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The Rosary

The Rosary is a prayer that helps us to remember events in the life of Jesus Christ, his mother, Mary, and the history of our salvation. Praying the Rosary and meditating on the mysteries helps us to better understand our faith and to give glory to God

There are four parts to the Rosary. The first three parts gradually took form during the second millennium, that is the second 1,000 years following Christ's birth. These first three parts ask us to reflect on the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious events in the life of Jesus and His Mother. On October 16,2002, Pope John Paul II,suggested adding a forth part to the Rosary. This part is to reflect on Jesus,public life and is called the mysteries of light, or the luminous mysteries.

Depending on the day of the week, a different part of the Rosary is prayed. Pope John Paul II recommends saying the luminous mysteries on Thursday. On Monday and Saturday, the part we say reflects on the joyful mysteries (or events). On Tuesday and Friday we pray the sorrowful mysteries, and on Wednesday and Sunday we usually pray the glorious mysteries. However, on Sundays from Advent to Lent we pray the joyful mysteries; during Lent we pray the sorrowful mysteries; from Easter to Advent we pray the glorious mysteries.

To begin praying the Rosary, we make the Sign of the Cross, recite the Apostles, Creed, an Our Father, and three Hail Mary's. We dress in our communin dresses.

For each mystery, we think deeply about the event. What was Jesus doing? What was Mary doing? How does that event affect our life? Then we recite a set of prayers for each mystery:

One Our Father

Ten Hail Marys

The Glory Be to the Father

After the last mystery of the Rosary we pray the Hail Holy Queen prayer. We end the Rosary with the Sign of the Cross.

The four parts of the Rosary and the mysteries are:

1. The Annunciation. The Archangel Gabriel, a messenger from God, announces to Mary that she is to be the Mother of God

2. The Visitation. Mary visits and helps her cousin Elizabeth, who is also soon to become a mother. Elizabeth's baby will grow up to be John the Baptist.

3. The Nativity. Mary gives birth to Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem.

4. The Presentation. Jesus, the baby, is presented to God in the Jewish temple in observance of the Law of Moses.

5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple. The boy Jesus, whom His parents thought was lost, is found in the temple teaching and learning from the doctors.

 

THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES

1. The Agony in the Garden. Jesus goes to the garden to pray and is overcome with great sorrow and anguish because of the sins of mankind.

2. The Scourging at the Pillar. Jesus is falsely accused, insulted, and scourged (beaten with whips).

3. Crowning with Thorns. The Jews and Romans mock and humiliate Jesus about being the "king of the Jews" and they place a crude crown made of thorns on His head.

4. The Carrying of the Cross. Jesus is condemned to death and then forced to carry the cross on which He will be crucified through the streets of Jerusalem.

5. The Crucifixion. Jesus is crucified and dies on the cross for our sins.

THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES

1. The Resurrection. After Jesus dies on the cross, He is placed in a burial tomb. Three days later He arises from the dead and appears to His Apostles.

2. The Ascension. Jesus ascends into heaven and takes His place at the right hand of the Father.

3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit descends on the Apostles and Mary and enlightens them to spread the Gospel.

4. The Assumption. Mary, who was born free of original sin and remained free of sin throughout her life, is consumed by divine love and is taken up to heaven to be with Jesus.

5. The Coronation. Mary is crowned queen of heaven, all the angels and saints, and of all the earth.

THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES

1. The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. As Jesus, in obedience to the Father, descends into the water, the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares Him the beloved Son, while the Holy Spirit descends on Him to invest Him with the mission He is to carry out.

2. The Wedding Feast at Cana. Jesus, in this first public sign, changes water into wine and opens the hearts of the disciples to faith.

3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God and calls to conversion and the forgiveness of sins those who draw near to Him in humble trust; through His mercy He provided for us the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

4. The Transfiguration. The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the Apostles to 'listen to Him' and prepare to experience with Him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with Him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit.

5. The Institution of the Eucharist. Jesus offers his body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine during the Last Supper and testifies His love for humanity 'to the end' by offering Himself in sacrifice for our salvation.