In order for us to fully understand what a rosary is and why it plays a great role in life of Christian mainly a catholic believer, we must define what it is first.
Rosary is one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal for spiritual warfare and one of the greatest aids in the pursuit of a fruitful spiritual life. The rosary comes with promises from Our Lady herself associated with its faithful recitation.
The most amazing thing about the Rosary is that Mary made 15 promises to those who recite it daily. These aren’t insignificant promises, but rather enormously helpful graces provided to those who are trying to live a good and faithful Catholic life:
- To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
- Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive signal graces.
- The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against Hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin, and dispel heresy.
- The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
- Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
- Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly, reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
- Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
- Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
- I will deliver promptly from Purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
- True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in Heaven.
- What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
- To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.
- I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.
- Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
- Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.
Mary, who is our true spiritual Mother, always desires what is best for us. She who was conceived without sin and sits as the Queen of Heaven and Earth enjoys a will that is in perfect unity with the will of God. What she wants for us is nothing less than what He wants. And He who made us knows precisely what we need to do to do the work He has assigned us, and the surest path home to Him.
A History of the Rosary and How to Pray It
While the specifics are unclear, tradition and the Church hold that Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche sometime in the 13th century to impart the devotion of the Rosary. The monks of the time had already developed the habit of praying the psalter – all 150 Psalms daily recited by memory. Mary gave the Rosary to these two spiritual sons to promote the habit of daily prayer among all the faithful, not just those in the religious life.
Structurally, the Rosary is divided into five decades; a decade is made up of 10 Hail Marys preceded by an Our Father and concluded with a Glory Be. Each of the five decades is associated with a mystery from the life of Christ, and there are three sets of mysteries: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. An entire Rosary consists of all 15 decades. Fifteen decades of 10 Hail Marys each equals a total of 150 Hail Marys, thus leading the Rosary to be known as “Mary’s Psalter.”