Saint Lois of Montfort, a Catholic priest from France, presented five different methods of praying the rosary. Montfort is also a writer best known for his dedication and early efforts of promoting Marian devotion.
When he was a child he was very devoted to a prayer life basically for the Blessed Sacrament and when he was twelve years old, he studied in a Jesuit college at Rennes. He was reported to visit the local church before and after his class. After finishing school, he joined an organization of young men who helps the impoverished people and heals the sick in hospitals. When he was 19, he travelled on foot to Paris, France to study theology. At twenty seven he was ordained a priest. St. Louis of Montfort’s life was fully devoted to constant prayer, charity, love of the poor, poverty and humiliation for profession of the Catholic faith.
His works are subjected to the life and greatness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the effectiveness of the rosary in aiding the Christians to salvation. In those early days, praying the rosary is set with a specific kind of prayer for each part. However, St. Louis proposed other methods. He believed that in order to recite the Rosary more personally and more divine, a method which is holily can be used. While meditating the joys, sorrows, and glory of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, we can stop at whenever we like and do a method you like as several saints have done before. Three other methods were mentioned in Montfort’s God Alone book.
In his first method, St. Louis did not change the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Marys but interleaves additional petitions while praying the rosary. Like in this method, he provided specific additional prayers prior to each decade:
“We offer Thee, O Child Jesus, this third decade in honor of Thy Blessed Nativity, and we ask of Thee through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, detachment from the things of this world, love of poverty and love of the poor.”
Then, after each decade, the following prayers can be recited
• Grace of the mystery of the Incarnation, come down into my soul and make it truly humble.
• Grace of the mystery of the Visitation, come down into my soul and make it truly charitable.
• Grace of the mystery of the Nativity, come down into my soul and make me truly poor in spirit.
• Grace of the mystery of the Purification, come down into my soul and make it really wise and really pure.
• Grace of the mystery of the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, come down into my soul and truly convert me.
Petitions for sorrowful and glorious mysteries can also be recited similar to the prayers above with slight distinction.
In his book The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis had described the first and second methods. The third method however is a combination of the first and two methods and was associated with the usage of the Wisdom Daughters. In the fourth method, a small meditation for each bead is used to focus each mystery of the decade. The fifth method focuses on the rosary as a whole – its history, effectiveness, purpose.