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::Fr. John is right about this. While Early Christians, particularly monastics, made prayer ropes from wool, Muslims (perhaps mimicking this tradition) made their tasbih, or prayer beads, from wood, bone, or precious stones in order to meditate on the 99 names of Allah. To me, it would seem that the rosary receives most of its "inspiration" from this. Around the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the practice of repeating the "Hail Mary" prayer on a string of beads came into being, just after the First Crusade. From my understanding as a former Roman Catholic, the intention of the praying the rosary is not in pure devotion, but meditating on the "mysteries" prescribed by the Roman Church, which seems to be similar to the tasbih's purpose of aiding the adherent in the act of dhikhr, or remembrance. Furthermore, one of the benefits in praying the rosary according to the Roman Church is that it is a vehicle towards receiving indulgences - either plenary or impartial. If anyone has read about the "Fifteen Promises of the Rosary," you know what I am talking about. Some of these promises make a canon lawyer salivate.
For convenience I have provided a link to them. [http://rosarycreations.com/rosarypromises.htm Rosary Promises]Sorry for butting in. I usually just read Orthodoxwiki, while letting my wife do all the editing. But being a former Roman Catholic, this has piqued my interest. [[User:Mike|Mike]] 20:41, July 4, 2007 (PDT)
== The source for this article is itself lacking in any scholarly sources ==