Sunday, June 19, 2005
Devotion to the Most Holy Rosary

St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort wrote: "The rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, who loves His Mother."

How to pray the Rosary:

The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a prayer given to St. Dominic in 1214 by Mary, and today this is said by saying certain prayers typically kept track by using Rosary beads. Here is how to say the Rosary:

STEP 1: Make the sign of the Cross:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

STEP 2: Say the Apostles' Creed:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day, He rose again. He ascended into heaven And is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. 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.

STEP 3: Say 1 "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.

STEP 4: Say 3 "Hail Mary's":
(For the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity)
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 death.

STEP 5: Say 1 "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. Amen.

[Note: This prayer may be omitted during Passiontide, which consists of the two weeks leading up to Easter]

STEP 6: Say 1 "Our Father":
And announce the first mystery that we are praying for today.

STEP 7: Say 10 "Aves":
Say 10 Hail Marys while reflecting on the mystery

STEP 8: Conclude the Decade:
Say a Glory Be and a Fatima Prayer.
Fatima Prayer: O My Jesus, forgive our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven especially those that most need your divine mercy.

STEP 9: Continue the Rosary:
To continue the Rosary, announce the next mystery and repeat steps 6-8 for all the mysteries of that given day. 

STEP 10: Conclude the Rosary:
Conclude the Rosary with the Hail Holy Queen and the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel (shorter form).

Why pray the Rosary? 

First, the Rosary is a devotion that allows us to contemplate on the life of Christ and Mary and join in a more mystical union with God through prayer. Why the Rosary? Because the Rosary is everything: It praises God through the Our Father, contemplates the life of Jesus and Mary, and seeks Mary's motherly intercession and guidance. Through the Rosary meditations, we grow closer to Jesus.

Above all, the Holy Trinity is the Lord alone; He is the One and Only God. We as Catholics don't worship Mary at all but ask her to pray for us as I would ask a friend to pray for me. We honor saints as holy people, but we never adore them as Christ alone is to be adored. Devotion to Mary and the saints is very important. See Why Pray to Mary and the Saints? for the answer to the fundamental issue in this question.

Also, it's important to understand that the Rosary is not a set of repetitive prayers said vainly at all. It is our tool for effective mental prayer. Learn how to pray the Rosary as a form of mental prayer.
Virtues Corresponding to Each Mystery:

When we pray the Rosary, we can keep in mind the various virtues that correspond to each mystery. As we pray and meditate on the Rosary mysteries, we also pray for the corresponding virtue.

Fatima Requests:

In a series of apparitions that have been proven as authentic, Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima. These three shepherd children were given messages and a miracle was even performed there that was witnessed by thousands. In the miracle on Oct 13, 1917, the sun danced, changed colors, and was hurled toward earth as if to destroy it. The sun then rose again in its original position. This event was witnessed by 70,000 thousands of people! It's been called the Miracle of the Sun.

Before this, on May 13, 1917, Our Lady told the 3 children (Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco): "Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war." In an apparition on July 13, she requested devotion to her Immaculate Heart and Communions of Reparation on the first Saturday of each month. In a September 13th apparition, she stressed the importance of the daily Rosary, and in her final apparition, she said, "I am the Lady of the Rosary."

Rosary Miracles:

Pope St. Pius V issued the papal bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifices on September 17, 1569, which described the essence of the rosary's present configuration. The Pope made it clear that there are two essential elements of the Rosary: vocal prayer and mental prayer. He also made it clear that the Rosary is composed of 150 Hail Marys, in connection with the 150 Psalms. The papal bull referred to the Dominican roots of the Rosary and the fact that as a young friar, St. Pius V had been a member of the Dominican Order:

And so Dominic looked to that simple way of praying and beseeching God, accessible to all and wholly pious, which is called the Rosary, or Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which the same most Blessed Virgin is venerated by the angelic greeting repeated one hundred and fifty times, that is, according to the number of the Davidic Psalter, and by the Lord's Prayer with each decade. Interposed with these prayers are certain meditations showing forth the entire life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, thus completing the method of prayer devised by the Fathers of the Holy Roman Church. 
The first major Rosary miracle and one of the most impressive is the one that occurred at the Battle of Lepanto shortly after his papal bull was issued. In 1571 the Christian army, after intense devotion with the Rosary, succeeded in one of the greatest naval victories in the Battle of Lepanto against the powerful Turks. The sixty-five thousand men prayed the Rosary for three hours. Finally, after these devotions, the men were given absolution (cf. forgiveness of their sins). The Turks had nearly three times more troops. The winds were against the Christians, and the conditions were poor, but after the devotions ended, the winds, at the very start of the battle, aided the Christians to a colossal victory against the Turks. This was one of the greatest naval upsets in history. From this, the Turks never fully recovered, and their threat in the Mediterranean Sea ended. Following this victory, Pope St. Pius V established the Feast of Our Lady of Victories on October 7th. The name was later changed to its present form - the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

There are many other miracles, including one attributed to Hiroshima. Read the inspiring story of how Jesuits were saved from the atomic bomb by the Rosary.

