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A string of beads makes counting easier, and so it is also easier for those who pray, to use a string of beads to direct their thoughts to God.  The Rosary is a string of beads on which we pray the Our Father, and the Hail Mary and the Glory Be...  These are special prayers, because the Our Father and Hail Mary were given to us by God.  Christ, the Son of God, gave us the Our Father when his disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. 

 It is certain that Our Heavenly Father hears this prayer, because it was given to us by His son, and we are His followers.  The Hail Mary is in two parts.  The first is the divinely inspired greeting which Mary received when the Angel Gabriel saluted her as the Mother of God.  The last part, (Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death), was added in 430 A.D. by the Council of Ephesus.  These words identify Mary as the Mother of God, and ask for help help in time of need.

 While these Divine prayers have been with us more than 2,000 years, some people have forgotten their importance, and, even though holy men and women have tried to re-awaken us to God's love, they have found only partial success.  Mary is our Spiritual Mother.  We must listen to her.  It is through her that we have the easiest and most direct route to her Son.

Mary Helps

In the year 1214., St. Dominic, a holy man, felt very unhappy because no matter how hard he tried, he could not seem to convince people to change their lives and love god, Jesus, and His Mother.  During his prayers one day, Mary appeared to him and said, "Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?  In this warfare, the main weapon is the Angelic Psalter (Rosary) which is the foundation stone of the New Testament."

The Angelic Psalter (Rosary) was also known as the Psalter of Jesus and Mary, because the fifteen decades of ten Hail Marys each contained as many Angelic Salutations as the 150 Psalms in the Book of David (David's Psalter).  The Book of David is still widely read today.

Dominic made the Psalter of Jesus and Mary easier to say by arranging the repeated prayers into three parts of five mysteries each.  The Joyful Mysteries recall the events in the early life of Jesus, the sorrowful Mysteries tell of the suffering and death of Jesus, while the Glorious Mysteries describe God's glory, power and love.  The Rosary encourages both mental meditations on each of the Mysteries, and the vocal recitation of the Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be.

Jesus Helps

Dominic began to preach devotion to the Holy Rosary, and formed a Confraternity to encourage its daily us.  The popularity of this devotion spread for about one hundred years, but then started to decline. 

In 1460, Blessed Alan de la Roche, a Dominican, was saying Mass one day when Our Lord spoke to him in the Sacred Host.  He said, "Alan, you have crucified Me once by your earlier sins, and now you are doing it again because I have given you the knowledge you need, but you are not preaching My Mother's Rosary.  Since you are not doing this, you are guilty of the sins which others commit."  This warning led Blessed Alan to preach about the Rosary at every opportunity.  Devotion to the Rosary began to spread again, and continues to this day.

Its Meaning 

The word Rosary means "Crown of Roses," and when said devoutly, honors Jesus and Mary.  Each prayer is like a heavenly rose which will neither fade, nor lose its heavenly beauty. 

The Chronicles of St. Francis tell of a young friar who regularly prayed the Rosary before his evening meal.  One day he was not able to do this, and so asked to be excused until he could.  Because he was slow in returning, two other friars were sent for him.  They, and then two others, found the first friar kneeling in his light-filled room facing Our Lady who was accompanied by two angels.  Each Hail Mary he said became a beautiful rose which the angels placed before Our Lady as she smiled approval.

Its Importance 

Next to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is no other devotion more preferred by Our Lady.  She highly regards those who work to preach the devotion, to establish it, and spread it.  Likewise, she firmly punishes those who work against it.

Our Lady has appeared on many occasions.  Each time, she has left a loving message for us to heed and practice.  She has made certain promises for those who recite her Rosary.

Mary's Promises

Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.

I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.

The Rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for Eternal Things.  Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.

Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune.  God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of Eternal Life.

Whosoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.

Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plentitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in Paradise.

I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in heaven.

You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.

All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

I have obtained from My Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour death.

All who recite the Rosary are my sons, and the brothers of My Only Son Jesus Christ.

Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

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