The Rosary is a Marian prayer that depicts the Biblical life of Jesus. In fact. Pope St John Paul II called the Rosary a “compendium of the Gospel message” in his Apostolic Letter ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’. The 5 Mysteries of Light or the Luminous Mysteries were added to the traditional Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries with the publication of this Apostolic Letter. He also states that “Mary constantly sets before the faithful the mysteries of her Son, with the desire that the contemplation of those mysteries will release all their saving power. In the recitation of the Rosary, the Christian community enters into contact with the memories and the contemplative gaze of Mary.”
The Rosary was once thought to originate from the ancient prayer beads of the Middle East and Asia, although those beads largely have 33 beads. Others point to the prayer beads of the monks that were used to count the 150 Psalms. But it was St. Dominic in 1208 who began to spread devotion to the Rosary.
Here you will find a guide on how to pray the rosary. First are the introductory prayers located above the silver Medal: with the Cross you make the Sign of the Cross, and say the Apostles’ Creed. Then one prays the Our Father (rose bead) and three Hail Marys (blue bead), followed by the Glory and Fatima prayers. Then one announces the First Mystery, and prays the Our Father.
Below the Medal are 50 blue beads in groups of ten, each bead representing the Hail Mary, separated by rose beads representing the Our Father.
One Our Father, ten Hail Marys and one Glory be comprise one decade of the Rosary.
There are five decades for one group of five Mysteries of the Rosary. You begin each decade reciting one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, then the Our Father, then ten Hail Marys, then the Glory and Fatima Prayers. One decade is prayed for each of the Five Joyful, Luminous (Mysteries of Light), Sorrowful, or Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.
At the end of the Rosary, there are concluding prayers that may be said, such as the Hail Holy Queen, the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and the Memorare of Our Lady with a petition. One often includes a Prayer to St. Joseph. One ends with the Sign of the Cross.
The Prayers of the Rosary are first listed, followed by a description of the Mysteries of the Rosary.
The Prayers of The Rosary
The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again 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 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 are 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.
The Glory Be
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 Fatima Prayer
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell,
lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy.
Hail Holy Queen
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, 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 towards 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.
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.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan
and all the other evil spirits, who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, (I or we) fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To you do we come; before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in Your mercy, hear and answer us. (You may make your petition here). Amen.
The Mysteries of The Rosary
The Mysteries of the Rosary trace key events in the Biblical life of Jesus Christ.
The Traditional Mysteries are divided into 3 groups of five each, the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries. The Joyful Mysteries were said Mondays and Thursdays, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays (and daily during Lent), and the Glorious Mysteries were said Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
The newer Mysteries of Light, or the Luminous Mysteries, form the fourth group of the Mysteries of the Rosary. Looking at the life of Jesus, the Mysteries of Light fall between the Joyful and Sorrowful mysteries. Pope John Paul II suggested in his Letter to move the second meditation of the Joyful mysteries to Saturday and to pray the Mysteries of Light on Thursday, but he respected the “rightful freedom in personal and community prayer.”