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Why pray the Most Holy Rosary?:

During an interview that our Holy Father gave in 1980, he held up his Rosary and said:

"Here is the remedy against evil. Pray, pray and ask for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of God. We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not too distant future. Trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. It is only in this way the Church can be renewed. How many times, indeed, has the renewal of the Church been effected in blood. This time it will not be otherwise. We must be attentive to the prayer of the ROSARY.

(Pope John Paul II)

For better understanding, the "Our Father" bead, or the bead that divides the Rosary into decades will be called the "big" bead.  The words to the prayers you need to say follow the instructions.  Print this page for a handy reference.  All of the words to the prayers are on this page.


How to pray the Most Holy Rosary:


The Rosary is divided into five decades with 11 beads in each decade (don't forget the Our Father!). Each decade represents an event in the life of our Lord Jesus. There are four Mysteries: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious. These four Mysteries of the Rosary each have five elements so there is one for each decade.  Each Mystery is said on specific days of the week depending on the Church Season. During private recitation of the Rosary, each decade requires deep meditation on the appropriate mystery. Recitation of the Rosary with two or more people requires a leader to announce each mystery before the decade, to offer a meditation on the mystery, and to lead each prayer.

The Prayer

Kiss the crucifix of your Rosary and make the sign of the cross with the crucifix in your right hand

Begin by praying the "Apostles Creed"

On the first big bead after the crucifix, say the "Our Father"
On the next three beads, say the "Hail Mary"
On the links before the last bead before the main row of beads, say a "Glory Be"

Now reflect on the message of the First Mystery

On the last big bead before the main row of beads, say the "Our Father"
On the next ten beads, say the "Hail Mary"
On the links before the next "Our Father" bead say a "Glory Be" and the "Fatima Prayer"

Now reflect on the message of the Second Mystery

On the next big bead, say the "Our Father"
On the next ten beads, say the "Hail Mary"
On the links before the next big bead say the "Glory Be" and the "Fatima Prayer"

Now reflect on the message of the Third Mystery

On the next big bead, say the "Our Father"
On the next ten beads, say the "Hail Mary"
On the links before the next big bead say the "Glory Be" and the "Fatima Prayer"

Now reflect on the message of the Fourth Mystery

On the next big bead, say the "Our Father"
On the next ten beads, say the "Hail Mary"
On the links before the next big bead say the "Glory Be" and the "Fatima Prayer"

Now reflect on the message of the Fifth Mystery

On the next big bead, say the "Our Father"
On the next ten beads, say the "Hail Mary"
On the links before the next big bead say the "Glory Be" and the "Fatima Prayer"

Conclude with the "Hail Holy Queen" and Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries
(Said on Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays of Advent, and Sundays from Epiphany until Lent)

1. The Annunciation of Our Lord - The angel said to Mary, "You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the name Jesus.  And he will be called Son of the Most High." (Luke 1:31, 32)
2. The Visitation - "Blessed are you among women  and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled." (Luke 1:42.45)
3. The Nativity of Jesus - While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. (Luke 2:7)
4. The Presentation in the Temple - When the day came to purify them according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus up to Jerusalem so that he could be presented to the Lord. (Luke 2:22)
5. The Finding in the Temple - They came upon him in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and  asking them questions.  All who heard him were amazed. (Luke 2:46, 47)

The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Said on Tuesdays, Fridays, and daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday)

1. The Agony in the Garden - Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane.  He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer.  "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by." (Matthew 26:36, 39)
2. The Scourging at the Pillar - The people said, "Let his blood be upon us and upon our children."  At that, he released Barabbas to them.  Jesus, however, he first had scourged. (Matthew 27:25, 26)
3. The Crowning with Thorns - They stripped off his clothes and wrapped him in a scarlet cloak.  Weaving a crown out of thorns, they fixed it on his head and began to mock him. (Matthew 27:28, 29)
4. The Carrying of the Cross - Jesus was led away, and carrying the cross by himself, went out to what is called the Place of the Skull.  There they crucified him. (John 19:17, 18)
5. The Crucifixion and Death - The curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two; Jesus uttered a loud cry and said, "Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit."  After this, he expired. (Luke 23:45, 46)

The Glorious Mysteries
(Said on Wednesdays, and Sundays throughout the year)

