The Rosary

The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Our Lady of the Rosary

      (Our Lady of Fatima statue at Conyers, c. 1993)

       Home    Site Map                                 

Click here for a printer-friendly version of The Rosary (with The Divine Mercy Chaplet)

On this page are the Mysteries of the Rosary, the History of the Rosary, the Angelic Salutation,

the Rosary Prayers, Praying the Rosary and Prayers after the Rosary.

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

Click here for the Joyful Mysteries       Click here for the Luminous Mysteries 

Click here for the Sorrowful Mysteries      Click here for the Glorious Mysteries

 

The History of the Rosary

 The Rosary is a meditation on events in the life of Christ which is sometimes called "the Gospel in miniature".  Jesus  lived with His mother for thirty years in their home at Nazareth.   During His public life, Mary was never far from Him.  It is reasonable to say that since she lived with her Son until He reached the age of thirty, Mary strove to be as close to Him as possible during His public life. The women who accompanied Mary also sought to be near Jesus.   Mary's life with Christ as Mother of the Incarnate Word places her first in the order of grace after Christ.  Mary gives to us the font of Christ's graces given to us in the Rosary. 

The meditations of the Rosary are reflected in Mary's heart, for she:   "......kept all these things, pondering them in her heart." (Lk2:19)

 

St. Dominic and the Rosary

"Dominic Guzman was born in 1170 in Calaroga, Castile (Spain) in an age which saw the sons of Mohammed sweeping across the Mediterranean, turning Christian temples into Moorish mosques.  At 14, he graduated with a degree in arts and sacred sciences.  At the age of 24, he was ordained a priest by the bishop of Osma, Spain.  At first he obtained but scanty success as a preacher, and  one day, complaining of this in pious prayer to our Blessed Lady, she deigned to reply to him, saying :

"Wonder not that you have obtained so little fruit by your labors, you have spent them on barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of Divine grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth, He began by sending down on it the fertilizing rain of the Angelic Salutation. Therefore preach my Psalter composed of 150 Angelic Salutations and 15 Our Fathers, and you will obtain an abundant harvest."

Pope Leo XIII affirmed the Dominican origin of the Rosary.  The tradition that Mary first revealed the Rosary devotion to St. Dominic is supported by 13 popes.  Dominic, exhausted from his labors, contracted dropsy and died at the age of 36.  He was canonized on August 8, 1234."  

(Robert Feeney, author of The Rosary, the "Little Summa", www.catholic.net)

 

The Rosary and the Battle of Lepanto

 

"From the very beginning of Islam in the 6th century, there were wars between Christians and Moslems.  The Battle of Lepanto, which marked the end of the Crusades, was a turning point in the history of Christianity.  In 1453, Mohammed II threw huge assaults against Constantinople and the Byzantine capital fell.  By 1571 the Moslems were firmly installed in Europe. Their ships ruled the Mediterranean Sea from the Strait of Bosporus to the Strait of Gibraltar and constantly preyed on Christian vessels unless they flew the French flag.  

Pope Pius V, in the last year of his papacy in 1571, tried to rally the nations of Europe to join in a Holy League to stop and roll back the Moslem enemy which threatened the entire continent.  Spain, whose King Philip II was also King of Austria, responded favorably. The Moslems were then engaged in the conquest of Cyprus, an island belonging to the Republic of Venice.  Leading Venetian officials would have preferred to have worked out some peaceful-coexistence agreement with the Sultan, but under the crusading influence of Saint Pius V, they decided to join the Holy League along with the republics of Genoa and Lucca and the dukes of Savoy, Parma, Ferrara and Urbino.  

The Papal fleet was of course part of the Holy Alliance.  Pius V asked Philip to appoint Don John of Austria, the 25-year old son of Emperor Charles V, as commander-in-chief of a planned expedition against the Moslems. After receiving the banner of the Holy League from the Pope, through Cardinal Granvalla, Don John's fleet set sail from Genoa for Naples on June 26, 1571.  Few historians mention that just before the departure, Philip II presented Don John with a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe which had been miraculously imprinted on the cloak of the Indian peasant Juan Diego in Mexico 40 years before.  Don John placed the picture in the chapel of the admiral-vessel, the Genoese John Andrew Doria, asking for Mary's protection of his expedition.  

