Our Lady to St. Dominic (1214): “Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world? “
— ‘Oh, my Lady,’ answered St. Dominic, ‘you know far better than I do…’
Then Our Lady replied:
“I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach My Psalter.” — Our Lady to Saint Dominic, from The Secret of the Rosary by Saint Louis de Montfort.
Our Lady uses the language of the Church militant. She does not speak of the Rosary in a sentimental manner in order to achieve good feelings or pan-religious unity. No, She refers to it as battering ram against heresy. Arm yourself, then, with the Rosary, to Fight Heresy, Corruption and Godlessness.
The Saints often had these words on their lips:
“Dignare me laudare te, Virgó Sacráta. Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos!”
“Grant that I may praise thee, O most Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thy enemies!”
We could say the above words each time we take up our Rosary.
You can start praying the Rosary following the Mysteries below (in English or Latin), or the way St. Dominic used to pray through Psalters of 150 Angelic Salutations. For centuries, the Rosary was known as “Our Lady’s Psalter.” Praying in Latin can help facilitate increased focus on the mysteries of the rosary as well as deepen meditation.
The Rosary in English
|Joyful Mysteries||Mysteria Gaudiosa|
|Sorrowful Mysteries||Mysteria Dolorosa|
|Glorious Mysteries||Mysteria Gloriosa|
The Holy Rosary is to be prayed — not simply recited. Try to place yourself “into” the scene of the particular mystery as you pray. One single “Hail Mary” prayed from the heart is worth a thousand spoken only upon the lips. Practically everyone who prays the Rosary “offers” the Rosary to God, and Our Lady for an intention. Some people offer particular intentions before each decade. Ask God for a grace, to grant you a favor, heal a sick person, defeat heresy, corruption, godlessness, or convert a sinner.
Favorite Rosary Books
The Rosary Warfare book contains numerous ways of praying the Rosary with many beautiful colored pictures of stained glass windows to inspire you. Specially included are a Douay-Rheims Scriptural Rosary. It provides us with several ways of praising Our Lady better.
As we pray the Rosary, with the aid of this book, we make use of all that we have at our disposal, from history: pictures, thoughts, summaries and even Gregorian Chant. Sages and saints, from earliest times, have taught that singing a prayer is more powerful than speaking it. “He who sings well prays twice”. (Qui bene cantat, bis orat). Gregorian chant, therefore, seems well-suited for singing the Rosary.
The Rosary is a major part of a Christian’s daily warfare. No one with experience of the prayer of the rosary will say that it is easy to pray, not that it is not a most powerful weapon against the devil.
This book engages the soul in the combat for Eternal Salvation. It is a sequel to Christian Warfare, which gives much help to direct the soul in the daily battle of the Christian Life.
How to Pray the Rosary?
The Rosary prayer focuses on the life of Christ from the Scriptures…it is partly a history lesson. To that end, the beads of the Rosary are divided into five decades (or sections); each decade represents an event from the life of Christ. These five events are grouped into a set of Mysteries, that is a “truth” from the life of Christ. There are three sets of these “mysteries” of five events each, and each event is focused on important part of the life of Christ.
It begins with the Apostles’ Creed, which summarizes the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Our Father, which introduces each mystery, is from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angel’s words announcing Christ’s birth and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part of the Hail Mary. The Mysteries of the Rosary center on the events of Christ’s life. There are three sets of Mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious.
The repetition in the Rosary is meant to lead one into restful and contemplative prayer related to each Mystery. The gentle repetition of the words helps us to enter into the silence of our hearts, where Christ’s spirit dwells. The Rosary can be said privately or with a group.
Familiarize yourself and/or your group with the prayers of the Rosary. Follow this link and print the entire page using our “Print Friendly” icon.
Praying the Holy Rosary Step by Step
- Holding the crucifix of the Rosary with your right hand, make the Sign of the Cross and then kiss the crucifix.
It is good to begin your Rosary by offering it for some intention.
Example: “I offer this Rosary for all my spiritual needs and those of my family, for the conversion of sinners, in reparation for my sins and those of all sinners, for world peace and the triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.” On the crucifix, pray the Apostles’ Creed.
- On the first single bead after the crucifix, pray an Our Father.
- On each of the next three beads, which are grouped together, pray a Hail Mary.
- On the next single bead, announce the decade and then pray an Our Father. (Example: “The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation. Our Father, Who art…”)
- On each of the ten beads that follow, pray a Hail Mary while reflecting upon the mystery assigned to this decade (see list of mysteries below). Some people find that looking at a picture depicting each mystery helps them meditate on the mystery.
After the ten Hail Marys, pray the “Glory be” and “O my Jesus…”
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have prayed all 5 decades.
After saying the five decades, many Catholics also pray the “Hail Holy Queen,” the Prayer to St. Michael, and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin at the end of the Rosary, and/or accomplish with this dialogue and prayer:
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: 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 while meditating on 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.
Traditionally, the mysteries of the Rosary are said according to the following schedule
|Sundays of Advent: Joyful|
Sundays of Lent: Sorrowful
All other Sundays: Glorious
Those who are able are encouraged to pray all 15 decades of the Rosary every day. Evangelize the traditional Catholic faith by publicly praying the rosary in plain view while walking in public. And fulfill our Blessed Mother’s request to pray the rosary frequently for the salvation of mankind.
Traditional vs New Rosary by Sensus Fidelium
In October 2002, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, recommended “adding” 5 more Mysteries to the Rosary to be prayed on Thursdays — the “Luminous Mysteries” which focus on Jesus’ public life. These Mysteries are: the Baptism in the Jordan, the Marriage Feast at Cana, the Proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist. This option, however, totally disrupts the relationship between the Rosary and the Breviary’s Psalms. Traditional Catholics stick with the classic tried-and-true Rosary, and the following video explains why:
Meriting a Plenary Indulgence
The Catholic Church, exercising its authority to “bind and loose on heaven and earth,” and in perfect accord with God’s Mercy, has set the following conditions for the granting of a plenary indulgence for those who pray the Rosary:
- Be in a state of grace–that is your soul is free from mortal sin.
- Be free from attachment to–that is, not in the habit of–venial sin.
- Go to confession several days before or after praying the Rosary.
- Receive Holy Communion on the day you pray the Rosary.
- Say a prayer for the Pope.
By fulfilling these simple (but often difficult) conditions, you merit the grace to release one soul from Purgatory. While we are free to ask God to apply this grace to a particular soul, God can do as he pleases, according to His Will and Mercy. You can also ask God to apply this special grace to your own soul. A plenary indulgence will relieve the temporal punishment due to sin (it will not absolve the sin or cause the sin to be forgiven).
Our Lady’s 15 Promises for Praying the Rosary
“If there were one million families praying the Rosary every day, the entire world would be saved.” – Pope St. Pius X
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