Rise of the Rosary

Apr 2


Janet K. Nelson

Janet K. Nelson

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The power of the Rosary prayer has dominated the Christian faithful for generations. Its development and application are reviewed in this article that demonstrates its universal relevance through time.


In our human need to establish a relationship with our God and creator,Rise of the Rosary Articles methods of mediation, meditation, revelation and prayer have been practiced since early human existence. The fulfillment of this need gives peace, love, hope and justification to human existence. God has spoken through prophets who have harnessed the skill of intercession through the ages in many faiths. The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a tool and practice for this purpose.

The Catholic Rosary has developed historically becoming an eclectic medium for establishing relationship with God. It is meditative, it educates and reveals, it focuses; it provides intercession, community, peace and comfort to the practitioner. It can be practiced privately or in community groups.

The Rosary is a bead prayer. There are many beautiful bead prayers and meditations practiced in the Roman Catholic Faith. Many Catholics refer to all bead prayers as Rosaries. However, there is really only one true Rosary prayer and its proper name is the “Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. It is also referred to as the Dominican Rosary, Marian Rosary, and the Vita Christi (Life of Christ) Rosary. Currently, another very popular bead meditation and prayer practiced by Catholics is “The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy”.  This meditation shares some of the same elements as the Rosary.

The rise in the popularity of the Rosary can be attributed to the Dominican order of the Catholic Faith. Saint Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221 A.D.), a Spaniard established this order. The Dominicans believed and still do believe in an intellectual pursuit of faith and relationships. The Dominicans vigorously promoted the Rosary beginning in the fifteenth century. In 1569, Pope St. Pius V a Dominican Pope issued an apostolic letter that confirmed the fifteen-Mystery Rosary as the official version authorized by the Catholic Church. This version continued until the year 2002 when Pope John Paul II published his apostolic letter (Rosarium Virginis Marioe) that added five more Mysteries. The official modern “Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary” of the Roman Catholic Church is now 20 Mysteries in length.

The basic elements of the Rosary are always the same.  The meditative prayers or mysteries and the decade (repetitive prayers) are the structure for the experience. Other prayer elements can be added but the basic structure, mysteries and decade prayers are always present. The prayer beads are used to keep track of how an individual/group is progressing in the prayer process so no one has to count repetitions. The hand moves from one bead to the next, keeping track of the decade repetitions as the Rosary progresses.

Practitioners intensely and deeply focus on the spiritual, meditative, psychological and emotional enlightenment of the process. As repetition progresses, even breathing is regulated and the mind is free and open to new perceptions. Regular practioners claim the Rosary helps them relax and prioritize their daily lives based on true values. They often claim there are infinite and continuous lessons to be learned through a lifetime of meditative prayer centered on the Rosary. Like fine art and great music, repetition brings new revelation and personal intimacy and relationship.  

Decade prayer beads can fit in a pocket, purse or even around the neck. Some are beautifully made of gemstones and handed down through family generations. Rosary beads can also be very humble wooden or plastic beads. All Rosary beads perform the function of guiding and focusing the prayer process. The standard decade prayer or Rosary beads are composed of 59 beads. This includes 54 beads connected to a central medal. A Five-bead string leads down to a crucifix at the end.  A beautiful lifetime tiger eye gemstone Rosary is available at http://www.tigereyejewels.com.

It takes about 20 minutes to pray the Rosary. Most executive training programs recommend you spend 15 minutes planning/prioritizing the activities of your day. Try praying the Rosary and then enter your prioritized task list in your PDA (personal digital assistant). You may find your list will become more value focused and cutting-edge affective as it gains a truth and reality it was missing. Here are the Mysteries of the Rosary and the Bible passages where each is found.   

The Mysteries of the Rosary Prayer

Joyful Mysteries

(Monday and Saturday)

1. The Annunciation made by the Angel Gabriel to Mary that she is to   be the Mother of the Savior (Luke 1:26-38).

2. The visitation of Mary to her Cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant   with her son, John the Baptist (Luke 1:39-45).3. The Nativity of the Holy Family in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7).

4. The presentation of the Infant Jesus by Mary and Joseph in the   Temple (Luke 2:22-38).

5. Mary finds Jesus in the Temple conversing with the elders (Luke   2:41-52).

Sorrowful Mysteries

(Tuesday and Friday)

1. The Agony of Christ conforming to the will of God in the Garden   (Mark 14:32-36).

2. The Scourging (abuse) of Jesus at the Pillar (John 18:28-38;   19:1).

3. The Crowning of Jesus with Thorns by the Roman authorities   (Mark 15:16-20).

4. Jesus carrying is cross (Luke 23:26-32).

5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus on the Cross (Luke 23:33-34;   39-46).

Luminous Mysteries


1. The Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan (Matthew   3:13-17).

2. The Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1-12).

3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:15; 2:3-13).

4. The Transfiguration of Jesus (Luke 9:28-36).

5. The First Eucharist (Matthew 26:26-30).

Glorious Mysteries

(Sunday and Wednesday)

1. The Resurrection of Our Savior, Jesus Christ (Luke 24:1-6).

2. The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven (Luke 24:50-53).

3. The Coming and Descending of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).

4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (I Thessalonians 4:14-17).

5. The Crowning on Mary (Revelation 12:1-6).

Meditative Tools



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