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The Rosary

The Rosary is a pattern of prayer popular among Christians. At heart it is a series of meditations on some aspects, ormysteries, of the life of Jesus the Christ and Mary his mother.The full Rosary is made up of four sets of five mysteries. The meditation on each mystery is accompanied by the praying of the Lord’s Prayer, followed by ten ‘Hail Mary’s and one ‘Glory be...’.
The twenty mysteries are listed overleaf together with the text of the prayers. Normally only one set of mysteries is prayed at a time.

Pope John Paul has written of this prayer:
‘The Rosary is my favourite prayer. A marvellous prayer! Marvellous in its simplicity and its depth…Against the background of the words ‘Hail Mary’ the principal events of the life of Jesus Christ pass before the eyes of the soul. They take shape in the complete series of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries, and they put us in living communion with Jesus through – we might say – the heart of his Mother.’ At the same time our heart can embrace in the decades of the Rosary all the events that make up the lives of individuals, families, nations, the Church, and all mankind: our personal concerns and those of our neighbour, especially those who are closest to us, who are dearest to us. Thus the simple prayer of the Rosary marks the rhythm of human life.’

The Mysteries of the Rosary

A. The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation of the Lord
The Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth
The Nativity of the Lord
The Presentation of the Lord
The Finding of the Lord in the Temple

B. The Mysteries of Light

The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan
The Sign at the Wedding Feast of Cana
The Preaching of the Kingdom
The Transfiguration
The Institution of the Eucharist

C. The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Agony in the Garden
The Scourging at the Pillar
The Crowning with Thorns
The Carrying of the Cross
The Crucifixion of the Lord

D. The Glorious Mysteries

The Resurrection of the Lord
The Ascension of the Lord
The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven
The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven

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.

The ‘Hail Mary’

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.

The ‘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.

Useful further reading

John Paul II - Rosarium Virginis Mariae (Apostolic Letter on the Most Holy Rosary). Published by the Catholic Truth Society.
A Large Print Rosary Book. Published by the Catholic Truth Society