Do you know the Redemptorist Rosary? Know more about its meaning and symbols.
The dress worn by Redemptorist Missionaries has been the same since the congregation was founded. It was designed by St. Alphonsus, its founder. Since we have already talked about the dress in another publication, today we want to highlight the Redemptorist Rosary.
It is a rosary like any other one, comprising its four chaplets, that is, 20 tens, totalizing 200 Hail Marys, and a number of Lord’s Prayers and Glories to the Father, and also the Creed. It is distinguished from other rosaries by the medals it bears and the way it is attached around the waist.
History of the Rosary
But before anything, let’s remember the history of what is considered the best-known form of Marian prayer. The Hail Mary prayer was conceived little by little throughout the history of the Church. The first part was introduced around the 6th century. The second part, “Saint Mary, Mother of God...” was only adopted in the 15th century. However, the Hail Mary was already recited in repetition in the so-called “Psaltery of the Hail Mary,” where prayers were repeated 150 times, starting from the 11th and 12th centuries.
Overall, the idea of a rosary, comprising tens of Hail Marys, interspersed with some Lord’s Prayers and a meditation on the evangelical mysteries, came up in the 15th century. Until in the 16th century, and more precisely in 1569, Pope Pius V, through the bull “Consueverunt romani pontifices,” consecrated the form of the Rosary as we currently know it.
Talking about the Redemptorist Dress again
The Redemptorist Dress bears some particular symbols. The medals are the first ones. The first medal shows on a side an image of St. Alphonsus, and on the other side the Most Holy Redeemer with the wordings: “Copiosa apud eum Redemptio,” which means: “Redemption in Him is Plentiful” (Psalm 130), which summarizes Redemptorist spirituality. The image of the Most Holy Redeemer reminds us that St. Alphonsus consecrated the congregation to Him.
At the start of the rosary there is also another medal, which comes before the contemplation of the mysteries. It may bear any image of Virgin Mary, and there isn’t an established pattern for that medal. In this dress that belongs to Father Camilo Júnior, the medal bears an image of Our Lady of Graces.
Another detail that may go unnoticed is that the Redemptorist Rosary is placed around the waist in the shape of letter M, to remember the missionaries’ filial devotion to the Virgin Mary, taking Her as their model of loyalty to God.
In some occasions, missionaries can be seen bearing a large cross around the waist. It is the Missionary Cross, which each worshipper receives on the day of his or her religious profession. Today, those worshippers who work in the Saint Missions wear it when they go on a mission.
The Redemptorist Rosary is an expression of all the love a Missionary devotes to Our Lady. St. Alphonsus was the great herald of the Glories of Mary, and every missionary has the duty of manifesting Mary’s presence in their lives and in people’s faith, and to bear it as a sign of his/her consecration and devotion.