How to pray using the rosary

In my previous post on learning to pray rosary, we discovered some prayers that can be learned and recited, either out loud or mentally, while meditation on the mysteries of the rosary.

On Monday and Saturday it is conventional to meditate upon the joyful mysteries – from the bed of Christ’s imminent conception to His being found teaching as a child, astonishing those at the temple.

 On Thursday, it has become conventional to make use of the suggestion of Saint Pope John-Paul II, who was Pope before Benedict XVI (the Pope before our current Pope, holy father Pope Francis, head of the Church on earth, current. That suggestion is that those who pray using the rosary, invoke the luminous mysteries in their meditative contemplation. These are significant miracle, supernatural or other important events in Jesus’ life as an adult, from the “water into wine” miracle at a wedding in Cana, prior to His main ministry, through to His breaking bread and blessing bread and wine and sharing it with His closest friends, His disciples and commanding them to “do this in memory of me”.

On Tuesday and Friday, it is conventional to meditate on the Sorrowful rosary mysteries. These begin with Jesus’ experiences in the Garden of Gethsemane, where His apostles fell asleep when asked to pray, and Jesus said the words “Father, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.” According the sacred gospel scriptures, he also sweated beads of blood. These mysteries lead us in meditative prayer and contemplation to the cross and Jesus’ bodily death at Golgotha, the place of the skull. “He died for our sins, that we might have life, and in abundant measure.” This is a crucial understanding, if not the most crucial belief in Christian living. 

But as any Christian knows and the basic fundamental of our faith, Jesus rose again, defeating death, defeating sin forever, defeating evil forever, defeating hell forever and showing forever that He is our Holy, Mighty One, our God in other words, made man, yet wholly God. So we meditate on His glorious resurrection, His ascension into heaven, as witnessed by His disciples, and the later descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, “like tongues of fire”, where the wondrous gifts of the Holy Spirit were distributed among those first Apostles, on the day known as the Day of Pentecost. The final two mysteries in the glorious mysteries complete the full rosary and relate to Church dogmatic teaching (tradition and belief declared wholly true by the Roman Catholic Church), and namely refer to the Assumption into heaven of Mary, explained beautifully on Matt Fradd’s blog, here, and finally referring to the book of the Apocalypse (Revelation) and Church-revealed teaching on a woman described in that book, the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven.

OK, but how pray? How pray the rosary?

Actually, I personally believe there are a great many ways pray and worship God…

 to be continued… 

How to learn the Rosary

How to learn the rosary


5 tips for Christians learning how to pray the rosary

Learning how to pray the Rosary gives you a spiritual weapon for life. A spiritual weapon is exactly what Saint Padre Pio called his Rosary. Soon you’ll discover 5 tips that will help you to learn how to pray the Miracle Rosary.

Tip 1: One prayer at a time

There are several prayers that can be memorised and that form the Rosary. The three main prayers in the Rosary are:

The Our Father, also known as the Lord’s Prayer



The “Our Father” prayer is featured six times during a five decade rosary.

The Hail Mary


Hail Mary. The words of the Archangel Gabriel.

The Glory Be

Glory Be prayer

The Our Father prayer is the ‘prayer that Jesus taught us’, that is to say, it is the prayer that Jesus taught to His disciples when they asked him how should we pray.

The Hail Mary is a prayer based on the Bible and with some Church tradition added to it. That’s right, the Hail Mary is based primarily on the Word of God. The first part of the Hail Mary reminds us of the wonderful words of the Archangel Gabriel, when he visited Mary to inform her of God’s desire for her to be the mother of Jesus on the earth. The second part requests Mary’s intercession, or prayers presently and at time of passing into eternal life.

The Glory Be is a prayer that offers all glory to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the past, the present and the future.

These prayers are easy to learn, and the way to learn them is to practice saying them aloud, to God, or to mentally recite them, in earnest love for God, and indeed for Mary. Mary is not only Jesus’ mother, but the mother of disciples of Jesus, and that includes all Christian men and women. Jesus confirmed this when He said from the cross, “Behold your mother” to the disciple John.

Tip 2: Take your time to understand the mysteries through Bible Study

The Rosary comprises of Mysteries that revolve around the Biblical life of Jesus Christ, and sometimes of His Mother, Mary. All except for two of the total of twent mysteries associated with the Rosary, are Biblical. The other two are Church teachings.

