The word “Rosary” means a wreath of roses. The Blessed Virgin Mary’s admirers have always liked to decorate Her images with wreaths of flowers, but the Rosary is still a more valuable wreath made of prayers and meditations.
In tradition, the Mother of God Herself went to see St. Dominic (1170-1221) and taught him the Rosary. In 16th century the Rosary was already wide-spread in the catholic world. Pope Gregory XIII acknowledged the divine origin of the Rosary, and Clement XI put the feast of the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary in force. The feast is celebrated on the 7th of October. Leo XIII considered the Rosary to be the most reliable weapons against distresses and difficulties of his time When the Virgin Mary appeared in Fatima in 1917, She named Herself Queen of the Holy Rosary and pressingly asked to recite the prayer
October 16, 2002 the Apostolic Message by Pope John Paul II added “The Luminous Mysteries” dedicated to Jesus Christ’s public life to the Holy Rosary.
The Holy Rosary is the combination of the verbal prayer and the mental one. Carried by means of beads; we meditate on main events of Jesus and Mary’s life and draw an exhortation from them, and we also add the verbal prayers to the meditation on each event: “Our Father”, “Hail Mary, full of grace”, “Glory” and especially prayer exclamations.
The whole Rosary includes twenty events or “mysteries” of which five prayers are joyful (from Jesus Christ’s childhood), five of them are light (from Jesus’s public life and ministry), five are sorrowful ones that concern His suffering and death, and five other prayers are glorious reminding of Jesus and Mary’s eternal glory in heaven. Thus, the Holy Rosary is divided into four parts, each of which contains five themes for meditations called “mysteries”.
The Joyful Mysteries
1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity
4. The Presentation
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
|The Luminous Mysteries
1. The Baptism of the Lord
2. The Wedding of Cana
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom
4. The Transfiguration
5. The Institution of the Eucharist
|The Sorrowful Mysteries
1. The Agony in the garden
2. The Scourging at the pillar
3. The Crowning with thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
|The Glorious Mysteries
1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascention
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption
5. The Coronation
As suggested by the Pope John Paul II the Joyful mysteries are said on Monday and Saturday, the Luminous on Thursday, the Sorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, and the Glorious on Wednesday and Sunday (with this exception: Sundays of Christmas season – The Joyful; Sundays of Lent – Sorrowful)
How To Pray The Rosary:
1 Make the Sign of the Cross and say the “Apostles’ Creed.”
2 Say the “Our Father.”
3 Say three “Hail Marys.”
4 Say the “Glory be to the Father.”
5 Announce the First Mystery; then say the “Our Father.”
6 Say ten “Hail Marys,” while meditating on the Mystery.
7 Say the “Glory be to the Father.”
8 Announce the Second Mystery; then say the “Our Father.”
Repeat 6 and 7 and continue with Third, Fourth and Fifth Mysteries in the same manner. After each decade say the following prayer requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima:
“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.”
After the Rosary
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, 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!
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.