The Rosary

The Rosary

The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.
—From On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae)


Learn How to Pray the Rosary in this Step by Step Guide

​The rosary is prayed by reflecting on the life of Christ from His birth to His resurrection.

Four sets of Mysteries (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious) are prayed on a specific day of the week. Each Mystery set contains five individual life events also referred to as individual mysteries, creating the rosary’s format.

This prayer map uses: 

The Joyful Mystery Set​

  • The Annunciation
  • The Visitation
  • The Birth of Our Lord
  • The Presentation
  • The Finding in the Temple​

When learning how to pray the rosary, you begin ​by stating your prayer intentions and state the specific Mystery set.

How To Pray The Rosary
First Rosary Step includes the Apostles' Creed
  • Hold the crucifix of the Rosary.
  • Make the sign of the Cross.
  • Offer up your intention.
    • Ask the Lord for what you need or for the needs of others. Many people pray to find a job, to heal the sick, for peace, for love
  • On the crucifix, pray the Apostles’ Creed.   

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 rose again from the dead; 
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth 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. 

   Holding the Crucifix on the Rosary, Say the Apostles' Creed

First Our Father Bead
  • The bead above the crucifix is called the Our Father bead.
  • Hold the bead and pray the Our Father Prayer.

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.

2nd step in Praying the Rosary The First Our Father Bead


Three Hail Marys
  • After the Our Father bead there are three beads, hold the first of these beads and say a Hail Mary.
  • Move up one more bead and say the second Hail Mary.
  • Move up one more bead and say a third Hail Mary.

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.


Three Hail Marys


Glory Be
  • Hold the links after the Hail Mary bead and pray a Glory Be.
Glory Be
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.


Glory Be


First Mystery and Our Father Bead
  • Hold the Our Father bead and announce the first mystery. Think about the first mystery, let it sink in and then pray an Our Father.
  • For Example: “The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation. Our Father, Who art....”
First mystery rosary


Ten Hail Marys
  • Move to the first decade of beads found to the right of the centerpiece. On each of the ten beads that follow, pray a Hail Mary while reflecting upon the mystery assigned to this decade (for the Joyful Mysteries, the first decade is a reflection on the Annunciation).
Ten Hail Marys

Glory Be & Fatima
  • Hold the link after the Hail Mary bead and pray a Glory Be.
  • Then say the Fatima Prayer.
The Fatima Prayer
O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.
  • For each of the remaining four decades you are going to repeat the steps for the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and the Fatima prayers as you work your way to the end of the rosary.
Fatima Prayer


Repeat Rosary Steps 5 6 7

Hail Holy Queen
  • Completing the 5th decade, hold the medal (or centerpiece) and pray the Hail, Holy Queen.
Hail, Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, 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 toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.
Completing the 5th decade, hold the medal (or centerpiece) and pray the Hail, Holy Queen.


The Joyful Mysteries

​(The events in the birth of Christ)

​Monday, Saturday and Sundays of Advent

1st Mystery - The Annunciation - (Luke 1:26-38)

2nd Mystery - The Visitation - (Luke 1:39-56)

3rd Mystery - The Birth of Our Lord - (Luke 2:1-21)

4th Mystery - The Presentation - (Luke 2:22-38)

5th Mystery - The Finding in the Temple - (Luke 2:41-52)

The Sorrowful Mysteries

(The events surrounding Christ’s Death)

Tuesday, Friday and Sundays of Lent

1st Mystery - The Agony in the Garden - (Matt. 26:36-56)

2nd Mystery - The Scourging at the Pillar - (Matt. 27:26)

3rd Mystery - The Crowning with Thorns - (Matt. 27:27-31)

4th Mystery - The Carrying of the Cross - (Matt. 27:32)

5th Mystery - The Crucifixion - (Matt. 27:33-56)

The Glorious Mysteries

(The events surrounding Christ’s resurrection)

Wednesday and Sunday outside of Advent & Lent

1st Mystery - The Resurrection - (John 20:1-29)

2nd Mystery - The Ascension - (Luke 24:36-53)

3rd Mystery - The Descent of the Holy Ghost - (Acts 2:1-41)

4th Mystery - The Assumption of Our Lady

5th Mystery - The Coronation of Our Lady

The Luminous Mysteries

(The major events in the life of Christ)


1st Mystery - The Baptism in the river Jordan - (Matt. 3:17)

2nd Mystery - The Wedding at Cana - (John 2:1-12)

3rd Mystery - The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God - (Mark 1:15)

4th Mystery - The Transfiguration - (Luke 9:29)

5th Mystery - The Institution of the Eucharist - (John 13:1)