What is a Rosary??? What is the meaning of the rosary beads?
The meaning of the Rosary is simply a Catholic prayer based upon the Bible that focuses on the events in the life of Jesus and that of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
In the Rosary prayer you make use of both vocal and mental prayer. Vocal prayer consists of the prayers listed below. Mental prayer is meditating upon the Rosary Mysteries which tell the life of Jesus and His mother Mary.
The Roman Catholic Rosary prayers include the...
Sign of the Cross
The Apostles Creed
The Our Father Prayer
The Hail Mary Prayer
The Glory Be Prayer
The Fatima Prayer
The Hail Holy Queen Prayer
The "Let Us Pray" Prayer from the Breviary
The Saint Michael Prayer
The Rosary Mysteries
These prayers are listed separately on this blog. Or click on the blue links below that will take you to the How to pray the rosary website.
The 3 basic prayers that make up the Rosary are: the Our Father prayer, the Hail Mary prayer and the Glory Be prayer. But since the Rosary consists of many other prayers it is usually prayed upon rosary beads so as to keep track of the prayers and free your mind to meditate upon the events in the lives of Jesus and Mary.
What is the meaning of the rosary beads? They are a way to keep track of the prayers being said.
The actual Roman Catholic Rosary is made up of a cross or crucifix, a medal, large beads and small beads. The basic Rosary diagram above is what a Rosary may look like although they come in all different types, shapes and sizes.
- You start by making the Sign of the Cross with the cross in your hand.
- Then you say the Apostles Creed while still holding the cross.
- Then you move your fingers to the large bead above the cross and say the Our Father Prayer.
- Next you move on to the three small beads upon which you say the Hail Mary Prayer.
- Then the Glory Be Prayer.
- Then you announce the Rosary Mystery being said.
- Then an Our Father Prayer.
- Then 10 Hail Mary Prayers
- Then the Glory Be Prayer.
- Then the Fatima Prayer.
- Then you repeat steps 7-10 until you have said a prayer on each bead contained on the string of rosary beads.
- Then you finish the rosary with The Hail Holy Queen Prayer, Breviary Prayer and The Saint Michael Prayer and finally the Sign of the Cross.
Five Joyful Mysteries
Day of the week to pray this Mystery - Monday & Saturday
1. The Annunciation
"Good News For Everyone"
"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28.
|Our Lady of the Rosary|
2. The Visitation
In The Visitation Elizabeth
Is Overjoyed By Mary's Visit
"And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" -Luke 1:43
|Mary praising God with the Magnificat|
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because He that is mighty, has done great things to me;
and holy is His name.
And His mercy is from generation unto generations,
to them that fear Him.
He has showed might in his arm:
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their seat,
and has exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy:
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His seed for ever"
A personal prayer for this mystery could be to ask Our Lady (Mary) to help you to think of others and not of yourself--for the Grace of Selflessness--as she did when she visited Elizabeth, as well, to trust God as she did.
3. The Birth of Jesus
All Of Heaven And Earth
Rejoiced At The Birth Of Jesus
"And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."
|Mary & Joseph on the way to Bethlehem|
|The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ|
|Angels announcing Christ's Birth to the Shepherds|
|Three Kings who followed the Star that lead to Christ|
|Three Kings brought gifts for the Christ Child|
|Presentation of Jesus in the Temple|
Presentation Of Jesus
In The Temple...
Another Lesson In
are the church of the just:
and their generation,
obedience and love."
|'Simeon' in the movie, "Jesus of Nazareth"|
Simeon then blesses Mary and Joseph and prophesies to Mary:
A personal prayer for this mystery could be to pray for the grace of obedience. As Jesus was obedient to His Father in heaven, let us be obedient to Him.
5. Finding Jesus in the Temple
|Child Jesus in the Temple teaching the Elders|
Mary Experienced Relief
And Great Joy In Finding
"Seek, and you shall find."
Mary asks Him, "Son, why have you done this to us?Behold your father and I have been looking for you everywhere." -Luke 2:48
The child Jesus replies, "Why have you looked for Me everywhere? Did you not know that I would be in My Father's House?" -Luke 2:49
|Mary and Joseph find the Child Jesus in the Temple -- Did you not know I would be in My Father's House?|
Remember,"render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's: and to God the things that are God's" -Luke 20:25
Just as she did at the Nativity, Mary, His mother "kept all these words in her heart." -Luke 2:51
A personal prayer could be to pray to always remember Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of the Mass, and to visit Him often.
Five Luminous Mysteries
|Baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist|
"John was in the desert baptizing, and preaching
the baptism of
penance, unto remission of sins."
