These days, we have it easy. Books are everywhere: good books, forgettable books, thick books, slim books, even bad books, unfortunately. If we met someone who didn’t own a single book, we’d probably look at them like they were crazy. How could you not own books?
And yet, book-owning is a fairly recent development. The first printing press appeared in Western Europe halfway through the 15th century. Before that, every book was extremely valuable property. Only the very wealthy could afford one.
Relative to this, most people couldn’t read. This meant that the only Scriptures they had access to were the readings they heard at Mass and the Mass itself (which was almost entirely scriptural) and the psalms in the daily prayers of religious.
Many people wanted to pray with the monks and nuns, but being illiterate and not owning a “psalter”—a book of the 150 psalms—they instead prayed an Our Father or Hail Mary in the place of every psalm.
To keep track of how many psalms they had prayed, they began stringing beads together or knotting ropes into the proper number. Eventually, these 150 beads or knots became the Rosary as we know it today.
These humble beginnings belie the power of this spiritual weapon. The Rosary crushes evil enemies and transforms hearts. In his book 10 Wonders of the Rosary, beloved Mariologist Fr. Donald H. Calloway tells the facts about ten triumphs and miracles wrought by the Rosary. You’ll learn about the Battle of Lepanto (the reason why October 7th is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary), about St. Dominic and his devotion to this prayer, and so much more! Available today at The Catholic Company!