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Notre Dame du Laus

Origin of the word “rosary”

It was the custom of ancient peoples in the East, to offer crowns of roses to distinguished persons; and the early Christians were pleased to honor in this way the images of the Blessed Virgin and the relics of the martyrs.

An illustrious bishop, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, full of piety towards the Mother of God the Savior, was inspired to substitute for the material crown of roses a spiritual crown of prayers, convinced that it would be more pleasing to the Blessed Queen of the Church. For this purpose he composed a long series or crown of prayers, woven from the most beautiful praises, the most glorious titles and the most excellent prerogatives of Mary.

Saint Brigid, patroness of Ireland, perfected this pious thought in the fifth century. She brought the thought of St. Gregory within the reach of all, by substituting for the beautiful prayers he had composed, but which the people did not know, the even more beautiful prayers, and moreover all popular, of the Creed, the Pater and the Ave Maria. – And so that one knew, by a material indication, where one was in the recitation of these prayers, it adopted the use of the hermits of the Thebaid, and threaded grains of stone or wood in the shape of crown. – Rosary means crown of roses. They are spiritual roses, prayers full of love with which we adorn the head of our Mother.

The Rosary is thus a very simple and easy way of praying to the good Lord and of rendering to His holy Mother the duties due to Her.

(Father Huguet)

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