The rosary is divided into groups of prayers called “decades”, each of which is prayed in honor of a mystery of our Lord’s life and that of His Blessed Mother. As we pray each decade, we are asked to meditate from our hearts on a particular mystery, while we pray lovingly to obtain the grace of the fruit of each mystery. Meditation on the mysteries is the most important part of the Rosary. Put yourself in the place of Jesus or Mary and live the mysteries with them. Following is a list of the mysteries, and their associated fruits.

How To Pray The Rosary1

How to Say the Rosary

The Rosary consists of fifteen decades and each decade is made up of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys and one Glory Be. Thus, the complete Rosary consists of fifteen Our Fathers and Glory Be and one hundred and fifty Hail Marys.

Custom has divided the Rosary into three parts, each of which consists of five decades, so that when we speak of saying the the Rosary we generally refer to the recitation of five decades. The fifteen decades are divided into three parts and commemorate the Joyful, the Sorrowful and the Glorious Mysteries, in the lives of Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin.

Virgin Mary Holy Card1

Manner of Praying the Rosary:

Sign of the Cross

The Apostle’s Creed (said on the large Crucifix)
The Our Father (first large bead after the Crucifix)
Three Hail Mary’s (said on the next three beads)
Glory Be (said on the next large bead )

Praying Each Decade:

Begin by naming a mystery of the rosary and begin mediating on that mystery throughout the remainder of the decade.
Recite the Our Father on a large bead.
Recite one Hail Mary on each of the next 10 small beads.
Recite the Glory Be and the ‘O My Jesus’ Prayer from Fatima on the next large bead.
Begin the next decade by naming the next mystery, and reciting the Our Father on the same large bead. (continue steps two thru five until at least 5 decades have been recited).

Closing Prayers:

Recite the Hail Holy Queen Prayer.
Close with the Prayer After the Rosary.

Mary (The New Eve) and Eve1

Biblical Passages of the Rosary

Joyful Mysteries:

1. Annunciation: Luke 1:31-32
Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.

2. Visitation: Luke 1:42-45
And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.

3. Nativity: Luke 2:6-7
And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

4. Presentation: Luke 2:22-24
And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons…

5. Finding in the Temple: Luke 2:46-47
And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers.

Sorrowful Mysteries:

1. Agony in the Garden: Matthew 26:36-39
Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me. And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 

2Scourging at the Pillar: Matthew 27:25-26 
And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and our children. Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him unto them to be crucified.

3. Crowning with Thorns: Matthew 27:28-29
And stripping him, they put a scarlet cloak about him. And platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand. And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying: Hail, king of the Jews.

4. Carrying the Cross: John 19:12-18
And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar’s friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar. Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha. And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king. But they cried out: Away with him; away with him; crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar. Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth. And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha. Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst. 

5. Crucifixion & Death: Luke 23:45-46
And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost. 

Glorious Mysteries:

1. Resurrection of Our Lord: Matthew 28:5-6
And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid.

2. Ascension into Heaven: Luke 24:50-51
And he led them out as far as Bethania: and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. And it came to pass, whilst he blessed them, he departed from them, and was carried up to heaven.

3. The Pentecost: Acts 2:3-4
And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. 

4. Assumption of Mary: Hebrews 11:5
By faith Henoch was translated, that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had testimony that he pleased God.

5. Coronation of Mary: Apocalypse 11:19-12:1
And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail. And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars…


Days on which the Mysteries are recited:

Monday/Thursday-The Joyful Mysteries
Tuesday/Friday-The Sorrowful Mysteries
Wednesday/Saturday/Sunday-The Glorious Mysteries
Sundays in Advent-The Joyful Mysteries
Sundays in Lent-The Sorrowful Mysteries

Miguel Cabrera-The Virgin of the Apocalypse2

Introductory Prayer (St. Louis De Montfort)

I unite with all the saints in Heaven, with all the just on earth and with all the faithful here present. I unite with Thee, O my Jesus, in order to praise worthily Thy holy Mother and to praise Thee in her and through her. I renounce all the distractions I may have during this Rosary, which I wish to say with modesty, attention and devotion, just as if it were to be the last of my life.

We offer Thee, O most Holy Trinity, this Creed in honor of all the mysteries of our Faith; this Our Father and these three Hail Marys in honor of the unity of Thy Essence and the Trinity of Thy Persons. We ask of Thee a lively faith, a firm hope and an ardent charity. Amen

The Mysteries of the Rosary

St. Dominic Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries:

The five joyful mysteries, can be envisioned as a beautiful crown of snow white rose buds which we are presenting to Our Loving Mother in honor of the happy moments she and Our Lord shared during their earthly lives.

1st: The Annunciation (Humility). The Angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that God wishes her to become the Mother of His Son. Mary obeys with humility.

The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner 1896

2nd: The Visitation of Mary (Charity). Mary visits St. Elizabeth, who is to be the mother of St. John the Baptist. She assists Elizabeth for three months.


3rd: The Nativity of Our Lord (Love of the Poor). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is born in a stable. His Mother places Him in a manger. Shepherds and Wise Men visit Him.


4th: The Presentation of Jesus (Sacrifice & Purity). Mary and Joseph take the Child Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem to present Him to His Heavenly Father.

Presentation of Jesus at the Temple bellini

5th: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Conversion). Having lost Jesus, Mary and Joseph seek Him. After three days they find Him in the Temple.

