The rosary (from the Latin rosārium, "rosebush")-which from the 13th century acquired the religious meaning indicating prayers that form like a "crown," in the Latin meaning of corōna (i.e., garland of roses, to Our Lady)-is a devotional and contemplative prayer with a litany-like character typical of the Latin rite of the Catholic Church.

The word "rosary" comes from a medieval custom of placing a wreath of roses on statues of the Virgin; these roses were symbolic of "beautiful" and "fragrant" prayers addressed to Mary. Thus was born the idea of using a necklace of beads (the crown) to guide meditation. In the 13th century, the monks of theCistercian Order elaborated, from this necklace, a new prayer that they called the rosary, since they compared it to a crown of mystical roses offered to the Virgin.The rosary prayer is currently composed of 15 to 20 "mysteries" (significant events, moments or episodes) from the life of Christ and Mary, grouped into "crowns." Each crown includes meditation on five mysteries and the recitation of fifty Hail Marys divided into groups of ten (tens or "posts")[6]. Since the five mysteries added by John Paul II are optional, it can be said that the prayer thus includes fifteen mysteries ("joyful mysteries," "sorrowful mysteries," and "glorious mysteries").

The full and classical version of the meditation involves the contemplation of all fifteen mysteries and then the recitation, among other things, of one hundred and fifty Hail Marys, with the very ancient and intentional analogy with the one hundred and fifty psalms of the Psalter[7]. Since 2002, with the optional addition of the five "luminous mysteries," twenty "posts" are counted for a total of two hundred Hail Marys.

The count is kept by sliding the beads of the "rosary beads" or "rosary beads," written with a lowercase initial for the purpose of distinguishing the object from the prayer, between the fingers.

It is recited in the current language or in Latin.

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