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  #1  
Old May 29, '10, 10:16 am
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GiannaMarie_JMJ GiannaMarie_JMJ is offline
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Question Where did the Rosary Come From?

Can anyone please tell me the origin of the Rosary and where it came from? Thanks!!!

God Bless,

GiannaMarie_JMJ
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  #2  
Old May 29, '10, 10:48 am
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

The Dominican Rosary (there are many varieties of rosaries such as the Brigittine) came out of the Divine Office. The Monks were accustom to saying all 150 psalms every day. The laity wishing to participate in this laudable practice but lacking both the time and education (i.e., couldn't read) to pray the psalms so they substituted 150 Hail Marys -- one for each psalm. Over time the Our Fathers and Glory Bes were added and the Rosary was divided into 15 decades and to each decade some pious thought was attached. Again, over time, these thoughts settled onto the 15 mysteries known as the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries. In recent years, Pope Venerable John Paul II recommended to us an additional 5 mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries. According to pious legend Our Lady appeared to Saint Dominic and charged him with preaching about praying of the Rosary.
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Old May 29, '10, 1:07 pm
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GiannaMarie_JMJ GiannaMarie_JMJ is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

Thank you so much for the information!!!

God Bless,

GiannaMarie_JMJ
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  #4  
Old May 30, '10, 8:45 am
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PhanxicoXavier PhanxicoXavier is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

The Rosary was given to Saint Dominic by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
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  #5  
Old May 30, '10, 1:16 pm
dmorgan dmorgan is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

http://www.theholyrosary.org/

http://www.fisheaters.com/rosary.html
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Old May 30, '10, 2:08 pm
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

http://www.ewtn.com/library/answers/rosaryhs.htm
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  #7  
Old Aug 24, '10, 8:38 pm
AnnElizabeth1 AnnElizabeth1 is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

Hi, I'm new to the forums but have a follow-up question. I hope I am posting this in the right place. Some friends of mine saw Eat Pray Love and said our Rosary was taken from the Hindu rosary, that the meditation was admired by medieval Crusaders and thus they adopted the practice.

Can anyone shed some light on this? I have not responded to them but am wanting some clarification before I do.

Thanks so much.
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  #8  
Old Aug 25, '10, 4:34 am
Hesychios Hesychios is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnElizabeth1 View Post
Hi, I'm new to the forums but have a follow-up question. I hope I am posting this in the right place. Some friends of mine saw Eat Pray Love and said our Rosary was taken from the Hindu rosary, that the meditation was admired by medieval Crusaders and thus they adopted the practice.

Can anyone shed some light on this? I have not responded to them but am wanting some clarification before I do.

Thanks so much.
It sounds like Eat Pray and Love is engaging in mythologizing. Bearing false witness is a sin.

Just as today in modern Israel and Lebanon, there would not have been many Hindus in the Levant when the Crusaders were there, the Muslims considered them infidels (and would have forcibly converted them) and they mostly were hundreds or thousands of miles away, beyond the mountains of Afghanistan. Christians, being people of the Book, were not normally converted by force and were still numerous along the mediterranean coast at the time of the Crusades.

The use of beads in the west only became popular after Crusaders and Holy Land pilgrims returned, so that is true. These people witnessed the eastern Christians using prayers ropes and beads to say their Jesus Prayers on them.

For eastern Christians, there is no set number of prayers (like 150), there is essentially no limit and no punctuation with other prayers or meditations, instead they endeavor to follow the injunction to 'pray without ceasing' and only need to count the prayers when their spiritual director assigns them as a spiritual exercise, or when they are curious about how many they have done.

The rosary is uniquely Christian, as evidenced by the words of the prayers. The practice of praying the hail Mary and other prayers repetitively was in this case not borrowed, but arose out of the lay Christian community in imitation of the monastic practice of praying the 150 psalms. Very likely it also had something to do with penances originally.