Finding of Jesus in the Temple

The Sorrowful Mysteries:

The five sorrowful mysteries can be envisioned as a crown of blood red roses which we are presenting to Our Loving Mother in memory of the most painful and tear-filled moments endured by she and Our Lord.

1st: The Agony in the Garden (Contrition). Jesus prays in the Garden of Olives. The thought of His coming sufferings and of our sins causes Him to sweat blood.


2nd: The Scourging at the Pillar (Mortification). Jesus is stripped, bound to a pillar and scourged until His body is covered with wounds and blood.

John Valentine Haidt, Christ Scourged, 175

3rd: The Crowning with Thorns (Detachment). A crown of thorns is pressed on the head of Jesus. His eyes fill with tears and blood. He is mocked and spat upon.


4th: The Carrying of the Cross (Patience in Adversity). Jesus carries His heavy cross to Calvary. Mary makes the stations of the cross with her suffering Son.


5th: The Crucifixion & Death (A Holy Death & Love of Enemies). Nailed to the cross, Jesus, after three hours of agony, dies in the presence of His mother.


The Glorious Mysteries:

The five glorious mysteries can be envisioned as a beautiful crown of full blown white roses tinged with the red of passion which we are presenting to Our Loving Mother in honor of the most glorious fruits of the sufferings endured by she and Our Lord.

1st: The Resurrection of Our Lord (Faith). Victorious over death, Jesus rises from the grave glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday. He reopens the gates of heaven.


2nd: The Ascension of Our Lord (Hope). Forty days after His Resurrection, Jesus ascends, in the presence of His mother and His disciples, into heaven.

The Ascension of Christ

3rd: The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Truth & Zeal). Ten days after the Ascension, the Holy Ghost descends in tongues of fire upon Mary and the disciples.

pinturicchio-Descent of the Holy Spirit

4th: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (Devotion to Our Lady & Union with Jesus). The Apostles go to the tomb of Mary but find that the angels had borne their Queen to heaven.


5th: The Coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth (Perseverance). The Mother of God, to the joy of all the angels and saints, is crowned Queen of Heaven by her Son.

Corination of The Blessed Virgin Mary 5

The Rosary Prayers:


The Apostle’s 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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and is seated 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 Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

God the Father4

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.

19th century lithograph of Our Lady of Help. The title of the image is printed in 5 languages

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 Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Fatima Prayer: “O My Jesus”

O, my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.

Virgin of the Rosary of Guápulo

Hail, Holy Queen

R: 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 vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

† Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,

R: that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Virgin Mary Chinese Art

Prayer after the Rosary

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.

Our Lady of Fatima5

Concluding Prayer (St. Louis De Montfort)

Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father, admirable Mother of the Son, faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost, august Temple of the most Holy Trinity! Hail, sovereign princess, to whom all owe subjection in Heaven and on earth! Hail, sure refuge of sinner, Our Lady of Mercy, who hast never refused any request. All sinful though I am, I cast myself at thy feet and beseech thee to obtain from Jesus, thy beloved Son, contrition and pardon for all my sins, as well as the gift of divine wisdom. I consecrate myself entirely to thee with all that I have. I choose thee today for my Mother and Mistress. Treat me, then, as the least of thy children and the most obedient of thy servants. Listen, my princess, listen to the sighs of a heart that desires to love and serve thee faithfully. Let it never be said that of all those who have recourse to thee, I was the first to be abandoned. O my hope, O my life, O my faithful and Immaculate Virgin Mary, defend me, nourish me, hear me, teach me and save me. Amen


St. Joseph Litany

(To be prayed after the Rosary during the month of March, though it can be prayed at any time of the year.)

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy,
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, (response: Have mercy on us)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God, the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,

Holy Mary, pray for us…
St. Joseph, pray for us…
Renowned offspring of David,
Light of patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Diligent protector of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most strong,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of Poverty,
Model of artisans,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the wretched,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of holy Church,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. He made him lord of his house:
R. And ruler of all his substance.

Let us pray.

O God, who in Thine unspeakable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thine own most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may deserve to have him for our intercessor in heaven, whom we reverence as our defender on earth: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.


St. Joseph Prayer 

(Composed by Pope Leo XIII, To be prayed after the Rosary during the month of October, though it can be prayed at any time of the year.)

To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.

O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

Our Lady of the Night2

Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy in us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God.
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, etc.

Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,

Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,

Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,

Queen of angels,
Queen of partiarchs,
Queen of prophets,
Queen of apostles,
Queen of martyrs,
Queen of confessors,
Queen of virgins,
Queen of all saints,
Queen conceived without Original Sin,
Queen assumed into Heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of peace.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we Thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Approved by Pope Sixtus V in 1587)

Imprimatur: M. De Keyzer, Vic. Gen. Brugis, 26 Januarii 1962

Virgin of Navigators

Fifteen Promises of Mary (from the writings of Blessed Alan da la Roche, O.P.)

1) Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.

2) I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.

3) The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

4) It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the heart of men 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.

5) The soul which recommend itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.

6) 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 by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.

7) Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

8) Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

9) I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

10) The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

11) You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.

12) All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

13) 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.

14) All who recite the rosary are my son, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.

15) Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination. (Given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan)

Imprimatur: Patrick J. Hayes DD Archbishop of New York