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The Rosary

Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, "The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description."

While the rosary and the indulgences attached to it by the Church essentially concerns the decades and the meditation upon the mysteries only, the following is a customary way of preparing for the rosary and concluding it.

 

There is a very good 1-page guide that may be printed using Adobe Reader. Click here to view.

 

How To Pray the Rosary

Preparation

Start by making the Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Then recite the Apostle's Creed: I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

 

Then say 1 Our Father, 3 Hail Marys (for the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity) and then 1 Glory Be:

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Rosary Proper

The Rosary is essentially the decades and their associated mysteries, and only these must be prayed to "pray the rosary", either in satisfaction of Our Lady's requests, or, to gain the indulgences attached to praying the rosary. The traditional Rosary is divided into three parts, each having five mysteries: Glorious, Joyful and Sorrowful. In his apostolic letter The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, Pope John Paul II proposed a new set of mysteries, which he called the Luminous, and which concern the period of the public life of Our Lord. For those who wish to say all 20 decades at once during the course of a day, they may be said in the following order: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious. For those who wish to say only 5 decades per day, the Holy Father proposed the following schedule:

 


Monday Joyful
Tuesday Sorrowful
Wednesday Glorious
Thursday Luminous
Friday Sorrowful
Saturday Joyful
Sunday Glorious

 

For those who prefer to follow the traditional order of the days it is:

 

Monday Joyful
Tuesday Sorrowful
Wednesday Glorious
Thursday Joyful
Friday Sorrowful
Saturday Glorious
Sunday Glorious

 

While meditating on the Mysteries, recite:
One Our Father (large beads),  10 Hail Marys (small beads) and  1 Glory Be (before the next large bead) to make a complete decade of the rosary. 

After each decade the Fátima Prayer may also be said (Pope Pius XII).
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

Concluding Prayers

After the completion of five mysteries (5 decades), or 15 or 20, the following is customarily said: Hail Holy Queen (or Salve Regina may be sung) Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. (Verse) Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. (Response) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Rosary Prayer (Verse) Let us pray, (Response) O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation. Grant, we beseech Thee, that while meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through Christ our Lord. Amen. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

For the Holy Father

Catholics who say the rosary in a group, or, individually before the Blessed Sacrament, may gain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, which includes prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father. For the intentions of the Holy Father. Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Mysteries of the Rosary

Joyful

THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES ( Mondays and Saturdays, may be said on Sundays during Advent and Christmas) The Joyful Mysteries are marked by the joy radiating from the event of the Incarnation. To meditate upon the joyful mysteries is to enter into the ultimate causes and the deepest meaning of Christian joy. It is to focus on the realism of the mystery of the Incarnation and on the obscure foreshadowing of the mystery of the saving Passion. Mary leads us to discover the secret of Christian joy, reminding us that Christianity is, first and foremost, evangelization, "good news", which has as its heart and its whole content the person of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, the one Savior of the world. - Pope John Paul II

  • The Annunciation
  • The Visitation
  • The Nativity
  • The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
  • The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Sorrowful

THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES (Tuesdays and Fridays, may be said on Sundays during Lent ) In the Sorrowful Mysteries we stand beneath the Cross of Jesus, coming face to face with the truth of his insistence that the Christ must suffer and die. No matter that we long to cry out, if only we had been there; we still encounter the reality of our human position and the truth that is Our Lord's. We sense the sword piercing the heart of his Mother, and pray that it may open our whole being to the agony and the power that the infinite love of Jesus in his Passion chose and endured for us

  • The Agony in the Garden
  • The Scourging at the Pillar
  • The Crowning with Thorns
  • Jesus Carries His Cross
  • The Crucifixtion

Luminous

THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES (Thursdays) Moving on from the infancy and the hidden life in Nazareth to the public life of Jesus, our contemplation brings us to those mysteries which may be called in a special way “mysteries of light”. Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the “light of the world” (Jn 8:12). Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom....Each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus. ..... Pope John Paul II

  • The Baptism in the Jordan
  • The Wedding at Cana
  • The Proclamation of the Kingdom
  • The Transfiguration
  • The Institution of the Eucharist

Glorious

THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES (Wednesdays and Sundays) The Glorious Mysteries reveal the mediation of the great Virgin, still more abundant in fruitfulness. She rejoices in heart over the glory of her Son triumphant over death, and follows Him with a mother's love in His Ascension to His eternal kingdom; but, though worthy of Heaven, she abides a while on earth, so that the infant Church may be directed and comforted by her "who penetrated, beyond all belief, into the deep secrets of Divine wisdom" (St. Bernard)...... Pope Leo XIII

  • The Resurrection
  • The Ascension
  • The Descent of the Holy Spirit
  • The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Catholics who say the rosary in a group, or, individually before the Blessed Sacrament, may gain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, which includes prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father.

For the intentions of the Holy Father. Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.

The Sign of the Cross

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary

  1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.
  2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
  3. The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
  4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the heart of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
  5. The soul which recommend itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.
  6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
  7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
  9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
  10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
  11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
  12. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
  13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
  14. All who recite the rosary are my son, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ
  15. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

 

(Given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan) Imprimatur: Patrick J. Hayes DD Archbishop of New York