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How to Pray the Rosary and the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy

Two things you can do with that strange necklace your grandma once gave you

In the 13th century, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Dominic. She gave him a rosary and told him to tell Christians to pray it.

Before that, similiar beaded necklaces were used by monks. They would use the beads to keep track of how many prayers they said, as well as how many they had left to pray for the day.

The great thing about the rosary is that it can be prayed anywhere! Even if you don’t have a necklace, you can keep track of the prayers with your ten fingers. I also have a rosary ring that I use to pray as I do my daily walks.

Praying the rosary will transform your spiritual life!

Today, I will show you two different things you can do with it.

The Rosary

Note: The Rosary should become a daily habit of yours. Practice saying it every single night, every single morning, or anytime you prefer. It only takes 15–20 minutes.

You can also split the rosary up into five parts if you are short on time. Say for example, you can pray the first two decades at noon and the final three decades before you go to bed.

When you pray the rosary, you are meditating on the life and death of Jesus, placing yourself alongside his mother Mary. You are asking her to show her son to you. Mary is like a microscope by which you will see the infiniteness of Jesus clearer.

There are four variations of the rosary — the Joyful Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries.

It is recommended by the Church to pray certain mysteries on certain days of the week.

The Joyful Mysteries are prayed on Monday and Saturday (and on Sundays of Advent)
The Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday and Friday (and on Sundays of Lent)
The Luminous Mysteries are prayed on Thursday
The Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday and Sunday

Withing the four different mysteries, there are five mysteries each. You pray these five, one for each decade, depending on the day.

It will be helpful to memorize the 20 mysteries(or you can use this list as a reference when you pray):

The Joyful Mysteries

1st Mystery — The Annunciation to Mary

Mary learns from the Angel Gabriel that God wishes her to be the mother of God and humbly accepts. (Luke 1:26–38)

Fruit of the mystery: Humility

2nd Mystery — The Visitation of Elizabeth

Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth andis praised by her as “blessed among women.” (Luke 1:39–56)

Fruit of the mystery: Love of Neighbor

3rd Mystery — The Birth of Jesus

Mary gives birth to Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem. (Luke 2:1–20)

Fruit of the mystery: Poverty

4th Mystery — The Presentation of baby Jesus

Mary and Joseph present Jesus to His Heavenly Father in the Temple of Jerusalem forty days after His birth. (Luke 2:22–39)

Fruit of the mystery: Purity of Heart and Body

5th Mystery — The Finding in the Temple

After searching for three days, Mary and Joseph find the twelve-year-old Jesus sitting in the Temple discussing the law with the learned doctors. (Luke2:42–52)

Fruit of the mystery: Devotion to Jesus

The Sorrowful Mysteries

1st Mystery — The Agony in the Garden

The Agony in the Garden: The thought of our sins and His coming suffering causes the agonizing Savior to sweat blood. (Luke 22:39–44)

Fruit of the mystery: Obedience to God’s Will

2nd Mystery — The Scourging at the Pillar

Jesus is stripped and unmercifully scourged until His body is one mass of bloody wounds. (Matt. 27:26)

Fruit of the mystery: Mortification

3rd Mystery —The Crowning with Thorns

Jesus’s claim to kingship is ridiculed by putting a crown of thorns on His head and a reed in His hand. (Matt. 27:28- 31)

Fruit of the mystery: Courage

4th Mystery — The Carrying of the Cross

Jesus shoulders His own cross and carries it to the place of crucifixion while Mary follows Him sorrowing. Simon of Cyrene also helps the exhausted Jesus towards the end so that he does not collapse. (Luke 23:26- 32)

Fruit of the mystery: Patience

5th Mystery — The Crucifixion

Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies after three hours of agony witnessed by His Mother. (Matt. 27:33–50)

Fruit of the mystery: Sorrow for our Sins

The Luminous Mysteries

1st Mystery — The Baptism in the Jordan river

Jesus is baptized. As he comes up from the water, the heavens are opened for him, and he sees the “Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him.” (Matthew 3:16–17)

Fruit of the mystery: Openness to the Holy Spirit

2nd Mystery — The Wedding at Cana

At a wedding in Cana, Mary says to Jesus that the wine has ran out. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” The water is then turned into wine. (John 2:1–5)

