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The Holy Rosary

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The rosary is both an artifact and a prayer; we use the cross and beads of the rosary (the artifact) to say the rosary (the prayer). The Rosary may be said without using the artifact but  moving our fingers along the beads as we complete the various parts of the rosary prayer not only keeps us from losing our place, it also adds an intangible quality to the thoughtful experience.

Start to pray the rosary with a sign of the cross, using the cross and saying:

 In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

Then, holding the cross, say The Apostle's 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 to the dead. 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.

Now, hold the first bead after the cross and note each bead on the chain that stands alone.  The first bead is an Our Father bead, while beads that are close together are Hail Mary beads.  The Our Father beads also are larger than Hail Mary beads and the prayer is said like this:

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.

After this first bead come three Hail Mary beads which are right next to each other.   Say the Hail Mary moving your fingers from bead to bead after completing the prayer:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

These three Hail Marys represent our desire for an increase in faith, hope and charity.

After the third Hail Mary, move your fingers into the space that follows after the third bead. Say 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.

This completes the introductory portion of the rosary.

Next comes the main part of the rosary: meditating on events in the life of Jesus and Mary. We call these events "mysteries". There are three sets of mysteries to choose from: the joyful mysteries, the sorrowful mysteries, and the glorious mysteries. Each set contains five mysteries, as follows:

The Joyful Mysteries:
The Annunciation
The Visitation
The Nativity
The Presentation at the Temple
The Finding in the Temple
The Sorrowful Mysteries:
The Agony in the Garden
The Scourging at the Pillar
The Crowning with Thorns
The Carrying of the Cross
The Crucifixion
The Glorious Mysteries:
The Resurrection
The Ascension
The Descent of the Holy Spirit
The Assumption of Mary
The Coronation of Mary

The circular portion of the rosary chain is divided into five sections (called "decades"), one for each of the five joyful, sorrowful, or glorious mysteries. A complete rosary consists of all fifteen mysteries, which means going around the entire rosary three times.

The most common method of saying the rosary is to focus on just one of the three sets of mysteries. Tradition suggests you say the joyful mysteries on Mondays and Thursdays, the sorrowful mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays, and the glorious mysteries on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Sundays, we say the glorious mysteries most of the year, but during Advent we say the joyful mysteries and during Lent we say the sorrowful mysteries.

Now move your fingers to the next bead. Note that this first bead following the three Hail Mary beads is by itself, so you know that it is an Our Father bead. While holding this bead, state the first mystery (for example, "The Annunciation"). You may wish to follow this with a special prayer intention for this decade of the rosary. Then, while meditating on the first mystery, say the Our Father. Continue meditating on the mystery, while moving your fingers along the chain, saying 10 Hail Marys as you work your way down the next 10 beads along the chain.  When you finish the 10th Hail Mary, move your fingers to the space in the chain following the 10th bead, say the Glory Be, and then the Oh My Jesus:

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 Your mercy.

Now you move to an Our Father bead and  announce and then meditate on the second mystery. Repeat this for each of the five mysteries

After you have said the "Oh My Jesus" prayer for the fifth mystery, you are back at the beginning of the circle, and it is time to either continue around again with another set of mysteries, or to say the concluding prayers on the image where the parts of the chain come together:

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, your 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.

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 You, that in 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 Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

After saying these prayers, finish with the sign of the cross. You're done!


The Fifteen Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary were revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan: 

1) Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces.

2) I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.

3) The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

4) 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 people 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.

5) The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.

6) Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying themselves to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise them in His justice, they shall not perish by an unprovided death; if they be just, they shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.

7) Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.

8) 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.

9) I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

10) The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.

11) You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.

12) All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

13) 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.

14) All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ.

15) Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination. "Say the Rosary every day, to obtain peace for the world." -- Our Lady of Fatima, 1917


The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God.

In general, the theology and history of Mary the Mother of God follow the chronological order of their respective sources, i.e. the Old Testament, the New Testament, the early Christian and Jewish witnesses. -- Above text Courtesy of The Catholic Encyclopedia -- Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company

Acts, chapter 1 the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Acts, chapter 12 to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark,
John, chapter 11 , the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mar
John, chapter 11 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped hi
John, chapter 11 to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
John, chapter 11 met him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to J
John, chapter 11 alled her sister Mary, saying quietly, "The Teacher is here and is c
John, chapter 11 nsoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, su
John, chapter 11 Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fe
John, chapter 11 had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him;
John, chapter 12 im. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard a
John, chapter 19 ther's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag'dalene.
John, chapter 19 e of Clopas, and Mary Mag'dalene. When Jesus saw his mot
John, chapter 20 day of the week Mary Mag'dalene came to the tomb early, while it wa
John, chapter 20 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wep
John, chapter 20 us said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rab-b
John, chapter 20 Mary Mag'dalene went and said to the disciples, "I ha
Luke, chapter 1 gin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hai
Luke, chapter 1 not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Luke, chapter 1 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I h
Luke, chapter 1 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord;
Luke, chapter 1 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill countr
Luke, chapter 1 the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth wa
Luke, chapter 1 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
Luke, chapter 1 And Mary remained with her about three months, and retu
Luke, chapter 2 be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
Luke, chapter 2 haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Luke, chapter 2 But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her h
Luke, chapter 2 them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for th
Luke, chapter 8 and infirmities: Mary, called Mag'dalene, from whom seven demons had
Luke, chapter 10 a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to hi
Luke, chapter 10 ng is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be
Luke, chapter 24 Now it was Mary Mag'dalene and Jo-an'na and Mary the mother of
Luke, chapter 24 and Jo-an'na and Mary the mother of James and the other women with t
Mark, chapter 6 nter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and S
Mark, chapter 15 mong whom were Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James the you
Mark, chapter 15 Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses,
Mark, chapter 15 b. Mary Mag'dalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw wh
Mark, chapter 15 Mag'dalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
Mark, chapter 16 abbath was past, Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and
Mark, chapter 16 Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo'me, bought spice
Mark, chapter 16 ppeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven dem
Matthew, chapter 1 the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
Matthew, chapter 1 When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came
Matthew, chapter 1 not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her
Matthew, chapter 2 the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him
Matthew, chapter 13 mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and S
Matthew, chapter 27 among whom were Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James and J
Matthew, chapter 27 Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother
Matthew, chapter 27 d. Mary Mag'dalene and the other Mary were there, sitt
Matthew, chapter 27 ne and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre.
Matthew, chapter 28 day of the week, Mary Mag'dalene and the other Mary went to see the
Matthew, chapter 28 ne and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And be
Roma.16 Greet Mary, who has worked hard among you. G



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