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20 Oct 2015 News Vatican Comments (2)

Catholics lead calls for court to spare life of death-row inmate

A group of religious leaders have urged the Supreme Court to halt the execution of Rodricus Crawford in Louisiana More than 100 religious leaders-more than h…

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20 Oct 2015 Australia News No comments

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10 Nov 2014 Articles Comments (1)

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12 Nov 2015 News Vatican No comments

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23 Jul 2015 Articles Resources No comments

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21 Oct 2014 Q&A Comments (12)

Is there anyone who we know for certain is in Hell?

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30 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

Were Catholic doctrines such as purgatory and papal primacy really universal in the early Church?

Full Question Why does the Catholic Church claim (from Vatican I) that its doctrines can be verified by the "universal and unanimous consent of the Fathers…

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04 Nov 2015 News USA Comments (1)

Derrick Yearout,a Homeless Man says "Trip to Rome has given him a new outlook on life".

An organization committed to providing awareness of people typically living on the streets in the Denver community and providing opportunities to serve them as …

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Why is the rosary referred to as the “poor man’s psalter”?

Full Question

I recently heard a priest refer to the rosary as a “poor man’s salter.” What did he mean?


A psalter—not salter—is a book that contains the 150 Psalms. Before printing was invented, books were fabulously expensive. Most of the world was illiterate and poor, and poor men did not own books. Often only monastic communities and churches had books. The book of the Psalms was used for the daily recitation of prayers (something that continues today).

The common folk wanted to pray daily like the monks but had no books to read the psalms from. Not up to memorizing all 150 Psalms, they recited an Our Father or Hail Mary in the place of each psalm.

They strung 150 beads together, one for each psalm, so they could keep count. Other prayers and meditations were added to this beaded string of 15 decades, until we arrived at the rosary we have today.

Catholic Answers Staff


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