The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events or mysteries in the history of our salvation, and to thank and praise God for them. The Rosary is a powerful prayer to say, to meditate on the lives of Jesus and Mary.
The Rosary as we know it today was shared with the Church in 1214, brought to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners. Seeing that the gravity of people’s sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, Saint Dominic withdrew into a forest near Toulouse, where he prayed continuously for three days and three nights.
Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said, “Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?”
“Oh, my Lady,” answered Saint Dominic, “you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation.”
Our Lady replied, “I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”
There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five JOYFUL MYSTERIES, the five LUMINOUS MYSTERIES, the five SORROWFUL MYSTERIES, and the five GLORIOUS MYSTERIES.
You may also wish to pray the rosary online, with others or by yourself. As suggested by the Pope St. John Paul the Great, the Joyful mysteries are said on Monday and Saturday, the Luminous on Thursday, theSorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, and the Glorious on Wednesday and Sunday (with this exception: Sundays of Christmas season – The Joyful; Sundays of Lent – Sorrowful).
- Make the Sign of the Cross and say the“Apostles’ Creed.”
- Say the “Our Father.”
- Say three “Hail Marys.”
- Say the “Glory be to the Father.”
- Announce the First Mystery; then say the “Our Father.”
- Say ten “Hail Marys,” while meditating on the Mystery.
- Say the “Glory be to the Father.”
- Announce the Second Mystery; then say the “Our Father.” Repeat 6 and 7 and continue with Third, Fourth and Fifth Mysteries in the same manner.
Those who pray the Rosary regularly would do well to be enrolled in the Confraternity to gain extra spiritual benefits for each Rosary they pray.
After the Rosary:
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 vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. O GOD, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
After each decade, say the following prayer requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.”
Image by Anders Adermark