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What is the Rosary?

2012-10-05

FR. SALVATORE M. PERRELLA
President, Pontifical Theological Faculty Marianum (Rome)

“The Rosary is the contemplation  of the life and work of Jesus Christ, and Mary, as His mother was present through all these moments.”

Early Christians always felt a strong devotion to the Mother of Jesus. Historically, there were three decisive moments.

In the 13th century, St. Dominic, called for people to pray the rosary. As the Dominican order grew, so did the popularity of the rosary. Then in the 16th century, Pius V gave it a defined structure.

FR. SALVATORE M. PERRELLA
President, Pontifical Theological Faculty Marianum (Rome)

 “St. Pius V  composed a structure of 150 Hail Marys. He did this by following 150 Psalms of the Old Testament, with the ten Hail Marys and Our Father.”

It was divided into three mysteries to remember the childhood, passion and resurrection of Jesus, as experienced through the eyes of Mary, his mother. These are  followed by a series of prayers dedicated to Mary.

In 2002, John Paul II added a fourth set of mysteries.

FR. SALVATORE M. PERRELLA
President, Pontifical Theological Faculty Marianum (Rome)

“John Paul II added the Luminous Mysteries, which narrate moments in the life of Jesus as Messiah and Savior.”

Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have emphasized the simplicity and depth of this prayer which can help Christians learn more about Mary.

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