What is the Rosary?

04/10/2013 3:20 pm

Praying the Rosary

The Rosary is a pattern of prayer popular among Christians. At heart it is a series of meditations on some aspects, or mysteries, of the life of Jesus 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, together with the text of the prayers can be found: Mysteries and Prayers

Normally only one set of mysteries is prayed at a time.

Blessed Pope John Paul wrote:

"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."


This material has been collated by the Bishops’ Conference Home Mission Desk in support of the Year of Faith, Oct. 2012 – Nov. 2013