Characteristics of the Rosary

• On the one hand, it is composed of prayers that are recited from memory (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be), which give it external structure and make communal prayer of the rosary possible.

• On the other hand, there is the meditation of the “mysteries”, that is, of biblical scenes from the lives of Jesus and Mary, which gives the rosary its spiritual depth and unction…


The rosary is a:

Marian prayer: it this prayer we greet and congratulate Mary (Lk: 1:48), we ask for her intercession, and at the same time we pray and meditate with the mother of Jesus.

Christocentric prayer: we meditate upon the mysteries of the Incarnation and Paschal Mystery of Christ, pray the prayer he taught us (Our Father) & remember him in each Hail Mary as we invoke his name “Jesus”.

biblical prayer: we meditate upon the sources of Revelation: the Bible and Tradition. Its essential elements are taken from the Scriptures: the Our Father, the first part of the Hail Mary, and nearly all the 20 mysteries)

contemplative prayer: the rosary is a school of contemplation as it leads one to continually deepen one’s understanding of the mysteries of our faith, and to contemplate one’s own life in the light of God’s goodness.

active and ascetical prayer: it demands a discipline of the mind and teaches us a way to harness our imagination in God’s service (an excellent antidote for impure or aimlessly wandering thoughts).

catechetical prayer, which teaches one the principal doctrines of the Catholic faith, and at the same time is a mine of lessons concerning the virtues, attitudes in prayer, etc.

paraliturgical prayer, which is at one and the same time a preparation for, and a continuation of the Liturgy, especially the Eucharistic liturgy (Mass).

psychologically balanced prayer: which accompanies the believer in the different affective states common to all people: joy, sorrow, low points and high points, and the discovery of a more profound destiny (glory). It thus prepares us to accept and live fully these different experiences with faith and confidence in God.

organic, cyclical prayer: like the liturgy, it is a prayer which revolves in cycles which invite one to deepen one’s grasp of the central mysteries of our faith in a certain unhurrying rhythm of Christian prayer.

social or community prayer: the rosary lends itself to prayer in groups of all sizes, even multitudes (as it doesn’t require books, papers, nor even the ability to read, and so is not elitist but rather very popular)

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