The Rosary, the second most powerful prayer next to the Mass, was given to us by the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1214 through her servant St. Dominic, who was instructed by the Blessed Virgin Mary, to pray the Rosary and “…if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.” (The Secret of the Rosary, Second Rose) Saint Dominic complied with the Blessed Virigin Mary’s instructions as a powerful means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners in the region where St. Dominic lived. The result was that almost all the people of Toulouse embraced it and renounced their false beliefs. In a very short period of time, there was a great improvement in the region and people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits.
We too should comply with the instructions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and learn from the lessons of St. Dominic, by praying the Rosary everyday for our own conversion, for our loved ones, those who we care about and want to pray for. We hope that this page will help encourage this daily effort in your lives.
Praying the Rosary consists not only of the recitation of the required prayers, but a meditation and contemplation of the life and passion of Christ, and that of our Blessed Mother, the Gospels lesson contained within and the virtues practiced by both Jesus and Mary. To trully accomplish this, one must do two things: the first, is to pray for the grace to recite the Rosary faithfully and completely, each and everyday with attention, reverence and devotion and the second, is to read The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis De Montfort. As for specific instruction on how to pray the Rosary, below are three resources:
Guidelines for complete daily recitation
The Rosary is a serious daily commitment, one that requires a focussed effort. Very much like a marathon, the Rosary cannot be something one endeavors to embark on without having properly trained for it. Much in the same way as one begins to train for a marathon by running only a couple of kilometers and eventually building upon that, so too must the same approach be taken with the Rosary. Praying only one selected decade of the daily required mystery begins the inclusion of dedicated time in your day for the Rosary. Eventually, a second decade or more is added until all five decades of the daily required mystery is completed. This is approximately 30 minutes of your time, and is equivalent to that “first couple of kilometers” of initial training. Once that is firmly established, one can begin to think of adding another decade or two until a second set of mysteries is included in your daily routine. This pattern should continue until all four sets of mysteries (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful & Glorious) become inclusive in your daily recitation of the Rosary.
Although the minimum requirement for the Rosary Devotion, is to recite only the daily required mysteries (one of the four sets mentioned above), the faithful are encouraged to pray the entire Rosary. Saint Louis De Montfort in his book, The Secret of The Rosary, under the Forty-Seventh Rose: Proper Dispositions, states that when our Blessed Mother gave the Holy Rosary to St. Dominic, she ordered him to “say it every day and to get others to say it daily.“
If you are new to the Rosary Devotion, the thought of praying all four sets of mysteries everyday can seem like quite a daunting task, but there is a way to achieve this without taking away from any of your daily duties and responsibilities. Reciting the Rosary does not require that you pray it all at once. It is recommended that it be broken up into four parts throughout your day. Praying the entire Rosary in one session would be too burdensome and not lend itself to praying enthusiastically, all the while meditating on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the life of our Blessed Mother.
Breaking up the Rosary even further into decades is also an option to consider should your schedule be as such that you do not have time for the complete recitation of one of the four sets of mysteries. You could begin reciting one decade and another at a different time until gradually you complete the entire mystery. You then repeat this procedure until you have completed all four sets of the mysteries. The times for doing this throughout your day could be: commuting to and from work, while walking, performing chores and other physical work, and any other opportune time that presents itself. Eventually, as you strive to pray the entire Rosary, you will discover more “opportune moments” throughout your day. For those that lead very busy lives, this can be considered a spiritual strategy throughout your day so that before you go to sleep at night, you have successfully recited the entire Rosary! The goal, is to recite the entire Rosary devoutly and faithfully each and every day and thus, successfully complete the marathon, a marathon of grace.