John the Baptist was Jesus' cousin and the son of Elizabeth.
2. Wedding At Cana
|The Wedding at Cana|
"This beginning of miracles Jesus did in Cana of Galilee;
manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him."
Mary and Jesus were at a wedding in Galilee in an area called Cana. The hosts ran out of wine. Mary went to Jesus and told him they had no wine. Jesus responded to her, "Woman, what is that to me and to you? My hour is not yet come."
The head servant not knowing what had occurred, went to the bride and groom and congratulated them on serving the best wine last.
As the Bible states, Jesus first miracle "manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him." -John 2:11
A personal prayer could be to Our Lady to pray for us as Her Son always listens and answers to her pleads.
3. Proclaiming the Kingdom
"Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ"
- "When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." -John 20:22-23
- When speaking of the truths of Jesus, the Nicene Creed states the phrase, "of whose kingdom there shall be no end". This phrase points to the eternal kingship of Jesus.
4. The Transfiguration of Jesus
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness:
without which no man shall
The Transfiguration is the fourth of the new Luminous Mysteries rosary and is a key event in the life of Jesus.
It beautifully complements both the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries by adding meditations on the Rosary that gave strength to the apostles during Jesus passion and were a foreshadow of Jesus' glory that was soon to come.
As you read this retelling of the Transfiguration, keep in mind that the fruit of this mystery is a desire for holiness.
Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John on Mount Tabor.
When the three disciples and Jesus reached the top of the mountain, Jesus' "face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow."
Then suddenly Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elias appear.
They were talking to Jesus. Peter got very excited and didn't really understand the significance of what was happening as he called out to Jesus saying...
Jesus did not answer him and a bright cloud came and covered them.
A booming voice came from the cloud.
It was the voice of God.
The words they heard were, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him."
This frightened Peter, James and John. Immediately they fell prostrate.
Jesus went to them, stooped down, gently touched them then said, "Arise, and fear not."
When they arose, they only saw Jesus and the apparition was over.
While they were making their descent from the mountain Jesus gave them this command...
A personal prayer could be to ask for the grace to live in holiness, away from sin and a worldly life.
5. Institution Of The Eucharist
"I am the living bread that has come down from heaven.
If anyone eat
of this bread he shall live forever."
The Institution of the Eucharist is the greatest gift Jesus left you - a gift that will help you lead a holy and peace filled life.
The following story will help your meditations on the Rosary as you keep it in mind as you pray the Rosary prayers.
The fruit of this mystery is adoration.
The chief priests were very pleased because they wanted to have Jesus put to death but they couldn't find a quiet way to arrest Him.
They promised to pay Judas thirty pieces of silver and the betrayal was arranged.
The time for the Passover was drawing near. Jesus gave directions to the disciples to go into Jerusalem where they would meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. They were to follow the man and tell him that Jesus wanted a place to eat the Passover meal with His twelve apostles.
Following Jesus' directions, they entered the city and found the man who in turn led them to a room that was prepared for their meal.
During the meal Jesus said, "Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me."
This really disturbed them all and they began asking "Is it I, Lord?"
|Is it I Lord?|
Jesus just responded, "You have said it."
After the meal they all went out to the Mount of Olives where Jesus entered His agony.
For an exact scriptural account you can read Mark 14:10-15, Matthew 26:19-30
A personal prayer could ask to receive the Eucharist (The Body and Blood of Our Lord) in grace and thankfulness. Make sure that you make a sincere Act of Contrition and go to Confession (Reconciliation).
Five Sorrowful Mysteries
Days to pray this Mystery Tuesdays & Fridays
1. Jesus' Agony In The Garden
Reassures You That You Are Not Alone In Your Suffering...
"Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows,
acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were
hidden and despised,
whereupon we esteemed him not."
The Agony in the Garden is such a sad event. It's when Jesus sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane and has been often depicted by artists throughout the ages.
It is the first of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary prayers.
You should feel a true sorrow for the sins you have committed, for they too contributed to the emotional pain Jesus suffered.
The Bible says Jesus "began to grow sorrowful and to be sad." He reveals to Peter, James and John, "My soul is sorrowful even unto death". He tells the three of them to stay behind and watch as he goes further alone to pray.
Jesus falls upon his face in an agony being overwhelmed by what He knows He must suffer the next day in atonement for the sins of mankind. He prays to God,
"My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done."
A personal prayer remembering the suffering Christ had in the Agony of the Garden, remember and repent of the sins you have committed and ask God to accept your small offerings of sickness, pain and sorrow.
