Taken from Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI
The historical origin of the rosary lies in the Middle Ages. People looked for some kind of psalter for them and found the prayers to Mary with the mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ, strung out like beads on a necklace. They touch you in a meditative way, so that the repetition allows the soul to settle into tranquility and, holding fast to the Word, above all to the figure of Mary and to the images of Christ that pass you by, make your soul calm and free and grant it a vision of God. The rosary does in fact provide a link for us with this primitive knowledge that repetition is a part of prayer, of meditation, that repetition is a way of settling oneself into the rhythm of tranquility. It's a matter of allowing myself to be carried away by the calm of repetition and of steady rhythm. So much the more so, since this text does not lack content. It brings great images and visions and above all the figure of Mary - and through her the figure of Jesus - before my eyes.
These people had needed a prayer to bring them calm, to take them out of themselves, away from their troubles, and set before them consolation and healing. This basic experience in the history of religion, of repetition, of rhythm, of words in unison, of singing together, which carries me and soothes me and fills my space, which does not torment me, but lets me be still and comforts me and sets me free, has here become fully Christian, in that people pray quite simply in the Marian context and in that of the appearance of Christ to men, and yet at the same time let this prayer be internalized them - where the soul becomes one with the words.
Our Lady of the Rosary.... Pray for Us!