The Holy Rosary is one of the most powerful prayers and devotions. In fact, the Rosary is a complete school of spirituality and a pathway to Heaven.
All too often, many people think the Rosary is just a continuous repetition of the vocal prayers: the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be to the Father. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, the Rosary does consist of the greatest vocal prayers known to humanity.
The Our Father is the pray taught to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He gave us this divine prayer so that we would be able to pray to God the Father in the exact same way that Our Lord prayed to His own Father.
The Hail Mary is composed from the salutation that God the Father sent to the Virgin Mary to ask her to become the mother of His Son. What more beautiful way to address Our Lady than with the very words that God used to initiated the process of our redemption.
The second part of the Hail Mary is based on the greeting with which St. Elizabeth welcomed the Blessed Virgin Mary carrying the Second Person of the Holy Trinity made man in her womb.
The third part is comprised of our supplication to Holy Mary to pray for us and help us now and at the final moment of our lives.
The Glory Be is a canticle of praise to each Person of the Most Holy Trinity!
All of these elements make the Rosary a most precious and powerful devotion. But it doesn’t stop there. The Holy Rosary also includes mental prayer through which we raise our hearts and our minds up to God by meditation on the events and mysteries of the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother Mary.
Hence, the Rosary is a great aid in the salvation of souls, a great weapon in the destruction of evil and a priceless treasure to achieve sanctification.
The Holy Rosary was first given by Our Lady herself to St. Dominic in 1214. She has repeatedly asked us to pray the Rosary throughout the centuries.
The Holy Rosary is so dear to Our Lady that when she appeared in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 to the three shepherd children, she used it to identify herself. When asked by the children who she was, Our Lady replied, “I am the Lady of the Rosary!”
She promised that the world would convert, that peace would come and that Her Immaculate Heart would triumph. One of the main conditions for this to happen: The Rosary must be prayed!
It is with the greatest enthusiasm that we invite you to use the spiritual weapons that you will find in the Spiritual Arsenal for Operation Storm Heaven.
In the Spiritual Arsenal, you will find the history of the Rosary as well as many of the miracles obtained through the Rosary (soon to be posted).
You will also find the promises of the Rosary, meditations for each mystery, and devotional aids to help you gain the most from your recitation of the Holy Rosary (soon to be posted).
Initially, it is recommended that you begin by praying 5 decades each day (one set of five mysteries). This should take approximately 15-20 minutes. As you gradually grow in your devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary through the Holy Rosary and according to your state in life, your goal should be to recite the entire Rosary (15 decades comprised of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries) each day. This should take between 45 - 60 minutes; about the same amount of time used to watch a full TV episode. (The Luminous Mysteries may be added if you choose, making the entire Rosary 20 decades. However, this is not obligatory in order to recite the full Rosary).
Though this may seem like a lot of time to pray 5, 10, 15 or 20 decades, please consider the following: When you appear before Our Lord Jesus Christ at the end of your mortal existence, do you want to be able to say that you watched more TV or spent more time on social media? Or do you want to be able to say to Him that you prayed the Holy Rosary of His Blessed Mother every day and through it you came to know Him better, love Him more and serve Him fervently? Just a thought.
If you have never prayed the Rosary before or only pray 5 decades each day at present, please only increase to 15 decades gradually and not all at once. The devil, sly as he is and always looking for a way to stop devotion to the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, sometimes tempts souls to take on all 15 decades (or 20) in a moment of enthusiasm. Afterward the soul feels overwhelmed with this amount of prayer and then the devil comes with the temptation to stop praying the Rosary entirely. Do not give him this opportunity.
First, form the habit of praying 5 decades each day, and only after the habit is formed, then add another 5 decades until it becomes a habit. Once the habit of 10 decades is formed, add another 5 decades. This way, the entire Rosary will gradually become part of your daily life and will not overwhelm you.
