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I. About the Rosary:
The Rosary is a meditative prayer. It is said with a set of prayer beads: a cross at one end, followed by a few beads, a religious medal (or a knot), and a large loop of beads: five sets of ten. These sets are called decades. Each decade is associated with a "mystery" of the lives of Jesus and Mary to be reflected upon during the oral part of the prayer.
There are three sets of these mysteries (generally only one set is prayed each day). The first set is the "Joyful Mysteries," the second is the "Sorrowful Mysteries," and the third is the "Glorious Mysteries." All but the last two Glorious Mysteries are scripturally based. These last two are the "Assumption of Mary into Heaven" and the "Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth." These last two mysteries are based upon traditions regarding Mary.
More on the Assumption & Coronation.
II. A Brief History of the Rosary.The rosary is said to have come to us from St. Dominic. The prayer was made popular at a time when only the wealthy and/or well-educated had access to the bible. The printing press was not invented or yet practical & the bible was not translated into the languages of the people. Thus the rosary has been called the "poor man's bible." Each "Hail Mary" prayer is said to be like offering the Blessed Mother a mystical rose…a token of our regard. By honoring the Mother of God we honor God himself, her creator and redeemer. By imitating Mary we become better disciples of Jesus: we follow him, we hold his words and deeds in our very hearts, and ponder what we do not fully understand as she did. We say humbly to God, "Behold the servant of the Lord…Let it be according to your will." And we follow him. And we stand tall in times of darkness and keep believing when it is hard to do so. We give what is near and dear to us to the world –even knowing that it will end in death and destruction, and hope in the Lord that it will somehow work out in the end. We forgive. We mother. We witness. We pray. All these things are in the bible and in the rosary...find them.
III. Prayers of the rosary:The sign of the cross (beginning and end of prayer/similair to: "in Jesus name").
Do: Right hand with rosary cross on forehead,...............Say: "In the name of the Father,
same hand on diaphragm area,................................................and of the Son,
move to the left shoulder,.......................................................and the Holy
then the right shoulder...........................................................Spirit.
Hands folded in prayer.........................................................Amen."
The Apostles Creed. (said on cross -as a marker).
I believe in God the Father the almighty, the creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son, our Lord who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and became man. For our sakes he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. 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
The Lord's Prayer (said prior to the "Haily Marys" on the rose beads in the photo above).
Our Father who is in heaven, holy is your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven./
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
The Hail Mary (said on the blue beads in the photo above).
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus./
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
The Glory Be (said after the blue beads in the photo above following the "Hail Marys").
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit./
As it was in the beginning, Is now, And will be forever. Amen.
The Hail Holy Queen (said after the last decade of prayers).
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to you do we send up our sighs –mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the most blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.
Refrain: "Pray for us O holy mother of God,/
Response: that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ."
Prior to saying the "mini decade," the small set of three Hail Marys (near the cross)…
Say: "We pray to receive the divine virtues of faith, hope, and charity."
The Memorary (some religious start with this prayer & jump ahead to the mysteries).
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly to you, O virgin of virgins, my mother. To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your clemency hear and answer me. Amen.
The Fatima Prayer (many people follow the "Glory Be" with this prayer).
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 your mercy. Amen.
IV. General List of ReferencesBiblical passages:
New American Bible
Catholic Bible Publishers, Wichita, Kansas: 1983.
Documents of Vatican II.
Encyclicals on Mary by Pope John Paul II.
Writings of St. Louis Marie de Montfort:.
Legion of Mary.
Other sources of inspiration:
Liturgies, prayers, & sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church.
Theological classes & studies of the bible.
Come, 0 Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and enkindle in them the fire of Your love.
v. Send forth Your Spirit, 0 Lord, and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Litany of Salutations to Mary
Hail Mary, daughter of God the Father.
Hail Mary, Mother of God the Son.
Hail Mary, Spouse, of God the Holy Ghost.
Hail Mary, Temple of the Most Blessed Trinity.
Hail Mary, Pure Lily of the Trinity, One God.
Hail Mary, Celestial Rose of the love of God.
Hail Mary, Virgin pure and humble, of whom the King of Heaven willed to be born.
Hail Mary, Virgin of virgins.
Hail Mary, Queen of Martyrs, whose soul a sword transfixed.
Hail Mary, my Queen and my Mother, my life, my sweetness and my hope.
Hail Mary, Mother most amiable.
Hail Mary, Mother most admirable.
Hail Mary, Mother of Divine Love.
Hail Mary, Immaculate, Conceived without sin.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Blessed be your spouse, Saint Joseph,
Blessed be your father, Saint Joachim.
Blessed be your mother, Saint Anne.
Blessed be your guardian, Saint John.
Blessed be your holy Angel, Saint Gabriel.
Glory be to God the Father, who chose you.
Glory be to God the Son, who loved you.
Glory be to God the Holy Spirit, who espoused you.
O Glorious Virgin Mary.
May all people love and praise you.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us and bless us,
Now and at death, in the name of Jesus, your Divine Son.
~St. John Eudes
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