The Holy Rosary
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  1. Prayers of the Rosary
  2. Additional Prayers
  3. Rosary Information
  4. Joyful Mysteries
  5. Luminous Mysteries
  6. Sorrowful Mysteries
  7. Glorious Mysteries
  8. Praying the Rosary

This brochure will show you how to pray the Rosary, a simple, powerful prayer of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose origins can be traced back to the 8th century.

The Rosary is actually a mini-Gospel in that its meditations begin when the Archangel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary, through Christ's death and resurrection. A person does not need to be Roman Catholic to pray this prayer, there are a growing number of non-Catholic Christians that are taking up this wonderful prayer. Take a moment and read this document through, prayerfully, asking the Lord to guide you in the use of it.

It is a prayer that asks some sacrifice from us, as it can become much too easy to say: "I'm tired today, I'll pray the Rosary tomorrow!" When Our Lady appeared to the children at Fatima, she told them that she would like each and every one of us to pray the Rosary, each and every day, for the conversion of sinners and peace in the world.


Sign of the Cross: (Personal Blessing) Bring your thumb, first and second fingers of your right hand together into a point - or holding the small crucifix on your rosary in your right hand - then touch your forehead and say: "In the name of the Father", touch the centre of your chest and say:"and of the Son", touch your left shoulder and say: "and of the Holy Spirit", touch your right shoulder and say: "Amen".

Preparatory Prayer: 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. Amen.

The Apostle's 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 sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty from whence 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, 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 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 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.

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 the vale 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.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


O My Jesus, Pardon Us and save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who most need thy mercy. Amen.

The following prayer may be added after the "Hail Holy Queen":

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle and be our protection against the wickedness and snares or the devil. Rebuke him, O God, we humbly pray and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the divine power drive into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
R. Have mercy on us. (Repeat the "V"ersicle and the "R"esponse three times.)


The Rosary is made up of fifteen "Mysteries", of three groups of five "Mysteries" each, the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious groups. Each "Mystery", except for the last two, depict an event in the lives of Jesus and Mary and are taken directly from the New Testament.
(Prayed on Mondays and Saturdays)
1. The Annunciation: The Archangel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee named Nazareth. He had a message for a girl promised in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. The girl's name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, "Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!" Mary was deeply troubled by the angel's message, and she wondered what his words meant. The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was, and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will have no end. "I am the Lord's servant," said Mary; "may it happen to me as you have said." And the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-33,38)

Application in Daily Life: Humility

2. The Visitation: Mary goes to help her aged cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist.

Soon afterward Mary got ready and hurried off to a town in the hill country of Judea. She went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby moved within her. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and said in a loud voice, "You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear! Why should this great thing happen to me, that my Lord's mother comes to visit me? For as soon as I heard your greeting, the baby within me jumped with gladness. How happy you are to believe that the Lord's message will come true!" (Luke 1:39-45)

Application in Daily Life: Love of Neighbour

3. The Nativity: The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

.. and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger - there was no room for them to stay in the inn. There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born - Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:6-12)

Application in Daily Life: Spirit of Poverty

4. The Presentation: Jesus is presented in the Temple.

The time came for Joseph and Mary to perform the ceremony of purification, as the law of Moses commanded. So they took the child to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: "Every first-born male is to be dedicated to the Lord." They also went to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the law of the Lord. (Luke 2:22-24)

Application in Daily Life: Obedience to God's Will

5. Jesus is Found Teaching in the Temple: Jesus is found teaching the elders, in the Temple, when he is twelve years old.

Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as usual. When the festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; they thought that he was with the group, so they traveled a whole day and then started looking for him among their relatives and friends. They did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. On the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers. His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you." He answered them, "Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand his answer. So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. (Luke 2:41-51)

Application in Daily Life: Fidelity to Vocation
(Prayed on Thursdays)

1. The Baptism of the Lord:Jesus comes to John the Baptist at the Jordan River to be baptized.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?" Jesus said to him in reply, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:13-17)

Application in Daily Life: Openness to the Holy Spirit.
2. The Wedding of Cana: Mary and Jesus are invited to a wedding feast at Cana.

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." (And) Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him. (John 2:1-11)

Application in Daily Life: To Jesus through Mary.
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom:The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.

When he (Jesus) heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen." From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Mt 4:12-17)

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mk 1:1415)

Application in Daily Life: Repentance and trust in God.
4. The Transfiguration:Jesus is transfigured before Peter, James and John.

He also said to them, "Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come in power." After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant. (Mark 9:1-10)

Application in Daily Life: Desire for Holiness.
5. The Institution of the Eucharist: Jesus institutes the Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy Orders at the Last Supper.

When the hour came, he took his place at table with the apostles. He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it (again) until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you. (Lk 22:14-20)

Application in Daily Life: Adoration.

(Prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays)

1. The Agony in the Garden: Jesus spends and agonized night, in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the eve of his crucifixion.

