The word Rosary means 'Crown of Roses'. Our Lady has revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary they are giving her a beautiful rose and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses. The rose is the queen of flowers, and so the Rosary is the rose of all devotions and it is therefore the most important one. The Rosary is made up of two things: mental prayer and vocal prayer. Mental prayer is the meditation of the chief mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and of His Blessed Mother.
The fifteen mysteries are divided into Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious.
Vocal prayer consists in saying fifteen or five decades of the Hail Mary, each decade headed by an Our Father, while at the same time meditating on and contemplating the fifteen principal virtues which Jesus and Mary practised in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary.The complete Rosary consists of fifteen decades, but is more commonly said in five decades. So the Rosary is a blessed blending of mental and vocal prayer by which we honor and learn to imitate the mysteries and the virtues of the life, death, passion and glory of Jesus and Mary. The Holy Mother Church received the Rosary in its present form in 1214 in a miraculous way, when Our Lady appeared to Saint Dominic and gave it to him as a powerful means of converting the heretics and other sinners. Since then the devotion spread around the world with incredible and miraculous results.
While holding the crucifix make the Sign of the Cross and then recite the Apostles Creed.
Recite the Our Father on the first large bead.
On each of the three small beads recite a Hail Mary for an increase of faith, hope and charity.
Recite the Glory Be to the Father on the next large bead.
Recall the first Rosary Mystery and recite the Our Father on the next large bead. The Joyful Mysteries are meditated on Mondays and Thursdays, Sundays of Advent and after Epiphany until Lent. The Sorrowful Mysteries are meditated on Tuesdays and Fridays, and Sundays in Lent. The Glorious Mysteries are meditated on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Sundays after Easter until Advent.
On each of the adjacent ten small beads (also refered to as a decade) recite a Hail Mary while reflecting on the mystery.
On the next large bead, recite the Glory Be to the Father. The Fatima decade prayer may also be said.
Each succeeding decade is prayed in a similar manner by recalling the appropriate mystery, reciting the Our Father, ten Hail Marys, the Glory Be to the Father, and the Fatima decade prayer (optional) while reflecting on the mystery.
When the fifth mystery is completed, the Rosary is Customarily concluded with the Hail, Holy Queen.
Prayers of the Rosary
SIGN OF THE CROSS
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits 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 Spirit, 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 by 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
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.
HAIL, HOLY QUEEN
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 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.
Benefits of the Rosary
- It gradually gives us a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- It purifies our souls, washing away sin.
- It gives us victory over all our enemies.
- It makes it easy for us to practice virtue.
- It sets us on fire with love of Our Lord.
- It enriches us with graces and merits.
- It supplies us with what is needed to pay all our debts to God and to our fellow men; and finally, it obtains all kinds of graces for us from Almighty God.
Blessings of the Rosary
- Sinners are forgiven.
- Souls that thirst are refreshed.
- Those who are fettered have their bonds broken.
- Those who weep find happiness.
- Those who are tempted find peace.
- The poor find help.
- Religious are reformed.
- Those who are ignorant are instructed.
- The living learn to overcome pride.
- The dead (holy souls) have their pains eased by suffrages.