Fruit of the mystery: To Jesus through Mary

3rd Mystery — The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Sermon on the Mount)

Jesus the Beatitudes to many. “‘This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’”(Mark 1:15)

Fruit of the mystery: Conversion

4th Mystery — The Transfiguration

“After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.” (Matthew 17:1–2)

Fruit of the mystery: Desire for holiness

5th Mystery — The Institution of the Eucharist (the Last Supper)

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’” (Matthew 26:26)

Fruit of the mystery: Adoration

The Glorious Mysteries

1st Mystery — The Resurrection

Jesus rises from the dead on Easter Sunday, glorious and immortal, as He has predicted. (Matt. 28:1–7)

Fruit of the mystery: Faith

2nd Mystery — The Ascension

Jesus ascends into Heaven forty days after His resurrection to sit at the right hand of God the Father. (Luke 24:50–51)

Fruit of the mystery: Hope

3rd Mystery — The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Pentecost)

Jesus sends the Holy Spirit in the form of fiery tongues on His Apostles and disciples. (Acts 2:2–4)

Fruit of the mystery: Wisdom

4th Mystery — The Assumption of Our Lady

Mary’s soul returns to God and her glorified body is taken up into heaven and reunited with her soul.

Fruit of the mystery: Devotion to Mary

5th Mystery — The Coronation of Our Lady

Mary is crowned as Queen of heaven and earth, Queen of angels and saints.

Fruit of the mystery: Grace of a happy death


There are also a few prayers that you will say as you meditate on the mysteries.

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Glory Be

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Fatima Prayer

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to heaven especially those who are most in need of your mercy.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. 0 clement, 0 loving, 0 sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, 0 holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Closing Rosary Prayer

O God, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech you, that we who meditate upon these mysteries of the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Praying the Rosary


With the crucifix in your hand, cross yourself, while saying the Sign of the Cross.

With your fingers still on the cross, say the Apostles Creed.

Next, move your fingers to the first bead, directly above the cross, and say an Our Father.

Move your finger to the first of the three beads in the middle, between the cross and the medallion. Pray a Hail Mary on each of these three middle beads (these represent prayers for the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. Think of these things as you pray.).

Now, move your fingers to that chain and pray a Glory Be.


The rest of the rosary consists of sets of a bead, ten beads, and then a chain.

The ten Hail Mary prayers are a decade and they are proceeded by an Our Father and followed by a Glory Be and the optional Fatima Prayer, which Mary said to include while you pray the rosary.

The bead right before crossing the medallion is the one we will start with.

Announce the first mystery to yourself, or to others if you are praying together, and began an Our Father.

As you say this Our Father, and until you finish the decade, meditate on the first mystery of whatever set you have chosen (chosen depending on the day or season), for example: the 1st Glorious Mystery, The Resurrection

The prayers are purposely repetitive so that you can focus on meditating on the mystery. Once you memorize the prayers, it will be easier to meditate on the mysteries.

Think of the event your current mystery is dedicated to. Each mystery holds innumerable Christian truths. You are trying to uncover them, with Mary’s help.

You can close your eyes and pretend that you are there. Imagine yourself standing by Jesus as He is beaten. Imagine yourself watching Jim during his baptism. The possibilities are endless.

For the ten beads that are close to one another, pray a Hail Mary while touching each of the beads.

After the Hail Marys are said, touch the chain and say a Glory Be and then the Fatima Prayer.

You did it! That was a decade.

Now move your finger to the next bead that is separated by extended lengths of the chain and announce your next mystery.

Pray the remaining four decades in the same way you prayed the first decade.


Once you have finished all five decades, put your fingers on the medallion. Say a Hail, Holy Queen then the Closing Rosary Prayer.

Now, you have the choice to be done, as you have officially completed the rosary, or to continue with some final closing prayers.

Many Catholics say the Saint Michael Prayer or a prayer to St. Joseph. You can also add in any other prayers you want to.

Lastly, with the crucifix in your hand, cross yourself, while saying the Sign of the Cross. Bring the cross to your lips and kiss it!

