Rosary

We gather together to pray the Holy Rosary after every 8:15 am Mass, Monday through Saturday.

Please join us!

Did you ever wonder where the Rosary comes from? The Rosary is a form of prayer and meditation that has been around for over 1200 years.  The origin of the Rosary dates back as far as the ninth century.  People living near monasteries were drawn to the beautiful and harmonious chant of the monks, who for centuries had the custom of singing the 150 Psalms of the Bible as a part of their worship.  The people were not able to adopt this form of prayer because the Psalms were difficult to memorize and printed copies were not readily available.  Even if they had been, most folks probably couldn’t have read them.  As a result, it was suggested to the people outside the monastery that they recite a series of 150 “Our Father” prayers in place of the Psalms.

As this form of devotion became increasingly popular, people started to devise methods to keep track of their prayers. At first, 150 little pebbles were placed inside small leather pouches to keep count.  Since this method was troublesome, a thin rope with 50 knots in it was used instead, three times for a total of 150 prayers.  Eventually the instrument of choice was a string with small pieces of wood.  By praying the 150 “Our Fathers,” Christian men and women created a method of prayer that helped them imitate the wonderful “Divine Office” of the monks.

Later, when devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary increased, the “Hail Mary” came to be used for the 150 prayers. The 150 “Hail Marys” may first have been divided into decades by a Dominican friar, with a meditation on Jesus or Mary for each of the resulting fifteen decades.  Each of these decades was marked with an “Our Father” at the beginning and a “Glory Be” at the end.

The wearing of the Rosary, as in our Dominican habit, seems to have originated with the crusading military orders in the twelfth century. The Rosary worn at the side resembled a spiritual sword at the ready for spiritual battle.  The Rosary is listed in our Dominican Constitutions as an official part of our habit.  You could say in our own spiritual battles we have daily recourse to this meditative prayer as we seek the face of Christ through the eyes of Mary.