The reason why the Russians pulled out of Austria in 1948 is also attributed to the Rosary Campaign there, where 1/10 of the population prayed the Rosary daily for the withdrawal; it came on May 13, 1955, the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, when the Russians signed the accord to leave Austria, and no one was injured at all. Read about this miracle on America Needs Fatima's website.

And there is, of course, the series of miracles in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. The last of these miracles was the Miracle of the Sun, which was witnessed by 70,000 people!

15 Promises of the Rosary:

Mary has promised 15 specific promises for those devoted to the Rosary that she told St. Dominic when she gave us the Rosary to lead us closer to God.
  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 hearts of people 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 recommends 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 perish 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 children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
  15. Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

Rosary Encyclicals:

Supremi Apostolatus Officio:
It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her maternal goodness; showing that the Catholic Church has always, and with justice, put all her hope and trust in the Mother of God. And truly the Immaculate Virgin, chosen to be the Mother of God and thereby associated with Him in the work of man's salvation, has a favor and power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature has ever obtained, or ever can gain. And, as it is her greatest pleasure to grant her help and comfort to those who seek her, it cannot be doubted that she would deign, and even be anxious, to receive the aspirations of the universal Church.

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 1, 1883
Octobri Mense:
At the coming of the month of October, dedicated and consecrated as it is to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, we recall with satisfaction the instant exhortations which in preceding years We addressed to you, venerable brethren, desiring, as We did, that the faithful, urged by your authority and by your zeal, should redouble their piety towards the august Mother of God, the mighty helper of Christians, and should pray to her throughout the month, invoking her by that most holy rite of the Rosary which the Church, especially in the passage of difficult times, has ever used for the accomplishment of all desires. This year once again do We publish Our wishes, once again do We encourage you by the same exhortations. We are persuaded to this in love for the Church, whose sufferings, far from mitigating, increase daily in number and in gravity. Universal and well-known are the evils we deplore: war made upon the sacred dogmas which the Church holds and transmits; derision cast upon the integrity of that Christian morality which she has in keeping; enmity declared, with the impudence of audacity and with criminal malice, against the very Christ, as though the Divine work of Redemption itself were to be destroyed from its foundation -- that work which, indeed, no adverse power shall ever utterly abolish or destroy.

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 22, 1891.
Laetitiae Sanctae:
For We are convinced that the Rosary, if devoutly used, is bound to benefit not only the individual but society at large.

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 8, 1893.
It is always with joyful expectation and inspired hope that We look forward to the return of the month of October. At Our exhortation and by Our express order this month has been consecrated to the Blessed Virgin, during which for some years now the devotion of her Rosary has been practiced by Catholic nations throughout the world with sedulous earnestness. Our reasons for making this exhortation We have made known more than once. For as the disastrous condition of the Church and of Society proved to Us the extreme necessity for signal aid from God, it was manifest to Us that that aid should be sought through the intercession of His Mother, and by the express means of the Rosary, which Christians have ever found to be of marvelous avail. This indeed has been well proved since the very institution of the devotion, both in the vindication of Holy Faith against the furious attacks of heresy, and in restoring to honor the virtues, which by reason of the Age's corruption, required to be rekindled and sustained.

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 8, 1894.
The mightiest helper of the Christian people, and the most merciful, is the Virgin Mother of God. How fitting it is to accord her honors ever increasing in splendor, and call upon her aid with a confidence daily growing more ardent. The abundant blessings, infinitely varied and constantly multiplying, which flow from her all over the whole world for the common benefit of mankind, add fresh motives for invoking and honoring her.
Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 5, 1895

We have already had the opportunity on several occasions during Our Pontificate of bearing public testimony to that confidence and devotion towards the Blessed Virgin which We imbibed in Our tenderest years, and have endeavoured to cherish and develop all our life long. 
Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 20, 1896
The Rosary Story As Told in Video:

3 comment(s):

del_button August 17, 2009 at 2:24 AM
Anonymous said...

Where can you find the official Latin texts of these encyclicals? Glad if you can help.

del_button August 17, 2009 at 10:55 PM
Matthew said...

I have looked on both (under the Papal Archive) and on Papal Encyclicals Online. However, not all of the encyclicals are listed in Latin on either of these sources.

del_button September 20, 2010 at 10:25 PM
Anonymous said...

I leave you a wonderful video with 50 reasons why pray the Rosary

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