The Rosary is divided into five decades. Each decade represents a mystery or event in the life of Jesus. There are four sets of "Mysteries of the Rosary"(Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious). These four "Mysteries of the Rosary" therefore contain, a total of twenty mysteries. The Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries are then said on specific days of the week(see each set of mysteries below). During private recitation of the Rosary, each decade requires devout meditation on a specific mystery. Public recitation of the Rosary(two or more people), requires a leader to announce each of the mysteries before the decade, and start each prayer (see "The Family Rosary" below).
The Apostle's Creed is said on the Crucifix; the Our Father is said on each of the Large Beads; the Hail Mary is said on each of the Small Beads; the Glory Be after the three Hail Mary's at the beginning of the Rosary, and after each decade of Small Beads. In June 13, 1917, Our Lady asked that an additional prayer be added after each decade of the Rosary(see prayers at the end of this document). It is a prayer of forgiveness to Jesus and is said following the Glory Be after each decade only.
Prayer Before The Rosary
Queen of the Holy Rosary, you have designed to come to Fatima and Medjugorje, to reveal to the three shepherd children and six visionaries, the treasures of grace hidden in the Rosary. Inspire my heart with a sincere love of this devotion, in order that by meditating on the Mysteries of our Redemption which are recalled in it, I may obtain peace for the world, the conversion of sinners, and the favor which I ask of you in this Rosary (Mention your request). I ask it for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of souls, especially for my own. 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, 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 Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
The 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.
The Hail Mary:
Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee; blessed are 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 to the Father:
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.
Prayer to Jesus Requested By Our Lady
O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, take all souls to Heaven, and help especially those most in need of Your mercy. To be said at the end of every decade after the Glory be.
Prayers After the Rosary
Hail Holy Queen:
Hail! Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement! O loving! O sweet Virgin Mary!
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
O God, whose only-
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Religious devotion, public or private, for the duration of nine days to gain special graces, is called a Novena. Those who perform it with a lively hope of having their request granted, and with perfect faith and resignation if it be refused, may be assured that Christ will grant some grace or blessing. This requires an understanding that in His infinite wisdom and mercy, He may refuse the particular favor which is requested.
Novenas originated in imitation of the Apostles who were gathered together in prayer for nine days from the time of Our Lord's Ascension (to Heaven) until Pentecost Sunday (the descent of the Holy Spirit).
This practice of saying the Rosary nine times in the form of the Rosary Novena inpetition or thanksgiving, is another way of heeding Our Lady's request toPray the Rosary.
The 54 Day Novena Devotion which originated in 1884 at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei, consists of the daily recitation of five decades of the Rosary (one complete Mystery: Joyful, Sorrowful, or Glorious) for twenty-
1st day say the 5 Joyful Mysteries,
2nd day say the 5 Luminous Mysteries,
3rd day say the 5 Sorrowful Mysteries,
4th day say the 5 Glorious Mysteries,
5th day begin again the 5 Joyful Mysteries, etc.
The Family Rosary
The Family That Prays Together... Stays Together.
The family Rosary is the Rosary recited aloud together, by as many of the family and their friends as can be present. Any family (two or more people) may say the Family Rosary in any suitable place and at any time.
A leader says aloud the first part of each prayer; a second person or group of persons answers aloud the second part of the prayer.
To begin the Family Rosary, all hold the Crucifix of their Rosary in the right hand and make the Sign of the Cross.
The leader begins the Apostles' Creed and proceeds through the rest of the Rosary as shown on Page 2. The leader announces the Mystery before each decade. Five decades (one complete Mystery: Joyful, Sorrowful, or Glorious) should be recited each day.
The Five First Saturdays
Mary's Great Promise at Fatima -
The Five First Saturdays are intended to honor and to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all the blasphemes and ingratitude of men.
This devotion and the wonderful promises connected with it were revealed by the Blessed Virgin at Fatima, a small village in Portugal. Our lady appeared to three children there in 1917, and one of the little girls, Lucy, tells us that Our Lady said:
I promise to help at the hour of death, with the graces needed for salvation, whoever on the First Saturday of five consecutive months shall:
1. Confess and Receive Communion.
2. Recite five decades of the Rosary (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, or Glorious Mysteries)
3. Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.