his lands, which were taken by a Muslim prince. Forced to retire to the city of a friend or ally, King Alfonso encountered Saint Dominic and heard him preach on the Rosary. The Saint promised those who practiced this devotion victory over their enemies and the grace to recover what they had lost. The king noticed these words, and after the sermon asked the holy preacher if he could count on his promise. Dominic assured him of this, and from then on the king resolved to recite the Rosary every day, which he did for a year.
After this time, on Christmas Day, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and said: “Alphonsus, you have been serving Me devoutly for a year by saying My Rosary, and I have come to reward you. Know that I have obtained from My divine Son the forgiveness of your sins. Here is a Rosary, I give it to you, carry it with you, and your enemies will never be able to harm you.”
After these words, the Blessed Virgin Mary disappeared, leaving the king greatly consoled. The queen having learned of this vision, held the heavenly Rosary over her eyes, and miraculously recovered her sight. Encouraged by these prodigies, the king raised troops, attacked his adversaries, drove them from his domains and recovered his states. Full of confidence in Mary, he did not fight again until he had recited his rosary on his knees. He wanted his entire court to join the Confraternity, and asked his officers and servants to recite the rosary daily.The king and queen persevered in these sentiments all their lives, and died profoundly Christian.
After such an example, what soul tyrannized by its passions would not embrace the devotion of the Rosary, to overcome its enemies and reconquer the benefits of grace? Let us therefore resolve to have frequent recourse to this great means of salvation. This will fill our minds with holy thoughts, our hearts with pious affections and fervent desires; it will protect us from temptations and make us persevere in divine friendship.