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Pray the Rosary!

For almost nine centuries, the praying of the Rosary had its contemplations rooted in three sets of five Mysteries each. (A “mystery” in this instance refers to an event in the life of Jesus and the mother who bore Him, Mary, that cannot be fully explained in this life.)  These sets of Mysteries were the Joyful Mysteries (the coming and manifestation of the child Jesus), the Sorrowful Mysteries (the sacrifice in the suffering and death of Christ), and the Glorious Mysteries (the Resurrection of Christ, the Coming of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternal life).


In 2003, Pope John Paul II made an inspired change to the Rosary (as documented in his brilliant Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae) by adding a new set of Mysteries for contemplation.  The Mysteries of Light, or the Luminous Mysteries (the ministry of Jesus to His people and divine revelation) fill in the missing wondrous events of the life of Jesus throughout His ministry to the people, the revelation of His light on earth.


The Holy Rosary is one of the most powerful prayers in the Church.  In all of the Church-recognized visions of the Blessed Mother, she has asked that the Rosary be prayed for peace throughout the world.  Pray the Rosary every day, walk with Jesus and His mother, and remember to add peace throughout the world when you present your petitions to our Lord.

How to Pray the Rosary

The rosary consists of five decades - one decade for reflection upon each Mystery.

The Joyful Mysteries are contemplated on Mondays and Saturdays, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesdays and Sundays, and the Luminous Mysteries on Thursdays. Sundays vary with the seasonal liturgical calendar: the Joyful Mysteries on Sundays during Advent, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Sundays during Lent, and the Glorious Mysteries on all other Sundays.  (These are guidelines for Rosary meditation.  Any desired set of Mysteries may be contemplated on any given day as desired.   Some people may choose to pray the Rosary Mysteries in the chronological order of their events, i.e., the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries in that order. Others may pray the Glorious Mysteries on the day of the funeral of a loved one, or the Joyful Mysteries on Christmas Day regardless of the day of the week.)

Begin the rosary with the Sign of the Cross and by saying the Apostles Creed, followed by one Our Father, three Hail Marys, the Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer. (The Fatima Prayer follows each Glory Be.)

Next are the five decades. Before beginning each decade, announce the mystery. (For example: “The first Glorious Mystery - the Resurrection.”) For each decade, recite one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, one Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer.

Conclude with the Hail Holy Queen followed by the Rosary Prayer.

3. Say the OUR FATHER

on the single bead.

4. Say the HAIL MARY on each of the three beads.

5. Say the GLORY BE at the end of the three Hail Marys

followed by the FATIMA Prayer.

Announce the first Mystery

and say the OUR FATHER on the single bead.

1. Bless yourself with the

SIGN OF THE CROSS.

7. At the end of the five decades of the Rosary,

say the HAIL HOLY QUEEN

followed by the ROSARY Prayer

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; 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 (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.

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

Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins and save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in the most need of Thy mercy.

Hail, Holy Queen (Salve Regina)

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee 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. Oh clement, Oh loving, Oh sweet Virgin Mary!

Pray for us, Oh Holy Mother of God.

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Hail Mary (Ave Maria)

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.

The Rosary Prayer

Oh 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 while 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.

6. Say the HAIL MARY on each of the ten connected beads (decade).

At the end of the decade say the GLORY BE and the FATIMA Prayer

Announce the next Mystery and say the OUR FATHER

on the next single bead.  Follow with the decade of HAIL MARYS,

the GLORY BE and the FATIMA Prayer.  Do the same for each Mystery.

2. On the Crucifix, say

THE APOSTLES’ CREED.