Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

A Brief History of the Rosary

Pray the Rosary

Pray the Rosary

The rosary probably began as a practice by the laity to imitate the monastic Divine Office (Breviary or Liturgy of the Hours), during the course of which the monks daily prayed the 150 Psalms. The laity, many of whom could not read, substituted 50, or even 150, Ave Marias (Hail Marys) for the Psalms.

This prayer, at least the first half of it so directly biblically, seems to date from as early as the 2nd century, as ancient graffiti at Christian sites has suggested.

Sometimes a cord with knots on it was used to keep an accurate count of the Aves. The first clear historical reference to the rosary, however, is from the life of St. Dominic (died in 1221), the founder of the Order of Preachers or Dominicans. He preached a form of the rosary in France at the time that the Albigensian heresy was devastating the Faith there. Tradition has it that the Blessed Mother herself asked for the practice as an antidote for heresy and sin.  One of Dominic’s future disciples, Alain de Roche, began to establish Rosary Confraternities to promote the praying of the rosary.

The form of the rosary we have today is believed to date from his time. Over the centuries the saints and popes have highly recommended the rosary, the greatest prayer in the Church after the Mass and Liturgy of the Hours. Not surprisingly, it’s most active promoters have been Dominicans.

The word, “Rosary”, means a crown of roses like a spiritual bouquet given to the Blessed Mother. It is sometimes called the Dominican Rosary, to distinguish it from other rosary-like prayers (e.g. the Franciscan Rosary of the Seven Joys or Franciscan Crown, the Servite Rosary of the Seven Sorrows).

It is also, in a general sense, a form of chaplet or corona (crown), of which there are many varieties in the Church. Finally, in English it has been called “Our Lady’s Psalter” or “the beads.” This last derives from an Old English word for prayers (bede) and to request (biddan or bid).  ~Courtesy of EWTN

For more information visit: EWTN – The Holy Rosary

3 Responses to “A Brief History of the Rosary”

  1. Thanks,
    love fabio (team fabio)

    • Anne Elizabeth said

      Your welcome! Please pass on the love of Our Mother to all you meet! The time is running short.
      Affectionately in the Two Hearts!
      ~ Anne Elizabeth =-)

  2. […] 2. History of the rosary. […]

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