New York: Hawthorn Books, 1961. First edition. Small folio (10 1/8 inches tall), original half gold and magenta cloth, original dust jacket. Book fine, dust jacket with minor wear to the spine ends, two closed tears, a small chip and gentle creasing to the base of the back panel. A near-fine copy. Item #385
First edition of Fr. Francis Beauchesne Thornton's history and guide to the Mysteries of the Rosary, illustrated with 17 original drawings by Alex Ross and clad in a dust jacket designed by Ernest Reichl. When the Dominicans "introduced the custom of chanting the rosary in the same fashion employed at Vespers, with the Gloria at the end of each mystery, the practice soon spread to the whole of Europe. The rosary, as we know it, was complete." The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary and This is the Rosary was published in October, 1961, part of the publisher's series of religious guides which included This is the Mass (1958), This is Rome (1960), and This is the Holy Land (1961). The text, prefaced by the prayer "Queen of the Holy Rosary" and Father Thornton's Author's Note, consists of Part One: Origins and Devotions, Part Two: The Joyful Mysteries, Part Three: The Sorrowful Mysteries, Part Four: The Glorious Mysteries.
The Rosary has always been a favorite extra-liturgical devotion of the popes. Father Thornton's Dedication: "To His Holiness, Pope John Paul XXIII/with filial respect/and affection" precedes a brief Introduction by Pope John XXIII: "This prayer--the Holy Rosary--is the simplest and easiest one of all for the Christian people, and Our venerable predecessors have enriched it with much praise and many blessings." (On the Rosary, Sept.28, 1960). Pope John Paul II later added the five Luminous Mysteries in his apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (2002). Approbations. A handsome book.