On September 16, the Christian fleet put to sea. Don John learned that the Moslems had retreated to the coast of Lepanto in the Gulf of Corinth.  At dawn on October 7, at the entrance to the Gulf of Patras, the Christian and Moslem fleets finally came face to face for the battle of Lepanto.  The wind and all military factors favored the Moslems.   Don John boarded a fast ship for a final review of his fleet.  He shouted encouraging words to the men and they shouted back.  After Don John returned to his own position, the wind mysteriously changed to the advantage of the Christian fleet; a most dramatic turn-of-events resulting from an "unknown factor".  

At that very moment, at dawn on October 7, 1571--as Vatican Archives later revealed--Pope Pius V, accompanied by many faithful, was praying the Rosary in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.   From dawn to dusk the prayers continued in Rome as the Christians and the Moslems battled at Lepanto.  The Moslems were defeated. Of some 270 Moslem ships, at least 200 were destroyed. The Turks also lost 30,000 men while Christian casualties numbered between 4,000 and 5,000.  

Following the great Christian victory at Lepanto, Pope St. Pius V declared that henceforth a commemoration of the Rosary would be a part of the Vatican's Mass on every October 7.  His successor, Pope Gregory XIII, went further. In 1573 he established the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary--to be celebrated at all Churches which had specific altars dedicated to the Rosary." (Ibid)

The Rosary and the Battle of Vienna

 

 "In 1683, one hundred and twelve years after the battle of Lepanto, the Moslems again swept into Europe. With 200,000 men, they laid siege to Vienna.  After months of valiant resistance by a small garrison, the city was relieved by an army under John Sobieski, King of Poland.  The Rosary, to which the King was devoted, was again instrumental in a military victory.  Pope Innocent XI consecrated September 12 of that year to the Holy Name of Mary. The Moslem hordes were hurled back yet again at Peterwardein in Hungary by Prince Eugene on the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows, August 5, 1716.  As a result of this victory, Pope Clement XI extended the Feast of the Rosary to the Universal Church." (Ibid)

 

The Rosary and Our Lady of Fatima

Image of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima

The Mother of God appeared six times as Our Lady of the Rosary to three shepherd children near the town of Fatima, Portugal between May 13th and October 13th 1917.  The Blessed Virgin told them that she had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in the twentieth century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn asunder by war and bloody violence by the First World War, she promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world if Her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed.

The Mother of God's solemn request for the consecration of Russia was a condition of world peace. She also predicted the inevitable triumph of Her Immaculate Heart as peace for the world.  Our Lady of the Rosary explained to the children that war is a punishment for sin, and warned that God would further castigate the world for its disobedience to His Will by means of war, hunger and the persecution of the Church, the Holy Father and the Catholic Faithful.  

She prophesized that Russia would spread the errors of atheism and Communism across the earth, fomenting wars and persecuting the Faithful everywhere.  After World War I, Russia spread Communism to China, and in the late 1940s the Communist Mao Tse-tung defeated the Nationalist Chaing Kai-shek, who escaped the mainland to form the Peoples' Republic of China on Taiwan.  (Source: www.fatima.org)

One of the messages from Our Lady of the Rosary in 1917:

"If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace.  If not, she will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecution of the Church.  The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be destroyed."

In her appearances at Fatima, Mary repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying the Rosary daily.  She also requested the wearing of the brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice.

In 1929, to prevent a terrible chastisement at the hands of Russia and to convert "that poor nation" to the Catholic faith, Our Lady requested a collegial Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart by the Pope with all the Catholic bishops of the world (in collegio).  In 1984, John Paul II consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  All Catholic bishops and cardinals were invited.  Some traveled to Rome.  Most took part in the consecration in absentia, with the intention of participating.

*    *    *

On June 13, 1929, Our Lady of Fatima communicated to Sister Lucia of the Fatima visionaries:

"The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.  (6-13-29) (Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, Fr. Louis Kondor, SVD, Secretariado dos Pastorinhos, Fatima, Portugal, p. 198)

"Later, in an intimate communication concerning , Our Lord complained to me, saying:

"They did not wish to heed my request!...Like the King of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be too late.  Russia will already have spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars, and persecutions of the Church: the Holy Father will have much to suffer.'  (Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, Fr. Louis Kondor, SVD, Secretariado dos Pastorinhos, Fatima, Portugal, p. 198)

On February 13, 1993, the visionary Nancy Fowler was asked by a pilgrim: "Has Russia been consecrated to the Blessed Virgin?" Nancy replied: "I can only give you the words of Our Lady":

"Not all bishops have made the consecration."

