During this season of Lent (a 40 day Christian season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday – a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter) learn more HERE. I like many of my Catholic Christian brothers and sisters, have been more prayerful (and of course have made some personal sacrifices, along with the traditional fish on Fridays. Raised in a Catholic household (thanks Mom and Dad!!), I was the beneficiary of catholic schooling (thanks to the nuns and brothers – go St. Ed’s Eagles!!). Reflecting a bit more on my faith these past few weeks, I was thinking about the Rosary prayers – a traditional prayer prayed daily by many throughout the world. Praying the Rosary is a way for me to reflect on all those things I am blessed with in my life – wife, family, friends, business, neighbors, customers, vendors, the city I live in, the technology I get to use daily, good health, safe country … I could go on!). I did some internet digging, and found some cool Rosary history, along with links to special “pray along” videos. Catholic or not, I guarantee, if you take a few minutes and pray a decade of the Rosary, you’ll feel it’s strength and have an amazingly great day. Do it over time, and that strength just grows. Give it a try! Thanks to holyrosary.org and dynamiccatholic.com for the info, and Bishop Barron and YouTube for the video prayers.
– The rosary is an incredibly rich practice of prayer that developed slowly, evolving over the centuries. The first recorded use of the word “rosary” did not appear until 1597.
– The rosary has roots in several early Christian prayer traditions that share similar formats to the rosary with repetitive structures and prayers. Third-century Christian hermits and monks in Egypt (known as Desert Fathers) used stones and later prayer ropes to keep track when praying the 150 Psalms.
– Various forms of “the Jesus Prayer” (such as “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.”) became popular. The short prayer was said over and over again in a type of mantra while counting beads. The “Our Father” was also prayed 150 times, using a string of beads with five decades referred to as a Paternoster (Latin for “Our Father”).
– The Hail Mary prayer came together slowly, taking more than a thousand years. The earliest version simply added Mary’s name to the message delivered by the angel Gabriel to Mary: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” (Luke 1:28).
– Around 1050 AD, the words Elizabeth used to greet Mary during the Visitation were added: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Luke 1:42). In 1261, Pope Urban IV added the name of Jesus to the end of Elizabeth’s words.
– St. Peter Canisius published the Hail Mary in his 1555 Catechism with almost the entire final petition: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.” Eleven years later, the Catechism of the Council of Trent included, for the first time, the entire final petition, concluding with the words “now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
– The version of the Hail Mary we pray today was given official approval in 1568.
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women; and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
– Catholics were not the first to pray with beads. And while the exact origin of prayer beads is unknown, men and woman of many faiths and cultures (Hindus, Greeks, Buddhists, and more) have, and continue to, use beads to pray. The word bead in English is actually derived from an Old English word that means prayer. The use of prayer beads almost universally is to allow the person to keep track of the number of prayers that have been said, while at the same time focusing on the deeper meaning of the prayers themselves.
– While praying with beads certainly wasn’t an original idea, it’s a powerful reminder that everything before the coming of Jesus was preparing for that moment and that God yearns to transform everything into something holy, even something as ordinary as a small rope with some beads on it.
– Today, Roman Catholics use a rosary made up of 59 beads. The 6 large beads are used for praying the Our Father prayer, and the 53 smaller beads are used for praying the Hail Mary prayer. Other prayers of the rosary include the Apostles’ Creed, the Glory Be, and the Hail, Holy Queen. There are 5 decades, or groups of 10 small beads, that make up the main portion of the rosary.
– It is widely believed that in 1214 St. Dominic had a vision of Mary. She is said to have presented him with the rosary, both the beads and the prayers to be prayed. Dominic had a tremendous devotion to Mary and the rosary, which he promoted wherever he traveled to preach. He encouraged Catholics to gather in small groups to pray together what was an early form of the rosary together. These were quite possibly the first expressions of the prayer groups and small group communities that are still having a powerful impact today.
– The earliest form of the rosary developed when Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) popularized an earlier version of the Hail Mary prayer by asking it to be prayed on the fourth Sunday of Advent. Many individuals began praying the Hail Mary in a repetitive fashion using a string of beads to keep track of the prayers.
– After the full development of the Hail Mary prayer, the term “rosary” was finally given in 1597. For 320 years, from 1597 until 1917, the form of both the Hail Mary and the rosary remained the same.
– During those 320 years, there was much written and spoken about the rosary. Most notably, Pope Paul VI said when we pray the Rosary we can experience the key moments of the Gospel. It is a simple, beautiful, and focused meditation, especially when focusing on the mysteries of the rosary.
– On May 13, 1917, Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. She told them to come back to that exact place on the 13th day of each month for the next six months. Mary promised she would appear to them each time and entrust a message to them. Mary told the children to pray for world peace by reciting the rosary every day.
– On July 13, 1917, Mary asked the children to add a short prayer to the end of each decade of the rosary:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.
Today this is referred to as the Fatima prayer, and many Catholics incorporate it into the rosary as Mary requested.
– The mysteries of the Rosary were introduced by Dominic of Prussia (later St. Dominic) sometime between 1410 and 1439. This gave each decade of the rosary a unique quality. Each mystery leads us to ponder very specific events in the lives of Jesus and Mary and the lessons they hold for our own lives today.
– There were originally three sets of mysteries: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries.
- The Joyful Mysteries include: The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Birth of Jesus, The Presentation, The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple
- The Sorrowful Mysteries include: The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning with Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross, The Crucifixion
- The Glorious Mysteries include: The Resurrection, The Ascension, The Descent of the Holy Spirit, The Assumption, The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
– From the time Saint Dominic established the devotion to the holy Rosary (learn more HERE ) up to the time when Blessed Alan de la Roche reestablished it in 1460, it has always been called the Psalter of Jesus and Mary. This is because it has the same number of Hail Marys as there are psalms in the Book of the Psalms of David. Since simple and uneducated people are not able to say the Psalms of David, the Rosary is held to be just as fruitful for them as David’s Psalter is for others.
– Ever since Blessed Alan de la Roche re-established this devotion, the voice of the people, which is the voice of God, gave it the name of the Rosary, which means “crown of roses.” That is to say that every time people say the Rosary devoutly, they place on the heads of Jesus and Mary 153 white roses and sixteen red roses. Being heavenly flowers, these roses will never fade or lose their beauty.
– Our Lady has approved and confirmed this name of the Rosary; she has revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary they are giving her a beautiful rose, and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses. So the complete Rosary is a large crown of roses and each chaplet of five decades is a little wreath of flowers or a little crown of heavenly roses which we place on the heads of Jesus and Mary. The rose is the queen of flowers, and so the Rosary is the rose of devotions and the most important one.
– On October 16, 2002, almost 600 years after the original Mysteries of the Rosary were established, Pope John Paul II proposed adding a new set of mysteries called the Luminous Mysteries (the Mysteries of Light). The Luminous Mysteries include: The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, The Wedding at Cana, The Proclamation of the Kingdom, The Transfiguration of Jesus, The Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.
– The rosary is an incredibly rewarding spiritual practice for the men and women of any age, and all ages. It is like an ancient treasure map that has led countless men and women from all walks of life to the treasures of peace, joy, clarity, and contentment. But don’t take our word for it. Try it for yourself.
Bishop Barron explains the Rosary and Prayers to Follow HERE.
If interested, join The Rosary Crew, hosted by Keith Nester, prayed daily online.
DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I. Love. My. Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good. :-))))