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How To Pray the Rosary

How To Pray the Rosary

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima to three children, Lucy dos Santos, and Jacinta and Francisco Marto on May 13, 1917. While praying the rosary in the cove they saw “a lady all dressed in white” who appeared to them and asked them to say the rosary and to do penance for sinners. The lady asked them to return for the next six months, from May to October, on the 13th day of each month. In those apparitions Our Lady revealed to them secrets regarding the future of the world and asked them to pray and do penance and to have the Pope consecrate the world to her Immaculate Heart.

During this 100th anniversary year of the apparitions at Fatima, Pope Francis is granting a special blessing of a plenary indulgence from November 27, 2016 to November 26, 2017, to those who:

  1. Visit Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Portugal to obtain an indulgence, receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist, praying the Our Father, and the Creed, and asking the intercession of the Blessed Mother;
  2. Visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in a church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October (2017), and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary;
  3. Enshrine a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in a designated place [if they are unable to travel and visit a shrine] and pray and spiritually unite themselves to the intentions of this jubilee celebration on the days of the apparitions, the 13th of each month, from May to October 2017, offering themselves to the merciful God with confidence, and, through Mary, offer their prayers, sufferings and sacrifices.

The Rosary

Praying the rosary is really special. When you pray the rosary you are invited to think deeply about the life of Jesus. You are asking Mary to help you learn how to be more and more like Jesus in your daily life. When we say the rosary we can reflect on the life of Jesus and Mary by praying the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, or the Glorious Mysteries.

Why are they called mysteries?  They're all called "mysteries" because you can think about them for a very long time and still not understand everything about them.

Here's how to use those "mysterious" rosary beads of yours:


1. Start here. Make the sign of the cross and pray the Apostles Creed

2. Pray the Our Father

3. Pray the Hail Mary three times

4. Pray the Glory

5. Announce the first mystery and pray the Our Father.

6. Pray the Hail Mary ten times.

7. Pray the Glory after the last Hail Mary

8. Repeat from 5, using the second mystery. Continue until all five mysteries of that series are finished. Pray the Hail Holy Queen on the medal in the middle.

Joyful mysteries (pray on Monday and Saturday)

The Annunciation - Mary becomes the Mother of God
The Visitation - Mary visits and helps St. Elizabeth
The Nativity - Jesus is born in a stable in Bethlehem
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Luminous mysteries (pray on Thursday)

The Baptism of Jesus
The Miracle of the Wedding at Cana
The Preaching of Jesus
The Transfiguration -Three of the apostles see Jesus shining with God's glory
The Last Supper - Jesus gives us his Body and Blood - a great mystery!

Sorrowful mysteries (pray on Tuesday and Friday)

The Agony in the Garden - Jesus prays in the Garden the night before he dies
The Scourging of Jesus
Jesus Is Crowned with Thorns
The Carrying of the Cross
The Crucifixion

Glorious mysteries (pray on Wednesday and Sunday)

The Resurrection of Jesus
Jesus Ascends into Heaven
Pentecost - The Holy Spirit comes down on Mary and the Apostles
The Assumption - Mary is taken into heaven
The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth


Prayers of the Rosary

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

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, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. 

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
He will come again 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.