Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people’s sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians,
withdrew into a forest near Toulouse, where he prayed continuously for three days and three nights. During
this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of God. He used his
discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally, he fell into a coma.
At this point our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said, “Dear Dominic, do you
know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?” “Oh, my Lady,” answered Saint Dominic, “you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation.” Then our Lady replied, “I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach
these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”
So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal for the conversion of the people in that district, he made
straight for the cathedral. At once unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together, and Saint
Dominic began to preach. At the very beginning of his sermon, an appalling storm broke out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightning that all were very much afraid.
Even greater was their fear when looking at a picture of our Lady exposed in a prominent place, they saw her raise her arms to heaven three times to call down God’s vengeance upon them if they failed to be converted, to amend their lives, and seek the protection of the holy Mother of God. God wished, by means of these supernatural phenomena, to spread the new devotion of the Holy Rosary and to make it more widely known.
At last, at the prayer of Saint Dominic, the storm came to an end, and he went on preaching. So fervently
and compellingly did he explain the importance and value of the Rosary that almost all the people of Toulouse
embraced it and renounced their false beliefs. In a very short time a great improvement was seen in the town;
people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits.