Pray The Rosary

Scripture

The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.”  
Luke 1:27–31

Reflection

The Rosary dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was developed as a way for the laity to participate in the monastic tradition of praying the 150 psalms in the Divine Office every week. The practice began with people praying 150 Our Fathers, and it later expanded to include 150 Hail Marys as it became more popular.

The Rosary as we know it today was developed in Carthusian monasteries in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It developed first with the Scriptural verses of the Hail Mary. In the later Middle Ages, the Dominican Order spread the practice of praying the Rosary as a devotion to Mary.

Over time, brief reflections on the life of Jesus were added. These additions became the Mysteries of the Rosary. At first, there were 50 such reflections; this number eventually grew to 150, divided into three sets of 50 each. Eventually, the number of reflections was reduced to 15 Mysteries of the Rosary: five Joyful Mysteries, five Sorrowful Mysteries, and five Glorious Mysteries. In 2002 Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae introduced the five Luminous Mysteries, which focus on the public ministry of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis urges us to keep alive the tradition of the Rosary:

"Mary does not leave them alone: the Mother of Christ and of the Church is always with us. She walks with us always, she is with us. And in a way, Mary shares this dual condition. She has of course already entered, once and for all, into heavenly glory. But this does not mean that she is distant or detached from us; rather Mary accompanies us, struggles with us, and sustains Christians in their fight against the forces of evil. . . . The Rosary sustains us in the battle."  (Homily, August 15, 2013)

 

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