Blessed Alan and the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary

Our Lord and His Blessed Mother inspired Blessed Alan to revive popular devotion to the Holy Rosary.



To return to the previous section on Europe's 100 Years War, papal schisms, bubonic plague and Flagellant heresy, click here.

On the heels of these terrible chapters in European history came Blessed Alan de Rupe, also known as Alain de la Roche (@1428-1475) - a great theologian, teacher, preacher and Dominican Father from the French province of Brittany, where Saint Dominic had founded the original 'Confraternity of Prayer'.

As Saint Louis de Montfort recounts in The Secret of the Rosary, ‘Later on when these trials were over thanks to the mercy of God, Our Lady told Blessed Alan to revive the ancient Confraternity of the Holy Rosary' [as the Marian Psalter became known during Fr. Alan's time] '...Blessed Alan began this great work in 1460 after a special warning from Our Lord…One day when he was saying Mass, Our Lord, Who wished to spur him on to preach the Holy Rosary, spoke to him in the Sacred Host: “How can you crucify Me again?...because you have all the learning and understanding that you need to preach My Mother’s Rosary, and you are not doing so. If you only did this you could teach many souls the right path and lead them away from sin – but you are not doing it and so you yourself are guilty of the sins that they commit.” This terrible reproach made Blessed Alan solemnly resolve to preach the Rosary unceasingly.’

On different occasions, Mary and Saint Dominic also appeared to Bl. Alan, to encourage him in preaching the Rosary. Mary confided to him that after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church she loves as much as the Rosary. Our Lady also revealed to him that “when you say your Rosary the angels rejoice, the Blessed Trinity delights in it, my Son finds joy in it too, and I myself am happier than you can possibly guess”. One of the fifteen promises, given by the Blessed Virgin to Blessed Alan, to those who devoutly pray the Rosary states that ”I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court”.

And so, during only the last 15 years of his life, Bl. Alan succeeded in bringing over 100,000 people into the Rosary Confraternity, whose membership then increased to almost a half million in the four short years after his death. Much later in 1898, after membership had once again waned, Pope Leo XIII formally re-established the Confraternity, which exists to this day, and whose membership is open to any Christian who prays the Rosary regularly and devoutly.

Following Blessed Alan's re-establishment of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, which pope sanctions the Dominican Rosary form?  Continue here with the history of the Rosary.