Prayer - The Rosary

Origin of the Rosary

The rosary is a very rich prayer in the Catholic Church's treasury.  It originated from the Church's liturgical prayer, which used the 150 psalms of the Old Testament, and developed into a way of prayer for people who couldn't read or who didn't have full access to the Bible.  The 150 psalms were later replaced with simple, easily memorized prayers such as the Our Father and the Hail Mary.  Additions were made over the centuries, and the rosary's current form took shape in the sixteenth century.


Focus on the Mysteries

The rosary focuses us as we make our way through key mysteries in the lives of Christ, Mary, and the Church:  the incarnation and life of Christ; Mary's example of faith; the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus; the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the Church; and the ultimate promise of heaven for God's people.  The repetitive use of very common, well-known prayers helps draw us into this great act of contemplative prayer.



"Just as we are called to be One from many, so the rosary is a single, great prayer which unites the basic prayers of our faith. [It] is a prayer that teaches us to contemplate. The repeated mantra of familiar prayers invites us into reflection on the lives of Jesus and Mary, to consider how these events are lived out in our world, and to discern how we are called to respond."  

Resource: USC of Catholic Bishops Website



How to pray the Rosary

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. (As you say this, with your right hand touch your forehead when you say Father, touch your breastbone when you say Son, touch your left shoulder when you say Holy, and touch your right shoulder when you say Spirit.)

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 rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty. He shall 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 (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.  

Hail Mary (on the green beads)

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.  

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.

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. Amen.

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 vale 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. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen. 

Final Prayer

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 by 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.

The Mysteries of the Rosary

The Mysteries of the Rosary are designed to help focus our prayers on the life, ministry, and Passion of Our Lord. It is recommended that you meditate on the mysteries of the rosary based upon the days of the week. 

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary  (Monday and Saturday)  

Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary1.  The Annunciation.  The Angel Gabriel invites Mary to be the Mother of Jesus (Joy).  (Luke 1:26-38)
2.  The Visitation.  Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth (Charity).  (Luke 1:39-56)
3.  The Birth of Christ.  Mary gives birth to Jesus in Bethlehem
(Humility).  (Luke 2:1-21)
4.  The Presentation.  Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the Temple (Obedience). 
(Luke 2:22-38)
5.  Finding Jesus in the Temple.  Mary and Joseph find the child Jesus questioning the teachers in the Temple (Wisdom).  (Luke 2:41-52)

The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary (Tuesday and Friday)  

Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosay1.  Agony in the Garden.  Jesus fears his death but accepts the Father's will (Repentance).  (Matthew 26:36-56)
2.  The Scourging.  Jesus is beaten and scourged at the pillar (Endurance). 
(Matthew 27:26)
3.  Crowning with Thorns.  Jesus is mocked and given a crown of thorns (Courage).  (Matthew 27:27-31)
4.  Carrying of the Cross.  Jesus carries
his cross to Calvary (Perseverance). 
(Matthew 27:32)
5.  The Crucifixion.  Jesus dies for our sins
(Forgiveness).  (Matthew 27:33-56)

The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary (Wednesday and Sunday)

Glarious Mysteries of the Rosary1.  The Resurrection.  Jesus rises from the dead on Easter Sunday (Faith).  (John 20:1-29)
2.  The Ascension.  Jesus ascends into heaven in the presence of his apostles (Hope).  (Luke 24:36-53)
3.  The Descent of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit descends upon Mary and the apostles  (Zeal for souls).  (Acts 2:1-41)
4.  The Assumption.  Mary is taken bodily into heaven at the end of her earthly life (Trust in God).  
5.  The Coronation.  Mary is crowned Queen of heaven and earth (Holiness). 
(Revelation 12:1)

The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary (Thursday)

1.  The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary
     (Matthew 3:13-16)
2.  The Wedding at Cana
     (John 2:1-11)
3.  The Proclamation of the Kingdom
     (Mark 1:14-15)
4.  The Transfiguration
     (Matthew 17:1-8)
5.  The Institution of the Eucharist
     (Matthew 26)

Note:  In Oct 02, the month of the Holy Rosary, Pope John Paul II, issued a special apostolic letter in which he announced the creation of a new set of Mysteries to be used in praying the Rosary.


Our Holy Father stated, "The Rosary clearly belongs to the kind of veneration of the Mother of God described by the Second Vatican Council: a devotion directed to the Christological center of the Christian faith, in such a way that when the Mother is honored, the Son ... is duly known, loved and glorified."


The new Mysteries center around decisive events in the life of Christ.



St. Patrick's Church at Moody Air Force Base