In any case it is certain that in the course of the twelfth century and before the birth of St. Dominic, the practice of reciting 50 or 150 Ave Marias had become generally familiar. The most conclusive evidence of this is furnished by the “Mary-legends”, or stories of Our Lady, which obtained wide circulation at this epoch. The story of Eulalia, in particular, according to which a client of the Blessed Virgin who had been wont to say a hundred and fifty Aves was bidden by her to say only fifty, but more slowly, has been shown by Mussafia (Marien-legenden, Pts I, ii) to be unquestionably of early date. Not less conclusive is the account given of St. Albert (d. 1140) by his contemporary biographer, who tells us: “A hundred times a day he bent his knees, and fifty times he prostrated himself raising his body again by his fingers and toes, while he repeated at every genuflexion: ‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb’.” This was the whole of the Hail Mary as then said, and the fact of all the words being set down rather implies that the formula had not yet become universally familiar. Not less remarkable is the account of a similar devotional exercise occurring in the Corpus Christi manuscripts of the Ancren Riwle. This text, declared by Kölbing to have been written in the middle of the twelfth century (Englische Studien, 1885, P. 116), can in any case be hardly later than 1200. The passage in question gives directions how fifty Aves are to be said divided into sets of ten, with prostrations and other marks of reverence. (See The Month, July, 1903.) When we find such an exercise recommended to a little group of anchorites in a corner of England, twenty years before any Dominican foundation was made in this country, it seems difficult to resist the conclusion that the custom of reciting fifty or a hundred and fifty Aves had grown familiar, independently of, and earlier than, the preaching of St. Dominic. On the other hand, the practice of meditating on certain definite mysteries, which has been rightly described as the very essence of the Rosary devotion, seems to have only arisen long after the date of St. Dominic’s death. It is difficult to prove a negative, but Father T. Esser, O.P., has shown (in the periodical “Der Katholik”, of Mainz, Oct., Nov., Dec., 1897) that the introduction of this meditation during the recitation of the Aves was rightly attributed to a certain Carthusian, Dominic the Prussian. It is in any case certain that at the close of the fifteenth century the utmost possible variety of methods of meditating prevailed, and that the fifteen mysteries now generally accepted were not uniformly adhered to even by the Dominicans themselves. (See Schmitz, “Rosenkranzgebet”, p. 74; Esser in "Der Katholik for 1904-6.) To sum up, we have positive evidence that both the invention of the beads as a counting apparatus and also the practice of repeating a hundred and fifty Aves cannot be due to St. Dominic, because they are both notably older than his time. Further, we are assured that the meditating upon the mysteries was not introduced until two hundred years after his death. What then, we are compelled to ask, is there left of which St. Dominic may be called the author?