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It is tolerably obvious that whenever any prayer has to be repeated a large number of times recourse is likely to be had to some mechanical apparatus less troublesome than counting upon the fingers.In almost all countries, then, we meet with something in the nature of prayer-counters or rosary beads.Please see our How to Recite the Holy Rosary sheet in PDF format, and feel free to copy and distribute it freely. "The Rosary", says the Roman Breviary , "is a certain form of prayer wherein we say fifteen decades or tens of Hail Marys with an Our Father between each ten, while at each of these fifteen decades we recall successively in pious meditation one of the mysteries of our Redemption." The same lesson for the Feast of the Holy Rosary informs us that when the Albigensian heresy was devastating the country of Toulouse, St.
Dominic whom different Supreme Pontiffs have in various past ages of their apostolic letters declared to be the institutor and author of the same devotion." That many popes have so spoken is undoubtedly true, and amongst the rest we have a series of encyclicals, beginning in 1883, issued by Pope Leo XIII, which, while commending this devotion to the faithful in the most earnest terms, assumes the institution of the Rosary by St. Of the remarkable fruits of this devotion and of the extraordinary favours which have been granted to the world, as is piously believed, through this means, something will be said under the headings F EAST OF THE ROSARY and C ONFRATERNITIES OF THE ROSARY .
The charters and other deeds of the Dominican convents for men and women, as M.
Jean Guiraud points out with emphasis in his edition of the Cartulaire of La Prouille (I, cccxxviii), are equally silent.
We will confine ourselves here to the controverted question of its history, a matter which both in the middle of the eighteenth century and again in recent years has attracted much attention.
Let us begin with certain facts which will not be contested.The most conclusive evidence of this is furnished by the "Mary-legends", or stories of Our Lady, which obtained wide circulation at this epoch. 1140) by his contemporary biographer, who tells us: "A hundred times a day he bent his knees, and fifty times he prostrated himself raising his body again by his fingers and toes, while he repeated at every genuflexion : 'Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb'." This was the whole of the Hail Mary as then said, and the fact of all the words being set down rather implies that the formula had not yet become universally familiar.