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Image by Anuja Mary Tilj

Mary and the Rosary

Since the early days of the Church, Christians have used knotted cords or prayer beads to help keep track of their prayers; hence, you can expect to see knots on the rope belt, or “cincture,” of a Franciscan monk.

The rosary as we know it today evolved in the Middle Ages when the Hail Mary prayer became widely known. The term rosary comes from “rosarium,” or a bouquet of roses; the prayers of the rosary were seen as a spiritual bouquet offered to Mary.

Rose and rosary

The Mysteries of the Rosary

While praying each decade of the rosary, Catholics meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life, as seen through the eyes of Mary--the one who was closest to the Lord. These mysteries are:

  • Joyful (Pray the Joyful Mysteries)

    • Annunciation

    • Visitation

    • Nativity

    • Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

    • Finding Jesus in the Temple

  • Sorrowful (Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries)

    • Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

    • Scourging of Jesus

    • Crowning Jesus with Thorns

    • Carrying of the Cross

    • Crucifixion, and Death of Jesus

  • Glorious (Pray the Glorious Mysteries)

    • Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus

    • Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

    • Assumption of Mary into Heaven

    • Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven

Divine Praises

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.


Image by Yanin Diaz

Although traditionally prayed during Adoration or recited following Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, the Divine Praises are how we can recite praises to God. And which increases the intensity of our commitment and devotion toward Him. In the words of Saint Thomas Aquinas: “We praise God, not for His benefit, but for ours.” Click here for a sung version.

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