Religion: Mary's Beads

In an apostolic letter to the world's Roman Catholics, Pope John XXIII last week made a plea for more frequent recitation of the rosary as a way of praying for peace. "The rosary of Mary," he wrote, "becomes the elevation of a great public and universal prayer for the ordinary and extraordinary needs of the Holy Church, of the nations and of the whole world."

The Rose Garland. The popularity of the rosary is growing in the modern world, along with increased devotion to the Virgin Mary. The use of prayer beads recedes into the earliest years of Christianity. In the 4th...

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