The word Rosary comes from the Latin word rosarium, which means “Rose garden”, “The Rosary”.
This derivative explains the origin of this prayer for Mary. In the thirteenth century, nobles usually crowned their beloved with rose wreaths. At that time there was a popular requirement for the Knights to swear the faithfulness to the Blessed Virgin Mary. There was a custom “to crown” The Sacred Mother, putting a wreath of roses on her image or donating a spiritual “rose wreath” in a Rosary prayer.
It was in that period that Domingo de Guzman, who became known in the name of St. Dominyko, arrived in southern France to preach to the secterians albigenes. In 1208 he saw the Our Lady by praying in the chapel of Prujo. He saw Virgin Mary who taught him how to speak the whole Rosary and called him to teach others for the protection from heresy and sin.
The whole Christian world soon became aware of the enormous power of Rosary. Holy Thomas Aquinas (about 1225 – 1274) preached about the Rosary. Francis Salez (1567 – 1622) and John Vianey (1786 – 1859) were also greatly devoted to it. St. Louis Maria Grignan Monforietis (1673 – 1716) wrote: “Rosary is the most powerful weapon that touches the heart of our Redeemer Jesus who loves his mother.” In later times, the Blessed Father, Pius (1887 – 1968) often spoke about the effectiveness of Rosary prayer, he said: “Rosary is my weapon.”
The first march of the Rosary Crusade took place in 1571; It was launched by Pope Pius V to defend the Christian Europe from the invaded Muslim forces. After the opponents fleets were confronted, Rosary was talked frequently for the victory, and on 7th of October, Christian Armada Lepanto smashed the Turkish navy in the battle. The Venetian Senate officially declared that “the battle was won not by the generals or the battalions, but by the Our Lady of the Rosary”. In gratitude and acknowledging that victory was achieved with the help of Mary, on October 7th the Pope announced a victory celebration day of the Our Lady.
Two years later, Pope Gregory XIII renamed this day to the Sacred Rosary celebration, transferred it to the first sunday of October, and allowed to celebrate it in the churches with Rosary altars. in 1716, the Christian forces again defeated the turks in Hungary. At that time, Pope Clement XI gave the permission to celebrate this day for all the churches. Later, Pope Pius X again brought this day of celebration to the 7th of October. In 1960, it was renamed to festival of The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in 1969 the Our Lady of the Rosary. Now it is obligatory to celebrate it, and the month of October is devoted to the Rosary.
It became popular to self-sacrifice in the nineteenth century for the Our Lady of Pompei, and contributed to the spreading of the Rosary. In the twentieth century the appearence of Our Lady of Fatima spread this message even more widely. on 13th of October in 1917, the mother of Fatima told the children: “I am a Mother of Rosary. I came to warn the devotees that they would fix their lives and would ask for forgiveness of sins…. People must speak Rosary. Let them speak every day. ”
In 1930, the church officially confirmed the truthfulness of the apparitions and not only allowed, but also in every way promoted the piety to Fatima, the Queen of Rosary. Lucy was the oldest of three seers. She was then 10 years old; Francis – 9; Jacinta – 7. Three children, from the nearby village of Aljustrel, in Fatima grazed sheep. On the 13th of May in 1917, as every day, all three spoke Rosary together, suddenly about noon they saw a blinded light. At first, the children thought it was lightning. But the light was continuous, and suddenly in this light shining woman with a white clothes and a Rosary in her hand appeared. The Blessed Virgin told the children that if mankind will not open to the prayer, great calamities will come upon them; She encoureged to speak Rosary, to pray for peace and for the conversion of sinners.
At it’s first appearence on May 13, 1917, Mary asked the children to return to the same place after a month. On 13th of June, the children met Mary again. The manifestation again recurred on 13th of July. During that time, the sound of Mary’s apparitions was spread quite widely. The stories of a children of their vision of the woman in bright robes irritated the local government. The mayor of the closest city of Villa Nova de Ourem ordered to arrest the children and attempted to persuade that the story of Mary’s apparitions was just a teenage fiction. The three shepherds couldn’t meet with Mary at the agreed time on 13th of August because they were imprisoned. But as soon as three children were free Mary appeared on 19th of August. Then, on 13th of September the last appearence took place on 13th of October. The sound of apparitions was already spread far beyond Portugal.
In 1917 on 13th of October in Fatima gathered about 70 thousand of believers and courious people. On that day, Mary told to the children that she was the Queen of the Holy Rosary and encoureged for a intense prayer for the salvation of mankind. Only three children saw The Virgin Mary. The multitude of seventy thousand people, although did not see Virgin Mary, saw the other extraordinary phenomena accompanying the manifestation: The solar disc was stained with a bright red color, it seemed that the sun was turning toward the earth at high speed. And this was not just a hallucation of the participants, there was no collective psychosis at a time. The extraordinary picture that contradicted meteorology was captured, and images captured in photographs can be seen today. Three children survived their remarkable religious experience in their childish understanding, but this does not mean that it is lacking of seriousness and authenticity. Especially the little Francis Marto was grieving because of the people insulting Jesus with their behavior. At the end of Mary’s manifestation, he prayed intensively and explained to others that his prayer would comfort and calm the offended Jesus.
Over the centuries, many people spoke and will speak the Rosary – at first fifteen, now in the twenty mysteries they are contemplating and turning to the Heart of motherly Mary, calling Her for help and praying for health. And Mary always carry out the promises of Rosary given to St. Dominic, providing special grace, custody, and other blessings to all who serve her with confidence in speaking the Rosary.