God invites us into a relationship with Him that is both personal and communal. He speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Word-made-flesh. Prayer is our response to God who is already speaking or, better yet, revealing Himself to us. Therefore, prayer is not merely an exchange of words, but it engages the whole person in a relationship with God the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit.
The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events in the history of our salvation. There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five Joyful Mysteries (said on Monday and Saturday), the five Luminous Mysteries (said on Thursday), the five Sorrowful Mysteries (said on Tuesday and Friday), and the five Glorious Mysteries (said on Wednesday and Sunday). As an exception, the Joyful Mysteries may be said on Sundays during Advent and Christmas, while the Sorrowful Mysteries may be said on the Sundays of Lent.
The question is sometimes asked, why, of all the incidents in our Lord’s life, the Rosary only considers these particular twenty. The mysteries of the Rosary are based on the incidents in the life of Our Lord and His Mother that are celebrated in the Liturgy. There is a parallel between the main feasts honoring our Lord and his Mother in the liturgical year, and the twenty mysteries of the Rosary. Consequently, one who recites the twenty mysteries of the Rosary in one day reflects on the whole liturgical cycle that the Church commemorates during the course of each year. That is why some of the Popes have referred to the Rosary as a compendium of the Gospel. One cannot change the mysteries of the Rosary without losing the indulgences that the Church grants for the recitation of the Rosary.
All the prayers of the Rosary are available (in multiple languages). ROSARY PRAYERS
The steps to praying the Rosary are:
- Make the Sign of the Cross and say the “Apostles’ Creed”
- Say the “Our Father”
- Say three “Hail Marys” for Faith, Hope, and Charity
- Say the “Glory Be”
- Announce the First Mystery and then say the “Our Father”
- Say ten “Hail Marys” while meditating on the Mystery
- Say the “Glory Be” (Optional: Say the “O My Jesus” prayer requested by Mary at Fatima)
- Announce the Next Mystery; then say the “Our Father” and repeat these steps (6 through 8) as you continue through the remaining Mysteries.
- Say the closing prayers: the “Hail Holy Queen” and “Final Prayer”
- Make the “Sign of the Cross”
Pope Saint John Paul II suggested the recitation of the Rosary as follows:
|Sundays of Advent and Christmas||Joyful|
|Sundays of Lent||Sorrowful|
We offer several different modes of praying the Rosary, listed here.
For more information on the Rosary, please visit our page What is the Rosary?
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. The Chaplet is
preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing
- Make the Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
- Optional Opening Prayers
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened
up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world
and empty Yourself out upon us.
(Repeat three times) O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!
- 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,
- Hail Mary
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 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, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under
Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He
rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the
Father almighty; from there He will come 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 Eternal Father
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son,
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
- On the 10 Small Beads of Each Decade
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
- Repeat for the remaining decades
Saying the “Eternal Father” (6) on the “Our Father” bead and then 10 “For the sake of His
sorrowful Passion” (7) on the following “Hail Mary” beads.
- Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
- Optional Closing Prayer
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look
kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair
nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is
Love and Mercy itself.
The following stations of the cross are based on those celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991. They are presented here as an alternative to the traditional stations and as a way of reflecting more deeply on the Scriptural accounts of Christ’s passion.
The presiding minister may be a priest, deacon, or layperson. This minister prays the opening and closing prayers, leads the acclamation, announces the stations, and says the prayer that concludes each station. One or more readers may read the Scriptural reflections. A period of silence should be observed between the Scripture reading and the prayer. A crossbearer accompanied by two candlebearers may stand in front of each station as it is announced. As the cross- and candlebearers move between the stations, all may sing a verse of the Stabat Mater (At the Cross Her Station Keeping – traditional) or an appropriate antiphon, such as Parce Domine (traditional, various settings) or Crucem Tuam (Berthier, GIA),
Before each station:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
After each station:
Lord Jesus, help us walk in your steps.
God of power and mercy,
in love you sent your Son
that we might be cleansed of sin
and live with you forever.
Bless us as we gather to reflect
on his suffering and death
that we may learn from his example
the way we should go.
We ask this through that same Christ, our Lord.
First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
grant us your strength and wisdom,
that we may seek to follow your will in all things
Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested
Reader: Then, while [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.
(Mark 14: 43-46)
grant us the courage of our convictions
that our lives may faithfully reflect the good news you bring.
Third Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin
Reader: When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us,” but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.”
(Luke 22: 66-71)
grant us your sense of righteousness
that we may never cease to work
to bring about the justice of the kingdom that you promised.
Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied by Peter
Reader: Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.
(Matthew 26: 69-75)
grant us the gift of honesty
that we may not fear to speak the truth even when difficult.
Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pilate
Reader: The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.” Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed…. Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barrabas… [and] handed [Jesus] over to be crucified.
(Mark 15: 1-5, 15)
grant us discernment
that we may see as you see, not as the world sees.
Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said,”Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.
(John 19: 1-3)
grant us patience in times of suffering
that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise.
Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross
Reader: When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” … They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
(John 19: 6, 15-17)
grant us strength of purpose
that we may faithfully bear our crosses each day.
Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross
Reader: They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
(Mark 15: 21)
grant us willing spirits
that we may be your instruments on earth.
Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Reader: A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time, people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?”
(Luke 23: 27-31)
grant us gentle spirits
that we may comfort those who mourn.
Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified
Reader: When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. [Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”]
(Luke 23: 33-34)
grant us merciful hearts
that we may bring your reconciliation and forgiveness to all.
Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief
Reader: Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
(Luke 23: 39-43)
grant us perseverance
that we may never stop seeking you.
Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple
Reader: Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
John 19: 25-27
grant us constancy
that we may be willing to stand by those in need.
Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Reader: It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last.
(Luke 23: 44-46)
grant us trust in you
that when our time on earth in ended
our spirits may come to you without delay.
Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.
(Matthew 27: 57-60)
grant us your compassion
that we may always provide for those in need.
Lord Jesus Christ,
your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites earth and heaven
and reconciles all people to you.
May we who have faithfully reflected on these mysteries
follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven
where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit
one God, for ever and ever.