Praying the Rosary
The history of people using strung beads to count their prayers goes back centuries before Christianity. History tells us that the Hebrews memorized and prayed the 150 Psalms of the Bible. To keep track of their prayers they tied 150 knots on a string where each knot represented a Psalm from the Old Testament. Third-century Christian hermits and monks in Egypt continued this practice.
The earliest form of the rosary developed when Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) popularized an earlier version of the Hail Mary prayer by asking it to be prayed on the fourth Sunday of Advent. Many individuals began praying the Hail Mary in a repetitive fashion using a string of beads to keep track of the prayers. Its popularity grew out of the laity’s desire to have 150 prayers to match the 150 psalms chanted by the monks in the monasteries.
In 1206 A.D. St. Dominic after being visited by Mary gave him the Rosary as a weapon against the Albigensian heresy (everything regarding the Spirit was good while anything from the material world was deemed as bad, including the body). He gave the people the Rosary to pray.
In 1576 the familiar form of praying the Rosary became the norm when, Pope St. Pius V recommended praying the “of 150 angelic salutations…with the Lord’s Prayer at each decade (one decade = one “Our Father” and ten “Hail Marys” ending with the “Glory Be”)…while meditating on the mysteries which recall the entire life of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For years the entire Rosary was comprised of praying 15 Decades (150 prayers paralleling the early praying the 150 Psalms. On October 16, 2002, almost 600 years after the original Mysteries of the rosary were established, Pope John Paul II proposed adding a new set of mysteries called the Luminous Mysteries (the Mysteries of Light), giving us the current form of praying the Holy Rosary.
Mysteries of the Rosary
The Joyful Mysteries
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Glorious Mysteries
The Luminous Mysteries
Prayers of the Holy Rosary
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall 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 the life everlasting. Amen.
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
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
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 Thy mercy.
Hail Holy Queen
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, most gracious Advocate, Thine Eyes of Mercy toward us, and after this our exile show us the Blessed Fruit of thy Womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us O Holy Mother of God That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
The Rosary Prayer
O God, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for use the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon 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.