In the order of the chronological life of Christ, the mysteries of the Rosary are as follows:

The Joyful or Joyous Mysteries

The Annunciation

The Visitation

The Birth of Jesus

The Presentation of Jesus

The Finding of Jesus Teaching in the Temple

The Luminous or Mysteries of Light

The Wedding at Cana

The Baptism of Jesus

The Preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven

The Transfiguration of Christ

The Institution of the Eucharist

The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Agony in the Garden

The Scourging at the Pillar

The Crowning with Thorns

The Carry of the Cross

The Crucifixion of Christ Our Lord

The Glorious Mysteries

The Resurrection of Jesus

The Ascension of Jesus

The Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven

The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin

These are all of the sacred mysteries that those who pray the rosary are instructed to meditate upon, in the order that they happened or will happen.

I will add content on this website which gives links to Biblical references for each of the mysteries, or Church official Teaching where relevant.

Tip 3: The Poor Man’s Rosary

If I don’t have an actual rosary with me (not reocmmended!), I’ll pray what I call, the Poor Man’s rosary. This means using my fingers to ‘count the beads’.

The Rosary begins normally with the Sign of the Cross.

Then the Apostle’s Creed is recited.

One Our Father, three Hail Marys and a Glory Be follow, normally with the intention being for the Pope or holy father, the leader of the Church on earth, and the spiritual descendent of St Peter the disciple of Jesus Himself, the “rock” on which the Church would be built, according to the words of Christ.

Each of the 3 Hail Marys are dedicated to ‘faith’, ‘hope’ and ‘charity’, respectively.

After this introduction, the main body of the Rosary is entered into in pray and meditation.

Looking at a rosary then, there’s a cross at the bottom, a first bead, three beads, a fourth bead and this links to the main circle of beads. Each decade (ten beads, corresponding to ten Hail Mary prayers) is separated by a single bead upon which the Our Father is said, then after the ten Hail Marys have been prayed, the Glory Be.

At the start of each decade, the mystery being contemplated in prayer is announced. So at the start of the joyful mysteries, “the Annunciation” is stated.

It’s helpful to visualise the Archangel Gabriel visiting Mary and announcing the news to her that she is to bear a son, who shall be called Emmanuel (God with us).

So, you’re on the first main bead, after the cross and the four beads that are off of the main cricle, as described above. You’ve said one “Our Father”, finishing at “deliver us from evil.” And before that, you announced the mystery in the life of Christ that you’re going to be meditating upon for this decade of the Rosary.

Now you recite 10 Hail Marys, one for each bead between the Our Father bead and the next Our Father bead, moving along one bead at a time.

When you do eventually get ot the nr Father” bead, don’t say the “Our Father” yet. Rather, you complete the decade by praying the “Glory Be” prayer, honoring the Blessed Trinity.

Now, there is an additional prayer that you will now insert before moving onto the next mystery, and that is the prayer known as the “Fatima prayer” which begins with “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins…” and ends with “…mercy”.

Now you’re ready to begin meditating on the next mystery in the day’s sequence, which in the case of the joyous mysteries (Monday and Saturday) would be what’s known as the “Visitation” which refers to Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth and more specifically the time where St John the Baptist, then an unborn child, jumped for joy in the womb of Mary on being in the presence of Jesus, in the womb.

After you completed all five mysteries in exactly this way, it is then time to say some completion prayers of the Rosary. The normal concluding prayer at the very end is the “Hail, Holy Queen…” prayer. Advanced Rosary devotees may also say a prayer beginning “O My God…” and ending “…obtain what they promise through the same Christ Our Lord”, and various other prayers lie prayer ot St Michael the Archangel, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and so on. And then complete with the Sign of the Cross.

If you did this all on your fingers, you completed successfully what I call the “poor man’s Rosary!”.

Tip 4: Easy Does It!

With all these prayers to remember, mysteries to be out , days on which mysteries are remembered, visualisations and meditations, scriptures associated and Church Tradition, plus the Rosary beads themselves and what each one corresponds to the individual prayers and so on, that’s a heck of a lot to take on!

So easy does it! Maybe just say a decade (one Our Father, ten Hail Marys and a Glory Be, associated with a mystery, and perhaps an intention of your choice (a cause to pray for) while you are doing so.

You can build up towards saying the full Rosary for the day.