Extra Tips:

— A rosary is good to keep in your car, pocket, or purse. Take one with you where ever you go! If you are stressed, use it to give you peace. Say it while you are driving or while you are in a waiting room. Say it while you watch the sun go down or while you walk across town.

— Each bead, decade, and complete rosary, that you pray can be dedicated to something. I have heard of people praying for a separate family member of theirs on each bead of a decade. If you have a habitual sin that you are trying to defeat, dedicate your rosary to defeating that sin.

The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy

The chaplet can be prayed with the same rosary!

This is a much shorter collection of prayers that can be done in less than ten minutes. But don’t rush it!

It is good to pray this for peace in the world or for an end to a specific war or disease.

If you love the rosary, you will love this. It is also good for beginners who are having trouble with the slightly more complicated rosary.

Let’s begin!


The Eternal Father

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the Sake Of . . .

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Holy God

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

St. Faustina’s Prayer for Sinners (Optional Opening Prayer)

O Jesus, eternal Truth, our Life, I call upon You and I beg Your mercy for poor sinners. O sweetest Heart of my Lord, full of pity and unfathomable mercy, I plead with You for poor sinners. O Most Sacred Heart, Fount of Mercy from which gush forth rays of inconceivable graces upon the entire human race, I beg of You light for poor sinners. O Jesus, be mindful of Your own bitter Passion and do not permit the loss of souls redeemed at so dear a price of Your most precious Blood. O Jesus, when I consider the great price of Your Blood, I rejoice at its immensity, for one drop alone would have been enough for the salvation of all sinners. Although sin is an abyss of wickedness and ingratitude, the price paid for us can never be equaled. Therefore, let every soul trust in the Passion of the Lord, and place its hope in His mercy. God will not deny His mercy to anyone. Heaven and earth may change, but God’s mercy will never be exhausted. Oh, what immense joy burns in my heart when I contemplate Your incomprehensible goodness, O Jesus! I desire to bring all sinners to Your feet that they may glorify Your mercy throughout endless ages

(You can also just say the remainder of this prayer instead of including the first section. Either way is optional. Many just say the “O Blood and Water” parts.)

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!

St. Faustina Prayer (Optional Closing Prayer)

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

(You can exclude the second half of this prayer if you want)

O Greatly Merciful God, Infinite Goodness, today all mankind calls out from the abyss of its misery to Your mercy — to Your compassion, O God; and it is with its mighty voice of misery that it cries out. Gracious God, do not reject the prayer of this earth’s exiles! O Lord, Goodness beyond our understanding, Who are acquainted with our misery through and through, and know that by our own power we cannot ascend to You, we implore You: anticipate us with Your grace and keep on increasing Your mercy in us, that we may faithfully do Your holy will all through our life and at death’s hour. Let the omnipotence of Your mercy shield us from the darts of our salvation’s enemies, that we may with confidence, as Your children, await Your Son’s final coming — that day known to You alone. And we expect to obtain everything promised us by Jesus in spite of all our wretchedness. For Jesus is our Hope: through His merciful Heart, as through an open gate, we pass through to heaven.

Praying the Chaplet

Holding the crucifix in your hand, make the Sign of the Cross.

With your fingers on the first bead, Pray the optional St. Faustina’s Prayer for Sinners if you choose. You can also just pray the following prayer if you want:

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!

On the second bead, pray an Our Father.

On the third bead, pray a Hail Mary.

On the fourth bead, pray the Apostles Creed.

On the final, fifth bead, pray an Eternal Father.

On the first ten beads, the first decade, pray the “For the Sake Of” prayer.

After that, on the next bead that is separated between the extended lengths of chain, pray another Eternal Father.

You will continue the rest of the chaplet by praying ten “For the Sake Of” prayers and then a Eternal Father.


On the medallion, pray three Holy God prayers.

Then you can say the Optional Closing Prayer.

Finish by moving your fingers down to the cross and then cross yourself while saying the Sign of the Cross. Kiss the cross.

You’re done!

Source (EWTN) for the descriptions of the mysteries.

Source (USCCB) for “fruits of the mysteries.”


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