What the Rosary
Padre Pio, St. Pio of Pietrelcina: "The Rosary is THE WEAPON."
St. Louis de Montfort: "The Rosary is the most powerful prayer to touch the Heart of
Jesus, Our Redeemer, who so loves His Mother."
Pope Paul V: "The Rosary is a treasure of graces."
Pope John Paul II: "The Rosary is my favorite prayer...The simple prayer of the
Rosary marks the rhythm of human life."
The Rosary Prayers are powerful and efficacious in seeking Christ and as
weapons against the evil one. The very power of the words themselves can lead those who
feel weak in their prayer life toward a deeper relationship with Jesus, through his
Blessed Mother (who always and only points the way to Him), by creating a general mood,
and an attitude and posture of prayer, through which their open spirits can learn from the
The Rosary IS NOT a mantra, nor a good luck
charm, nor a magic spell.
Pray the Rosary of Mary, the sweet chain linking us to God!
The rosary beads are set up as follows:
At the bottom, or beginning, is the Crucifix, a representation of our Lord Jesus on the
Cross, dying for us so that we are redeemed from sin and death. Then there are five
introductory beads, usually made with 2 large and 3 small beads. Then there is a rosary
center, with a depiction of the Blessed Mother, or Jesus, or a representation of the Holy
Spirit as a dove, a saint, or a rose, or a combination of these. Then begin the decades of
the rosary, so named because they consist of ten beads each.
Begin with the opening prayer as follows:
|O God, come to my assistance.
|O Lord, make haste to help me.
|+In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
|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.
In some places it is now customary to recite what has come to be called the Fatima
prayer, which traces its beginning to Our Lady's appearance at Fatima in 1917:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, and save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to
heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy.
Take the crucifix in hand, and prayerfully recite 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 into hell;
|The third day, He rose again from the dead;
|He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father almighty;
|From whence 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.
There are next five beads, and beginning with the first large bead, recite the prayer that
Jesus taught us:
|Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy Name.
|They 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.
On the next 3 small beads, recite once on each bead, to obtain the three theological gifts
of faith, hope and love.
|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.
On the second large bead, again recite:
|Glory be to the Father...etc.
Next begin the decades, and these are prayed in groups of five decades. Each five decades
is dedicated to what are called the Mysteries. There are four sets of Mysteries on which
to meditate, The Joyful, the Luminous, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious, which comprise the
entire Rosary prayer. It is permissible to pray one set of Mysteries per day, consisting
of five decades. Praying the Joyful Mysteries on Mondays and Saturdays, the Sorrowful on
Tuesdays and Fridays, and the Glorious on Wednesdays and Sundays is a traditional way to
recite, with the addition of the Luminous recited on Thursdays.
|The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation: The Angel Gabriel declares God's will for
Mary to become the Mother of Jesus, and Mary humbly accepts.
|The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation: Mary visits her cousin
Elizabeth, who carries John the Baptist in her womb, who leaps for joy at the sound of
|The Third Joyful Mystery: The Birth of Jesus.
|The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, where Simeon
proclaims the Lord.
|The Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of the boy Jesus in the Temple.
The Luminous Mysteries:
|The First Luminous Mystery: Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan
|The Second Luminous Mystery: Jesus' First Miracle at the Wedding of Cana
|The Third Luminous Mystery: Jesus' Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
|The Fourth Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration
|The Fifth Luminous Mystery: The Institution of the Eucharist
The Sorrowful Mysteries:
|The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
|The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Hill
|The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
|The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus Carries His Cross to Calvary
|The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus Dies on the Cross
The Glorious Mysteries
|The First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection of Jesus
|The Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension into Heaven
|The Third Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit
|The Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
|The Fifth Glorious Mystery: The Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven
On the rosary center announce the First Mystery, then begin with the prayer that
Jesus taught, the "Our Father..."and then on each of the ten beads prayerfully
recite the "Hail Mary, full of grace...etc." At the end of the first ten beads,
recite "Glory be to the Father....," and the Fatima Prayer, "O my Jesus,
forgive us our sins...." Repeat on the next four decades, announcing the next mystery
at the start of each.
As you reach the five beads at the bottom of the rosary
leading to the Crucifix again, recite to Mary the "Hail, Holy Queen" prayer:
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! our light, our sweetness, 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.