1. The Resurrection of Our Lord - The angel spoke, "Do not be frightened.  I know you are looking for Jesus the Crucified, but He is not here.  He has been raised, exactly as He promised." (Matthew 28:5, 6)
2. The Ascension into Heaven - He then led them out near Bethany, and with hands upraised, blessed them.  As He blessed, He left them, and was taken up to heaven.(Luke 24: 50, 51)
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit - Tongues as of fire appeared which parted and came to rest on each of them.  All were filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:3, 4)
4. The Assumption of Mary - May you be blessed, my daughter, by God most high, beyond all women on earth; and may the Lord God be blessed, the Creator of heaven and earth. (Judith 13:18)
5. The Coronation of Mary - A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Revelation 12:1)

The Luminous Mysteries - "Mysteries of Light"
(Said on Thursdays throughout the year)

1. Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan - Here, as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became "sin" for our sake ( 2Cor 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son. (Mt 3:17).
2. Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana - Christ changes water into wine and opens the hearts of the disciples to faith, thanks to the intervention of Mary, the first among believers. (Jn 2:1-12).
3. Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God - a call to conversion - (Mk 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to Him in humble trust (Mk 2:3 - 13; Lk 7:47-48): the inauguration of that ministry of mercy which he continues to exercise until the end of the world, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconcilation which he has entrusted to the Church. (Jn 20:22-23).
4. The Transfiguration - the mystery of light par excellence...The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished apostles to "listen to him" (Lk 9:35) and to prepare to experience with him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life tranfigured by the Holy Spirit.
5. The Institution of the Eucharist as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery - Christ offers his body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine, and testifies "to the end" his love for humanity (Jn 13:1), for whose salvation he will offer himself in sacrifice.

Note: The Luminous Mysteries were taken from the Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae.

Prayers of the Most Holy Rosary 

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

If Rosary is said in a home
Visit this House (Visita, quaesumus, Domine)

Visit this house, we beg you, Lord, and banish from it the deadly power of the evil one. May your holy angels dwell here to keep us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit, Soul of my Soul, enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me. Tell me what I ought to do and command me to do it. I promise to be submissive to everything You permit to happen to me but only show me what is Your will. Amen.

 In union with the Successor to Peter, the Vicar of Christ, Pope John Paul II, united by faith, love and prayer. Let us begin the rosary by professing "I believe in God..."

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; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, 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 life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father

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

Hail Mary, full of grace; The Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst 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

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.

Fatima Prayer
(On June 13, 1917, Our Lady asked that this additional prayer be added after praying each decade of the Rosary)

Oh 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.

Closing Prayers

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 veil of tears.  Turn then, 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.

P.  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 in meditating on the 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.

Optional Closing Prayers

Heart of Jesus

May the Heart of Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection at every moment in all the tabernacles of the world even until the end of time. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Prayer to St. Joseph

Oh, St. Joseph,  whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.  Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.  Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.  St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls-Pray for us.

Prayer to St. Theresa

O beautiful Rose of Carmel, Saint Theresa of the Infant Jesus, deign according to your promise to descend from heaven to visit those who implore you.  Pour down on us in profusion those celestial graces that are symbolized by the shower of roses that Jesus, your spouse, has put at your disposition.  Your power is great with His Heart. He can only listen and hear your prayer.  I have then recourse to you, O Saint Theresa of the Infant Jesus, assist me in this circumstance.  Speak for me to Jesus and Mary and obtain for me to live a holy life and die a happy death.   Saint Theresa, hear my prayer.  Show your power with God and cure me if it be for the honor of God and the good of my soul.  Amen. 

Prayer to St. Peter Julian Eymard

Saint Peter Julian who, all aflame with faith in the Holy Eucharist, pleaded with the world, "Jesus is there, go to Him," obtain through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, that this cry from the depths of your heart may re-echo in all hearts and lead to a renewal and deepening of Christian life everywhere.

May your call resound even more powerfully and fruitfully from heaven where you now share the glory of the saints. May it raise among the faithful and especially among priests, to whom you were so constantly devoted, new armies of adorers and apostles of the Eucharist who, like you, will dedicate themselves to its glorification among individuals and nations, and work for the coming of the peace of Christ in His reign of love. Amen.

The fifteen Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary

  1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces.
  2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
  3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
  4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
  5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.
  6. Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
  7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
  8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the Saints in Paradise.
  9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
  10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
  11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
  12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
  13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
  14. All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
  15. Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

Recitation of the Marian Rosary

A plenary indulgence is Granted when the rosary is recited in a church or oratory or when it is recited in a family, a religious community, or a pious association. A partial indulgence is granted for its recitation in all other circumstances. 

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