For monks and nuns, besides praying some of the psalms every day according to the rule, they also prayed for the souls of the recently departed fellow monks and nuns with psalms. The common layperson (and many monastics as well), were illiterate, and could not pray the psalms (LOTH - Liturgy of the Hours) unless they learned them by rote memory (which is possible when one prays along with literate individuals for a few years)

For the average common believer who worked the fields and the forges this form of spirituality was desirable (praying while working was a good thing, praying while relaxing together was also commendable, praying while in fear of invaders was common, and praying while grieving was necessary, so the people needed and wanted to pray, yet they couldn't read) but beyond reach until a simpler type of praying became possible for them. That turned out to be the prototype rosary, which was actually 150 Our Fathers, the words of Jesus teaching us to pray. Later more and more Christians were optionally saying the 150 prayers as Hail Mary prayers, punctuated with the Our Father. Still later (a few hundred years along ... ) the practice of meditating while reciting became common.
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Old Aug 25, '10, 5:10 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

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Originally Posted by PhanxicoXavier View Post
The Rosary was given to Saint Dominic by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Not to take anything away from the honor of St. Dominic and the Blessed Mother, but the whole story is actually more complicated. Many of us Catholics are familiar with the story that Our Lady granted St. Dominic the Rosary at some point in his life. The usual form we see it today has him receiving it while having a vision in a church at the hamlet of Prouille (the so-called 'cradle of the Dominicans') after preaching to the Albigensians - aka Cathars - somewhere around 1208 - the same year when he encountered and famously rebuked the papal legates returning in pomp to Rome, foiled in their attempt to counter the growing sect of Catharism.

That being said, there are a few suspicious elements with the story. First of all, the story does not appear in any contemporary sources concerning St. Dominic. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Rosary reports thus:
Of the eight or nine early Lives of the saint, not one makes the faintest allusion to the Rosary. The witnesses who gave evidence in the cause of his canonization are equally reticent. In the great collection of documents accumulated by Fathers Balme and Lelaidier, O.P., in their "Cartulaire de St. Dominique" the question is studiously ignored. The early constitutions of the different provinces of the order have been examined, and many of them printed, but no one has found any reference to this devotion. We possess hundreds, even thousands, of manuscripts containing devotional treatises, sermons, chronicles, Saints' lives, etc., written by the Friars Preachers between 1220 and 1450; but no single verifiable passage has yet been produced which speaks of the Rosary as instituted by St. Dominic or which even makes much of the devotion as one specially dear to his children. The charters and other deeds of the Dominican convents for men and women, as M. Jean Guiraud points out with emphasis in his edition of the Cartulaire of La Prouille (I, cccxxviii), are equally silent. Neither do we find any suggestion of a connection between St. Dominic and the Rosary in the paintings and sculptures of these two and a half centuries. Even the tomb of St. Dominic at Bologna and the numberless frescoes by Fra Angelico representing the brethren of his order ignore the Rosary completely.
The first man to actually suggest a connection between him and the Rosary was actually the theologian Blessed Alanus de Rupe - himself instrumental in spreading the devotion into Europe, two centuries after Dominic's death.

Second, the practice of saying prayers with something to keep track of the count predates St. Dominic by millenia - similar practices do exist in some other religions and cultures. Hesychios already expounded on it, but Christians were already familiar both with praying a specified number of prayers and using a counter to aid the recitation of said prayers years even before Domingo de Guzmán was born. For example, in the early 8th century, the Venerable St. Bede (d. 733) attested that churches and public places in France and England had prayer beads available for the faithful to use.

Third, many elements in our present-day Rosary - for example, the act of meditating on certain episodes in the life of Jesus and Mary, as well as the form of our rosaries - actually developed as time passed AFTER St. Dominic's death in 1221. At first, the idea was just to recite said prayers a number of times with a counter; the idea of meditating on 'mysteries' while praying came after. And there was a lot of variation: here's one from medieval Sarum (aka Salisbury), England, circa AD 1515.

In 13th century Paris, four trade guilds existed of prayer bead makers, who were referred to as paternosterers, and the beads were referred to as paternosters, suggesting a continued link between the Our Father and the prayer beads. Eventually people devised variations on the paternoster devotion: many added Hail Marys or Glory Bes in their prayers, or recited 150 Hail Marys (we must mention here the fact that the Hail Mary only received its present form during the late 15th century!) as a "Psalter of St. Mary"; Religious communities are recorded as praying "chaplets" of various sorts from at least the 13th century onward. Gradually, the Hail Mary came to replace the Our Father as the prayer most associated with beads. Eventually, each decade came to be preceded by an Our Father, which further mirrored the structure of the monastic Divine Office.
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  #10  
Old Aug 25, '10, 5:28 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

