The Rosary's Prayers
Making The Sign of the Cross
In the name of
the Father [touch forehead], and of the Son [touch breast], and of the Holy
Ghost [touch left shoulder, then right shoulder]. Amen.
Latin Version: Signum Crucis
In nomine Patris [touch forehead] et Filii [touch breast] et Spiritus Sancti
[touch left shoulder, then right shoulder]. Amen.
I believe in God,
the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth, and in 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.
Latin Version: Symbolum Apostolorum
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum
Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu
Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus,
et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit
ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare
vivos et mortuos. + Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam
Catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem,
vitam aeternam. 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.
Latin Version: Pater Noster (Oratio Dominica)
Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur Nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum
tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. + Panem nostrum quotidianum
da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus
debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo.
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 death. Amen.
Latin Version: Ave Maria (Salutatio Angelica)
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus
fructus ventris tui, Iesus. + Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis
peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
Glory be to the
Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. + As it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Latin Version: Doxologia Minor
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.+ Sicut erat in principio, et
nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
O My Jesus, + forgive
us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven,
especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.
Oh mi Jesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra, libera nos ab igne inferni, conduc
in caelum omnes animas, praesertim illas quae maxime indigent misericordia
See these other
pages for other optional concluding prayers and
Scripture and Readings to use in
Announcing and Pondering the Mysteries
Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son;
and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called
the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne
of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.
Picture the scene of the Annunciation. God proposes the mystery of the
Incarnation which He will accomplish in the Virgin Mary--but not until she
has given her consent. The accomplishment of the mystery is held in suspense
awaiting the free acceptance of Mary. At this moment Mary represents all
of us in her own person; it is as if God is waiting for the response of the
humanity to which He longs to unite Himself. What a solemn moment this is!
For upon this moment depends the decision of the most vital mystery of
But see how Mary gives her answer. Full of faith and confidence in the heavenly
message and entirely submissive to the Divine Will, the Virgin Mary replies
in a spirit of complete and absolute abandonment: "Behold the handmaid of
the Lord; be it done to me according to Thy word." This "Fiat" is Mary's
consent to the Divine Plan of Redemption. It is like an echo of the "Fiat"
of the creation of the world. But this is a new world, a world infinitely
superior, a world of grace, which God will cause to arise in consequence
of Mary's consent, for at that moment the Divine Word, the second Person
of the Blessed Trinity, becomes Man in Mary: "And the Word was made Flesh
and dwelt among us."
Visitation : Luke 1:42-45
And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among
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? For behold as soon as the voice
of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be
accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
See how the Holy Spirit greets the Virgin Mary through the mouth of Elizabeth:
"Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And blessed
art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that
were spoke to thee by the Lord."
Blessed indeed, for by this faith in the word of God the Virgin Mary became
the Mother of Christ.
What finite creature has ever received honor such as this from the Infinite
Mary gives all the glory to the Lord for the marvelous things which are
accomplished in her. From the moment of the Incarnation the Virgin Mother
sings in her heart a canticle full of love and gratitude.
In the presence of her cousin Elizabeth she allows the most profound sentiments
of her heart to break forth in song; she intones the "Magnificat" which,
in the course of centuries, her children will repeat with her to praise God
for having chosen her among all women:
"My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, Because
He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid... Because He Who is mighty
has done great things for me And holy is His name."
Nativity: Luke 2:6-7
And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished,
that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and
wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there
was no room for them in the inn.
The Virgin Mary sees in the Infant that she has given to the world, a child
in appearance like all other children, the very Son of God. Mary's soul was
filled with an immense faith which welled up in her and surpassed the faith
of all the just men of the Old Testament; this is why she recognized her
God in her own Son.
This faith manifests itself externally by an act of adoration. From her very
first glance at Jesus, the Virgin prostrated herself interiorly in a spirit
of adoration so profound that we can never fathom its depth.
In the heart of Mary are joined in perfect harmony a creature's adoration
of her God and a Mother's love for her only Son.
How inconceivably great the joy in the soul of Jesus must have been as He
experienced this boundless love of His Mother! Between these two souls took
place ceaseless exchanges of love which brought them into ever closer unity.
O wonderful exchange: to Mary Jesus gives the greatest gifts and graces,
and to Jesus Mary gives her fullest cooperation: after the union of the Divine
Persons in the Blessed Trinity and the hypostatic union of the divine and
human natures in the Incarnation, no more glorious or more profound union
can be conceived than the union between Jesus and Mary.
