The devotion of the holy Rosary is a summary of Christian faith in language and prayers inspired by the Bible. While praying the prayers in the order outlined below (which quickly becomes ‘second nature’), we meditate on Bible passages and events (mysteries). The Rosary is therefore, among many other things, a Gospel you can ‘read’ everywhere, without having to carry books, and on travels or whilst you walk or have to wait somewhere, as well as in the dark or if you are unable to see or read well. Wherever the Rosary is prayed, it brings countless blessings on the place, and on everyone else around as well as on the people in Communion with the Church worldwide living on earth now and those who lived on earth in the past who have passed on and for the future.
HOW TO SAY THE ROSARY
You use Rosary beads, if you haven’t got any yet, one can count on one’s ten fingers. The following might seem complicated, but once you want to pray the Rosary for the glory of God and for your own sanctification you will get heavenly assistance to learn the sequence and all the prayers within a relatively short time.
• The sign of the cross is made with the crucifix (“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”)
• Holding the crucifix, recite the Apostles’ Creed
• On the 1st bead, say 1 Our Father.
• On the next 3 beads, say one Hail Mary each (for faith, hope and charity)
• On the next bead say 1 Glory be.
• Before you reach the first decade (i.e. a set of a large Our Father bead plus 10 small Hail Mary beads) say the Fatima prayer.
• Now announce the first mystery and visualise it while you pray 1 Our Father on the large bead and 10 times the Hail Mary, one Hail Mary for each bead. You might start with visualising an image depicting the mystery, and with more practice the scripture passages will accompany it in your mind, and the icons will come ‘to life’, revealing truths regarding those Bible readings hitherto unknown to you to your heart, mind and soul, which will profoundly deepen your relationship with God and how you live the Gospel inwardly which only God and you know, and outwardly in dealing with situations and fellow people. Mother Mary helps us with that by her company, prayers and love, because she does want no credit for herself, but her one and only constant concern is that people love her Son Jesus.
• After the 10 Hail Mary pray 1 Glory be and 1 Fatima prayer.
• Proceed with the next mystery in the same order.
• After praying 5 mysteries, say the Hail Holy Queen.
THE PRAYERS OF THE ROSARY
• THE APOSTLES’ 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 arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and 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 Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
• THE OUR FATHER (THE LORD’S PRAYER)
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.
• THE HAIL MARY
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 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 in most need of thy mercy.
• THE 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 vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, your 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!
THE MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY
• THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES
(Said on Mondays and Saturdays, and Sundays from Advent until Lent.)
1. THE ANNUNCIATION
(Lk 1:26-38; Isa 7:10-15) Mary, you received with deep humility the news of the Angel Gabriel that you were to be the Mother of God’s Son; obtain for me a similar HUMILITY.
2. THE VISITATION
(Lk 1:39-56) Mary, you showed true charity in visiting Elizabeth and remaining with her for three months before the birth of John the Baptist; obtain for me the grace to LOVE MY NEIGHBOUR.
3. THE BIRTH OF JESUS
(Lk 2:1-14; Mt 2:1-12; Gal 4:1-7) Jesus, You accepted poverty when You were placed in the manger although You were our God; grant that I may have the SPIRIT OF POVERTY (detachment from worldly goods).
4. THE PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE
(Lk 2:22-40) Mary, you obeyed the law of God in presenting the Child Jesus in the Temple; obtain for me the virtue of OBEDIENCE.
5. THE FINDING IN THE TEMPLE
(Lk 2:42-52) Mary, you were sad at the loss of Jesus and joyous on finding Him surrounded by teachers in the Temple; obtain for me the virtue of PIETY.
• THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES
(Said on Thursdays except during Lent)
1. CHRIST’S BAPTISM IN THE JORDAN
(Mt 3:13-17; Isa 42:1-2, 4-5) Jesus, at Your Baptism the Father called You His beloved Son and the Holy Spirit came upon You to invest You with Your mission; help me to KEEP MY BAPTISMAL PROMISES.
2. CHRIST’S SELF-MANIFESTATION AT CANA
(Jn 2:1-11) Mary, the first among believers in Christ, upon your intercession your Son changed water into wine and brought the disciples to faith; help me to DO WHATEVER JESUS SAYS.
3. CHRIST’S PROCLAMATION OF THE KINGDOM
(Mk 1:14-15; Mt 5:1-12) Jesus, You preached the Kingdom of God with its call to forgiveness, inaugurating the ministry of mercy; help me to SEEK FORGIVENESS FOR MY SINS.
4. THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD
(Mt 17:1-8; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36) Jesus, the glory of the Godhead shone forth from Your face as the Father commanded the Apostles to be transfigured by the Spirit; help me to BE A NEW PERSON IN YOU.
5. CHRIST’S INSTITUTION OF THE EUCHARIST (LAST SUPPER)
(Mt 26:26-30; 1 Cor 11:23-25) Jesus, at the Last Supper, You offered Your Body and Blood as food under the signs of bread and wine and testified Your love for humanity; help me to attain ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AT MASS.
• THE FIVE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
(Said on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year, and daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday)
1. THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN
(Mt 26:36-40) Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, You suffered a bitter agony because of our sins; grant me TRUE CONTRITION (being really sorry for my sins for love of You, and being earnestly resolved not to commit those sins again).
2. THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR
(Mt 27:26) Jesus, You endured a cruel scourging and Your flesh was torn by heavy blows; help me to have the virtue of PURITY.
3. THE CROWNING WITH THORNS
(Mt 27:27-31) Jesus, You patiently endured the pain from the crown of sharp thorns that was forced upon Your head; grant me the strength to have MORAL COURAGE.
4. THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS
(Mt 27:32) Jesus, You willingly carried Your Cross for love of Your Father and all people; grant me the virtue of PATIENCE.
5. THE CRUCIFIXION
(Mt 27:33-35; Jn 19:31-37) Jesus, for love of me You endured three hours of torture on the Cross and gave up Your Spirit; grant me the grace of FINAL PERSEVERANCE (being faithful to You during life and at the hour of physical death.)
• THE FIVE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES
(Said on Wednesdays except during Lent, and on Sundays from Easter until Advent)
1. THE RESURRECTION
(Mk 16:1-7; Jn 20:19-31) Jesus, You rose from the dead in triumph and remained for forty days with Your disciples, instructing and encouraging them; increase my FAITH.
2. THE ASCENSION
(Mk 16:14-20; Acts 1:1-11) Jesus, in the presence of Mary and the disciples You ascended to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand; increase in me the virtue of HOPE.
3. THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
(Jn 14:23-31; Acts 2:w-11) Jesus, as You promised, You sent the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the disciples under the form of tongues of fire; increase my LOVE FOR GOD AND HIS CHURCH.
4. THE ASSUMPTION
(Lk 1:41-50; Ps 45; Gen 3:15) Mary, by the power of God you were assumed into heaven and united with your Divine Son; help me to have TRUE DEVOTION to you.
5. THE CROWNING OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
(Rev 12:1; Jud 13:18-20; 15:9-10) Mary, you were crowned Queen of heaven by your Divine Son to the great joy of all the Saints; obtain for me ETERNAL HAPPINESS.
• PRAYER AFTER THE ROSARY
O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His Life, Death, and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life: grant, we beseech You, 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.