The Gospel has a message and the Rosary is it's pulpit. The content of the Gospel is the essence of the Rosary and the Rosary is the Gospel cast in prayer. The Mysteries urge the mind to think; without thought the Rosary looses meaning.
©Dominican Fathers / The Rosary Center, Portland, Oregon.
The Mysteries of the Rosary© Libreria Editrice Vaticana
The Rosary is made up of twenty "mysteries" (significant events or moments in the life of Jesus and Mary), which, following the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, are grouped into four series.
The first contains joyful mysteries (recited on Mondays and Saturdays); the second, the mysteries of light (Thursdays); the third, the sorrowful mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays); and the fourth, the glorious mysteries (Wednesdays and Sundays).
Why pray the Rosary today?
"Among all the devotions approved by the Church none has been so favoured
by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary" (Pope
"Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world" (Our Lady
"There is no surer means of calling down God's blessings upon the
family . . . than the daily recitation of the Rosary" (Pope Pius XII).
"We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that we put great confidence
in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils of our times" (Pope Pius
"No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary:
either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary" (Bishop
"The Rosary is a magnificent and universal prayer for the needs of
the Church, the nations and the entire world" (Pope John XXIII).
"The Rosary is the compendium of the entire Gospel" (Pope Paul VI
approving a quote from Pope Pius XII).
"Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary . . . can be an excellent
preparation for the celebration of those same mysteries in the liturgical
actions [i.e. the Mass] and can also become a continuing echo thereof"
(Pope Paul VI).
"My impression is that the Rosary is of the greatest value not only
according to the words of Our Lady at Fatima, but according to the
effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is
that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how
to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God" (Sister Lucia,
one of the seers of Fatima).
"How beautiful is the family that recites the Rosary every evening"
(Pope John Paul II).
Pope John Paul II has called the Rosary his "favourite prayer," after
the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.
St. Louis de Montfort warns us against both the ignorant and scholars
who regard the Rosary as something of little importance..."the Rosary
is a priceless treasure inspired by God."
Why is the Rosary so effective? Because it is a simple, humble prayer
and forms those who pray the Rosary spiritually in humility, gentleness
and simplicity of heart.
The devotion to the Holy Rosary has been treasured in the Church for
many centuries. The Rosary developed as a popular prayer and meditation
between the time of St. Dominic in the 13th Century and Blessed Alan
de la Roche in the 15th Century.
St. Dominic devoted much of his life to preaching against the 'Albigensian'
heresy which demeaned Christ's humanity and the mysteries of his earthly
life, the world and all things bodily, marriage and the other sacraments.
Moved by pity for the many who no longer knew Christ and his Church,
St. Dominic set about winning them back to the faith.
In 1216 St. Dominic obtained approval to establish the Order of Preachers
(also known as the Dominicans). Since the time of St. Dominic the
Pope's theologian has always been a Dominican Father. The great Universities
of Oxford, Paris and Bologna have their origins with the Order of
From early in their history Dominicans promoted the Rosary throughout
Europe and later the missionary lands as a meditation on the principal
mysteries of the faith and a method of prayer for ordinary people.
St. Pius V, the great Dominican pope who led the reform of the Church
after the Council of Trent, settled the form of the Rosary as we know
One of the greatest gifts given to the Church by the Dominicans is
the Rosary of Our Lady and the Rosary Confraternity. Pope Paul VI
recognised this when he said that among those who promote the Rosary
"special mention should be made of the sons of St. Dominic, by tradition
the guardians and promoters of this very salutary practice." This
link briefly describes the benefits of the Rosary and how those
benefits are multiplied by joining the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary.
The Scriptural Rosary
The Scriptural Rosary, as an aid to the meditative and contemplative journey of the Rosary, combines the regular recitation of the rosary, with passages from scripture said before each Hail Mary. The scripture passages evolve so that the story of each mystery, or decade, unfolds on a bead by bead basis. The passages also tie into the meditation given before the decade. It is a great aid for meditating on the mysteries.
Each decade is composed of the standard: Our Father, ten Hail Mary's and the Glory Be. The decade finishes with the Fatima prayer.
The Joyful Mysteries - (Said on Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays of Advent, and Sundays from Epiphany until Lent)
The Sorrowful Mysteries - (Said on Tuesdays, Fridays, and daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday)
The Glorious Mysteries - (Said on Wednesdays, and Sundays throughout the year)
The Luminous Mysteries - (Said on Thursdays throughout the year)