Presentation: Luke 2:22-24
And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses,
were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord:
As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall
be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is
written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons...
On the day of the Presentation God received infinitely more glory than He
had hitherto received in the temple from all the sacrifices and all the
holocausts of the Old Testament. On this day it is His own Son Jesus Who
is offered to Him, and Who offers to the Father the infinite homage of adoration,
thanksgiving, expiation and supplication.
This is indeed a gift worthy of God.
And it is from the hands of the Virgin, full of grace, that this offering,
so pleasing to God, is received. Mary's faith is perfect. Filled with the
wisdom of the Holy Spirit, she has a clear understanding of the value of
the offering which she is making to God at this moment; by His inspirations
the Holy Spirit brings her soul into harmony with the interior dispositions
of the heart of her Divine Son.
Just as Mary had given her consent in the name of all humanity when the angel
announced to her the mystery of the Incarnation, so also on this day Mary
offers Jesus to the Father in the name of the whole human race. For she knows
that her Son is "the King of Glory, the new light enkindled before the dawn,
the Master of life and death."
Finding in the Temple: Luke 2:46-47
And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions.
And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers.
"How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's
business?" This is the answer that Jesus gave to His Mother when, after three
days' search she had the joy of finding Him in the Temple.
These are the first words coming from the lips of the Word Incarnate to be
recorded in the Gospel.
In these words Jesus sums up His whole person, His whole life, His whole
mission. They reveal His Divine Sonship; they testify to His supernatural
mission. Christ's whole life will only be a clarifying and magnificent exposition
of the meaning of these words.
St. Luke goes on to tell us that Mary "did not understand the word that He
spoke." But even if Mary did not grasp the full significance of these words,
she did not doubt that Jesus was the Son of God. This is why she submitted
in silence to that Divine Will which had demanded such a sacrifice of her
"Mary kept these words of Jesus carefully in her heart." She kept them in
her heart, for there was the tabernacle in which she adored the mystery concealed
in the words of he Son, waiting until the full light of understanding would
be granted her.
Agony in the
Garden: Matthew 26:36-39
Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani;
and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. And
taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful
and to be sad. Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death:
stay you here, and watch with me. And going a little further, he fell upon
his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice
pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
It is for the love of His Father above all else that Jesus willed to undergo
Behold Jesus Christ in His agony. For three long hours weariness, grief,
fear and anguish sweep in upon His soul like a torrent; the pressure of this
interior agony is so immense that blood bursts forth from His sacred veins.
What an abyss of suffering is reached in this agony! And what does Jesus
say to His Father? "Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from
Me." Can it be that Jesus no longer accepts the Will of His Father? Oh! certainly
He does. But this prayer is the cry of the sensitive emotions of poor human
nature, crushed by ignominy and suffering. Now is Jesus truly a "Man of Sorrows."
Our Savior feels the terrible weight of His agony bearing down upon His
shoulders. He wants us to realize this; that is why He utters such a prayer.
But listen to what He immediately adds: "Nevertheless, Father, not My will
but Thine be done." Here is the triumph of love. Because He loves His Father,
He places the Will of His Father above everything else and accepts every
possible suffering in order to redeem us.
Scourging at the Pillar: Matthew 27:25-26
And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and our children.
Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him
unto them to be crucified
Christ substituted Himself voluntarily for us as a sacrificial victim without
blemish in order to pay our debt, and, by the expiation and the satisfaction
which He made for us, to restore the Divine life to us. This was the mission
which Christ came to fulfill, the course which He had to run. "God has placed
upon Him"--a man like unto ourselves, of the race of Adam, but entirely just
and innocent and without sin--"the iniquity of us all."
Since Christ has become, so to speak, a sharer in our nature and taken upon
Himself the debt of our sin, He has merited for us a share in His justice
and holiness. In the forceful words of St. Paul, God, "by sending His Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin-offering, has condemned sin in the
flesh." And with an impact still more stunning, the Apostle writes: "For
our sakes He (God) made Him (Christ) to be sin who knew nothing of sin."
How startling this expression is: "made Him to be sin"! The Apostle does
not say "sinner," but--what is still more striking--"sin"!
Let us never forget that "we have been redeemed at great price by the precious
blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
Crowning with Thorns: Matthew 27:28-29
And stripping him, they put a scarlet cloak about him. And platting a
crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand.
