The rosary is a traditional Catholic devotion that was given to Saint Dominic in an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1214. The word rosary is derived from rosarium, which is Latin for “rose garden”. The purpose of this devotion is to meditate on the mysteries in the history of our salvation. It consists of four sets of mysteries which are broken up in five groups (or decades) that consist of 11 beads: 10 for Hail Mary prayers starting with an Our Father and ending with a Glory Be prayer. Its been said that a sign of a true Catholic is devotion to Mary, especially one who carries a rosary in their pocket. This is one of the great devotions in the Catholic faith and I recommend all to pray this daily.
Many people don’t pray the rosary, they just say it. The correct words come out of their mouth while their minds wander. Each decade of the rosary is associated with a mystery to be meditated upon. This meditation is not the same as that used in Eastern religions where they empty their head of all thoughts. Instead, each decade is actively thought about while saying the prayer words. The three prayers in each decade is a timing mechanism which takes about three minutes to complete before moving to the next part of the rosary.
The next question is: what do you think of while praying a mystery? Most of the rosary is based directly on the Bible so its important to read and understand what is written. If you don’t regularly read the Bible, this is a good reason to start.
It takes about 15 minutes to pray the rosary. Everyone has time to pray at least one rosary a day. If not, then spend a day writing down all of your activities, including your idle times. If you don’t have time for prayer your Christian life has to be seriously questioned because your putting worldly affairs ahead of God.
You don’t have to pray all four rosaries everyday. Start with one and try to increase it later. Remember that you are praying this to help the souls in Purgatory. The rosary is most powerful prayer after the Mass and has the advantage of being able to pray it anywhere at anytime.
How To Pray The Rosary
A great place to learn how to pray the rosary is from the group who brought it to us, the Dominican Fathers in their Rosary Center website. The instructions for the rosary can be found at www.rosary-center.org/howto.htm. For the most benefit in praying the rosary, enroll in the Rosary Confraternity through this site. In addition to getting special protection from the Mother of God, you will also get various partial and plenary indulgences.
Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary
Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.
- I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
- The rosary shall be a powerful armor against Hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
- It 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 of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
- The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.
- 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 but just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
- Whosoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
- Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
- I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
- The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
- You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
- All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
- 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.
- All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.
- Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan
Imprimatur: Patrick J. Hayes, D.D. (Archbishop of New York)