The history and origin of the Rosary
The rosary is one of the most fundamental and cherished prayer tools in Christianity. Mostly identified with the Catholic Church, but also in use by the Orthodox and Protestants.
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners”, was an addition to the “Hail Mary” prayer. Who said it?
Basic Structure and purpose
Praying the Rosary is introduced by four prayers:
- The Creed
- Our Father
- Three Hail Marys
- The Doxology (“Glory Be”)
The prayer is concluded with the Salve Regina.
Since Praying, in general, involves recitation of prayers the prayer can use as an assistance. The beads allow the person to focus on the words instead of the counting. In the Catholic rosary, there are five decades consisting of the Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, and the Doxology. During this recitation, the person is able to meditate. The meditation is about the saving mysteries of our Lord’s life and the faithful witness of our Blessed Mother.
Origin and Tradition
The usage of “prayer beads” and the repeated recitation of prayers aid in meditation and has a long history. The use of beads stems from the earliest days of the Church and has roots in pre-Christian times.
According to tradition, the origin of the modern rosary started at the beginning of the 13th Century. The Blessed Mother Mary appeared to Saint Dominic in the church of Prouille, and said to him:
“Wonder not that until now you have had such little fruit from your labours. You have spent them on a barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of divine grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth he began by sending down the fertilizing dew of the Angelic Salutation. Preach my Rosary composed of one hundred and fifty Aves, and you will obtain an abundant harvest.”
Later in the 15th century, a Dominican priest had a plan to reestablish the use of the Rosary. The priest was Blessed Alanus de Rupe, a theologian, and a learned preacher. His addition to the Rosary was the “15 Promises” of Mother Mary to any Christian who uses the Rosary as a prayer instrument.
The 16th Century
In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Rosary was approved by the Catholic Church. The Dominican Pope Pius V issued the papal bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifices, which established the devotion to the Rosary.
The Rosary is an instrument with a reassuring effect. We can see that on troubled days, the Marian devotion of the Rosary helps with regaining your strength. Saint Peter Canisius, a Doctor of the Church, who is credited with adding the sentence “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners” to the Hail Mary, was an ardent advocate of the rosary and promoted it (and its Marian devotion in general) because he believed that the Rosary was the best way to re-establish the status of the Church.
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