After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy Rosary is the prayer most pleasing to Our Lady. But how much of the history of the Rosary do we know?
“The Rosary is a contemplative prayer, and it has great intercessory power: whoever recites it, is united to Mary in meditating the mysteries of Christ, and is led to invoke the proper graces to these mysteries in the multiple situations of life and history.”-Pope John Paul II
Let us revisit history and get to know the wonderful things about this prayer that may be the most beloved devotion of the Catholic faith and has been attributed to be the source of many of historical miracles worldwide.
1 The word Rosary means “Crown of Roses.”
The rosary comes from the Latin word “roserius,” meaning, “garland of roses.” The word “bead” comes from an Old English word, “biddan,” which means “to pray” or “to entreat.” Our Lady has revealed in her apparitions that each time people say a Hail Mary, they are giving her a beautiful rose and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses.
2 Mary revealed her identity as “Our Lady of the Rosary” when she appeared in Fatima, Portugal starting in 1917.
Our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal, six times beginning in 1917 and everytime she appeared, she insisted on the praying of the Rosary.
3 It is a Biblical Prayer.
The Rosary is a Biblical prayer with each prayer and meditation having its source from the Bible. It is composed of 20 decades with each decade recited in the honor of a mystery in Our Lord’s life and that of His Blessed Mother.
4 St. Dominic Guzman
It was in 1206 CE, at a time of heresy, when an apparition of the Virgin Mary, accompanied by three angels, revealed to St. Dominic Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers or Dominicans, what weapon the Blessed Trinity wanted to use to reform the world. Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic with beads and the instructions and asked for the practice of praying the rosary as an antidote for the heresy and sin that was devastating the Faith then. The results were again miraculous that led to the sudden end of the heresy and conversion of the heretics. Although he may have not personally invented each element of the Rosary, tradition credits him with establishing the devotion into its popular form being practiced today.
5 October 7 is the Liturgical Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
It was the famous naval victory of the “Battle of Lepanto”that led to the commemoration of the “Rosary victory of Lepanto” This huge victory of the Catholic fleets crushing the Muslim fleet was attributed to the supplication of Saint Pope Pius V to the faithful Catholics to pray the rosary. The feast of the holy rosary does not only remember this victory but reminds us of the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother when we pray the rosary. The original feast was entitled Our Lady of Victory but was later changed to the feast of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.