And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying: Hail, king of the
Christ Jesus becomes an object of derision and insults at the hands of the
temple servants. Behold Him, the all-powerful God, struck by sharp blows;
His adorable face, the joy of the saints, is covered with spittle; a crown
of thorns is forced down upon His head; a purple robe is placed upon His
shoulders as a mock of derision; a reed is thrust into His hand; the servants
genuflect insolently before Him in mockery. What an abyss of ignominy! What
humiliation and disgrace for One before Whom the angels tremble!
The cowardly Roman governor imagines that the hatred of the Jews will be
satisfied by the sight of Christ in this pitiful state. He shows Him to the
crowd: "Ecce Homo--Behold the Man!"
Let us contemplate our Divine Master at this moment, plunged into the abyss
of suffering and ignominy, and let us realize that the Father also presents
Him to us and says to us: "Behold My Son, the splendor of My glory--but bruised
for the sins of My people."
Carrying the Cross: John 19:12-18
And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out,
saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar's friend. For whosoever
maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar. Now when Pilate had heard
these words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in
the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha. And it was
the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews:
Behold your king. But they cried out: Away with him; away with him; crucify
him. Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered:
We have no king but Caesar. Then therefore he delivered him to them to be
crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth. And bearing his own cross,
he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha.
Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and
Jesus in the midst.
Let us meditate upon Jesus Christ on the way to Calvary laden with His cross.
He falls under the weight of this burden. To expiate sin, He wills to experience
in His own flesh the oppression of sin. Fearing that Jesus will not reach
the place of crucifixion alive, the Jews force Simon of Cyrene to help Christ
to carry His cross, and Jesus accepts this assistance.
In this Simon represents all of us. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ,
we should all help Jesus to carry His Cross. This is the one sure sign that
we belong to Christ--if we carry our cross with Him.
But while Jesus carried His cross, He merited for us the strength to bear
our trials with generosity. He has placed in His cross a sweetness which
makes ours bearable, for when we carry our cross it is really His that we
receive. For Christ unites with His own the sufferings, sorrows, pains and
burdens which we accept with love from His hand, and by this union He gives
them an inestimable value, and they become a source of great merit for us.
It is above all His love for His Father which impels Christ to accept the
sufferings of His Passion, but it is also the love which He bears us.
Crucifixion & Death: Luke 23:45-46
And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend
my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost.
At the Last Supper, when the hour had come to complete His oblation of self,
what did Christ say to His Apostles who were gathered around Him? "Greater
love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
And this is the love, surpassing all loves, which Jesus shows us; for, as
St. Paul says, "It is for us all that He is delivered up." What greater proof
of love could He have given us? None.
Hence the Apostle declares without ceasing that "because He loved us, Christ
delivered Himself up for us," and "because of the love He bears for me, He
gave Himself up for me."
"Delivered," "given"--to what extent? Even to the death on the cross!
What enhances this love immeasurably is the sovereign liberty with which
Christ delivered Himself up: "He offered Himself because He willed it." These
words tell us how spontaneously Jesus accepted His Passion. This freedom
with which Jesus delivered Himself up to death for us is one of the aspects
of His sacrifice which touch our human hearts most profoundly.
of Our Lord: Matthew 28:5-6
And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that
you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he
said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid.
On the day of His Resurrection Jesus Christ left in the tomb the shroud which
is the symbol of our infirmities, our weaknesses, our imperfections. Christ
comes from the tomb triumphant--completely free of earthly limitation; He
is animated with a life that is intense and perfect, and which vibrates in
every fibre of His being. In Him everything that is mortal has been absorbed
by His glorified life.
Here is the first element of the sanctity represented in the risen Christ:
the elimination of everything that is corruptible, everything that is earthly
and created; freedom from all defects, all infirmities, all capacity for
But there is also another element of sanctity: union with God, self- oblation
and consecration to God. Only in heaven shall we be able to understand how
completely Jesus lived for His Father during these blessed days. The life
of the risen Christ became an infinite source of glory for His Father. Not
a single effect of His sufferings was left in Him, for now everything in
Him shone with brilliance and beauty and possessed strength and life; every
atom of His being sang an unceasing canticle of praise. His holy humanity
offered itself in a new manner to the glory of the Father.
Ascension into Heaven: Luke 24:50-51
And he led them out as far as Bethania: and lifting up his hands, he blessed
them. And it came to pass, whilst he blessed them, he departed from them,
and was carried up to heaven.
Our Lord said to His Apostles before He departed from them: "If you loved
Me, you would indeed rejoice that I am going to the Father." To us also Christ
repeats these words. If we love Him, we shall rejoice in His glorification;
we shall rejoice with Him that, after completing His course on earth, He
ascends to the right hand of His Father, there to be exalted above all the
heavens in infinite glory.
