Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where does the Rosary come from?

As the month of the Rosary comes to a close, here's a glimpse on the history of the Hail Mary and the Holy Rosary.

1213 AD. Our Lady appears to St. Dominic and giving him the Holy Rosary, instructs him on how to pray it.

We celebrate October as the month of Holy Rosary since the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary falls on October 7th. There is a triumphant, historic event behind this feast.

In the 16th Century, when the mighty Ottoman Muslims marched into Europe to capture the Christian countries into the empire, Pope Pius V exhorted all Christians to beg the intercession of the Blessed Virgin through praying the Rosary.

Through Mary’s intervention, on October 7, 1571 Christian forces defeated the naval power of the Ottoman Turks in a great sea battle at Lepanto. In thanksgiving to this great Marian intervention in the history of Christianity, in 1573 Pope Gregory XIII declared that day of victory as The Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

Where does the prayer Hail Mary come from?

“Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you” 
Words of God the Father announced by Angel Gabriel to Mary.
From Luke 1: 28

“Blessed are you among women and
blessed is the fruit of your womb”
Greeting of her cousin Elizabeth as Mary visits her.
From Luke 1: 42

“Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners”
Slogan from the triumphant demonstration in the streets by the people of Ephesus upon the proclamation of the Dogma of the “Mother of God” at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.
“Now and at the hour of our death”
Petition added by the great French saint & Marian apostle,
St. Louis de Montfort in the 17th century, to aid us
in the time of death, when we cannot pray cohesively.

Today, the Rosary remains the "Queen of indulgenced devotions," i.e. the Catholic devotion to which Our Lady and the Church has attached the most divine promises. The devout praying of Hail Mary in the Rosary obtains the grace of Jesus to be born anew in us.

St. Louis de Montfort lists four things of importance in growing in prayer through the Rosary:

1. To have a good director who will counsel holy practices, especially that of the Most Holy Rosary;
2. To say the Rosary attentively and devoutly;
3. How kind and merciful the Blessed Mother is to those who are sorry for the past and are firmly resolved to do it better;
4. And finally, how generous she is in rewarding us in life, death and eternity, for the little services that we render her faithfully.

“The Rosary is a biblical prayer… It has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of difficulty. To it I have entrusted any number of concerns: in it I have always found comfort."- Pope John Paul II

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