Our Lady of the Rosary

Mary holds a special place for Catholics. She's the first among saints. The rosary helps us to honor and imitate her.

from 100 Names for Mary, 100 Names of Mary
Stories and Prayers
, by Anthony F. Chiffolo

he word rosary comes from the Latin word rosarium, which means "a garden of roses," and this derivation helps explain the origins of this Marian prayer. In the 13th century nobles customarily crowned their beloved with a garland of roses. At the same time, one of the customs of chivalry was for knights to pledge their honor to the Blessed Virgin Mary. From these two customs developed the practice of "crowning" the Blessed Mother, either by placing a wreath of roses upon one of her images or by offering a spiritual "garland of roses" to her through the rosary prayer.

During this period Domingo de Guzman, who became known as St. Dominic, came to southern France to preach. While he was praying in a chapel in 1208, Our Lady appeared and taught him the complete rosary prayer, urging him to preach it to the rest of the world as a remedy against heresy and sin.

The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in the 20th century extended the devotions. On October 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima told the children, "I am the Lady of the Rosary. I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to ask pardon for their sins….People must say the rosary. Let them continue to say it every day."

Over the centuries countless numbers of people have become devoted pray-ers of the rosary, meditating on the 15 sacred mysteries and appealing to Mary's motherly heart for help and healing.

from 100 Names for Mary, 100 Names of Mary
Stories and Prayers
, by Anthony F. Chiffolo

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