The History of the Rosary

Question: Where did these popular Roman Catholic devotions come from? Praying the Rosary. Who introduced it into Catholic practice, and when? What was the original motivation for it?

History of the Rosary

You do not want the description of this devotion but the history.

The rosary has its roots in the Marian devotion of medieval times. Monks and lay Christians used to greet the Mother of God 50 or 150 times every day pronouncing only the words "ave Maria" or the salutations of Elizabeth.

Why 150 times. The psaltery has 150 psalms but only a few could read and write so the analphabet participated in the official prayer of the Church, the monks, the priests and the hermits. In existence is a Psalterium Salutationis from 12 century.

From the 13th century they’re a different ways of presenting these devotions. For instance Dominicus Borussianus (+ 1427) and Adolf from Essen (+1439) suggested 50 Hail Mary and 50 clausula, i.e. ´pious considerations, the precursor of considerations meditated today when praying a rosary. Alanus de Rupe O.P. (+1475) insisted that it was too mundane and suggested the psalterium Mariae. It includes 15 Our father, 150 Hail Mary and 150 clausula.

J. Sprenger Superior from Cologne took up again the rosary of 50. He instituted at 8 of September the Society of the Rosary. Sprenger’s publication, the work "disputaciones quodlibet" of Michael from Lille, the recommendations from the papal delegate (1876), Sixtus IV (5/30/1478) show that this type of rosary was known and accepted. Beginning from 1483 the meditations of the rosary are the same as today.

The tradition has Saint Dominicus as the author. It is certain that the Dominican Monks contributed in make it known and prayed. The breve of Pius V 1571 crowned a tradition of 100 years. The victory of Lepanto (1571) was assigned to the rosary as has been the change in Russia and earlier the not-occupation of Austria by the Russians.






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