The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an ancient devotional prayer which meditates upon some of the mysteries from the life of Jesus Christ. There are four categories of mysteries (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious) and each category has five mysteries of Christ’s life which are recalled from Scripture and Tradition; with each mystery, a man can be blessed to grow in holiness by reflecting on fruits of the each of the mysteries. 

The Holy Catholic Church grants those who pray the Rosary with others (at a parish, a family Rosary, etc.) a Plenary Indulgence (MOI 17.1) under the usual conditions; if prayed by one’s self, a Partial Indulgence is granted (MOI 17.1). In addition, the Church grants a Partial Indulgence for the faithful who pray with a Rosary which has been properly blessed by a priest or deacon (MOI 14.2).

The Mysteries of the Rosary and the Fruit of the Mystery

Joyful Mysteries (Monday and Saturday)
  1. The Annunciation (Lk 1:26-27) – Fruit of the Mystery: Humility
  2. The Visitation (Lk 1:39-42) –  Fruit: Charity, Love of Neighbor
  3. The Birth of our Lord (Lk 2:1-7) – Fruit: Spiritual Poverty, Love of God 
  4. The Presentation of our Lord (Lk 2:21-24) – Fruit: Obedience
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Lk 2:41-47) – Fruit: Piety/Zeal for God the Fathe
Luminous Mysteries (Thursday)
  1. The Baptism of Our Lord in the Jordan River (Mt 3:16-17) – Fruit of the Mystery:Sacrament of Baptism/Desire for the Holy Spirit
  2. The Wedding Feast at Cana (Jn 2:1-5) – Fruit: Gratitude for Faith/Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Mk 1:15) – Fruit: Repentance and Trust in God/Evangelization
  4. The Transfiguration of Our Lord (Mt 17:1-2) – Fruit: Spiritual Courage/Desire for Holiness
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist by Our Lord (Mt 26:26) – Fruit: Adoration of the Eucharist/Sacred Awe in the Mass
Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday and Friday)
  1. The Agony in the Garden (Mt 26:36-39) – Fruit of the Mystery: Sorrow for Sin and Contrition/Conformance to God’s Will
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Mt 27:26) – Fruit: Purity/Mortification
  3. The Crowning with Thorns (Mt 27:27-29) – Fruit: Moral Courage
  4. The Carrying of the Cross (Mk 15:21-22) – Fruit: Patience
  5. The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord (Lk: 23:33-46) – Fruit: Salvation/Perseverance/Forgiveness of Others
Glorious Mysteries (Wednesday and Sunday)
  1. The Resurrection of Our Lord (Lk 24:1-5) – The Fruit of the Mystery: Faith
  2. The Ascension of Our Lord (Mk 16:19) – Fruit: Hope/Desire for Heaven
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) – Fruit: Love of God/Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  4. The Assumption of our Blessed Mother into Heaven (Lk 1:48-49) – Fruit: Grace of a Holy Death
  5. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth (Rev 12:1) – Fruit: Devotion to the Blessed Mother

Praying the Rosary

 Identify which of the four Mysteries of the Rosary to be prayed (see above) and hold the Rosary.

Make the Sign of the Cross

In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

Hold the Crucifix and pray 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 the Father; 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.

Bead 1 – Hold the first bead and pray The Our Father. 

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.

Bead 2 – Hold the second bead, pray for the Virtue of Faith and pray The 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.

Bead 3 – Hold the third bead, pray for the Virtue of Hope and pray The Hail Mary. 
Bead 4 – Hold the fourth bead, pray for the Virtue of Charity and pray The Hail Mary. 

Pray The 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.

Some men also add the Fatima Prayer:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to heaven especially those who are in most need of Your mercy. Amen.

The First Decade
Bead 5
Hold the fifth bead, say The First Mystery and The Fruit of the Mystery for the day’s chosen Mystery (see below) and pray The Our Father; some men also recite the Gospel reading and/or the Fruit of the Mystery (see below) which he hopes to receive before praying The Our Father.
Beads 6-15

(The First Decade – the next 10 beads) – Hold each bead in turn and pray The Hail Mary meditating upon some aspect of the Mystery. Pray The Glory Be (Prayer of Fatima).

The Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Decades

Repeat the same prayers as the First Decade, meditating on each of the successive Mysteries and their Fruits (see below). 

Hold the Medallion/Rosary Center – Pray The Hail Holy Queen.

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 towards 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.

Pray The Prayer to St. Joseph (Pope Leo XIII).

To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

Pray The Rosary Prayer

O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Additional meditations upon the Mysteries of the Rosary

To supplement your meditations upon the Mysteries of the Rosary, you can refer to Daily Devotions which correspond with each of the Mysteries. 

Mystery of the Rosary                                                                       A

Note: Linkages to the Devotional coming soon.

The Joyful Mysteries (prayed Mondays and Saturdays)

The Annunciation

Lk 1:26-38

The Visitation

Lk 1:39-45

Lk 1:46-56

The Nativity

Lk 2:1-14

Lk 2:15-20

The Presentation

Lk 2:22-40

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Lk 2:41-52

The Luminous Mysteries (prayed on Thursdays)

The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan

Mk 1:7-11

The Manifestation of Christ at the Wedding of Cana

Jn 2:1-11

The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God and His call to Conversion

Mk 1:12-15

The Transfiguration

Mk 9:2-13

The Institution of the Eucharist

Jn 13:1-15

The Sorrowful Mysteries (prayed Tuesdays and Fridays)

The Agony in the Garden

John 18:1-19:42; * see below

The Scourging at the Pillar

    Ditto

The Crowning with Thorns

    Ditto

The Carrying of the Cross

    Ditto

The Crucifixion

    Ditto

The Glorious Mysteries (prayed Wednesdays and Sundays)