(continued)

The beads were a popular item and were carried by many people regardless of their actual faith; it became some sort of a fashion statement that many portraits of medieval men and women usually show them holding a paternoster in their hand, wearing it around their neck or tucked in their belt. One thing you would notice in the pictures below is that the number of beads itself was not fixed and could vary greatly from person to person - another would be that these only have a faint resemblance to our modern rosaries:
  1. Here you can see a smallish Paternoster in Albrecht Durer's mother's hand.
  2. Here meanwhile is Albrecht Durer's father.
  3. Margaret of Austria (the ten-year-old daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I)
  4. Philipp von Rhein zum Mohren
  5. In this picture (detail from the left wing of the Adoration of the Magi altarpiece by Stefan Lochner, in the cathedral in Köln, Germany[/i]), you can see the woman at the left holding a paternoster in her hand.
  6. The beads of Mary, Queen of Scots
  7. St. Jerome wielding a paternoster (from the Penitence of Saint Jerome triptych by Joachim Patinir, painted about 1515-24)
  8. Sts. Anthony and Paul of Thebes having their own sets of beads (from the Ghent Altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers, around 1432)
  9. A woman with a paternoster
  10. A paternosterer (bead-maker)

You'd notice that in some of these pictures that there are no crosses on the beads. The practice of putting a cross/crucifix for the 'tail' of the Rosary did not become widespread practice until the 15th/16th century (and even since then some rosaries still had variations); before that, tassels or more beads or what-have-you were in use. During the 17th century, rosary beads were very much in the form that we use today, except that the custom of putting three Hail Mary beads in the 'tail' is not widespread, and there was an extra Cross (known as the Credo Cross) as the practice of reciting the Apostles' Creed was introduced.

An 18th century (1720) wooden rosary. One could see the 3 Hail Mary beads, a Credo Cross and a medal where the crucifix on our modern rosaries would be.
Rosary beads from the 19th century. The Credo Cross is still noticeably present.

In those days, Psalters of Our Lord or of the Blessed Virgin, applying the psalms to Christ or His Mother, were formed by adding to each psalm a phrase that referred it to Jesus or Mary. In a later stage the psalms were omitted and the phrases evolved into brief lives of Jesus or Mary extending from the Annunciation to their glorification in heaven. Commemoration of Mary’s joys also influenced the formation of the mysteries. At first only the Annunciation joy was recalled, but soon sets of 5, 10, 15, or 20 other joys, often in connection with the liturgical feasts, were fashioned, either by using liturgical antiphons or by composing brief phrases, often rhymed, recounting the joys. This devotion coalesced with the recitation of the Hail Mary. During the recitation of a chaplet of Ave Marias, the Annunciation joy would be considered. During a second or third 50, a second or third joy would be taken up. As devotion to Mary's sorrows arose during the 14th century, the second chaplet was dedicated to them. Logically, the third chaplet was set aside for her heavenly joys. Along with this development, chains of 50, 100, or 150 phrases, referring to as many joys, were composed or drawn from the lives of Jesus and Mary that had evolved from the Psalters of Jesus or Mary and were attached to the recitation of the Hail Marys, one phrase to each Ave.

That being said, the modern Rosary may have its roots from a 'Dominic', but it was not St. Domingo de Guzmán. The man whom we can trace to have introduced the practice is Dominic of Prussia, O. Cart. (1382-1461). His first teacher was his own parish priest - incidentally, a pious Dominican - later he was a student at the University of Krakow. Falling into bad habits he led a vagabond life until he was 25, when he reformed through the influence of Adolf of Essen, prior of the Carthusian monastery of St. Alban, near Trier. Dominic then became a Carthusian in 1409.
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  #11  
Old Aug 25, '10, 5:52 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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(continued)

Dominic's monastic life was one of severe penance and religious fervour. The spiritual favours he received were numerous, and many visions are ascribed to him. Among the positions he filled were those of master of novices at Mainz and vicar of the monastery of St. Alban, where he died.

