The Holy Rosary is composed principally and in substance of the "Our Father" and the "Hail Mary". But what is the history of the Holy Rosary?
In 1214, St. Dominic, a priest, was working hard for the conversion of the Albigensian heretics, but his efforts were hindered by the gravity of people's sins. Feeling so depressed, he withdrew into a forest near Toulouse, France where he unceasingly prayed for three days and three nights. He did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease God's anger. His body was lacerated that he finally fell into a coma.
The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and said: "Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"
St. Dominic answered: "Oh my Lady, you know far better than I do because next to your son Jesus Christ, you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation." Our Lady replied: "I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter."
St. Dominic arose and went straight to the Cathedral while the church bells were mysteriously ringing to gather the people together. Then St. Dominic began to preach.
|cc photo by Jenniferschwalm on flickr|
At the very beginning of his homily, a storm broke out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightning that the people were very afraid. Even more so when they saw Our Lady inside a picture which was displayed prominently raised her arms to heaven three times.
The storm and thunder stopped at the prayer of St. Dominic. He so effectively explained the importance and value of the Angelic Psalter that in a short time, people began leading good Christian lives.
St. Dominic preached the Holy Rosary for the rest of his life both by his examples and by his homilies.
But many years after the death of St. Dominic in 1221, the devotion to the rosary waned and eventually was forgotten, until in 1460, a Dominican priest and theologian Blessed Alan de la Roche worked to re-establish the Holy Rosary after the Lord spoke to him on the Sacred Host: "How can you crucify me again so soon? You crucified me once before by your sins and I would willingly be crucified again by the sins you used to commit. You are crucifying me again now because you have all the learning and understanding that you need to preach my mother's Rosary, and you are not doing so. If you only did this, you could teach many souls the right path and lead them away from sin - but you are not doing it and so you yourself are guilty of the sins that they commit."
From St. Dominic's time up until the time of Blessed Alan de la Roche, the Holy Rosary has always been called the Psalter of Jesus and Mary. This is because it has the same number of Angelic Salutations or Hail Marys as there are psalms in the Book of the Psalms of David. Ever since its re-establishment, people have been calling it the Rosary. The word Rosary means Crown of Roses. The Blessed Virgin Mary has approved this name of the Rosary when she revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary, they are giving her a beautiful rose.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
St. Dominic, pray for us.
Blessed Alan de la Roche, pray for us.
The Secret of the Rosary, Author: St. Louis Marie de Montfort