+In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Indulgences to be Gained
An indulgence is the remission before
God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, a
remission, which one of the faithful, properly disposed and under certain definite
conditions, can acquire through the Church, which authoritatively dispenses, applying the
treasure of the satisfactions of Christ and the Saints.
An indulgence is either PLENARY or PARTIAL, depending upon whether it frees one from the
whole or from a part of the temporal punishment due to sin.
This means that one of the faithful who, with at least a contrite heart, performs a work
enriched with a partial indulgence, is granted by the power of the Church that same amount
of remission of temporal punishment as he has already obtained by the work itself. In
other words, the remission is doubled, and that as often as the work prescribed is
performed. A plenary indulgence means a full remission of temporal punishment,
provided that several other conditions apply, in addition to the work performed or
- The faithful, whenever they recite a fourth part of the
Rosary with devotion, may gain:
- An indulgence of 5 years
- A Plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if they do
this for an entire month.
- If they recite a fourth part of the Rosary in company with
others, whether in public or in private, they may gain:
- An indulgence of 10 years, once a day;
- A plenary indulgence on the last Sunday of each month, with
the addition of Confession, Communion and a visit to a church or a public oratory, if they
perform such a recitation at least three times in any of the preceding weeks.
If however they recite this together in family group,
besides the partial indulgence of 10 years, they are granted:
- A plenary indulgence twice a month, if they perform this
recitation, daily for a month, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and visit some
church or public oratory.
The faithful who daily recite a fourth part
of the Rosary with devotion in a family group besides the indulgences already granted
under 1. are also granted a Plenary indulgence on condition of Confession and Communion on
each Saturday, on two other days of the week, and on each of the Feast of the Blessed
Virgin Mary in the Universal Calendar namely: the Immaculate Conception, the Purification,
the Apparition of our Blessed Lady at Lourdes, the Annunciation, the Seven Dolors (Friday
of Passion Week), the Visitation, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel; Our Lady of the Snows, the
Assumption, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, the Seven
Dolors (Sept 15), Our Lady of Ransom, the Most Holy Rosary, the Maternity of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin.
- Those who piously recite a fourth part of the Rosary in the
presence of the Blessed Sacrament, publicly exposed or even reserved in the tabernacle, as
often as they do this, may gain:
- A plenary indulgence, on condition of confession and
The faithful who at any time of the year devoutly offer
their prayers in honor of our Lady of the Rosary, with the intention of continuing the
same for 9 consecutive days, may gain:
- An indulgence of 5 years once on any day of the novena;
- A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the close of
The faithful who resolve to perform a devout exercise in
honor of Our Lady of the Rosary for 15 uninterrupted Saturdays (or these being impeded,
for any respective Sundays immediately following) if they devoutly recite at least a
fourth part of the Rosary or meditate on its mysteries in some other manner may gain:
- A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions on any of these
15 Saturdays, or corresponding Sundays.
The faithful who during the month of October recite at
least a fourth part of the Rosary, either publicly or privately, may gain:
- An indulgence of 7 years each day;
- A plenary indulgence, if they perform this devout exercise
on the Feast of the Rosary and throughout the Octave, and moreover, go to confession,
receive Holy Communion and visit a church;
- A plenary indulgence, with the addition of confession,
Communion and visit to a church, if they perform this same recitation of the Holy Rosary
for at least 10 days after the Octave of the aforesaid Feast.
A 500 day indulgence may be gained once a day by the
faithful who kissing a blessed Rosary, which they carry with them, at the same time recite
the first part of the Hail Mary up to "Jesus" inclusive.
Fifteen Promises of the
Blessed Virgin Mary
Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal
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 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.
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.
Blessings of the Rosary
|1. Sinners are forgiven.
2. Souls that thirst are refreshed.
3. Those who are fettered have their bonds broken.
4. Those who weep find happiness
5. Those who are tempted find peace.
6. The poor find help.
7. Religious are reformed.
8. Those who are ignorant are instructed.
9. The living learn to overcome pride.
10. The dead (the Holy Souls) have their pains eased by suffrages.
Benefits of the Rosary
|1. It gradually gives us a
perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ.
2. It purifies our souls, washing away sin.
3. It gives us victory over all our enemies.
4. It makes it easy for us to practice virtue.
5. It sets us on fire with love of Our Lord.
6. It enriches us with graces and merits.
7. 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.