You do not need to pray the decades all at the same time. Many people find it helpful to spread the recitation of the Holy Rosary throughout the day. A bit in the morning, some in the afternoon and the rest in the evening is a good way to do it. Some people like to pray their Rosary during their evening walk; others pray it after morning Mass; while others will get up early in the morning to pray the Rosary before they start their day. Please find the way and the time and the amount that is best for you according to your state in life. If you are retired, you may be able to recite the entire Rosary. If you are a parent raising young children, 5 decades may be the right amount for you at this present stage in your life.
Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, the reality is we all lead busy lives in today's world. For this reason, people sometimes pray their Rosary while driving or stuck in traffic. This is not the optimal prayer setting as you are not able to focus entirely on the mysteries. However, if you know that you will not get your Rosary said otherwise, then it is better to say it than not.
There is no way to overemphasize the importance of the Family Rosary! This indeed is the very best way of saying the Holy Rosary together as a family or with others. As Our Lord Jesus Christ promised us, "Where two or three meet in My Name, I am there among you (Matthew 18:20)!" Countless saints have preached the family rosary as the means to safeguard the family and our children from evil. Saint Pius X stated "If you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary!" With TV and social media and teenage rebellion, this is not an easy task. But it is worth every bit of effort to instill the habit of praying the Rosary in your children and your friends (See Promises and Miracles of the Rosary, soon to be posted).
You don’t have to be Catholic to pray it. But be warned, if you are not already Catholic and you frequently pray the Rosary, you will gradually grow closer to Christ and you will end up converting to the True Faith. This is one of the many promises given by Our Lady to those who recite her Holy Rosary.
You don’t have to have a rosary in your hand to pray, although it sure helps with the counting. (You can use fingers, too!)
The Rosary is prayed on blessed beads that consist of 5 sections of one bead for the Our Father and Glory Be, and ten beads for the Hail Marys that correspond to each decade. Please see How to Pray the Rosary section directly below for further details.
Your rosary should be blessed by a Catholic Priest and should be treated with love and respect. Please always remember that it is a Precious Treasure, a Great Weapon and Powerful Aid. When it gets old and broken, it should be discarded with respect either by burying it in the ground or burning it.
How to Pray the Rosary:
(Prayers and Mysteries are listed below these steps)
Start by making the Sign of the Cross. Then, holding the crucifix, pray the Apostles’ Creed. (It is recommended to piously kiss the crucifix before starting, and making the sign of the cross with the crucifix).
- On the first bead, pray the Our Father.
- On the next three beads, pray a Hail Mary on each bead, followed by a Glory Be and the Fatima prayer on the next bead. The three Hail Marys represent prayers for Faith, for Hope and for Charity.
- Now move to the center piece to start the first decade by announcing the mystery and praying an Our Father. Then go to the ten beads praying a Hail Mary on each bead. At the end of the ten Hail Marys (a decade), pray a Glory Be on the next bead that is separated from the ten beads by a bit of chain. The Fatima Prayer is prayed here as well.
- To begin the next decade, announce the next mystery and recite an Our Father before proceeding to the ten Hail Marys for that decade. The rosary contains five decades. As you begin each decade, remember to announce one of the five Mysteries for the day. Then meditate on the mystery as you pray the decade.
- Pray the Hail Holy Queen at the conclusion of the rosary, when you have returned to the center piece.
- Then pray the Concluding Prayer.
The prayers mentioned above can be found here below.
(When the rosary is prayed in a group, usually one person leads and others respond. Responses are in italics)
Prayers of the Rosary:
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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, 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, 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 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.
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
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 our 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.
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 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 original three sets of mysteries of the Rosary given to St. Dominic by Our Lady are:
These five mysteries help us meditate on the joyful events in the life of Jesus and Mary. They are customarily prayed on Mondays and Thursdays. You may also recite them on Saturdays, and on all Sundays in the Christmas Season.
These five mysteries help us meditate on the sorrowful events in the life of Jesus and Mary. They are prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays.
These five mysteries help us meditate on the glorious events in the life of Jesus and Mary. They are traditionally prayed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
As part of his effort to reignite devotion to the Holy Rosary and highlight its importance, Pope St. John Paul II added the following set of mysteries:
These five mysteries help us meditate on events in the public ministry of Jesus. They are prayed on Thursdays in place of the Joyful Mysteries.