Meditate On The Life Of Jesus Christ Through The Recitation Of The Holy Rosary
The Holy Rosary (/ˈroʊzəri/; Latin: rosarium, in the sense of “crown of roses” or “garland of roses”), also known as the Dominican Rosary, or simply the Rosary, refers to a set of prayers used in the Catholic Church and to the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers. When referring to the prayer, the word is usually capitalized (“the Rosary”, as is customary for other names of prayers, such as “the Lord’s Prayer”, and “the Hail Mary”); when referring to the beads, it is written with a lower-case initial letter (“a rosary bead”).
The prayers that compose the Rosary are arranged in sets of ten Hail Marys, called decades. Each decade is preceded by one Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father”) and traditionally followed by one Glory Be.
Some Catholics also choose to recite the “O my Jesus” prayer after the Glory Be, which is the most well-known of the seven Fátima prayers.
During recitation of each set, thought is given to one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, which recall events in the lives of Jesus Christ and of Mary. Five decades are recited per rosary. Rosary beads are an aid towards saying these prayers in the proper sequence.
Pope Pius V (in office 1566–1572) established a standard 15 Mysteries of the Rosary, based on long-standing custom. This groups the mysteries in three sets: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. In 2002 Pope John Paul II said that it is fitting that a new set of five be added, termed the Luminous Mysteries, bringing the total number of mysteries to 20. The Glorious mysteries are prayed on Sunday and Wednesday, the Joyful on Monday and Saturday, the Sorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, and the Luminous on Thursday. Usually five decades are recited in a session.
Over more than four centuries, several popes have promoted the Rosary as part of the veneration of Mary in the Catholic Church, and consisting essentially in meditation on the life of Christ. The rosary also represents the Catholic emphasis on “participation in the life of Mary, whose focus was Christ”, and the Mariological theme “to Christ through Mary”.
The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer. It begins with the Apostles’ Creed, which summarizes the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Our Father, which introduces each mystery, is from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angel’s words announcing Christ’s birth and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part of the Hail Mary. The Mysteries of the Rosary center on the events of Christ’s life. There are four sets of Mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and––added by Saint John Paul II in 2002––the Luminous.
Our Lady of Lourdes (French: Notre-Dame de Lourdes) is a Roman Catholic title of the Mary, mother of Jesus, venerated in honour of the Marian apparitions that occurred in Lourdes, France. The first apparition of 11 February 1858, of which Bernadette Soubirous (age 14) told her mother that a “Lady” spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle (1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from the town) while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar apparitions of the “Lady” were reported on 18 occasions that year, until the climax revelation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception took place. On 18 January 1862, the local Bishop of Tarbes Bertrand-Sévère Laurence endorsed the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes.
On 1 February 1876, Pope Pius IX officially granted a pontifical decree of canonical coronation to the image as Notre-Dame-du-Sainte-Rosaire. The coronation was performed by Cardinal Pier Francesco Meglia at the courtyard of what is now part of the Rosary Basilica on 3 July 1876.
The image of Our Lady of Lourdes has been widely copied and reproduced in shrines and homes, often in garden landscapes. Soubirous was later canonized as a Catholic saint by Pope Pius XI in 1933.