The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a method of prayer that was given to the Church by Our Lady herself and that has been reinforced by her in every approved apparition. Although comprised of the vocal prayers, Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, the Rosary is primarily a means to meditate on the mysteries and events of the life of Jesus and Mary. Whilst praying the vocal prayers we enter into mental prayer as we focus on each scene from the life of Christ. These mysteries are divided into three sets- The Joyful Mysteries, The Sorrowful Mysteries and The Glorious Mysteries- each set containing five mysteries, one for each of the decades of the Rosary.
Rosary beads are used to help us focus and keep our place. When blessed by a priest, these beads become a sacramental, a sacred object which protects us from evil and leads us to God when used devoutly.
See the picture below to understand the geography of the beads and the prayers associated with each one. The initial three ‘Hail Mary’ beads are for an increase in the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.
Sign of the Cross – In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
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 Ghost, 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, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Our Father- Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in 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- 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 Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.
Fatima Prayer (Said after the Glory Be)- 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.
Hail Holy Queen (At the end)- Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, 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 merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.
To pray the mysteries of the Rosary, click on one of the headings below.
Joyful Mysteries – Monday, Thursday and Saturday and Sundays from the start of Advent to the start of Lent.
Sorrowful Mysteries– Tuesday, Friday and Sundays during Lent
Glorious Mysteries – Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays from Easter to Advent
To learn more about the history and importance of the Rosary, visit our Resources Page or listen to the following talk by the holy priest, Fr Hugh Thwaites SJ.