The Holy Rosary
Although the Rosary remains to be one of the most important and iconic symbols of faith, not many know the origin of one of our most sacred practices. The Rosary began all the way back in the 12th century when St. Dominic, in his fervent prayer on how he can stop the misconstrued concept of faith during the time, was instructed by no less than the Blessed Mother through an apparition in the forest of Toulouse to pray what is now known as the Rosary.
Why do we pray? More often than not, we associate our prayers with our petitions. However, more than that, prayer is our way of communicating with our Lord. It is simply our link we keep as a child to a parent.
The Rosary began in the year 1214 when St. Dominic withdrew to a nearby forest in Toulouse, distraught over the conflicting teachings of the Albigensians. After three days of prayer and reflection, Mother Mary herself appeared and taught him the prayer and the importance of the Rosary. It became his life’s work to promote and educate people of this sacred prayer.
Later on, his work was carried on by Blessed Alan de la Roche, a Dominican priest from a monastery not far from where St. Dominic first spoke to the Mother Mary. After an apparition by the Blessed Mother in 1460, Bl. Alan began his work telling people once again about this “Crown of Roses” to be offered to her and our Lord.
Spirituality of the Rosary
St.Paul VI, recalling the traditional teaching of his predecessors, spokes of the Rosary as the “Compendium of the entire Gospel”. A prayer centered on the redemptive incarnation, in which the litany – like succession of the Hail Mary becomes the unceasing praise of Christ (Marialis Cultus 46). It is a contemplative prayer, a form of meditation on the life and works of Jesus seen through the eyes of her beloved Mother. St. Louis Marie de Monfort tells us that the Rosary is compost of mental and vocal prayers, in the method of mental prayer we contemplate of the chief mysteries of the life of Christ and his mother. Meanwhile the vocal prayer consists of the saying the fifteen decades of the rosary, each is headed by the Our Father, while at the same time meditating and contemplating on the fifteen principal virtues which Mary and Jesus practised in the mysteries of the rosary.
Mary’s Maternal role
In 1883, Pope Leo XIII wrote the encyclical, Supremi Apostolatus officio he emphasizes the maternal role of Mary. “It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her maternal goodness; showing that the Catholic Church has always, and with justice, put all her hope and trust in the Mother of God. And truly the Immaculate Virgin, chosen to be the Mother of God and thereby associated with Him in the work of man’s salvation, has a favour and power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature has ever obtained, or ever can gain. And, as it is her greatest pleasure to grant her help and comfort to those who seek her, it cannot be doubted that she would deign, and even be anxious, to receive the aspirations of the universal Church.” Recalling the First Good Friday when Jesus entrusted her mother to his beloved disciple, it is like Jesus entrust us to her beloved mother, by means of reciting her rosary we place ourselves to her maternal protection. Even up to this very day, twentieth century saints like San Padre Pio de Pietrelcina said that the rosary is the weapon for these times, where Satan and his cohorts are very much alive. Let us strive hard to attain eternal life and always seek the intercession of Mary. To pray the Rosary is to contemplate with Mary most holy, the Lord made flesh, crucified and raised to life for the salvation of all. It is also a prayer of the Church; the holy mother church invites us to journey with Mary in reciting of the rosary. (Dictionary of Mary, 1985)
The Rosary is a prayer of salutation to Mother Mary and Jesus Christ. Praying the rosary is meditating on the unconditional love of our God the Father. Sending His only begotten son to save us. From the time He was conceived all the way to His going back to the Father. Reliving it each time we pray the rosary not only to give salutation but it is to strengthen our faith.
How to Pray the Rosary:
- Make the Sign of the Cross and say the Apostles’ Creed.
- Pray the Our Father.
- Say three Hail Mary’s for faith, hope, and charity.
- Pray the Glory Be.
- Announce the first Mystery and then pray one Our Father.
- Say ten Hail Mary’s while meditating on the Mystery.
- Say the Glory Be and O My Jesus, a prayer requested by Mother Mary at Fatima.
- Announce the next Mystery, repeat steps 5 through 8 as you continue meditating on the remaining Mysteries.
- Say the closing prayers: one Hail Holy Queen and the Final Prayer.
- Make the Sign of the Cross.
The Apostles’ Creed
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. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
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.
The Hail Mary
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 (The Doxology)
Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The Hail Holy Queen (The Salve Regina)
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 valley of tears! Turn, then, O 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.
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 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. Amen.
The Fatima Prayer
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy.
More than just a sequence of prayers, the Rosary takes one on a meditative journey through the life of Jesus Christ, grouped into four themed collections called the Mysteries. Learn more about the life of the Lord with the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries.
The Joyful Mysteries (Mondays and Saturdays, Sundays of Advent and Christmas) marks the start of our salvation history through our Lord Jesus Christ upon the acceptance of our Blessed Mother to be the Mother of God. It then chronicles how our Mother Mary become the Mother of God until the revelation of Jesus Christ’s divinity when He was found in the temple of God the Father.
The Annunciation of the Lord to Mary
The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ
The Presentation of our Lord
Finding Jesus in the Temple
The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays of Lent) are all about Christ’s passion, from His capture in the Garden of Gethsemane until His Crucifixion.
The Agony of Jesus in the Garden
The Scourging at the Pillar
Jesus is Crowned with Thorns
Jesus Carried the Cross
The Crucifixion of our Lord
The Glorious Mysteries (Wednesdays and Sundays, not mentioned above) begins with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ to His Ascension into heaven. To carry on God’s presence in us, the Holy Spirit was sent. The Glorious Mystery is then capped with the Assumption and Crowning in heaven of our Blessed Mother. This affirms Her Queenship not only in heaven but on earth, as she is our Divine Intercessor.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
The Ascension of Jesus to Heaven
The Descent of the Holy Spirit
The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
Mary is Crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth
The Luminous Mysteries (Thursdays) represent the public ministry of Jesus Christ, heralded by His baptism in the Jordan River and ended with the instituting of the Holy Eucharist during the last supper.
The Baptism in the Jordan
The Wedding at Cana
The Proclamation of the Kingdom
The Institution of the Eucharist