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How did we receive the Rosary?

July 18, 2011

I will share a little bit from this site and then give you the link to read the rest of it:

“St. Dominic and the Rosary

By Paul A. Duffner

Most of us are familiar with the tradition that goes back many centuries and which has been accepted in the writings of many Popes, as to the connection of St. Dominic with the beginnings of the Rosary devotion. According to tradition, the occasion was the Albigensian heresy which ravaged Christendom, particularly in southern France during the latter part of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th centuries. St. Dominic was distressed at his lack of success in his preaching in countering this heresy, and in his desperation turned to the Mother of God for help. She appeared to him (according to the tradition) and told him to use her Psalter in conjunction with his preaching of the mysteries of our salvation, as an instrument in combatting the great heresy of his day.

We do not have any historical documents dating from that period expressly referring to St. Dominic and the Rosary. We will endeavor to show, however, that there are a number of things that could be responsible for that silence.

The evolution of the Rosary

We have to keep in mind that over the centuries there has been a considerable evolution in the form that this devotion called the Rosary has taken. We have to remember that in the time of St. Dominic:

1) The HAIL MARY did not exist as we pray it today. Only the first half of it was then used. The word JESUS was not added until the 14th century, and the second half of the prayer came later still.

2) The OUR FATHER and the GLORY BE TO THE FATHER were not then part of the Rosary.

3) The Mysteries of the Rosary were not fixed as they are now. Even in the 15th century in the time of ALAN DE RUPE, O.P., who was responsible for the revival of the Rosary devotion 250 years after the time of St. Dominic, the Rosary he preached was the Marian Psalter of 150 Hail Marys and 150 mysteries. These were divided into three groups of fifties dedicated to the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries. The fifteen mysteries in use today were officially established by Pope Pius V in 1569.

4) There was no pendent (the cross and five extra beads) as we have now.

5) The very word “Rosary” taken from the Latin word “rosarium” meaning rose garden, or bouquet of roses, was not used in the time of Dominic as applied to this devotion. So obviously there would be no reference to that term in documents of his time.

The Marian Psalter

The custom of counting repeated prayers by the use of a string of beads or knots, or pebbles in a bowl was prevalent long before the time of St. Dominic. This was common among the Moslems, the Buddhists, and other non-Christian religions as well as among Christians.

From time immemorial the 150 psalms of the Bible comprised the most important part of the official liturgical prayers prayed by the clergy and the monks in monasteries. Since, however, many of the common folk were illiterate, there was an attempt to offer those who could not read (especially the Latin) a substitute for the 150 psalms. The practice arose of substituting 150 OUR FATHERS in place of the Latin psalms, using a string of beads to count them, dividing them into “fifties.” This chaplet, or string of beads, came to be known as “Paternoster” beads.

Little by little, the HAIL MARY took its place alongside the CREED and the OUR FATHER as a standard prayer. But still, it was only the first half that was used. In the course of time there came to be a parallel Psalter, i.e., one of 150 HAIL MARYS known as the MARIAN PSALTER.”

Read the rest of it here: http://prayers.viarosa.com/RosaryStDominic.html

Is the Rosary Biblical? Find out here: http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/rosary/scripture.htm

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