Friday, October 07, 2016

The Carthusian Rosary

Since today is the feast of the Holy Rosary, and yesterday was that of St Bruno, it seems like a good day to share an article I stumbled across some time ago on the Carthusian Rosary. Many religious orders have traditionally used a form of rosary different from that of the Dominicans, which is of course the most widely known and practiced; the Franciscans have a Crown of the Seven Joys, the Servites that of the Seven Sorrows. Tomorrow is the EF feast of St Bridget of Sweden, and Monday was St Thérèse of Lisieux, both of whose orders have a rosary that is like the Dominican one, but with six mysteries per set; the Immaculate Conception is added as the first Joyful Mystery, the removal of Christ’s body from the Cross as the last Sorrowful, and the Virgin’s Patronage of the Order as the last Glorious.

The Carthusian Rosary, with the austerity which characterizes everything about the Order’s way of life, has 50 Aves, and a different “mystery” for each one. In some places, it is the custom to interpolate into the Hail Mary a few words which refer to the particular mystery, as e.g. “Ave Maria, gratia plena... Jesus, qui resurrexit a mortuis. Sancta Maria etc.” for the Resurrection, or “Jesus, quem Virgo concepisti” for the Annunciation. In the article, you can find a list of fifty such interpolations, along with a bit more history of the Carthusian rosary; here are just the first three.

1. …Jesus, conceived of the Holy Spirit during the Annunciation of the Angel.
2. … Jesus, who together with you who has conceived him, visits Saint Elizabeth.
3. … Jesus, to whom you, virgin in body and soul, have given birth with joy.

From our post in last July of historical images from the Charterhouse of Barcelona, these photos show Carthusians with their rosaries, in choir in the first image, and in the cell in the second.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: