From the time Saint Dominic established the devotion to the holy rosary up to the time when Blessed Alan de la Roche re-established it in 1460, it has always been called the ‘Psalter of Jesus and Mary’. This is because it has the same number of Hail Marys as there are psalms in the Book of the Psalms of David. Ever since Blessed Alan de la Roche re-established this devotion, it was given the name of the rosary, which means “crown of roses.” That is to say that every time people pray the holy rosary devoutly they place on the head of the Blessed Virgin Mary 153 white roses and sixteen red roses. These roses will never fade or lose their beauty for they are heavenly flowers.
Our Lady has approved and confirmed this name of the rosary. She has revealed that each time one prays a Hail Mary one gives to her a beautiful rose. Each time one completes the holy rosary one makes for her a crown of roses. So the complete rosary is a large crown of roses and each chaplet of five decades is a little wreath of flowers or a little crown of heavenly roses which we place on the head of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The rose is the queen of flowers and so the holy rosary is the rose of devotions and the most important of them.
(This concludes the 4-part series on the History of the Rosary by St. Louis Marie De Montfort)