WHAT IS THE HOLY ROSARY?
The Rosary is the traditional devotion in honor of the Mother of God, combining vocal and mental prayer. It is composed of 15 decades which are divided into 3 parts of 5 decades, each of which recall Our Lord's Life, Passion, and Glory.
The Rosary is the prayer which is most pleasing to Our Lady. The word, rosary, means a garland or wreath of roses, thus each prayer said in the Rosary is a spiritual rose offered to our Blessed Mother.
In its present form the Rosary is
due to St. Dominic [see Part
2 for more explanation], of the Order of
Friars Preachers which he propagated in obedience to a revelation
from the Blessed Virgin in the year 1206. To him we owe also the spread
of the devotion which for many centuries has produced the most
results in the Christian world: heresies have been uprooted, morals
misfortunes averted, wars ended.
In keeping with tradition the
complete set of Mysteries------15
decades has 150 Hail Marys,
the number of Psalms and there are 15 Promises attached to the faithful
recitation of the Rosary. The Psalms, found in the Old Testament are
hymns of praise to God. One of the best ways to praise God to praise
His Holy Mother, Mary, by honoring her in the manner she requested
renders homage to the Blessed Trinity Who created her free of Original
Sin, the most pure and beautiful of all creatures, above even the
Angels. With God there is no such thing as a "coincidence". Thus we
that there is a parallel between 15 Mysteries and 15 Promises and 150
Hail Marys in the decades of the whole Rosary [we do not include the
first 3 in the count, which are for an increase in the virtues of
faith, hope and love, but the decades themselves, and the number of
Psalms: each Hail Mary is a hymn of praise, begun by the Angel Gabriel
and added to by Mary's cousin, St. Elizabeth.
FORWARD FOR LONGER EXPLANATION AND PICTURE OF ST. DOMINIC