Originally the Rosary was called the Psalter of Mary because, just as the Psalter of David consists of 150 psalms, so also in the Rosary there are 150 Hail Marys. Legend has it that one fact led to the changing of its name. A devout young man is said to have been in the habit of quite frequently adorning pictures of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary with roses. Later, this young man entered the religious life. However, inside the friary, this pious man could no longer bring flowers to the Immaculate Virgin Mary and that made him very sad. While thus afflicted, he was visited by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, who told him: “Recite my Psalter devoutly and you shall adorn me with the most beautiful of flowers.” The man therefore began to recite the Rosary and immediately saw that, for every Hail Mary, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary took out of his mouth a beautiful rose and wove a beautiful lily. Hence the denomination “Rosary.” Besides the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer and the Ave Maria (Angelic Salutation), an essential part of the Rosary is also the meditation on the mysteries of the life of Christ and of the Holy Mother of God. The origin of the Rosary is known to all. In a certain town St. Dominic could not convert some heretics, so he turned to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom he had been very devoted since childhood, asking for help. The Queen of Heaven showed him the Rosary and instructed him to spread it. Saint Dominic set to work with zeal and from then on, he was able to save easily a large number of misguided souls, so many that they numbered over 100,000 people, in a short period of time. The whole Catholic world received the Holy Rosary with enthusiasm, while countless graces and miracles of conversion attested to its supernatural origin. The Popes have recommended it highly. Thus, for instance, Adrian VI stated that “the Rosary vanquishes Satan”; Paul III said: “Through the Rosary St. Dominic held the wrath of God away from France and Italy”; Julius III declared: “The Rosary is the ornament of the Roman Church”; Gregory XIV: “The Rosary is eradication of sin, recovery of grace, growth of the glory of God”; Paul V: “The Rosary is a treasure trove of graces”; Urban VIII: “Through the Rosary the number of most fervent Christians increases”; Pius IX: “If you want peace to reign in your hearts and in your families, gather every evening to pray the Rosary”; and Leo XIII in one of his encyclicals on the Rosary said: “We urge all the faithful most strongly to pray the Rosary publicly in churches or in private homes and in families. As far as they can, may they never leave that holy practice behind.” Also, the Popes have enriched the Holy Rosary with many indulgences. One can obtain 100 days of indulgence for every Our Father and each Hail Mary, as long as at least a third part of the Rosary is recited. Anyone may profit from that indulgence in public prayers, under the privilege granted by Pius IX (the 22nd of January 1858), provided that at least one of the people there uses the Rosary beads.
15 Promises for praying the Holy Rosary given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche
1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive significant graces.
2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all who shall recite the Rosary.
3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
4. It will cause virtue and 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 of eternal things. Souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
6. Whoever 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.
7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who are faithful in reciting the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces. At the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in Paradise.
9. I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
13. 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 of death.
14. All who recite the Rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Taken from Knight of the Immaculata no. 19 available to download at