We have mentioned the popular devotion 'Psalter of St. Mary' comprising of reciting 150 Hail Marys. Dominic, inspired by a vision of a tree which had fifty leaves, attempted to introduce the practice of meditating on moments on Our Lord's and Our Lady's lives (though it is not specified which). To keep track of the episode being meditated on, Dominic linked 50 phrases referring to Jesus and Mary to 50 Aves, undivided by Paters. Such a series of 50 points was called a rosarium (a rose garden), a common term used to designate a collection of similar material. Thus, for example: "And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, whose birth was announced by the angel..." This practice actually held on in many places even after the Rosary as we have it today became widespread.

Both Dominic and his friend Adolf sought to spread the use of this form of prayer in the Carthusian Order and among the laity.

Now Blessed Alanus de Rupe OP criticized the Carthusian Dominic and thought he had shortchanged the gospel by not giving the full psalter number of 150 episodes, but the practical difficulty of dealing even with fifty events led to a shortening and categorizing of episodes. Now Blessed Alanus was also the one responsible for the story that the 'other', Dominican Dominic was the 'founder' of the devotion, even asserting in his Apology that Domingo de Guzmán's connection with the Rosary is proved "both from tradition and from the testimony of writers" (a justification for which has not actually been found!) Later Dominicans picked up this notion with enthusiasm and made it the reigning view for centuries.

Alanus then formed a Confraternity of the Psalter of the Glorious Virgin Mary at Douai, France around 1470. It soon had many chapters and imitators, making the rosary immensely popular on a broad front of the Western Church.

5 years later, in 1475 a Rosary Guild was founded in Cologne, Germany after the city was miraculously saved from the Burgundian troops. The credit for the miracle was given to the Dominican Prior of the city, Jacob Springer who encouraged the prayer of the Psalter of Our Lady. Thus the Confraternity of the Rosary was set into place with the celebration of a Pontifical Mass held at the Dominican Church of St. Andreas in Cologne.

Unlike many other religious guilds, rosary guilds cost nothing to join and did not require expensive annual dues. Women as well as men were admitted. The prayers were simple, and could be said at home or while working. You did not have to be able to read, nor did you have to purchase and use a special book, as many other devotions required. Thus, this facilitated the spread of rosary guilds throughout Europe and made the Rosary popular.

As for what happened to the devotion, I'll just quote from here (a very good article, I must say!):
Meanwhile, the method of using the vocal prayers of the Rosary was evolving. First, the psalter of 150 Aves was united with the psalter of 150 Paters, an Ave following each Pater. Early in the 15th century, Henry Kalkar (d.1408), Carthusian visitator on the Lower Rhine, bracketed the Hail Marys into decades by inserting 15 Our Fathers between them. It was a logical next step to separate chaplets of 50 Aves by inserting 5 Paters.

Thus, from the early 15th century, the Rosary was recognizable and its elements had amalgamated: Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and mysteries, though these latter, and the mode of attaching them to the vocal prayers, were still far from standardized.

So long as the Rosary meditations consisted of multiples of 50, the Rosary had to be a “read” prayer; the worshipper had to have a book before him listing the points. The Rosary could not become a universal devotion or a communal prayer until it was simplified. As early as 1480, Rosaries of 50 mysteries were reduced to five, one for each decade. In 1483, a Rosary book written by a Dominican, Our Dear Lady’s Psalter, cut down the 150 points to 15, all of which, except the last 2, corresponded to the present mysteries. The Coronation was combined with the Assumption and the Last Judgment was the 15th mystery. The Dominican Alberto da Castello, in 1521, in his book The Rosary of the Glorious Virgin Mary, united the old and the new form of the mysteries (a term he was the first to apply to the meditations). To each Pater he attached a mystery, but kept the old series of 150 in connection with the Hail Marys. These became submysteries for the mystery of the Our Father. During the 16th century, the Rosary of 15 mysteries gradually prevailed.

The vocal prayers of the Rosary were completed during the same century with the addition of the Glory Be to the Father and the second half of the Hail Mary: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, etc.” Since the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, the prayer taught by Mary to the children has often been added to each decade: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in greatest need.” The Apostolic Penitentiary declared in 1956 that this addition does not nullify the Rosary indulgences.

A Rosary bull of Pius V, in 1569, and the introduction of the Feast of the Rosary in 1573, helped to standardize the Rosary by presenting it as a combined vocal and mental prayer and regarding the meditations as essential parts of the devotion.
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Old Aug 25, '10, 6:29 am
Alexander Roman Alexander Roman is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

Dear Friends,

Just wanted to add my two cents' worth to a fascinating subject!

