The Rosary

What is a Rosary?

A rosary is a tool used to aid prayer and meditation. The beads of a rosary count the prayers as they are recited out loud or in the mind. Relying on the rosary beads to keep track of how many times you’ve said a particular prayer allows you to clear your mind and meditate on your prayer more effectively.

History of the Rosary
The history of the rosary can be traced back to the time of St. Dominic, in the south of France, in the early 1200s. It is said that St. Dominic was shown a string of beads by the Virgin Mary and instructed to preach the rosary among his people to battle against sin. From that time the rosary then spread slowly throughout Western Christianity.


More information on the Rosary
The term rosary refers to both the string of beads and the prayer said using that string of beads. To pray the rosary is to recite specific prayers corresponding with particular beads on the string. A rosary is a made up of a crucifix, one larger bead, three small beads, another larger bead and then a medal. After the medal comes a larger bead again, followed by a group of 10 smaller beads. Around the rosary chain, there are five sets of each of these beads one large, 10 small. The larger bead is separated from the smaller beads, signifying the different prayers recited while holding the bead. These sets – one bead followed by a group of 10 – are called decades.

The basic praying of the rosary consists of the Apostle’s Creed prayed while holding the crucifix in one’s hand followed by an Our Father while holding the single, larger bead, then a prayer of the Hail Mary for each smaller bead in the set of 10.  The prayers are recited around the whole of the rosary with each decade signifying a meditation on one of the mysteries of Redemption.

The thoughts during the prayer are directed to focus on a different mystery for each decade that represent the significant events in the life of Jesus Christ.

For a booklet to help you to pray the Rosary click here.

The Glorious Mysteries

Sunday & Wednesday

(c) Word on Fire

The Joyful Mysteries

Monday & Saturday

(c) Word on Fire

The Sorrowful Mysteries

Tuesday & Friday

(c) Word on Fire

The Luminous Mysteries


(c) Word on Fire