(Audio Recordings of the Apparitions of Our Lord and Our Loving Mother to Nancy Fowler at Conyers, February 13,1993 (35:25:06--35:40:00; 008 FEB1393.mp3)

*    *    *

In a letter to Father Jose Bernardo Goncalves, S.J., her confessor, written on May 18, 1936, Sr. Lucia says that she asked Jesus "why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father's making that consecration":

"Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that it may extend its cult later on, and put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart."1

Much earlier, Jacinta, just before her death, said to Lucia:

"It will not be long now before I go to Heaven.  You will remain here to make known that God wishes to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  When you are to say this, do not go and hide.  Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate  Heart of Mary; that people are to ask her for them; and that the Heart of Jesus wants that Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at His side."2

(1 The Rosary and the Crisis of Faith, Msgr. Joseph A. Cirrincione and Thomas A. Nelson, TAN Books, Rockford, Illinois;  2 Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, Fr. Louis Kondor, SVD, Secretariado dos Pastorinhos, Fatima, Portugal, quoted by above authors.)

*   *   *

Other references:

"Our Lord told Sr. Lucia that it would eventually be accomplished, but: 'It will be too late: Russia will already   have spread her errors throughout the world.'" (Martin's edition of Lucia's Memoirs, Porto, 1973, Page 465. (Quoted from Akita, p. 63); Trial, Tribulation & Triumph-Before, During, and After Antichrist, Desmond A. Birch, Queenship Publishing, Box 220, Goleta, CA 93116, p. 381)

"After the collegial consecration made by the Pope in 1984, Lucia said: "The consecration will have an effect, but it is too late.'" (Trial, Tribulation & Triumph-Before, During, and After Antichrist, Desmond A. Birch, Queenship Publishing, Box 220, Goleta, CA 93116, p. 381)

*    *    *

In 1991, Our Loving Mother of Conyers told Nancy Fowler:                                                                                       

"I want the world to know that my appearances here are linked directly with Fatima.  No other apparitions are linked more strongly with you than Fatima.  The world will come to know in time."  (January 15, 1991)

And:

"My requests that I made in Fatima have not been done." (February 2, 1991)

And:

"I'm afraid they are going to block my graces and receive the punishment sooner. There will be grave consequences if graces are blocked. The punishment will not be mitigated." (July 1, 1991)

At Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary also asked that the Faithful practice a new devotion of reparation on the first Saturday of five consecutive months. "The First Five Saturdays" devotional consists of Mass and Holy Communion, the praying of the Rosary ( five decades), and a fifteen-minute meditation on the remaining mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation for the blasphemies uttered against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Sacrament of Reconcilliation, (Confession) is a part, but can take place within eight days of the First Saturday. 

On May 29, 1930 Our Lord explained to Sister Lucia the reason for the Five First Saturdays:

My daughter, the reason is simple.  Against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, five kinds of offenses and blasphemies are committed:

1.  Those committed against the Immaculate Conception;                  

2.  Those committed against the virginity of Our Lady;

3.  Those committed against the Divine maternity, refusing at the same time, to accept her as the mother of men;

4.  Those committed by men who publicly attempt to instill indifference, scorn and even hatred for this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children;

5.  Those committed by men who insult her directly in her statues."

The Catholic Church has officially endorsed the Fatima Message "as worthy of human belief" since 1930. Five successive popes have publicly indicated their approval and belief in the validity and critical importance of the Fatima apparitions. Several popes have visited Fatima on solemn pilgrimage and Pope John Paul II has gone at least once in every decade of his pontificate. 

