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Holy Rosary(History )





The History  of the Holy Rosary

Rosary is composed  of the prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation, that is, the Our Father and the Hail Mary. It was  the first prayer and  has been in use all through the centuries, from the time of the apostles and disciples down to the present.

It was only in the year 1214, however, that the Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners.

This is the  story of how he received it,  which is found in the very well-known book De Dignitate Psalterii, written  by Blessed Alan de la Roche.

 Saint Dominic was   born  in 
Spain . At the age of 14, he went to the university in Palencia  to study arts. He studied music too and he loved to sing, particularly the Ave Maris Stella and the Veni Creator.

  He was ordained a priest when he was 25 years old. In 1203, as Dominic was accompanying his bishop on a journey, he became aware of unorthodox teachings of a group known as the Albigensians who considered all material things to be evil. He became convinced of the need for someone to preach the truth.

He  withdrew into a forest near  Toulouse , where he prayed continuously for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but cry and do  harsh penances in order to appease the anger of God. Because of the penance he became very sick.

Then  our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said, "Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"

 "Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do, because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation."

Then our Lady replied, "I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon 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."

So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal for the conversion of the people in that district, he made straight for the cathedral. At once unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together, and Saint Dominic began to preach.

At the very beginning of his sermon, an appalling storm broke out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightning that all were very much afraid. Even greater was their fear when, looking at a picture of our Lady exposed in a prominent place, they saw her raise her arms to heaven three times to call down God's vengeance upon them if they failed to be converted, to amend their lives, and seek the protection of the holy Mother of God.

God wished, by means of these supernatural phenomena, to spread the new devotion of the holy Rosary and to make it more widely known.

At last, at the prayer of Saint Dominic, the storm came to an end, and he went on preaching. So fervently and compellingly did he explain the importance and value of the Rosary that almost all the people of
Toulouse embraced it and renounced their false beliefs.

 In a very short time a great improvement was seen in the town; people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, instructed by the Blessed Virgin as well as by his own experience, Saint Dominic preached the Rosary for the rest of his life. He preached it by his example as well as by his sermons, in cities and in country places, to people of high station and low, before scholars and the uneducated, to Catholics and to heretics.

 Ag.kudat 2005                                                         



  Note : Part two to follow








The History  of the Holy Rosary ( Part 2 )

The last time we heard how, St. Dominic preached the Holy Rosary, inspired by the Holy Spirit and  instructed by the Blessed Virgin. Saint Dominic preached the Rosary for the rest of his life. He preached it by his example as well as by his sermons, in cities and in country places, to people of high station and low, before scholars and the uneducated, to Catholics and to none-Catholics.

He led a simple life . He might eat a bit of dried fish or a little bread and soup and  he never ate more than two eggs a day. His  wine was about two-thirds water.   He slept very little, and when he did, it  was always on the floor, preferably in the chapel.  There, the fire of the Holy  Spirit even dried his rain-soaked habit better than those of his companions who  spent the night by the fireplace.  Exhausted from his vigils, he sometimes napped  on the side of the road.  It was his practice to carry his shoes until he got to  town.

Strange  things happened too to him . Before his mother conceived him, she saw in a vision that a dog with a burning  torch in its mouth would come forth from her womb and set the world aflame.  Later, she saw the moon on his forehead.

  Around that time, there was a terrible famine.  To give alms to the poor, he sold his possessions, even his precious annotated books.

Before his sermon, St. Dominic said the Rosary as his spiritual  preparation to make him preach well.

One day he had to preach at Notre Dame in 
Paris  during the feast of  St. John  the Evangelist. He was in a little chapel behind the high altar prayerfully preparing his sermon by saying the Rosary, as he always did, when our Lady appeared to him and said: "Dominic, even though what you have planned to say may be very good, I am bringing you a much better sermon."  Saint Dominic took in his hands the book from our Lady , read the sermon carefully and, when he had understood it and meditated on it, he gave thanks to her.

During the Holy Mass, although it was the feast day of 
Saint John , he did not  mention of  Saint John  in his sermon. He told the congregation  that he had been found worthy to be the guardian of the Queen of Heaven. He began to teach them the Rosary and explained the Hail Mary word for word as  he would to a group of small children. That surprised his congregation who were clever and learned people. He used the simple pictures which were in the book given by our Lady.

A famous preacher, Blessed Alan, who  was one of the Dominican Fathers at the monastery at Dinan, in Brittany,  mentioned several other occasions when our Lord and our Lady appeared to Saint Dominic. They urged  him and inspire him to preach the Rosary  in order to wipe out sin and convert sinners and heretics. It also great for kindling a  love of prayers .

That’s why we must say the Holy Rosary as often as we can for our Lady herself has encouraged it.













The History of the Holy Rosary  : Part 3 Blessed Alan

Again the world had  become a bad place,  there were wars and  plaque. When these trials were over, thanks to the mercy of God, our Lady told Blessed Alan to revive the  the  Holy Rosary, started by St. Dominic. Blessed Alan was one of the Dominican Fathers at the monastery at Dinan, in Brittany. He was an famous  theologian and a famous preacher.

Blessed Alan began this great work in 1460, after a special warning from our Lord. This is how he received that urgent message, as he himself tells it:

One day when he was offering Mass, our Lord, who wished to spur him on to preach the holy Rosary, spoke to him in the Sacred Host.

 "How can you crucify me again so soon?" Jesus said.

 "What did you say, Lord?" asked Blessed Alan, frightened.

"You crucified me once before by your sins," answered Jesus, "and I would willingly be crucified again rather than have my Father offended 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 it. If you only did that, 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."

This terrible reproach made Blessed Alan solemnly resolve to preach the Rosary unceasingly.

Our Lady also said to him one day to inspire him to preach the Rosary , "You were a great sinner in your youth, but I obtained the grace of your conversion from my Son. Had such a thing been possible, I would have liked to have gone through all kinds of suffering to save you, because converted sinners are a glory to me. And I would have done that also to make you worthy of preaching my Rosary far and wide."

So Blessed Alan too continued the Rosary devotion as a means to save sinners just like  St. Dominic.

Briefly, then, this is the history of how Saint Dominic established the holy Rosary in 1214, and of how Blessed Alan de la Roche restored it in 1460.

From the time Saint Dominic established the devotion to the holy Rosary 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. There are 150 Psalms .

We all know there are 50  Hail Marys in the joyful mysteries , 50 Hail Marys in the Sorrowful Mysteries and 50 Hail marys in the glorious mysteries; altogether , We recite  150 Hail  Marys in Rosary saying.

 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 Psalms  is for others. 

Ag. Lai . 05                                                     







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