2. Scourging At The Pillar
Understand The Nature Of Suffering To Bring Serenity In Your Life
"Blessed are they that suffer persecution
for justice' sake: for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven."Matthew 5:10
3. Crowning with Thorns
Understand Suffering Like Jesus' Crowning With Thorns To Achieve Peace In Your Life
"If doing well you suffer patiently; this is thank worthy before God. For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps." -1Peter 2:20-21
The inhumane executioners pranced around Jesus shouting in jest, "Hail King of the Jews" and mockingly they bowed down before Him. They taunted Him and took the reed from His hand and struck His head with it.
A personal prayer for this mystery could be for those who do not believe in God, that say they are too"smart" to believe in Him.
4. Jesus Carrying The Cross
Embracing Your Sufferings
To Peace And Serenity
"Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened,
and I will
Take up my yoke upon you, and learn
of me, because I am meek,
and humble of heart:
and you shall find rest to your souls.
For my yoke is sweet and my burden light". -Matthew 11:28-30
Be mindful as you say the rosary prayers that the fruit of this mystery is patience.
After Jesus was mocked and crowned with thorns, He was stripped of the purple robe and dressed in His own clothing.
Jesus already weak from the torture He underwent stumbled and faltered along the way.
He fell many times and the weight of the heavy cross came crashing down upon His weary body.
Mary accompanied by John and Mary Magdalen followed Jesus as He carried His cross. Mary wanted to look upon her Son.
As He approached her, she removed her veil and wiped His bloody face. Her gesture was so refreshing and loving that Jesus performed a miracle.
Most of what is recounted above about Carrying The Cross, can be found in various bible verses like Luke 23:27-32, Mark 15:20-21, and John 19:17.
A personal prayer for this mystery could be sorrow for your sins that caused such horrendous sufferings to Our Lord. To pray to His Mother to help you live the life Christ wants of you.
5. The Crucifixion of Christ
Allow The Love And Self Sacrifice
Jesus Demonstrated Through
His Crucifixion Permeate
Your Entire Being
"Greater love than this no man hath,
that a man lay down his life for
|Good Thief, Remember me when you come into Your Kingdom|
|Jesus bowed His Head and gave up His Spirit|
|Mother Mary at the foot of the cross (Movie-Passion of the Christ)|
A personal prayer for this mystery could be one of thankfulness to Jesus for loving us so much to suffer such pain and agony to save us from our sins... and open the gates of heaven. And to pray for those who are suffering in this world and in purgatory.
The Five Glorious Mysteries
Days to pray this Mystery Wednesdays & Sundays
1. The Resurrection of Christ
Jesus had risen as He said He would...The fruit of this mystery is faith and recall this scene at Jesus tomb as you make your meditations on the Rosary, particularly on the first of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary which is the rising of Jesus Easter Sunday.
After the crucifixion, the next event in the life of Jesus is the Resurrection.
This is the greatest of the miracles of Jesus
Jesus was laid in a borrowed tomb. The tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimethea.
The body of Jesus was hastily placed there without the usual burial ceremony because the Sabbath was drawing near.
His body was wrapped in Linen and anointed with some spices. Then a large rock was rolled in front of the tomb.
The enemies of Jesus and the High Priests went to Pilate. Knowing that Jesus promised to rise from the dead on the third day, they asked that guards be placed at the tomb in case the followers of Jesus came and stole His body in order to fool people into believing that He did in fact rise from the dead.
Pilate did as they asked.
And so a guard was sent and secured the tomb.
After the Sabbath the Holy Women went to the tomb so they could finish anointing Jesus' body.
But, Jesus had already rose.
There was an earthquake and an angel came down from heaven, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. The guards were so frightened they ran away in fear.
Mary Magdalen was the first person to the tomb. She cried out in sorrow when she saw that Jesus' body was missing for she thought it had been stolen.
Mary Magdalen ran to Peter and John. She cried, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him." -John 20:2
Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. John, being much younger, outran Peter and arrived first.
When Peter arrived he entered the tomb. There he saw that the linens that Jesus' was wrapped in were on the floor but that the cloth that covered Jesus' face was folded neatly and placed somewhere separate from the other linens.
At that moment they both believed that Jesus had risen as He said He would.
Meanwhile, Mary Magdalen remained outside the tomb, crying. Two angels appeared to her and asked her why she was sad.
"Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him." -John 20:13
She turned around and saw Jesus standing there yet she did not recognize Him.
He asked her...
