The rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning "rose garden") or "garland of roses"is a traditional Catholic devotion. The term denotes the prayer beads used to count the series of prayers that make up the rosary. The prayers consist of repeated sequences of the Lord's Prayer followed by ten prayings of the Hail Maryand a single praying of "Glory Be to the Father" and is sometimes accompanied by the Fatima Prayer; each of these sequences is known as a decade. The praying of each decade is accompanied by meditation on one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, which recall the life of Jesus Christ.
The traditional 15 Mysteries of the Rosary were standardized, based on the long-standing custom, by Pope St. Pius V in the 16th century. The mysteries are grouped into three sets: the joyful mysteries, the sorrowful mysteries, and the glorious mysteries. In 2002, Pope John Paul II announced five new optional mysteries, the luminous mysteries, bringing the total number of mysteries to 20.
Mysteries of the rosary
The Mysteries of the rosary follow the life of Christ from the Annunciation to the Ascension. They are meant as meditations on the life of Christ. The meditations are known as the Joyful (sometimes Joyous) Mysteries; theSorrowful Mysteries; and the Glorious Mysteries. Each of these Mysteries has within it five different stages of Christ's life to be contemplated. Pope John Paul II, in his apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (October 2002), recommended an additional set called the Luminous Mysteries (or the "Mysteries of Light"). Traditional Catholics who prefer the original fifteen mysteries point to the belief that the Rosary is Mary's Psalter, containing 150 Hail Marys in its body for the 150 Psalms. Moreover, traditional Catholics sometimes do not pray the Luminous Mysteries of John Paul II because they assert that the Holy Rosary with its fifteen mysteries was instituted directly by the Mother of God. Traditional Catholics hold that if Mary instituted 150 Hail Mary's with fifteen distinct mysteries, then not even a Pope can "add" to what she commanded - just as a Pope could not also "add" extra Psalms to the Bible. This belief is also based on the vision of Our Lady of Fatima, which speak of 150 Hail Mary's and "one third of the Rosary" being only five decades. The Luminous Mysteries bring the total to 200 Hail Mary's, which would contradict Mary's words. Moreover, advocates of the traditional fifteen decade Rosary note that it parallels Saint Paul's threefold progression of his argument in Philippians 2: 5-11, namely the Incarnation, the Passion, and the Exaltation of Christ corresponding to the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries.
Various other "mysteries" exist; in the German-speaking countries a fifth set of mysteries had become more common before the 1920s, the so-called "Comforting Mysteries", which have an eschatological dimension, meditating Christ as Universal King.
- The Annunciation. Fruit of the Mystery: Humility
- The Visitation. Fruit of the Mystery: Love of Neighbors
- The Nativity. Fruit of the Mystery: Poverty (poor in spirit), Detachment from the things of the world, Contempt of Riches, Love of the Poor
- The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Fruit of the Mystery: Purity, Obedience
- The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. Fruit of the Mystery: True Wisdom and True Conversion, Piety, Joy of Finding Jesus
- The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. Fruit of the Mystery: Openness to the Holy Spirit, the Healer.
- The Wedding at Cana. Fruit of the Mystery: To Jesus through Mary. The understanding of the ability to manifest-through faith.
- Jesus' Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Fruit of the Mystery: Trust in God (Call of Conversion to Messiah)
- The Transfiguration. Fruit of the Mystery: Desire for Holiness
- The Institution of the Eucharist. Fruit of the Mystery: Adoration
- The Agony in the Garden. Fruit of the Mystery: Sorrow for Sin, Uniformity with the will of God
- The Scourging at the Pillar. Fruit of the Mystery: Mortification, Purity
- The Crowning with Thorns. Fruit of the Mystery: Contempt of the world, Courage
- The Carrying of the Cross. Fruit of the Mystery: Patience
- The Crucifixion. Fruit of the Mystery: Salvation, Forgiveness
- The Resurrection. Fruit of the Mystery: Faith
- The Ascension. Fruit of the Mystery: Hope and desire for ascension to Heaven
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit. Fruit of the Mystery: Holy Wisdom to know the truth and share with everyone, Divine Charity, Worship of the Holy Spirit
- The Assumption of Mary. Fruit of the Mystery: Grace of a Happy Death and True Devotion towards Mary
- The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fruit of the Mystery: Perseverance and Crown of Glory, Trust in Mary's Intercession.
Days of praying
The full rosary consists of praying either all 3 traditional sets of mysteries (joyful, sorrowful and glorious) or the 3 traditional sets of mysteries plus the luminoous mysteries. One can pray the complete rosary (i.e. all 15 or 20 mysteries) each day. When praying just one set of mysteries per day, traditionally the prayers take the following format:
|Day of praying||With the Luminous Mysteries||Without the Luminous Mysteries|
|Sunday||The Glorious Mysteries|
Advent and Christmas: The Joyful Mysteries
Lent to Palm Sunday: The Sorrowful Mysteries
Ordinary Time, Easter to Sunday before Advent: The Glorious Mysteries
|Monday||The Joyful Mysteries||The Joyful Mysteries|
|Tuesday||The Sorrowful Mysteries||The Sorrowful Mysteries|
|Wednesday||The Glorious Mysteries||The Glorious Mysteries|
|Thursday||The Luminous Mysteries||The Joyful Mysteries|
|Friday||The Sorrowful Mysteries||The Sorrowful Mysteries|
|Saturday||The Joyful Mysteries||The Glorious Mysteries|
1 making the Sign of the Cross, then 2 pray the Apostles' Creed, 3 one Our Father, 4 three Hail Mary's, and 5 one Glory Be.
6 Announce the first mystery, 7 pray one Our Father, 8 pray ten Hail Mary's, and 9 pray one Glory Be with the Fatima Prayer.
10 Announce the second mystery, 11 pray one Our Father, 12 pray ten Hail Mary's, and 13 pray one Glory Be with the Fatima Prayer.
14 Announce the third mystery, 15 pray one Our Father, 16 pray ten Hail Mary's, and 17 pray one Glory Be with the Fatima Prayer.
18 Announce the fourth mystery, 19 pray one Our Father, 20 pray ten Hail Mary's, and 21 pray one Glory Be with the Fatima Prayer.
22 Announce the fifth mystery, 23 pray one Our Father, 24 pray ten Hail Mary's, and 25 pray one Glory Be with the Fatima Prayer.
26 Pray the Hail, Holy Queen, 27 pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the Holy Father, and28 make the Sign of the Cross.