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In My Own Words
What is the Rosary?
The Rosary is the Prayer of the Gospels, a meditation
on 20 primary events in the Life of Our Blessed
Lord Jesus and His Blessed Mother Mary.
If you have something against the Rosary, you have
something against the Holy Bible! Like the Holy Scriptures,
it is the Good News of Jesus! It's a Scriptural prayer.
- pray as Our Lord Jesus tells
us to in Matthew 6:9-13 and
- meditate on God becoming truly
man like us in all things except sin for our salvation
in Luke 1:28, Luke 1:42! The Church formalizes
this in the Hail Mary:
Hail Mary, Full
of Grace, the Lord is with you. [Luke
Blessed are you among woman and blessed
is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. [Luke
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen. [The
What is the Rosary?
What's the history of the Rosary?
Promises of the Rosary
Questions about the
to the Holy Rosary with answers
Send me mine today!
What are these 20 primary events?
Mysteries of the Holy Rosary
|The First Joyful Mystery
of the Angel to Mary
We say 1 Our Father: Matthew 6:9-13
followed by 10 Hail Mary's. During the
10 Hail Mary's we mediate on this mystery
of Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother's
|The Second Joyful Mystery
The visitation of
Mary to Saint Elizabeth
|The Third Joyful Mystery
The nativity of Jesus
|The Fourth Joyful Mystery
of Jesus to the Temple.
|The Fifth Joyful Mystery
The finding of Jesus
in the Temple
|The First Luminous Mystery
The Baptism of Jesus
in the Jordan River
|The Second Luminous Mystery
The wedding feast
|The Third Luminous Mystery
of the Kingdom of God
(cf. Mark 1:15) (cf. Mark 2:3-13; Lk
7:47- 48): (cf. John 20:22-23).
|The Fourth Luminous Mystery
of Our Lord
|The Fifth Luminous Mystery
The institution of
|The First Sorrowful Mystery
The Agony of Jesus
in the garden
|The Second Sorrowful Mystery
The scourging of Jesus
at the pillar
|The Third Sorrowful Mystery
The Crowning with
|The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery
The Carrying of the
|The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
The crucifixion and
death of Jesus
|The First Glorious Mystery
The Resurrection of
|The Second Glorious Mystery
The Ascension of Jesus
|The Third Glorious Mystery
The Descent of the
|The Fourth Glorious Mystery
The Assumption of
the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
(Judith 13,18-20; 15,10)
|The Fifth Glorious Mystery
The Coronation of
the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven
What's the history
of the Rosary?
An Outgrowth of the 150 Psalms of David
Most historians trace the origin of the Rosary
as we know it today back to the so-called Dark
Ages of ninth century Ireland. In those days, as
is still true today, the 150 Psalms of David were
one of the most important forms of monastic prayer.
Monks recited or chanted the Psalms day-after-day
as a major source of inspiration.
The lay people who lived near the monasteries could
see the beauty of this devotion, but because very
few people outside the monasteries knew how to read
in those days, and because the 150 psalms are too
long to memorize, the lay people were unable to adapt
this prayer from for their own use.
So one day in about the year 800 A.D., one of the
Irish monks suggested to the neighboring lay people
that they might like to pray a series of 150 Our
Fathers in place of the 150 Psalms. Little did he
know that his simple suggestion was the first step
in the development of what would one day become the
most popular non-liturgical prayer form of Christianity.
At first, in order to count their 150 Our Fathers,
people carried around leather pouches which held
150 pebbles. Soon they advanced to ropes with 150
or 50 knots; and eventually they began to use strings
with 50 pieces of wood.
Shortly afterwards the clergy and lay people in
other parts of Europe began to recite, as a repetitive
prayer, the Angelic Salutation, which makes up most
of the first part of our Hail Mary. St. Peter Damian,
who died in 1072, was the first to mention this prayer
form. Soon many people were praying the fifty Angelic
Salutations while others favored the fifty Our Fathers.
1214 and the Albigensian heresy. (Origin of the Mysteries)
It was in the year 1214 that the Church received
the Rosary in its present form and according to
the method we use today. It was given to the Church
by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed
Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians
and other sinners. Saint Dominic, seeing that the
gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion
of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near
Toulouse, where he prayed continuously for three
days and three nights. During this time he did
nothing but weep and did harsh penances in order
to appease the anger of God. At this point our
Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels,
and she said,
"Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon
the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the
"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you
know far better than I do, because next to your
Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief
instrument of our salvation."
Then Our Lady replied, "I want you to know
that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon
has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the
foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore,
if you want to reach these hardened souls and win
them over to God, preach my Psalter."
