I enjoy reading historical stories wherein the characters involved were devoted to the Holy Rosary. Such a character was the Catholic queen, Blanche of Castile (b. 1188- d. 1282), mother of the saint-king, King Louis IV of France. Elaine M. Jordan recounts the story of the Rosary devotion of Queen Blanche in the following (links within the text added by SCF):
Queen Blanche of Castille (1187-1251), the spouse of King Louis VIII, was deeply grieved because she was still childless after 12 years of marriage. When St. Dominic of Guzman went to see her, he counseled her to say the Rosary every day to ask God for the grace of motherhood. She faithfully carried out his advice. In 1213 she gave birth to her eldest child, Philip, but the child died in infancy.
The Queen’s fervor was nowise dulled by this disappointment. On the contrary, she sought Our Lady’s help more than ever before. She had a large number of Rosaries given out to all members of the court and also to people in several cities of the Kingdom, asking them to join in her entreating God for a blessing that this time would be complete.
In 1215, she gave birth to St. Louis, the prince who was to become the glory of France and the model of all Catholic Kings. He wore his earthly crown without reproach, and thereby gained a heavenly crown whose glory will never fade.
This story was related in a book of Marian exempla, the Ulm Rosary Handbook, written by Alanus de Rupe in 1483. Later, St. Louis de Montfort would repeat the story in his book The Secret of the Rosary to encourage the praying of the Rosary. (source)
Recently, Dr. Taylor Marshall interviewed Fr. Donald Calloway in a podcast titled, The Rosary as the Weapon. In the podcast the duo discuss Fr. Calloway’s latest book on the Rosary which is titled, 10 Wonders of the Rosary. I have not read the book, but the podcast details the contents of the book, including historical stories of the Rosary, which are quite interesting. It sets the Rosary within its historical context, and demonstrates its efficacious effects, and importance, in the lives of our Catholic ancestors. It also details how effective it is, today, in the life of a Roman Catholic. I, particularly, like how the two men note that the Rosary is not simply a prayer for old ladies, as those who denigrate it claim it is; not to put down old ladies, but to make it seem like an effeminate prayer, and thereby leading men away from it. No, the Rosary is a prayer for all Catholics: men, women, and children.
I think you will find the podcast to be informative. It may be listened to/watched here.
The Holy Rosary has a long and rich history among the followers of Christ, and reading the stories of those who were devoted to it, and recounting the stories to others, encourages us to follow in the footsteps of our Catholic ancestors by taking up our Rosary beads, the mysterious spiritual weapon given to us by Our Lady, Our Queen, as did the queen, Queen Blanche. Let us take up our beads today, and every day.
May you have a good day, and weekend.
Image: the Holy Rosary.