Since the Rosary is composed with “Our Father and the Hail Mary”, it was, therefore, without doubt, the first prayer and the principal devotion of the faithful.
The prayer of Christ
and the Angelic Salutation, which are the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”, are in use all over the centuries, from the time of the apostles and disciples down to the present, and will continue to be used for centuries to come. Both prayers are composed of substance in principle which reflects our devotion and faith.
The beginning of the Rosary
It was only in the year 1214 that the Church received the Rosary
in its present form and according to the method that is used 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.
When Saint Dominic saw that the gravity of people’s sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, he withdrew into the forest and prayed continuously for three days and three nights. His body was lacerated and fell into a comma.
At this moment 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.”
Saint Dominic inspiration
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.
, which he said every day, was his preparation for every sermon and his little tryst with our Lady immediately after preaching.
In the 4th century, the prayer rope used by the Desert Fathers to count repetitions of the Jesus Prayer was seen to be a form of the rosary. Details of the connection of the rosary and the holy land are sketchy.