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The following excerpt is from ‘The Secret of the Rosary’ by St. Louis De Montfort (published by TAN ISBN: 978-0-89555-056-9):
The Prayers of The Rosary
THE ROSARY is made up of two things: mental prayer and vocal prayer.
In the Holy Rosary mental prayer is none other than meditation of the chief mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and of His Blessed Mother.
Vocal prayer consists in saying fifteen decades of the Hail Mary, each decade headed by an Our Father (and terminating with a ‘Glory Be…’ and the Fatima ‘O My Jesus…’ Prayer1), while at the same time meditating on and contemplating the fifteen principal virtues which Jesus and Mary practiced in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
In the first five decades we must honor the five Joyous Mysteries and meditate on them; in the second five decades the Sorrowful Mysteries and in the third group of five, the Glorious Mysteries.
So the Rosary is a blessed blending of mental and vocal prayer by which we honor and learn to imitate the mysteries and the virtues of the life, death, Passion and glory of Jesus and Mary.
Here are the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary along with the graces which should be requested:
- The Annunciation; for the grace of humility;
- The Visitation; for the grace of ‘love of neighbor/charity’;
- The Nativity; for the grace for ‘detachment from worldly things/poverty’;
- The Presentation; for the grace of obedience;
- Finding Jesus in the Temple after being lost for several days; for the grace of ‘never losing Jesus once He has been found’;
- The Agony in the Garden; for the grace of ‘true contrition of sins’;
- The Scourging at the Pillar; for the grace of purity;
- The Crowing with Thorns; for the grace of ‘moral courage’;
- Picking up the Cross; for the grace of patience;
- The Crucifixion; for the grace of perseverance;
- The Resurrection; for the grace of faith;
- The Ascension; for the grace of ‘supernatural hope’;
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit; for the grace of zeal;
- The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mother Into Heaven Body and Soul; for the grace of ‘a happy death’;
- The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mother; for the grace of ‘always trusting in Mary’s intercession’.
1The Fatima ‘O My Jesus…’ Prayer:
O My JESUS! Forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and send all souls to Heaven especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.
The Blessed Virgin Mother desires that each of us pray the Rosary daily.
If we can not pray the entire 15 mysteries, in a given 24 hour period, we should at least pray a cycle of 5 decades (called a Chaplet) each day and cover the entire 15 decades over a three day period.
A Chaplet of five decades should take anywhere from 15 minutes to 25 minutes to recite.
One should not rush through this devotion but pray piously (on one’s knees unless thou art an invalid) and while meditating on the mystery associated with each particular decade.