The Brigittine Rosary

Our veneration of Mary, the Mother of God, Mother of us all,  and Mother of the Church, is often mistaken as Mary-worship by non-Catholics.  They often see praying the Rosary as a form of idolatry.

While we certainly don’t worship our Blessed Mother, we definitely acknowledge her importance in the birth of Christianity and the life of the Church.  In his book, Mary, Mirror of the Church, by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, Mary is silent in Jesus’ life,  except in the ” events that form the Christian mystery:  the incarnation, the paschal mystery, and Pentecost…..Following Mary in each of these fundamental steps will help us to really and resolutely follow Christ so that we can live his entire mystery.”

Praying the Rosary enriches our meditation and understanding of these mysteries.  The Rosary isn’t praying to Mary as much as invoking her assistance to bring us closer to Jesus through the mysteries contemplated in the prayer.  As Wise Friend often reminds me, “Jesus is our life; Mary is the way.”

The Rosary which is most commonly prayed is the Dominican Rosary; however, other forms of this beautiful prayer are less known but equally effective.  The oldest form of the Rosary is the Clausular Rosary.  Another form is the Brigittine Rosary.

I was recently introduced to the Brigittine Rosary.  Here is Fr. Marco Testa’s explanation of this lesser known, beautiful form of the Rosary:

Brigittine Rosary handmade by Fr. Marco Testa.

The Brigittine (or Saint Bridget of Sweden) Rosary looks similar to a regular Rosary, but with an extra decade.  The resultant seven Pater beads honor the Seven Sorrows of the blessed Virgin Mary, and the sixty-three Ave Maria beads commemorate the sixty-three years it is believed the Blessed Mother lived on earth before her Assumption.  In praying the Brigittine Rosary, there are a total of eighteen decades:  In the six Joyful Mysteries, the first is the Immaculate Conception; the sixth of the sorrowful Mysteries commemorates when the Body of the Lord was placed in the Arms of His sorrowful Mother: and the sixth of the glorious Mysteries is recited in honor of the Patronage of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace (and, for the Carmelite, Mary, queen and Beauty of Carmel).  The other mysteries are the same as in the Dominican Rosary.   However, at the end of each decade, the apostles Creed, not the Glory Be, is recited.

Saint Teresa of Jesus prayed the Rosary daily.  It is believed that while she was traveling throughout Spain, she enjoyed the hospitality of at least one Brigittine Monastery, and from the Brigittines learned to say their six-decade rosary.  The six-decade Rosary was later adopted as the rosary of the discalced Carmelite habit, with a large medal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in addition to, or even in place of, the crucifix found on the Dominican Rosary.  Only six of the eighteen decades are worn, as opposed to the entire fifteen decades of the Dominican Rosary, worn with the religious habits of some other Orders.

Fr. Testa explained that in praying the Luminous Mysteries, he designates the first mystery as the Immaculate Conception, similar to the Joyful Mysteries.

While the Dominican Rosary will continue to be the most common form of the Rosary, sometimes variety gives us a different perspective in our meditation on the life of Jesus as led by His Blessed Mother.

In Canada, the Brigittine Rosary can be ordered from the Sister Disciples of The Divine Master at Liturgical Apostolate Center, North York, Ontario.

Internationally, they can be found on ebay, etsy and here at sistersofcarmel.com.

Deo Gratias

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This entry was posted in Blessed Mother, Catholic, Christian, faith, Mother of God, prayer, rosary, Virgin Mary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Brigittine Rosary

  1. Thanks for this! I had no idea there were other kinds of rosaries. :)

  2. reinkat says:

    Me either! I’ve been Catholic for all of my life, and I never had a clue that there was any variation on the rosary, besides an extra prayer for Our Lady of Fatima. We have a Briggitine Monastery about 60 miles north of our town. I have been thinking about a private retreat there, maybe I can learn even more there about this rosary and the traditions behind it. Thanks for all of this information, I will check out the links.
    I am glad you repeated again for our nonCatholic brothers and sisters that we don’t worship Mary, we honor her. This is common a misconception about Catholicism that it can’t be said often enough. Thanks for another great post.

  3. Kate Kresse says:

    thanks for this. i wasn’t aware of this rosary! I do so wish that all could understand the beauty of the rosary, and the joy and peace from loving and staying close to the Blessed Mother. Thanks so much for this post.

  4. Ryan says:

    Very interesting! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  5. Thank you for sharing. I had known there were other forms of the rosary, but I had not known about this one. Thanks!

  6. Nici Roberson says:

    This is so cool thanks for the awesome share. I had no a clue myself.. but now I do thanks to your awesome blog

  7. Daniel Undem says:

    Very interesting. The church I attend is named after St. Bridget and I had no idea she had her own rosary. Thank you so much for sharing this. God Bless.

  8. You’re welcome, everyone. I didn’t know either, until recently that there are other forms of the rosary besides the commonly prayed Dominican rosary.

  9. Pingback: Make Time For The Rosary | 8 Kids And A Business

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