The Blessed Virgin preserved, as protector and Mother of the Church and through devotion to her Rosary, a solid orthodoxy in French lands, already devastated by the Cathar heresy.
Newsroom ( September 13, 2021, 21:00 PM, Gaudium Press) The Cathar heresy spread like a pandemic at the beginning of the 13th century, the product of sects from the Near East. Its basis was the dualistic doctrine that claimed a continuous struggle between the material and the spiritual.
According to dualism, the ”God of evil” created matter, while the ”God of good” created spirit. Consequently, the soul and the body are in constant friction. Therefore, to achieve true happiness, it was necessary to free oneself from the body and become entirely “spiritual” through excessively rigorous penances, to the point that sometimes they led to suicide, revealing undeniable human and doctrinal imbalance.
The Cathar heresy was rampant throughout southern France, even perverting several feudal lords like the Count of Toulouse, Raymond VI, and the Count of Foix, Raymond-Roger Trancavel.
However, since it is the responsibility of the Holy Church to help the faithful, which is necessary in times of great difficulty and danger, some priests began to fervently preach the Catholic doctrine in this region, working for the conversion of these heretics.
The Holy Father eventually sent a papal delegate named Pierre de Castelnau to assist in this task. However, the leading man who came forward in response to the heresy was St. Dominic of Guzman.
A Gift from Heaven
As St. Dominic passed through Languedoc to return to the city of Osma in Spain, and after accompanying his bishop on a diplomatic mission, he saw the need to preach the truth to those deviants. So, after receiving papal permission, he began to fight day and night with the sword of the word.
However, his efforts did not bear many results because people were too deeply rooted in their errors. It was then that he realized that he could not change the mentality of those people without an impressive miracle.
One day, he had a vision in which he saw the Queen of Angels giving him the Holy Rosary, saying that this would be the most effective weapon against such deviated people; and that the Rosary would work marvelous miracles. From then on, remarkable changes began to take place.
Thanks to the Rosary, many people returned to the heart of the Church.
The struggle against the Cathars
Now, who can understand the heart of man and his wickedness?
Despite so much effort on behalf of the Church, and as if the efforts of the Blessed Virgin were not enough, many did not want to convert. The Count of Toulouse hired some nobles to assassinate the papal delegate, and so they did.
The heretics committed this and other crimes that caused the Pope to call for an onslaught. Thus began a series of battles in defense of the faith, in which Simon de Montfort occupied a special place.
The Rosary worked wonders in this struggle, as recorded in the battle of Muret, which took place on September 12, 1213.
In their eagerness to destroy this Christian onslaught, Count Raymond VI and the Count of Foix went before King Peter II of Aragon. The three allied and set out with a large army.
Entering the domains of the Count de Montfort, they came across the city of Muret and pitched their tents around it, for they knew that Simon would come in counterattack.
Indeed, Simon de Montfort was on his way.
Although he had only 1700 men, he was advancing with enthusiasm, for he was fighting for Our Lady. Next to him was St. Dominic, who never ceased to encourage everyone, recommending that they pray the Rosary and ask for victory.
The Catholic army stopped at Belpech because before battling Simon de Montfort, he wished to pray. Entering a church, he addressed God in these terms:
“O Good Lord, O Jesus, you have chosen me, though I am unworthy, to lead your war. This day I offer my weapons upon your altar so that, fighting for you, I may thereby receive the justification of this cause.”
Finishing their prayer, everyone continued on the march until they reached Muret by nightfall.
During the night, all Catholics devoted themselves to prayer. All of those present implored for the heavenly aid of the Queen of the Rosary. They knew that only with the intervention of God they would win the battle.
The next day, on September 12, the faithful armed themselves for the fight. Discreetly leaving the city, they fell upon the infidel coalitionists in a moment of utter surprise when they fell into complete disarray.
Unable to resist the attack, they began to give in and flee. In the meantime, the King of Aragon was killed, at which point the soldiers became desperate.
Then the Catholics advanced and made them flee. Victory would, once again, belong to the sons of the Blessed Virgin.
Supported, then, by such an effective weapon, worthy of achieving victory in the most unusual, complicated circumstances, why not turn once again to that Queen of Heaven who attended so wonderfully to her children eight centuries ago, asking for victory in days as confusing as ours?
By Jerome Sequeira Vaz
Compiled by Ena Alfaro
 Cf. GRIGNION DE MONTFORT, Louis Marie. The Admirable Secret of the Most Holy Rosary. Translated by Robson Carvalho. Campinas: Ecclesiae. 2016, p. 101.
 PALADILHE, Dominique. Les Grandes Heures Cathares. Évreux: Librairie Academique Perrin. 1969. p. 149. (Personal translation).