 On October 13, 1998, the Mother of God, in her last message to the people of the United States (link) told Nancy Fowler:

"My requests remain the same as in Portugal in 1917."  (October 13, 1998)

 In 1993, Our Loving Mother said to Nancy:

"Russia is continuing to spread its errors throughout the world. Do not be deceived and think that you are completely safe in America." (February 2, 1991)

 And:

"Remember the words, the calm before the storm.  They are tricking you.  The communists are working  with your foe (radical Islam-ed.) Please review my words I spoke at Fatima. George, help her. My children need to hear  them again. This time I come is not unlike the time I came in Fatima."  (February 2, 1991)             

*    *    *

Again, just before her death, Jacinta told Lucia:

"Tell everybody that God grants graces through the Immaculate  Heart of Mary.  Tell them to ask graces from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her."1

(1 Our Lady of Fatima's Peace Plan from Heaven, page 10, TAN Books, Box 424, Rockford, Illinois 61105)

 Jesus confirmed the above statement from Jacinta when He told Nancy Fowler in 1990:

"The peace of the world has been entrusted to My mother." (December 4, 1990)

In these apocalyptic times, we have these reassuring words from Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima:

"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world. Only I can help you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

However, much prayer and sacrifice is needed.  Our Loving Mother told us through Nancy Fowler:

"I need your prayers and sacrifices." (April 6, 1991)

 

The Prayers of the Rosary

The Hail Mary: The Angelic Psalter

"Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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."

The 'Hail Mary', above, is the Archangel Gabriel's angelic salutation to the Blessed Virgin Mary at Nazareth: "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women."                                                                                                                                                    (Lk1:28 KJV.1611)

As discussed in YOUR FAITH on this Website, the words "highly favoured", expressed in the Greek is: "kecharitomehne".  St. Jerome, the accepted biblical translator of the New Testament expressed it in Latin in the 5th century as "gratia plena", or "full of grace."  The words "Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb"  and  "Whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" are the words of Elizabeth.                                                                                                         (Lk1:42,43 KJV.1611).

The Hail Mary is the prayer that supports the Rosary between introductions of the twenty mysteries in the life of Christ that are reflected in the Rosary.  They serve as a backdrop to our meditation, gracing our prayer over and over again with the first words that God the Father directed to be said by the angel to introduce the Era of the Redemption into the life of mankind: "Hail, thou that are highly favoured, the Lord is with thee!"

There are two mysteries of the Rosary that are not in the Bible; The Assumption of Mary into Heaven, and The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth.  These are the only mysteries of the Rosary that speak of Mary; but they reflect Christ.  Mary is the reflection Christ because:

"All that is Mary is in Christ." 

These two mysteries are understood from discussions on the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary on YOUR FAITH; available on this web site.

Praying the Rosary

Pray the Rosary by meditating on the events in the lives of Jesus and Mary contained in the mysteries of the Rosary.  Please begin by invoking the Power of the Holy Spirit. 

[You may begin the prayer of the Rosary by signing yourself with the sign of the cross:  The right hand traces a cross from forehead to lower chest; then to left and right shoulders. The forehead and both shoulders form a triangle, the sign of the Most Holy Trinity.]

The initial prayers are the Apostles' Creed and the Our Father:

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, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell and on the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory 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."

Those who are disposed may add:  

"For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever and ever.  Amen."

Then pray three Angelic Salutations, the Hail Mary, for the intention of increases in the Baptismal virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity:

"Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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."

Then pray a Glory be...

THE 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."

After every Glory be... in the Rosary, Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima  requested this prayer:

"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell.  Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those souls in most need of your mercy."

Throughout the Rosary, all are invited to add this prayer given to Nancy by Our Loving Mother:

"God, our Father, please send us holy priests; all for the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, all for the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with St. Joseph and Holy Mother Church." (December 4, 1990)

Then, as at Fatima, Conyers, and all over the world, the first words of the Angelic Salutation, the Ave is sung:

"Ave, ave, ave Maria----ave, ave, ave Maria!"

PRAYING A DECADE OF THE ROSARY

A "decade" of the Rosary consists of the introduction of the particular Mystery of the Rosary, and praying the Our Father,  ten Hail Marys, ("the fertilizing rain of the Angelic Salutation"), a Glory be..., an O my Jesus, a God, our Father, and an Ave.

Prayers after the Rosary

(The Rosary is a complete prayer and no other prayers are necessary. Tradition, however, gives the following three most recited prayers after the Rosary.)

The Hail Holy Queen

"Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy; our life, our sweetness and our hope.  To thee we cry, poor banished children of Eve, mourning and sighing in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious  advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the most Blessed Fruit of thy 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."

....and let us pray....

The "Prayer after the Rosary"

"O God, Whose only Begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating on the mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ, Our Lord, Amen."

....and....

The Divine Invocation

"May the Divine assistance remain always with us; and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen."

~Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!~

Click here to return to Section B

Click here to return to Home Page

Click here to return to Site Map