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The Holy Rosary

The rosary has 59 beads, a crucifix, and a medal, with certain prayers for each of these different pieces. The prayers of the rosary can be divided into three categories:

  1. Introductory Prayers

  2. The Decades

  3. Closing Prayers

With the prayers of the rosary, we ask Mary to pray for us and to guide us by the example of her son, Jesus.

 

What is the Rosary and why do we pray it?

The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer that leads us to Jesus through Mary. The word rosary means garland of roses, which has been interpreted into the rosary of today, a string of beads. Mother Mary, also known as the Lady of the Rosary, urged everyone to pray the rosary to help people grow in their faith, convert sinners, and bring about world peace.

The Rosary begins with the Apostles’ Creed, which summarizes the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Our Father, which introduces each mystery, is from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angel’s words announcing Christ’s birth and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part of the Hail Mary. The Mysteries of the Rosary center on the events of Christ’s life. There are four sets of Mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and––added by Saint John Paul II in 2002––the Luminous.

Every October 7th we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary by meditating upon the mysteries of Christ and connecting with the incarnation, passion and glorious resurrection of the Son of God.

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

The repetition in the Rosary is meant to lead one into restful and contemplative prayer related to each Mystery. The gentle repetition of the words helps us to enter into the silence of our hearts, where Christ’s spirit dwells. The Rosary can be said privately or with a group.

 

The Five Joyful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Mondays, Saturdays, and, during the season of Advent, on Sundays:

  1. The Annunciation

  2. The Visitation

  3. The Nativity

  4. The Presentation in the Temple

  5. The Finding in the Temple

 

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Tuesdays, Fridays, and, during the season of Lent, on Sundays:

  1. The Agony in the Garden

  2. The Scourging at the Pillar

  3. The Crowning with Thorns

  4. The Carrying of the Cross

  5. The Crucifixion and Death

 

The Five Glorious Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Wednesdays and, outside the seasons of Advent and Lent, on Sundays:

  1. The Resurrection

  2. The Ascension

  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit

  4. The Assumption

  5. The Coronation of Mary

 

The Five Luminous Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Thursdays:

  1. The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan

  2. The Wedding Feast at Cana

  3. Jesus’ Proclamation of the Coming of the Kingdom of God

  4. The Transfiguration

  5. The Institution of the Eucharist

When you meditate on these mysteries and establish the rosary as a spiritual habit in your life, an amazing thing happens: Jesus’ peace becomes your peace, his hope becomes your hope, and his healing becomes your healing as his life transforms your life.

How to Pray the Rosary

  1. While holding the crucifix, make the Sign of the Cross and pray the Apostles’ Creed.

  2. On the first bead, pray the Our Father.

  3. On the next three beads, pray three Hail Mary’s then pray the Glory Be.

  4. For each of the five decades, announce the Mystery (perhaps followed by a brief reading from Scripture) then say the Our Father.

  5. While holding each of the ten beads of the decade, next pray ten Hail Mary’s while meditating on the Mystery, then Pray The Glory Be.

  6. After finishing each decade, pray The Fatima Prayer.

  7. After saying all five decades. Pray the Hail, Holy Queen, followed by the closing prayer.

  8. Conclude the Rosary with the Sign of the Cross.