It is the stealth prayer of this century. Promoted by St. Dominic in the Sixteenth Century, its history dates back via 1232 to earliest Christianity, when the Desert Fathers kept track of their prayers with knotted ropes. Devout Anglicans and Lutherans have their own versions, but Catholics recite a sophisticated form that can be used by everyone from children to intellectuals. The meditative version makes use of a method taught even through Eastern meditation, with a mantra (the Hail Mary) that does better service than the Eastern “Ohmm.”
The apparitions of Christ’s Mother, approved by the Church, all make mention of the rosary, and Catholics tend to use it as a personal form of prayer. It can be recited on the ten fingers when you want to keep your prayer secret (which is often) and its ambidextrous or double mental preoccupation (keeping the mind occupied with recitation of a prayer and meditation) is to me a way of staving off Alzheimer’s. That may be a personal thought.
When I complete a rosary I feel I have really communicated with God, with the ethereal, and done what Jesus recommended, prayed. So far, my friends show they enjoy good fortune, and hey, what else to pray for?