If you’re really ambitious, you can build up to a “Full Rosary” which consists of all four sets of mysteries. It takes about an hour but it’s a beautiful way to do a good length of prayerful, contemplative mediation, and get close to Our Lord and to Mary in thoughtfulness and intent. I’ve done this a number of times and it’s never failed to give me a huge sense of spiritual relief, happiness and positive faith – so it is worth offering up that time as a willing time of prayer, penance and worship of God, remembrance of what Jesus did for us, and venerating of Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, for sure.

Tip 5: Join the Confraternity and Learn What You Can About the Rosary

There are a cornucopia of books written about the Rosary. And also there’s a living school of prayer dedicated to the Rosary, and that comes in the form of the Confraternity of the Rosary. This is a Dominican Confraternity that welcomes Rosary devotees to join, for free (and you get a certificate of joining – how neat is that?).

There are wonderful additional benefits of belonging to the confraternity, not least that your intentions are included every single day in the masses of the Dominican friars and monks and the Rosarys of its religious members. Imagine saying the Rosary and that prayer being multiplied thousands of times around the world! That is what belonging to the Confraternity of the Rosary does.

I’ll show you what to do to join the Dominican Confraternity of the Rosary in another post, and share the benefits offered as well.

The more you learn about the Rosary, the more you learn about Jesus’ life in living form! Jesus, his Mother and the Saints, and indeed our loved ones are alive today, in heaven and ready to pray for us, to comfort us in troubles and pray with us. Jesus’ message was of Eternal Life, not death, so it’s a mistake to think of our loved ones as “dead” or of the Saints or of Mary as “dead, gone and buried”. Rather they are alive in Christ, and every much a part of the True Vine that Jesus declared Himself as, as the Christians walking the planet today.

The Rosary and learning about the Rosary will bring you closer into communion with God and willl also help you to focus, improve your memory, meditate (there are numerous scientifically proven benefits to meditation alone) and it will help you in your prayers for others and your own needs. Learning about the Rosary will teach you that the Rosary has been a living prayer for hundreds of years. This site will hoepefully give you lots of helpful and exciting information about the Rosary.

Summary and key points

Let’s just revist those five tips again and summarise:

Tip 1: Learn the Rosary prayers from memory, one at a time. There are three key prayers and several adjjunct prayers. You probably know the Lord’s Prayer already, and if you’re catholic, you’ll know the Hail Mary. The Glory Be is pretty easy. Probably the most challenging to learn from memory are the Apostle’s Credo and the Hail Holy Queen prayer. Practice makes perfect, and you can use a prayer card until you know them from memory.

Tip 2: Take your time, there’s no rush, and you can familiarise yourself with each of the 20 mysteries associated with the Rosary and the concordance of 19 of them with the Word of God (the Holy Bible).

Tip 3: I’ve explained here how to pray the whole rosary and we’ll do so in many more ways here on this webiste, so bookmark the site, and if you want us to help spread the message of the Miracle Rosary, please tell your friends about and share and like our page on Facebook. We also have a Facebook Group which you can join for free. If you’re feeling generous you can make a donation to our website here, and help us improve the site, cover our costs and expenses, and contribute toward the donations and philanthroy that we do ourselves. At least 10% of your donation and often more, will go to Mary’s Meals or to the Knights of St Columba, both registered charities.

With that said, if you don’t even have a Rosary, a donation here of $10 will guarantee that we can send you a Rosary, if requested, no matter where you are in the world. You can also pray the “poor man’s rosary” which is counting on your fingers, if you don’t have a Rosary to hand.

Tip 4: Although it’s noble and Mary clearly, through multiple apparitions that have become accepted as genuine and real Acts of God after the strict scrutiny and discernment of the Church, asks us to pray the Rosary devotedly, just a few Hail Marys go a long way. So no need to beat yourself up. Consistency is nice to achieve. Sometimes in real life, we just need a break!

Tip 5 : I’ve encouraged you to join the Confraternity which is free to do. It has the effect of joining your prayers and the prayers of others, and also gives you a beautiful membership certificate.

So that’s my first five tips for praying the Rosary folks, hope you enjoyed them. You might also enjoy reading more about the prayers of the Rosary, what Padre Pio said about the Rosary, the Promises of Mary to those who recite the Rosary and the Mysteries of the Rosary. More contented will be continuousty added, so please check back.