The Rosary as we know it was developed in the Middle Ages. It evolved out of an ancient practice in which people who could not read Scripture recited 150 Our Fathers for the 150 Psalms. Strings of beads, called “pater-nosters,” were used to keep track of the prayers.
￼￼Over time, this practice merged with the Scriptural greeting to Mary (“Hail Mary, full of grace…”) and with meditations on the lives of Christ and Mary. In groups or in a family, one person can say the first half of each prayer, while others respond with the second half.
The Rosary is, at its heart, a biblical prayer, which is why Scripture verses are often used for meditation with each mystery.
❶ Begin with the Sign of the Cross. Pray the Apostles’ Creed while holding the crucifix.
❷ Pray an Our Father.
❸ Pray three Hail Marys.
❹ Pray the Glory Be, announce the first mystery, then pray an Our Father.
❺ Pray ten Hail Marys (called a decade).
❻ Pray the Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer.
❼ Before each decade, announce the next mystery, followed by an Our Father. For each set of ten beads, pray ten Hail Marys while meditating on the mystery.
❽ After the five decades are completed, pray the Hail, Holy Queen and the concluding Rosary Prayer.
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 the life everlasting. Amen.
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, 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. Amen.
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.
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy. Hail, 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 weep- ing 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.
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
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 meditating upon these 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.