The Resurrection

Mk 16:1-7

The Ascension

Lk 24:46-53

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

John 20:19-23 (see also Acts 2:1-13)

The Assumption

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Luke 1:39-56

The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God – Luke 2:16-21

* Short meditations upon The Sorrowful Mysteries

Unlike the other Mysteries of the Rosary which have individual Gospel readings for each of the parts of the Mysteries and have Daily Devotions, the Liturgy covers the entirety of the Passion with a single reading so deeper meditations on each of the Sorrowful Mysteries are not included. Here are several short meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries which may be helpful:

Experiences agony in Garden of Gethsemane – Knowing from practical and His Divine experience of the horrors of crucifixion, He prays, alone, uncomforted by His sleeping disciples.  Jesus sweats blood (Lk 22:44), a rare and painful condition called hematidrosis that occurs during times of great stress/mental suffering, leaving the skin extremely tender and fragile. Dehydration has begun.

Experiences the failure of His disciples – In the Garden, Jesus experiences the betrayal of Judas, who ironically betrays Him with a kiss (Lk 22:48) and the violence of Peter (Lk 22:51).  Predicting that Peter will deny Him, Jesus then witnesses Peter’s denial (Lk 22:61).

Goes without food, drink and sleep – From the Last Supper, Jesus goes without food, water or sleep during a time of significant stress and physical exertion. He is forced to walk over 2 miles as He is paraded before the Jewish leadership, Pilate and Herod.

Is beaten and brutally scourged – There are several instances where Jesus is struck in the face and head (Mt 26:67, 27:30) causing bruising and swelling.  His nose was battered and swollen. The scourging (Mt 27:26) ripped His flesh in places to the bone, leaving over 120 wounds over His back, sides, legs and arms which ooze blood/plasma.

His head is punctured with the crown of thorns – The nail-like thorns, measuring 2-4 inches, penetrated the skin in many places and perhaps the skull, causing great pain and a marked loss of blood (Mt 27:29).

Struggles with the Cross – Jesus carries the Cross with help from Simon of Cyrene (Jn 19:17) a distance of almost ½ mile uphill.  The Cross is heavy (100-200 pounds) bruising His shoulders.  He falls three times scraping the skin off His knees.

Is Crucified – Weakened, He is nailed to the Cross with iron spikes that were driven through His palms and feet (Jn 25:20). The nerve density makes these wounds particularly painful and there was a significant loss of blood.

Mentally suffers on the Cross – He waits for death, watching the Blessed Virgin Mary, John and others grieve for Him.  He feels sorrow for those who kill Him, asking “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).  He cries out to the Father in anguish (Mt 27:46).  

Physically suffers and dies on the Cross – For three long hours, His many wounds hurt.  He struggles to relieve the searing nerve pain and ripping flesh by nails. His shoulders ache as the joints are pulled.  He thirsts due to lack of water and dehydration from blood loss and sweating.  His painful cause of death by some combination of loss of blood, shock and asphyxiation.

Other prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Angelus Domini (Partial Indulgence MOI 17.2.2)

Typically prayed  in the Morning, Midday, and Evening except during Easter season when the Regina Caeli is prayed instead.

The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary…

Behold the handmaid of the Lord,  be it done unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary… 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Hail Mary… 

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

Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts: that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ thy Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Regina Caeli (Partial Indulgence MOI 17.2.2)

Typically prayed in the Morning, Midday, and Evening during Easter season.

Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia: For the Son you were privileged to bear, alleluia, is risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia. 

Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia! For the Lord is truly risen, alleluia. 

O God, Who gave joy to the world through the Resurrection of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord, Amen.

Salve, Regina (Partial Indulgence MOI 17.2.3)

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 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, pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Sancta Maria, succurre miseris (Partial Indulgence MOI 17.2.3)

Holy Mary, succor the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Amen.  

Sub tuum praesidium (Partial Indulgence (MOI 17.2.3) 

We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen. 

The Litany of Lorreto (Partial Indulgence MOI 22)

This Litany is approved for public prayer.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world… 

God the Holy Spirit…

Holy Trinity, one God…

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Holy Mother of God…

Most honored of virgins…

Mother of Christ…

Mother of the Church… 

Mother of divine grace…

Mother most pure…

Mother of chaste love…

Mother and virgin…

Sinless Mother…

Dearest of mothers… 

Model of motherhood… 

Mother of good counsel…

Mother of our Creator…

Mother of our Savior… 

Virgin most wise…

Virgin rightly praised…

Virgin rightly renowned… 

Virgin most powerful…

Virgin gentle in mercy…

Faithful Virgin…

Mirror of justice…

Throne of wisdom… 

Cause of our joy… 

Shrine of the Spirit…

Glory of Israel…

Vessel of selfless devotion…

Mystical Rose…

Tower of David…

Tower of ivory… 

House of gold… 

Ark of the covenant… 

Gate of Heaven… 

Morning star… 

Health of the sick…

Refuge of sinners… 

Comfort of the troubled…

Help of Christians…

Queen of Angels…

Queen of Patriarchs and Prophets…

Queen of Apostles and Martyrs… 

Queen of Confessors and Virgins… 

Queen of all Saints…

Queen conceived without sin… 

Queen assumed into Heaven…

Queen of the Rosary…

Queen of families… 

Queen of peace…

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Pray for us, holy Mother of God, that we may become worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Eternal God, let Your people enjoy constant health in mind and body. Through the intercession of the Virgin Mary free us from the sorrows of this life and lead us to happiness in the life of come. Grant this through Christ our Lord, Amen.