St Dominic and the
History of the Rosary

The original mysteries of the rosary as given to St Dominic de Guzman by Our Blessed Mother is frequently referred to as the Dominican Rosary.

In learning about the history of the rosary, we can't start anywhere without a bit of knowledge about one of the greatest saints of the rosary.

Saint Dominic, in preaching against the Albigensian heresy, found little success. While pleading with Our Lady to show him the way to conquer the heresy, she replied to him:

'Wonder not that you have obtained so little fruit by your labors, you have spent them on barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of Divine Grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth, He began by sending down on it the fertilizing rain of the Angelic Salutation. Therefore, preach my Psalter composed of 150 Angelic Salutations and 15 Our Fathers, and you will obtain an abundant harvest'.

This advice, along with Our Lady explaining the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary to meditate upon, were the efficacious means by which he was able to convert and conquer the heresy, bringing so many people back to the Faith by such a simple means. Everyone from the highly educated to the illiterate were able to understand and profit spiritually.

History of the Rosary Meditations Stems from St Dominic

Preaching about Our Lady's Psalter, and explaining how she taught him to meditate on the main events of Our Lord's life was the groundwork for the nature of the rosary to take root and flourish.

Saint Dominic's fervor and the methods of preaching that Our Lady revealed to him brought about great success. This method of saying the Rosary was quickly approved and promoted by Pope Innocent III and then by his successor Pope Honorius III.

In 1216, Saint Dominic founded the 'Order of Preachers', now known as the Dominicans, and later established the Confraternity of the Rosary(Prayer) in 1218.

NOTE: The term 'rosary' was not generally known at the time of Dominic, generally, the term '150 Aves' or the 'Marian Psalter' was used instead to refer to the beads devoutly prayed.

The Hail Mary also at that time only consisted of the first half of the prayer, without 'Jesus' at the end.

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