People have been praying the Rosary since the days of St. Dominic in the 13th century. Pilgrims would pray the Rosary as they walked between holy places, moving the beads in time with their footsteps whilst thinking about Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
The Rosary is a series of prayers specifically prepared to be used in personal devotion. That is, the Rosary can be prayed alone or in without the guidance of a spiritual leader. This differs from a mass, which is meant to be led by a celebrant.
The Rosary has several prayers which are constant, and the Mysteries, which can vary. Prior to October 16, 2002, there were three sets of Mysteries. On October 16, 2002, Pope John Paul II added a fourth set. Although there is no requirement to do so, most people follow the recommended schedule of the Mysteries, which lists a different set of Mysteries for each day.
- First large bead : Say the Our Father
- Large bead and first group of 10 beads :
Continue around the other four groups of beads, doing the same for the second, third, fourth, and fifth Mysteries.
The Mysteries of the Rosary are as follows:
|Mystery||Covering||Usually said on|
|Joyful||These are the Mysteries of Jesus' birth and early life.||
During the seasons of Advent and Christmas, the Joyful Mysteries may be said on Sundays.
|Luminous||These are the Mysteries of Christ's priesthood.||Thursday|
These are the Mysteries of Christ's suffering and death.
During the season of Lent, the Sorrowful Mysteries may be said on Sundays.
|Glorious||These are the Mysteries of Christ's victory over death and Mary's special place as the Holy Mother.||
These are the Mysteries of Jesus' birth and early life.
They are usually said on Mondays and Saturdays.
|1.1 The Annunciation to Mary||
The Angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will have a son, Jesus, the Saviour - that she is to be the Mother of God.
Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
|1.2 The Visitation of Mary||
Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who in old age will give birth to a son, John.
|When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."
|1.3 The Nativity of Our Lord||
Mary gives birth to Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem.
|The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today, in the city of David a saviour has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord"
|1.4 The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple||Jesus is presented in the Temple.||"Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."
|1.5 The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple||Jesus at age 12 was teaching in the temple, preparing for his ministry.||When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favour before God and man.
These are the Mysteries of Christ's priesthood.
They are usually said on Thursdays.
|2.1 The Baptism in the Jordan||Jesus is baptised in the river Jordan by John (the Baptist), his cousin, at the start of his public ministry.||Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptised by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptised by you, and yet you are coming to me?" Jesus said to him in reply, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness." Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptised, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
2.2 The Self-Manifestation of Our Lord at the wedding of Cana
|Mary tells the servants at the feast, "Do whatever he tells you".||On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
2.3 The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with the Call to Conversion
|Jesus preaches, "The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel".||After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
2.4 The Transfiguration
|Jesus is transfigured before the disciples. The disciples hear God's voice: "This is my beloved Son, listen to him".||While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.
2.5 The Institution of the Eucharist
|Christ offers his body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine.||Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you."
These are the Mysteries of Christ's suffering and death.
They are usually said on Tuesdays and Fridays.
3.1 The Agony in the Garden
|Jesus undergoes his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prays the night before his death. "Father, not my will, but yours, be done".||Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will."
|3.2 The Scourging at the Pillar||Jesus is scourged by the soldiers. He suffered, so that we can be forgiven.||Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
3.3 The Crowning with Thorns
|Jesus is mocked and a crown of thorns is forced upon his head.||The soldiers led him away inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort. They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him.
3.4 The Carrying of the Cross
|Jesus carries his cross on his wounded shoulders to Calvary.||And carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
3.5 The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord on the Cross
|Crucified, Jesus forgives his persecutors and dies on the cross for our sins.||After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst." There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
These are the Mysteries of Christ's victory over death and Mary's special place as the Holy Mother.
They are usually said on Wednesdays and Sundays.
4.1 The Resurrection of Our Lord
|Jesus rises from the dead.||He said to them, "Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'"
4.2 The Ascension of Our Lord
|Jesus returns to his Father in heaven.||While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."
4.3 The Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles
|The Holy Spirit filled the disciples, enabling them to spread the good news.||When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
4.4 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
|The Mother of Jesus is taken up body and soul into heaven.|| As an apple tree among the trees of the woods,
so is my lover among men.
I delight to rest in his shadow,
and his fruit is sweet to my mouth.
He brings me into the banquet hall
and his emblem over me is love.
Strengthen me with raisin cakes,
refresh me with apples,
for I am faint with love.
His left hand is under my head
and his right arm embraces me.
(Song of Songs 2:3-6)
4.5 The Coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth
|Mary is crowned queen of heaven and earth.||And Mary said, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my saviour. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed."
5 - The Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary
- Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.
- I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
- The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
- It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts 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.
- The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.
- 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 perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
- Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
- Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
- I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
- The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
- You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
- All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
- 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.
- All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.
- Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.
In the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty
Creator of Heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
died and was buried.
He descended into hell;
the third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.
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 our death. Amen
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
After each decade pray
” Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from
the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven,
especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.”
After the Fifth Decade pray
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, O 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!
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
We then pray:
O God, Whose only begotten Son, by His Life, Death
and Resurrection has purchased for us the rewards
of our eternal salvation, grant we beseech Thee,
while meditating upon these Mysteries,
in the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
we imitate what they contain,
and obtain what they promise,
through the same Christ, Our Lord.