So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal for
the conversion of the people in that district, he
made straight for the cathedral. At once unseen angels
rang the bells to gather the people together, and
Saint Dominic began to preach.
1917 and Our Lady of Fatima.
Between May and October of 1917, three shepherd
children, Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins
Jacinta and Francisco Marto reported visions of
the Virgin Mary in the Cova da Iria fields outside
the hamlet of Aljustrel, very close to Fatima,
Portugal. They had this experience on the 13th
day of each month at approximately the same hour.
Lúcia described seeing Mary as "brighter
than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and
stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most
sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays
of the sun."
A photostatic copy of a page from Ilustração
Portugueza, October 29, 1917, showing the crowd
looking at the miracle of the sun during the Fatima
apparitions, attributed to the Virgin
Mary. According to Lúcia's account, Mary
confided to the children three secrets, known as
the Three Secrets of Fatima. She exhorted the
children to do penance and to make sacrifices to
save sinners. The children wore tight cords
around their waists to cause pain, abstained from
drinking water on hot days, and performed other
works of penance. Most important, Lúcia
said Mary asked them to say
the Rosary every day, reiterating many times that
the Rosary was the key to personal and world peace. Many
young Portuguese men, including relatives of the
visionaries, were then fighting in World War I.
Thousands of people flocked to Fatima and Aljustrel
in the ensuing months, drawn by reports of visions
and miracles. On August 13, 1917, the provincial
administrator Artur Santos (no relation), believing
that the events were politically disruptive, intercepted
and jailed the children before they could reach the
Cova da Iria that day. Prisoners held with them
in the provincial jail later testified that the children,
while upset, were consoled by the inmates, and then
led the inmates in saying the Rosary. Administrator
Santos interrogated the children primarily about
the alleged secrets, but was unsuccessful in his
attempt to discover what those secrets were. Santos
went so far as to feign the preparation of a pot
of boiling oil, and then removed the children one
by one from his interrogation room, claiming that
each removed child had been boiled to death in the
oil, and urging the remaining child to divulge the
secret so as to avoid a similar fate. That month,
instead of the usual apparition in the Cova da Iria
on the 13th of the month, the children reported that
they saw Mary on August 19 at nearby Valinhos.
On October 13, 1917, the final in the series of
the apparitions of 1917, a crowd believed to be approximately
70,000 in number, including newspaper reporters
and photographers, gathered at the Cova da Iria in
response to reports of the children's prior claims
that on that day a miracle would occur "so that
all may believe". It rained heavily that
day, yet, countless observers reported that the clouds
broke, revealing the sun as an opaque disk spinning
in the sky and radiating various colors of light
upon the surroundings, then appearing to detach itself
from the sky and plunge itself towards the earth
in a zigzag pattern, finally returning to its normal
place, and leaving the people's once wet clothing
now completely dry. The event is known as the "Miracle
of the Sun"..
Columnist Avelino de Almeida of O Século
(Portugal's most influential newspaper, which was
pro-government in policy and avowedly anti-clerical),
reported the following "Before the astonished
eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they
stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the
sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside
all cosmic laws-the sun 'danced' according to the
typical expression of the people." Eye specialist
Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the newspaper
Ordem reported "The sun, at one moment surrounded
with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow
and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast
and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened
from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly
radiating heat". The special reporter for
the October 17, 1917 edition of the Lisbon daily,
O Dia, reported the following, "...the silver
sun, enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was
seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds...The
light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come
through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral,
and spread itself over the people who knelt with
outstretched hands...people wept and prayed with
uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they
had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid
Depiction of the three children receiving the vision.
This tilework is from Ironbound, a Portuguese neighborhood
in Newark, New Jersey.No movement or other phenomenon
of the sun was registered by scientists at the time.
According to contemporary reports from poet Afonso
Lopes Vieira and schoolteacher Delfina Lopes with
her students and other witnesses in the town of Alburita,
the solar phenomena were visible from up to forty
kilometers away. The three shepherd children,
in addition to reporting seeing the actions of the
sun that day, also reported seeing a panorama
of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed
Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.
The Benedictine historian of science, Fr. Stanley
Jaki, has suggested that the apparent movement of
the sun was a hallucination caused by an atmospheric
inversion, but that the children's foreknowledge
of the apparent sign was miraculous.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Promises of the
- Whoever shall faithfully serve
me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive
- I promise my special protection
and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite
- The Rosary shall be a powerful
armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease
sin, and defeat heresies.
- It will cause virtue and good
works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant
mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people
from the love of the world and its vanities, and
will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh,
that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
- The soul which recommends itself
to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not
- Whoever shall recite the Rosary
devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of
its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by
misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice,
he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he
be just, he shall remain in the grace of God, and
become worthy of eternal life.
