The Holy Rosary is considered one of the most important prayers in the Catholic Church. It is introduced by the Creed, the Our Father, three hail Marys and the Doxology, and is concluded with the Salve Regina. In its entirety, the Holy Rosary involves the recitation of five decades which consists of 10 hail Marys, Our Father, and the Doxology.
The Holy Rosary is recited with the Rosary beads in hand. Rosary beads, which are one of the most recognizable symbols of Christianity, are small beads that are used to count the prayers. The main purpose of reciting the Holy Rosary is to keep the memory alive of certain principal events and mysteries that took place in history.
History of the Holy Rosary
The origin of the Holy Rosary is disputed. According to a popular Catholic belief, the rosary was instituted by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself in the 13th century. It is believed that she appeared to St. Dominic, founder of the Dominicans, and presented him with a rosary. She instructed him to ask devout Christians to pray the Hail Mary, Our Father and Glory Be prayers instead of the Psalms.
In the 16th century, Pope Pius V officially establishes the devotion to the rosary in the Catholic Church. Saint Peter Canisius, who added the sentence “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,” to the Holy Mary, advocated that the Holy Rosary was the best way to repair the damage that was caused to the Church because of the Reformation.
The Holy Rosary remained mostly unchanged from the 16th to 20th century. In the 17th century, the Holy Rosary became an important element of Roman Catholic Marian art. A key example of this includes Bartolome Esteban Murillo’s Madonna with the Rosary, which is featured at the Museo del Prado in Spain.
Key Dates in the Development of the Rosary
- 15th Century – In the 15th century, Alanus de Rupe, a Roman Catholic theologian, introduces the 15 promises Virgin Mary made to devout Christians if they recited the Rosary.
- 1514 – The present form of Hail Mary is finally reached.
- 1569 – In 1569, Pope Pius V introduces and establishes the current form of the original 15 mysteries.
- 1589 – John Bucke’s Instructions for the use of the beads is published in 1589.
- 2002 – In 2002, Pope John Paul II introduces Luminous Mysteries as an option for Roman Catholics.
How to Pray the Holy Rosary?
In total there are 59 beads in a rosary. The following steps will help you pray the Holy Rosary successfully.
1) While holding on to the crucifix, you must recite the Apostle’s Creed.
2) Follow the Apostle’s Creed and recite Our Father while holding on to the next large bead.
3) Pray three hail Mary’s on the next three beads.
4) Hold the chain and pray Glory Be.
5) After you have recited Glory be, hold the next large bead and announce the first mystery, “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but has risen”‘ (Luke 24:1-5). And follow this with Our Father.
6) While meditating on the First Mystery, you must recite ten Hail Mary’s on the next ten beads.
7) Once again hold the chain and pray Glory to be.
8) And follow steps 5 to 8 for the next four decades.
Holy Rosary Prayers
The most commonly recited prayers in the Holy Rosay are Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. A decade consists of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be.
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; on the third day, He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there He will 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.
Our Father which 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 debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
Hail, Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst 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.
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,
a world without end.
More Rosary Prayers
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.
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, My mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen
Holy Rosary Mysteries
Other than these prayers, the Holy Rosary also includes twenty mysteries. There are five mysteries for each Rosary and since there are five decades in a rosary, therefore, each decade corresponds to one mystery. The four sets of mysteries are:
- The Annunciation to Mary
- The Visitation of Mary
- The Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ
- The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple
- The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple
- Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan
- The Wedding at Cana
- The Proclamation of the Kingdom
- The Transfiguration
- The Institution of the Eucharis
- The Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
- The Scourging of Jesus at the Pillar
- The Crowning of Jesus with Thorns
- The Carrying of the Cross
- The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
- The Resurrection of Jesus
- The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
- The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
- The Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven
The Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary
1) Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces.
2) I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
3) The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
4) The Rosary will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
5) The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.
6) Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he is just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
7) Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
8) Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death, they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
9) I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
10) The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
11) You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
12) All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
13) I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
14) All who recite the Rosary are my sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters of my only Son Jesus Christ.
15) Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Why Should You Recite The Holy Rosary Daily?
There are several wonderful reasons why we should recite the Holy Rosary daily. Let us recount some of the benefits of daily Rosary recitations:
1) Rosary helps us live a life where we are connected to Jesus Christ- Reciting the Holy Rosary daily gives us an opportunity to focus on the major events of Jesus’s life. The twenty mysteries included in the Holy Rosary help us pay close attention to Jesus’s actions and teachings.
2) The Blessed Virgin Mary will shower us with graces- According to one of the fifteen promises the Virgin Mary made to Saint Dominic, the Blessed Virgin Mary would bless the Christians with graces who recite the Holy Rosary.
3) Reciting the Rosary daily allows you to pray for other people- By making the commitment of reciting the Holy Rosary every day, you allow yourself to dedicate your time to strongly pray for the well-being and happiness of other people.
Through the centuries, many saints and popes have sung high praises of the Holy Rosary. For instance, Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort wrote: “The rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, who so loves His Mother.”
St. Francis de Sales said the greatest method of praying is- Pray the Rosary.
Pope Adrian VI said that “The rosary is the scourge of the devil.” And Pope Paul V said that “The rosary is a treasure of Graces.”
You can pray the rosary online using our website’s resources.
- History of the Holy Rosary
- Key Dates in the Development of the Rosary
- How to Pray the Holy Rosary?
- Holy Rosary Prayers
- More Rosary Prayers
- Holy Rosary Mysteries
- The Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary
- Why Should You Recite The Holy Rosary Daily?