"Why are you weeping?Whom do you seek? She, thinking it was the gardener, said to him: Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus said to her: "Mary." She turned, said to him: Rabboni [which is to say, Master]. Jesus said to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren." -John 20:15-18
She went back to the other disciples and proclaimed, "I have seen the Lord!!" But they did not believe her.
The other woman later arrived at the tomb.
Upon entering they saw an angel sitting inside. He told them Jesus had risen.
Delighted, they ran back to tell the others. On the way they met a man clothed in white.
He told them...
"Be not be afraid; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen! He is not here! Behold the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see him, as he told you." -Mark 16:2-7
If you would like to read the full scriptural account of The Resurrection it can be found in Matthew 27:60-28:9, Mark 16:2-11, Luke 23:54-56, and John 19:40-20:18.
One evening as the remaining eleven were eating dinner, Jesus appeared to them. He reproached them for their lack of faith.
They were being stubborn and refused to believe those who had seen Jesus alive after the Resurrection and were locked in a room for fear of Jesus' enemies.
"And he said to them: Go,into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that does not believe shall be condemned." -Mark 15:15-16.
But before they were to do these things, they had to wait for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit Who would give them the strength they needed to carry out their mission.
The Apostles begged Him not to go but He said to them,
Personal prayer could be to ask the Lord to give you the grace to trust in His words that He will be with you through all your trials--Trust In Him.
3. Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (and Our Lady)
"Come, Holy Spirit fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle within them the Fire of Your Love."
The Fruit of this Mystery is the Love of God.
Let the peace and confidence that comes from through the gifts of the Holy Spirit permeate your life as you deepen your understanding of them while reciting the rosary prayers that focus on the life of Jesus and the apostles.
After the Ascension, the Apostles and Mary did as Jesus commanded and went to Jerusalem.
They stayed in the Upper Room where they prayed together for the coming of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit.
"And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever." -John 14:16
Suddenly a mighty wind came up and blew into the room.
Then above each of their heads appeared a tongue of fire.
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit."
Their souls were filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and they were able to speak in foreign languages.
This event, The Descent of the Holy Spirit, is called Pentecost and it is the birthday of the Church.
St. Peter went out where a crowd had gathered.
This man who had denied Jesus just a short time ago, preached about the Kingdom of God and about Jesus.
"Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." -Acts 2:38
That day 3,000 people converted and were baptized.
Personal prayer could be to ask the Holy Spirit to grant you the graces of great faith and conversion of your hard heart.
4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
Mary's time on earth drew to a conclusion. Around her bed knelt the apostles and disciples of Jesus.
Her soul was surely filled with peace and joy as she eagerly awaited her reunion with Jesus, her Son.
The Blessed Virgin Mary closed her eyes and fell asleep in death.
Those present felt both an overwhelming joy and a profound grief.
Joy that Mary was now united with her Son and grief at the loss of their Mother.
They would have to wait for their own earthly journey to come to an end before they would see her and their Lord, Jesus again.
The Apostles and the Holy Women prepared Mary's body for burial.
They devoutly and lovingly laid her to rest.
When the Apostles went to the tomb to pray the following day, Mary's body was gone, replaced with the sound of birds singing and the lovely scent of flowers.
Mary was conceived without sin and Jesus would not allow her body to decay.
The devil had no power over her.
Jesus took her, body and soul up to Heaven where He had a place prepared for her.
There she is now, among the angels and the saints praising God and interceding on her dear children's behalf.
Personal prayer could be to ask Our Mother Mary to pray for us that we too can be with her soon to praise God with her and the Angels in heaven.
5. Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven
The Coronation of Mary sets Mary up as your Queen who distributes many gifts, especially the gift of peace.
By her very relationship as the mother of Jesus, Mary is queen because Jesus is King. Who is a king's mother?
A queen of course! And Mary is the greatest queen ever for she is the mother of the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace, Jesus.
The Angel Gabriel declared this to be true...
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." -Luke 1:32-33
Not only is Mary the mother of the King, she is the most highly favored daughter of God the Father and the Spouse of God the Holy Spirit.
She always obeyed God and was humble before Him.
Mary received the promised "never fading crown of glory" because her life so perfectly resembled that of her Son's and because she shared in all His sufferings. -1Peter 5:4
As a reward for her holiness and perfection of virtues, Jesus gave her dominion over the Angels and the Saints as their queen.
Evil spirits fear Mary more than any other human because they never had any power over her for she was conceived in her mother's womb without the blemish of original sin.
Jesus could only enter this world through a spotless woman, one created as Adam and Eve were created, perfect in the eyes of God.
Special thank you to
How to Pray the Rosary everyday
for their insight in explaining this great prayer.