- Whoever shall have a true devotion
for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments
of the Church.
- Those who are faithful to recite
the Rosary shall have during their life and at their
death the light of God and the plentitude of His
graces; at the moment of death they shall participate
in the merits of the Saints in Paradise.
- I shall deliver from purgatory
those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
- The faithful children of the
Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
- You shall obtain all you ask
of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
- All those who propagate the Holy
Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
- I have obtained from my Divine
Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have
for intercessors the entire celestial court during
their life and at the hour of death.
- All who recite the Rosary are
my children, and brothers and sisters of my only
Son, Jesus Christ.
- Devotion of my Rosary is a great
sign of predestination.
I thought there were only 15 mysteries of the
Rosary. Where did you get the other 5 Luminous
Our late Holy Father Pope John Paul II gave
them to the Church in his encyclical: Rosarium
Virginis Mariae, the Rosary of the Blessed
Virgin Mary. In it his said:
Consequently, for the Rosary to become more fully
a “compendium of the Gospel”, it is
fitting to add, following reflection on the Incarnation
and the hidden life of Christ (the joyful mysteries)
and before focusing on the sufferings of his Passion
(the sorrowful mysteries) and the triumph of his
Resurrection (the glorious mysteries), a meditation
on certain particularly significant moments in
his public ministry (the mysteries of light). This
addition of these new mysteries, without prejudice
to any essential aspect of the prayer's traditional
format, is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle
renewed interest in the Rosary's place within Christian
spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of
the Heart of Christ, ocean of joy and of light,
of suffering and of glory.
At an evening devotion in a Catholic Church
I heard many prayers like these to Mary. I cannot
find in Scripture where Mary is to be worshipped
in the same way as Christ.
I am not surprised, for such a doctrine is nowhere
taught in Scripture. Moreover, if any Catholic
dared to worship Mary in the same way as he worships
Christ, he would be guilty
of a most serious sin, and no Catholic Priest could give him absolution
unless he promised never to do it again. But
that does not mean that one must deprive Mary
of all honor.
Why pray to Mary at all?
Because God wills that we should do so, and
because such prayers to her are of the utmost
value. God often will to give certain favors
only on condition that we go to some secondary
- Sodom was to be spared through the intercession
- Naaman, the leper, was to be cured
only through the waters of the Jordan.
Mary is, and must ever remain the mother of
the Christ. She still has a mother's rights
and privileges, and is able to obtain for us
many graces. But let us view things reasonably.
If I desire to pray, I can certainly pray to
God directly. Yet would you blame me if, at
times, I were to ask my own earthly mother
to pray for me also? Such a request is really
a prayer to her that she may intercede for
me with God. Certainly if I met the mother
of Christ on earth, I would ask her to pray
for me, and she would do so. In her more perfect
state with Christ in heaven she is not less
able to help me.
Between each Our Father to God, you throw in
ten prayers to Mary!
You've got it the wrong way. Between each ten
Hail Mary's an Our Father is said. The Rosary
is essentially a devotion
to Mary, Jesus' mother,
honoring her whom God Himself so honored. And
it honors her particularly in her relationship
to Christ, whose life is the subject of the meditations.
The Our Father abstracts from the incarnation
of Christ; the Hail Mary is full of reverence
to Our Lord's birth into this world for us. [Luke
1:28, Luke 1:42]
Would not the Rosary be just as efficient if
said with one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and
It would not be the Rosary then, but some other
type of devotion. Nor would such a devotion be
as efficient for inner meditation on each mystery
due to the brevity of the prayers. While saying
those 10 Hail Mary's aloud, our inner meditation
ponders on the various mysteries themselves.
In the same way man is made with a viewable body
and un viewable soul; so the Rosary has an outward
part, the vocal prayer, and an inner part, the
inner meditation on the various mysteries. Your
trouble seems to be based on the mere question
of numbers. That is quite immaterial.
Some Protestants object to saying “Holy Mary” because
they claim Mary was a sinner like the rest of us.
Mary was a Christian (the first Christian, actually,
the first to accept Jesus as her personal Lord
and Savior Luke 1:45). The Bible also describes
Christians in general as holy. In fact, they are
called saints, which mean “holy ones” (See
Eph 1:1, Phil. 1:1 and Col. 1:2). Furthermore,
as the mother of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Second
Person of the Blessed Trinity, Mary was certainly
a very holy woman.
Some Protestants object to the title Mother of God.
The title, Mother of God does not mean Mary is older
than God; it means the person who was born of her
was a divine person, not a human person.
Jesus is one person, the divine, but has two natures,
the divine and human.
It is incorrect to say Jesus is a human person.
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