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Rosary Introduction

The rosary (from Latin rosarium, "rose garden") is a religious exercise where a defined number of prayers are recited and a string of beads (a chaplet, often called a rosary) is used to keep count.

Eastern Christian monks started the Christian practice in the third century. The modern Roman Catholic rosary's origin is most often associated with St. Dominic, founder of the Dominican order in the early 13th century. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "it reached its definitive form in the 15th century through the preaching of the Dominican Alan de la Roche and his associates, who organized Rosary Confraternities at Douai in France and at Cologne. In 1520 Pope Leo X gave the rosary official approbation." In October of 2002 Pope John Paul II added an optional group of mysteries (Mysteries of the Light) to the Rosary (see Rosarium Virginis Mariae).

But, what makes the rosary special? The Blessed Mary herself gave us the reasons (as given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan). Here are the fifteen promises of Mary to Christians who recite the rosary.

  • Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.
  • I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
  • The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
  • 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.
  • The soul which recommend itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.
  • 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 perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
  • Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  • 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.
  • I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
  • The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
  • You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
  • All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
  • 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.
  • All who recite the rosary are my son, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.
  • Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

If that does not convince you, here are a few more reasons to say a daily rosary.

  • Our Lady has many titles. She selected this title at Fatima: "I am the Lady of the Rosary."
  • St. Francis de Sales said the greatest method of praying is: Pray the Rosary.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas preached 40 straight days in Rome Italy on just the Hail Mary.
  • St. John Vianney, patron of priests, was seldom seen without a rosary in his hand.
  • "The rosary is the scourge of the devil" -- Pope Adrian VI
  • "The rosary is a treasure of graces" -- Pope Paul V
  • Padra Pio the stigmatic priest said: "The Rosary is the weapon"
  • Several popes wrote encyclicals on the rosary.
  • Pope John XXIII spoke 38 times about our Lady and the Rosary. He prayed 15 decades daily.
  • St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort wrote: "The rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, who so loves His Mother."
  • The rosary is the New Testament and Faith of the Church in miniature (per Joachim Cardinal Meisner):
    • On the Cross we pray the Creed; our rule of faith.
    • Three theological Virtues follow (Faith, Hope and Charity).
    • The entire New Testament follows in sequence:
      • Joyful Mysteries (The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Birth of Our Lord, The Presentation of Our Lord, and The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple).
      • The Mysteries of Light (Christ's Baptism in the Jordan River, Christ's First Miracle at Cana, Christ Preaching, The Transfiguration, and Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper).
      • Sorrowful Mysteries (The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning with Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross, and The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord).
      • Glorious Mysteries (The Resurrection, The Ascension, The Coming of the Holy Spirit, The Assumption of our Blessed Mother into Heaven, and The Coronation of our Blessed Mother).

Finally, the prayer Memorare says it all...

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to Your protection, implored Your help, or sought Your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To You we come; before You we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in Your mercy, hear and answer us. Amen.

Convinced? Then pray along with me...

Pray the Rosary

Note: The rosary section of this web site is available for download as a PDF file. You must have the free Adobe PDF reader in order to use the download.

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If you wish more information about the Rosary and/or the Catholic faith please see the More Information page. There, also find links to our new rosary beads and related links pages. (Neither of these pages appear in the PDF files as they change too often.)


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