The Rosary was originally an Orthodox form of prayer that was later adopted by the Roman Catholics. It has since fallen out of common practice in the Church.
The prayer rope was formed by St. Pachomius in the fourth century. From there the rosary developed, some say as early as the eighth century. It is said that St. Seraphim of Sarov used it to pray to the Virgin Theotokos. In the thirteenth century the Roman Catholics started using in the West, due to it's discovery by Dominic de Guzmán, a Spanish priest.
Connection with St. Seraphim
It is said by some that St. Seraphim of Sarov used the rosary as a prayer rule to the Theotokos. Supporting evidence shows that this may be true, seeing that one of his spiritual children, Fr. Zosima, wrote: "...Say the 0 Hail, Mother of God and Virgin one hundred and fifty times... This rule was given by the Mother of God herself in about the eighth century... We Orthodox have forgotten about it, and St. Seraphim has reminded me of this Rule. In my hands I have a hand-written book from the cell of St. Seraphim, containing a description of the many miracles which took place through praying to the Mother of God and especially through saying one hundred and fifty times the O Hail, Mother of God and Virgin... Whomever he spoke to about this miracle-working Rule remained grateful to him...".
The prayers said on this form of the prayer rope are the Hail Mary (Hail Mother of God and Virgin), the Lord's Prayer, and the Jesus Prayer. The Hail Mary prayer is said in groups of ten, and in-between each group of ten are said the Lord's Prayer and the Jesus Prayer. Between each grouping of Hail Marys, a meditation is also pronounced, which is then thought of througout the succeeding Hail Marys.
Meditation 1- The Birth of the Theotokos Meditation 2- The Presentation of the Theotokos Meditation 3- The Annunciation of the Lord's Birth Meditation 4- The Meeting of the Theotokos and St. Elizabeth Meditation 5- The Birth of the Lord Meditation 6- The Prophecy of St. Simeon Meditation 7- The Flight into Egypt Meditation 8- The Boy-Christ among the Doctors Meditation 9- The Wedding of Cana Meditation 10- The Crucifixion of the Lord Meditation 11- The Resurrection of the Lord Meditation 12- The Ascension of the Lord into Heaven Meditation 13- Pentecost Meditation 14- The Dormition of the Virgin Theotokos Meditation 15- The Crowning of the Theotokos by the Blessed Trinity