Objective: Students will learn a brief history about the Rosary, the meaning behind the devotion, and the profound mysteries surrounding it.

The word rosary comes from Latin and means a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. If you were to ask what object is most emblematic of Catholics, people would probably say, "The rosary, of course." We’re familiar with the images: the silently moving lips of the old woman fingering her beads; the oversized rosary hanging from the waist of the wimpled nun; more recently, the merely decorative rosary hanging from the rearview mirror.

The rosary is a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary. It consists of a set number of specific prayers. First are the introductory prayers: one Apostles’ Creed (Credo), one Our Father (the Pater Noster or the Lord’s Prayer), three Hail Mary’s (Ave’s), one Glory Be (Gloria Patri).

It’s commonly said that St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans), instituted the rosary. Not so. Certain parts of the rosary predated Dominic; others arose only after his death.

Centuries before Dominic, monks had begun to recite all 150 psalms on a regular basis. As time went on, it was felt that the lay brothers, known as the conversi, should have some form of prayer of their own. They were distinct from the choir monks, and a chief distinction was that they were illiterate. Since they couldn’t read the psalms, they couldn’t recite them with the monks. They needed an easily remembered prayer.

The prayer first chosen was the Our Father, and, depending on circumstances, it was said either fifty or a hundred times. These conversi used rosaries to keep count, and the rosaries were known then as Paternosters ("Our Fathers").

Both Catholics and non-Catholics, as they learn more about the rosary and make more frequent use of it, come to see how its meditations bring to mind the sweet fragrance not only of the Mother of God, but of Christ himself.

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What others have been saying about this course:

Tammy Wallar

“This was a good start. Makes me want to learn more and has made me aware of the facts of the rosary.”

“This was a good start. Makes me want to learn more and has made me aware of the facts of the rosary.”

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Luci Harty

“A quick review of what the rosary is and how we can use it to become better Christians.”

“A quick review of what the rosary is and how we can use it to become better Christians.”

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Kent Wood Ratunil

“I've learned a lot about the Holy Rosary. Thank you...”

“I've learned a lot about the Holy Rosary. Thank you...”

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kelly Mcclusky

“Awesome. Thank you, I shared this with my daughter”

“Awesome. Thank you, I shared this with my daughter”

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Debra McAdams

“A wonderful course on a Sunday morning combined with video'd Mass”

“A wonderful course on a Sunday morning combined with video'd Mass”

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Mason Taylor

“A concise overview of the most powerful prayer weapon. ”

“A concise overview of the most powerful prayer weapon. ”

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Course curriculum

  • 01

    The Rosary: History, Mystery, and Meaning

    Show Content
    • Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • The Rosary: History, Mystery, and Meaning - STUDY GUIDE
    • The Rosary: History, Mystery, and Meaning - VIDEO
    • The Rosary: History, Mystery, and Meaning - QUIZ

Instructor(s)

Instructor Bio:

Deacon Keith Fournier has been ordained as a Deacon for twenty four years. He and his wife have been married for 44 years. Together they raised five children and have seven grandchildren.

Deacon Fournier holds his Bachelors Degree (BA) in Theology and Philosophy from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He holds his Juris Doctor in Law (JD) from the University of Pittsburgh Law School. He holds His Masters Degree in Sacred Theology (MTS) from the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University. He holds His Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Moral Theology from the Catholic University of America. He is currently working toward completion of a Doctorate in Moral Theology by completing his dissertation.

Deacon Fournier is serving the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, under Bishop Joseph Strickland. He serves at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and works with the Bishop. He is the General Legal Counsel for the Diocese of Tyler. He is also the Director of Deacon Formation for the Diocese of Tyler. Finally, He is the Dean of Catholic identity for the Bishop Gorman catholic School in the Diocese of Tyler.

Deacon Keith Fournier is the Dean and Chaplain of Catholic Online School.

Deacon Keith Fournier

Dean of Students

Deacon Keith Fournier