The word rosary comes from the Latin word rosarius which means crown of roses. It is a form of prayer arranged to give a litany of praise to God and to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in a special way.

Physically, a complete rosary consists of a series of 150 beads divided into 15 groups or decades of ten beads each. Decades are usually separated from each other by one larger bead and connected to form a continuous loop. Attached to extending from this loop or string are five other beads, two large and three small, and a crucifix. Most rosaries today consist of five decades, one-third of an entire rosary.

Certain prayers are said at each bead of a rosary, a Hail Mary on each small bead, an Our Father on each large bead, and a Glory Be and O My Jesus prayer following each decade. The 15 decades are further divided into three groups of five, each group dedicated to a set of five important New Testament events called respectively the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries and the Glorious Mysteries. During the rosary, each mystery is first announced, then pondered (contemplated) for a few moments before the recitation of a decade of Hail Marys.

Another tool used by the faithful in praying the rosary is to meditate on some aspect of a rosary mystery at each bead, before each Hail Mary. Certain meditations in this book follow such a format, with many of them coming through the receiver Rita directly from Jesus and Mary.

The fifteen mysteries of the rosary celebrate important events in the New Testament, events which define great truths of our Christian faith. In the rosary, they are arranged in groups as shown below. For those who pray a five-decade rosary each day, the traditional order for praying the mysteries by day of the week is also shown.

Said on Mondays and Thursdays and on Sundays from the First Sunday of Advent until Lent

  1. The Annunciation to Mary
  2. The Visitation of Mary
  3. The Nativity of Our Lord
  4. The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Said on Tuesdays and Fridays and on the Sundays of Lent

  1. The Agony in the Garden
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar
  3. The Crowning with Thorns
  4. The Carrying of the Cross
  5. The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord on the Cross

Said on Wednesdays and Saturdays and on Sundays from Easter to Advent

  1. The Resurrection of Our Lord
  2. The Ascension of Our Lord
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and Mary
  4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
  5. The Crowning of Mary Queen of Heaven and Earth

Organization of the Rosary

Strictly speaking, a rosary is a litany of Aves, wave after wave , decades, of Hail Marys directed at Our Lady, begging her intercession on our behalf with God the Father, her Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. However, the rosary format shown here has been the accepted standard for hundreds of years, with the exception of the O My Jesus, or Fatima, prayer which has been added in this century. Most of the individual prayers are ancient indeed, reflecting the glory of the Church from as far back as Our Lord (the Our Father), the Gospels (the Hail Mary) and the Middle Ages (the Holy Mary). Truly a revered and comfortable prayer!

Diagram of the Rosary

How to Say the Rosary

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the Apostles' Creed.
  2. Say the Our Father.
  3. Say 3 Hail Marys.
  4. Say the Glory Be to the Father.
  5. Announce the First Mystery, then say the Our Father.
  6. Say 10 Hail Marys.
  7. Say the Glory Be to the Father.
  8. Say the O My Jesus.
  9. Announce the Second Mystery, then say the Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be and O My Jesus.
  10. Announce the Third Mystery, then say the Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be and O My Jesus.
  11. Announce the Fourth Mystery, then say the Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be and O My Jesus.
  12. Announce the Fifth Mystery, then say the Our Father, Hail Marys, Glory Be and O My Jesus.
  13. Conclude by saying the Hail Holy Queen.
  14. Make the Sign of the Cross.


The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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 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

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

O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are 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 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.

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 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.

Note: When the rosary is said aloud by two or more persons, one person is the leader. He says the first part of the prayer (up to the asterisk *). Everyone else answers by saying the remainder of the prayer. The O My Jesus and the Hail, Holy Queen are said by all together.

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