But Jesus goes only to precede us; He does not separate Himself from us,
nor does He separate us from Himself. If He enters into His glorious kingdom,
it is to prepare a place for us there. He promises to return one day to take
us with Him so that, as He says, where He is we also may be. True, we are
already there in the glory and happiness of Christ, by our title as His heirs;
but we shall one day be there in reality. Has not Christ asked this of His
Father? "Father, I will that where I am, they also whom Thou hast given Me
may be with Me."
Let us then say to Christ Jesus: "Draw us into Your triumphal march, O glorious
and all-powerful Conqueror! Make us live in heaven by faith and hope and
love. Help us to detach ourselves from the fleeting things of earth in order
that we may seek the true and lasting goods of heaven!"
The Pentecost: Acts 2:3-4
And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat
upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and
they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave
them to speak.
The Holy Spirit appeared under the form of tongues of fire in order to fill
the Apostles with truth and to prepare them to bear witness to Jesus. He
also come to fill their hearts with love.
He is the Person of Love in the life of God. He is also like a breath, an
aspiration of infinite Love, from which we draw the breath of life.
On the day of Pentecost the Divine Spirit communicated such an abundance
of life to the whole Church that to symbolize it "there came a sound from
heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where
they (the Apostles) were sitting."
But it is also for us that the Holy Spirit has come, for the group in the
Cenacle represented the whole Church. The Holy Spirit came to remain with
the Church forever. This is the promise of Jesus Himself. He dwells in the
Church permanently and unfailingly, performing in it without ceasing, His
action of life-giving and sanctification. He establishes the Church infallibly
in the truth. It is He Who makes the Church blossom forth with a marvelous
supernatural fruitfulness, for He brings to life and full fruition in Virgins,
Martyrs, Confessors, those heroic virtues which are one of the marks of true
Assumption of Mary: Hebrews 11:5
By faith Henoch was translated, that he should not see death; and he was
not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he
had testimony that he pleased God.
If Christ Jesus wishes us to love all the members of His Mystical Body, should
we not love above all others her who gave Him the very nature by which He
became our Head, the same nature which He uses to communicate His grace to
us? We cannot doubt but that the love which we show to his Mother is extremely
pleasing to Christ.
We shall manifest our love by extolling the sublime privileges which Jesus
has bestowed on His Mother, among which the Assumption is one of the most
glorious. If we wish to please our Lord very much, we shall admire the wonderful
gifts with which He has lovingly adorned the soul of His Mother. He wishes
that we should sing the praises of the Virgin, who was chosen among all women
to give the Savior to the world.
"Yes, we shall sing your praises, for you alone have delighted the heart
of your God. May you be blessed, for you have believed the word of God, and
in you the eternal promises have been fulfilled."
Coronation of Mary: Apocalypse 11:19-12:1
And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament
was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake,
and great hail. And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with
the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve
What is the purpose of all the mysteries of Christ? To be the pattern of
our supernatural life, the means of our sanctification, the source of all
our holiness. To create an eternal and glorious society of brethren who will
be like unto Him. For this reason Christ, the new Adam, has associated with
Himself Mary, as the new Eve. But she is, much more than Eve, "the Mother
of all the living," the Mother of those who live in the grace of her Son.
And since here below Mary was associated so intimately with all the mysteries
of our salvation, at her Assumption into heaven Jesus crowned her not only
with glory but also with power; He has placed His Mother on His right hand
and has given her the power, in virtue of her unique title of Mother of God,
to distribute the treasures of eternal life.
Let us then, full of confidence, pray with the Church: "Show yourself a Mother:
Mother of Jesus, by your complete faith in Him, our Mother, by your mercy
towards us; ask Christ, Who was born of you, to give us life; and Who willed
to be your Son, to receive our prayers through you."
1 In October 2002, His Holiness, Pope John Paul
II, in his Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, recommended
"adding" 5 more Mysteries to the Rosary to be prayed on Thursdays -- the
"Luminous Mysteries" which focus on Jesus' public life. These Mysteries
The Baptism in the Jordan
The Marriage Feast at Cana
The Proclamation of the Kingdom
The Institution of the Eucharist
This novelty does not change the Rosary itself and is merely presented as
an option for Christians. This option, however, is one that totally disrupts
the relationship between the Rosary and the Breviary's Psalms. Traditional
Catholics stick with the classic tried-and-true Rosary, at least for public
Rosaries. To read why, see