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Study says praying the Rosary is good for your health

Reciting the Rosary is good for a person's health because of the calming power of prayer, according to researches from the University of Pavia in Italy.

Repeating the prayer slows down breathing, thereby improving the workings of the heart and lungs, according to the research team.

They found that the Catholic practice was as effective as yoga in controlling breathing, enhancing concentration and inducing a feeling of calm.

The researchers published their findings in the British Medical Journal following an analysis of breathing rates in 23 adults.

The beneficial effects of the familiar prayer emerged after participants were examined while talking normally, chanting a yoga mantra, reciting the Ave Maria, and during six minutes of controlled breathing.

The team found that both the Ave Maria, the Latin version of the Hail Mary, and the mantra, slowed breathing to around six breaths per minute, a rate believed to be favourable to the functioning of the heart.

Effect of rosary prayer and yoga mantras on autonomic cardiovascular rhythms: comparative study (British Medical Journal)

Telegraph (London)