Prayer counters were already known among the early monks of the Thebaid in northern Africa well before St Dominic.

The Russian St Seraphim of Sarov taught that our Lady revealed her "Rule of Prayer of 150 Hail Mary's" to a monk living in the Thebaid in the 8th century and asked all Christians to recite it daily. Even before that time, Christian monks would use "prayer sticks" or staff with notches on them (I have such a one), or else they would carry two bags on either shoulder with one bag containing 300 pebbles. Every time, for example, St Paul of Thebes or St Joannicius would say a prayer, they would place a bead from one bag to the other and so fulfill their daily rule of 300 prayers.

The story of St Pachomios of Egypt is interesting. He was was making knots on a cord for use in repeating the Jesus Prayer one day. The devil appeared and cut through the knots he made until Pachomios made the knots with nine turns. The devil could then no longer cut through them. Such prayer cords had fifty or one hundred knotted beads.

St Basil the Great in the fourth century devised a knotted cord of 100 knotted "beads", divided every 25, for use in saying the Jesus Prayer. For monks and nuns who could not read, he prescribed certain amounts of the Prayer that would replace the Psalm readings and the Office.

Monastics would encircle their wrists and arms with these knotted cords (and the early Dominican rosaries were precisely this, knotted cords/ropes that the Dominican Fathers would wear on their wrists in the same manner). These knotted cord rosaries were sometimes exquisitely made and there is even a case on record in the 12th century in Germany where a widow was sued over the ownership of her husband's beautiful knotted cord rosary . . .

The Knights Templar had a rule of Our Father's that, in all, amounted to 200 Paternosters a day as a way to replace the Divine Office and they employed the prayer cord widely for this purpose (if they weren't in battle, and could attend the Offices, then they were only required to pray 60 Our Father's for the living and dead Templars of their Order).

The Eastern Churches continue to use the knotted cord or prayer rope (the Greeks divide the knots every 25, the Slavs every ten - thus enabling them to pray the Rosary or Rule of the Mother of God as well).

And, in fact, the most widely promoted Rosary in the Catholic West is the same knotted cord. Catholic missions distribute millions of such knotted cord rosaries and Catholic chaplains will also give knotted cord rosaries to Catholic soldiers since these cannot be detected by enemy metal detectors.

Alex
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  #13  
Old Aug 25, '10, 7:26 am
AnnElizabeth1 AnnElizabeth1 is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

Thank you, Hesychios, Patrick and Alex, for your thoughtful and articulate answers. I feel I can now try to help my friends.

God Bless you always,
Karen
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Old Aug 26, '10, 10:57 am
Robert Burns Robert Burns is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

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Originally Posted by AnnElizabeth1 View Post
Thank you, Hesychios, Patrick and Alex, for your thoughtful and articulate answers. I feel I can now try to help my friends.

God Bless you always,
Karen
It actually predates Christ. The 150 Psalms have been prayed by Levitical Priests since the Time of King David. After the time of Christ - The Priests of the Catholic Church continue this practise in the Office they must pray daily. ( not all 150 every day but over a period of time they pray all 150)

The Psalter came about because of a lack of Bibles and or access to the Psalms - Devout orders wishing to offer the Psalms to GOD - substituted The Our Father for Each Psalm and that was known as the Psalter.

The Marian Psalter , of course being 1 Hail Mary for each Psalm.

St Dominic was already aware of the Marian Psalter at the time of his vision. And it is the Blessed Virgin Mary herself that requested the Marian Psalter. So Devotion to the Daily Holy Rosary began with St Dominic - rather than to say it was invented by him. And of course - many other Catholics throughout History have recommended the devotion. Pope Leo the XIII wrote 13 encyclicals on Devotion to it.

Pax
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Old Aug 26, '10, 1:07 pm
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Sandalwood Sandalwood is offline
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Default Re: Where did the Rosary Come From?

Can't you say the Psalms or even the Divine Mercy instead of Hail Mary's and then meditate on the mysteries on the big beads? This is what I've been doing. For some reason, I'm just not comfortable with Hail Mary's yet.... I'm working thru this, but in the meantime, can't you say other prayers or verses on the decade beads?
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