Jesus left the city and went, as he usually did, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples went with him. When he arrived at the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." Then he went off from them about the distance of a stone's throw and knelt down and prayed. "Father," he said, "if you will, take this cup of suffering away from me. Not my will however, but your will be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. In great anguish he prayed even more fervently; his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Rising from his prayer, he went back to the disciples and found them asleep, worn out by their grief. He said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you will not fall into temptation." (Luke 22:39-46)

Application in Daily Life: Spirit of Prayer

2. The Scourging: Jesus is tied to a pillar and whipped.

Pilate spoke again to the crowd, "What, then, do you want me to do with the one you call the king of the Jews?" They shouted back, "Crucify him!" "But what crime has he committed?" Pilate asked. They shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!" Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed him over to be crucified. (Mark 15:12-15)

Application in Daily Life: Modesty and Purity

3. The Crowning with Thorns: The soldiers make a crown of thorns and put it on Jesus head to mock him. The soldiers made a crown out of thorny branches and put it on his head; then they put a purple robe on him and came to him and said, "Long live the King of the Jews!" And they went up and slapped him.(John 19:2-3)

Application in Daily Life: Courage

4. The Carrying of the Cross: Jesus is made to carry the cross of his crucifixion to the place of his execution.

Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took charge of Jesus. He went out, carrying his cross, and came to "The Place of the Skull," as it is called. (In Hebrew it is called "Golgotha.") There they crucified him; and the also crucified two other men, one on each side, with Jesus between them. Pilate wrote a notice and had it put on the cross. "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews," is what he wrote. Many people read it, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city. The notice was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. The chief priests said to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but rather, 'This man said, I am the King of the Jews.'" Pilate answered, "What I have written stays written." (John 19:16-22)

Application in Daily Life: Patience in Suffering

5. The Crucifixion: Jesus is crucified and dies for our sins.

Standing close to Jesus' cross were his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, "He is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "She is your mother." From that time the disciple took her to live in his home. Jesus knew that by now everything had been completed; and in order to make the scripture come true, he said, "I am thirsty." A bowl was there, full of cheap wine; so a sponge was soaked in the wine, put on a stalk of hyssop, and lifted up to his lips. Jesus drank the wine and said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:25-30)

Application in Daily Life: Self-denial
(Prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays)

1. The Resurrection: After three days Jesus rises from death.

After the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices to go and anoint the body of Jesus. Very early on Sunday morning, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they said to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" (It was a very large stone.) Then they looked up and saw that the stone had already been rolled back. So they entered the tomb, where they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe - and they were alarmed. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here - he has been raised! Look, here is the place where he was placed. Now go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter: 'He is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him, just as he told you.'" (Mark 16:1-7)

Application in Daily Life: Faith

2. The Ascension: Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascends into heaven to sit at the right hand of God.

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "This is what is written: the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later, and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you." Then he led them out of the city as far as Bethany, where he raised his hands and blessed them. As he was blessing them, he departed from them and was taken up into heaven. They worshipped him and went back into Jerusalem, filled with great joy, and spent all their time in the Temple giving thanks to God. (Luke24:45-53)

Application in Daily Life: Hope

3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit: After the ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit descends on Mary and the Apostles, gathered in the Upper Room.

When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious men who had come from every country in the world. When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because each one of them heard the believers talking in his own language. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, "These people who are talking like this are all Galileans! How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages?..." (Acts 2:1-8)

Application in Daily Life: Wisdom, Love, Zeal, Fortitude

4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven: After her death, Mary is taken, body and soul into heaven. (Ancient tradition of the Church and celebrated on August 15th every year.)

Then a great and mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a woman, whose dress was the sun and who had the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. (Revelations 12:1)

Application in Daily Life: Grace of a Happy Death

5. The Crowning of Mary Queen of Heaven: Mary is crowned the Queen of Heaven by her Son Jesus. (Ancient tradition of the Church and celebrated on August 22nd every year.)

You are Jerusalem's crowning glory, the heroine of Israel, the pride and joy of our people!... God, the Almighty, is pleased with what you have done.(Judith 15:9-10)

Application in Daily Life: Devotion to Mary and Final Perseverance


a) Using the crucifix on the Rosary, bless yourself with the SIGN OF THE CROSS, recite the PREPARATORY PRAYER and then recite the APOSTLES CREED.

b) On the first bead following the crucifix say one OUR FATHER.

c) Say one HAIL MARY on each of the following three beads. (For an increase in Faith, Hope and Charity). Conclude these introductory prayers with one GLORY BE TO THE FATHER.

d) On the single bead, following the group of three beads, the Mysteries of the Rosary begin. Select a set of Mysteries proper for the day. For instance, on a Monday it would be the Joyful Mysteries. Announce to yourself the first Mystery, the Annunciation, get a picture of it in your mind and then say one OUR FATHER.

e)While thinking about and picturing this first Mystery in your mind, move to the first group of ten beads (A decade) and say one HAIL MARY on each bead. When you have completed the tenth HAIL MARY, finish the decade with one GLORY BE TO THE FATHER. After the GLORY BE TO THE FATHER, Our Lady told the children of Fatima that she would like to have us add the O MY JESUS PARDON US prayer that you will find earlier in this leaflet. This last prayer is optional.

f) Move on to the next bead, the start of the second decade, select and picture in your mind the second of the group of mysteries you have chosen for the day, which in the Joyful group would be the Visitation, and repeat the above process. Continue on in this fashion until you have completed the five decades and then say one HAIL HOLY QUEEN. There are additional prayers that you might like to add, after the HAIL HOLY QUEEN but once again, these are optional and you will find them earlier on in this leaflet.

g) Close by blessing yourself with the SIGN OF THE CROSS, using the crucifix on the Rosary.

W.J. Bradley.

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