OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY
Prouille, a hamlet in Languedoc, France, is known as “the cradle of the Dominicans.
Our Lady of the Rosary refers to an alleged apparition that appeared to a Spanish preacher, Domingo de Guzman, later to become Saint Dominic. The holy man travelled to southern France to oppose the Albegesian heresy which by 1208 A.D. was spreading rapidly.
In the year 1208, while he was allegedly praying in a chapel in Prouille, France, the apparition of the Blessed Virgin came to him. She gave him the Rosary and urged him to preach the Rosary to all devout Christians as a remedy against heresy and sin.
Domingo de Guzman founded an order of preaching friars who set out to quash the Albegesian heresy and establish monasteries all over the world. It was the beginning of the Dominican Friars, or the Dominicans.
Our Lady of the Rosary is also a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to the method of prayer known as the rosary, whose origin has been attributed to a Marian apparition to Saint Dominic in Prouille.
In 1571 Pope Pius V instituted "Our Lady of Victory" as an annual feast to commemorate the victory of Lepanto. The victory was attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a rosary procession had been offered on that day in St. Peter's Square in Rome for the success of the mission of the Holy League to hold back Muslim forces from overrunning Western Europe. In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title of this feast-day to "Feast of the Holy Rosary" and in 1969, Pope Paul VI changed the name of the feast to "Our Lady of the Rosary".
The Holy Rosary, a form of prayer in which an Our Father, ten Hail Marys and a Glory Be to the Father (together forming a "decade of the Rosary") are recited five times while meditating on the mysteries of the life of Jesus and Mary to be followed by a prayer called the "Hail Holy Queen".
The rosary, as a "devotional path" to the Virgin Mary, has been a source of inspiration for a number of Roman Catholic figures. For instance, in his encyclical Rosarium Virginis Mariae Pope John Paul II discusses the inspiration of the rosary. Rosary beads are not always used for purely Marian prayers, and other Rosary based prayers (e.g. Rosary of the Holy Wounds directed to Jesus Christ) also exist in the Roman Catholic tradition.