Ink Slingers

October- The Most Holy Rosary

October is the month dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary!

One of the most popular devotions ever conceived in the Church has to be the Most Holy Rosary. Developed relatively early in the Church and promoted by various saints including St. Louis de Montfort and St. Dominic, it gives devotees a wonderful opportunity to grow closer to Our Lady. In fact, Our Lady appeared to children in Fatima (an apparition that resulted in another name for Mary– Our Lady of Fatima) to advise praying the rosary every day.


For those unfamiliar, the rosary is a set of beads strung together in a circle, with an extra set of beads dangling down with a cross at the end. The prayers used include O, My Jesus; Hail Mary; Our Father; Glory Be; Apostle’s Creed; and Hail Holy Queen. Each rosary entails 5 decades of Hail Mary’s in which the person is to reflect on a particular mystery of our faith relating to Jesus or Our Lady.

The mysteries of the Rosary are divided into four categories, three original (Sorrowful, Joyful, Glorious) and one added in 2002 by Pope John Paul II (the Luminous mysteries). When praying the Rosary, typically one category is chosen for reflection during that Rosary.


The Mysteries of the Rosary


  1. The Agony in the Garden
  2. The Scouring at the Pillar
  3. The Crowning with Thorns
  4. The Carrying of the Cross
  5. The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord 


  1. The Annunciation
  2. The Visitation
  3. The Nativity
  4. The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple



  1. The Resurrection
  2. The Ascension
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
  4. The Assumption of Mary
  5. The Coronation of the Virgin



  1. The Baptism of Jesus
  2. The Wedding at Cana
  3. Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
  4. The Transfiguration
  5. The Instititution of the Eucharist


How to Pray the Most Holy Rosary

There is a suggested order for when to pray different sets of mysteries, though it is merely a suggestion, not a requirement. The suggested allocation is:

Monday            Joyful
Tuesday           Sorrowful
Wednesday     Glorious
Thursday         Luminous
Friday              Sorrowful
Saturday         Joyful
Sunday           Glorious

A versatile type of devotion, the rosary can be prayed by focusing on singular sets of mysteries, or can be prayed with all 15-20 mysteries by adding together all the decades. It is common to add some form of prayer intention, and you can even do a shortened 1-decade prayer.


Praying the rosary can feel really daunting because of the large number of prayers. But it is good to keep in mind that you do not have to pray it all at once. In fact, you do not even have to remember all the prayer sequence or mysteries to get started! You could have a printout and a physical rosary, or you could use a cell phone app such as Laudate (available for both Android and Apple users), which has an interactive rosary feature allowing you to select the set of mysteries to focus on (it also lets you know which is typically prayed that day of the week), and you tap the bead as you go along. If you don’t know the prayer, or want a reflection on the given mystery, you can tap the prayer next to the labeled bead image and it will provide that for you.  There are also a variety of apps that will pray the rosary aloud for you to follow along. EWTN has a televised rosary as well.

Any way that you choose to pray the Most Holy Rosary, I hope you benefit from the wonderful meditation reflection it provides!


There are tons of crafts and coloring pages available to illustrate and teach the rosary to children. Here is a wonderful one from Catholic Icing.

7 Quick Takes Apologetics Christi Ink Slingers Mary Rosary

Seven Quick Takes Friday: 7 Marian Hymns & the Rosary

marycoronation_velasquez_cropGiven that the month of October is dedicated to the beauty of the rosary which was given to us through St Dominic in 2006, I have decided to look for and share seven beautiful hymns of Mary, Queen of Heaven and intercessor for all her children here on earth. Is it not beautiful to think of a loving mother surrounded by the saints in heaven, hearing our petitions and lovingly sharing them with Abba, our father and creator in Heaven?  

For those not familiar with the Rosary – it can be described as Christocentric and provides, though meditation, the opportunity of prayerfully revisiting the life of Christ from the annunciation of His conception through to His death and resurrection.  There were originally three sets of mysteries that one contemplates while praying the Our Father and the Hail Mary (words largely found within the bible) and the Glory be.

The original mysteries are the Joyful, The Sorrowful and the Glorious.

When we pray (or meditate on) the joyful mysteries  we focus on the announcement of Christ’s coming birth, Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth; mother of St John – Jesus’ cousin.  This is, of course, followed by Christ’s humble birth and then by our pondering Mary and Joseph’s obedience in presenting Christ – son of God, to God himself in the Temple. Lastly we meditate on the wonder of Jesus, as a child, being found in the Temple preaching to the elders there.

This set of mysteries is followed by the Sorrowful mysteries through which we contemplate the sorrow and agony of Christ’s passion and death on the cross. There are five mysteries in each set. In the sorrowful we have the agony of the garden, the scourging of Jesus, the crowning of thorns, His carrying of the cross. and His death through crucifixion.  

The original set of three mysteries is completed with the Glorious mysteries. These are: the Resurrection, the Ascension of Christ, the descent of the Holy Spirit and the traditional belief that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven and, ultimately crowned Queen of Heaven.

In 2002 St John Paul II introduced another set of Mysteries – the Luminous -in a letter written to all Catholics. These are also called the Mysteries of the light (referencing  Jesus as light of the world John 9:5) and they focus on Jesus’  public life during the three years of his ministry on earth. He saw the Luminous Mysteries as a bridge between the early years of Christ’s life and his suffering and death which are covered in the joyful and sorrowful mysteries.   

The five Luminous Mysteries are: The Baptism of Jesus at the River Jordan, his first miracle at the wedding of Cana. followed by Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God. Then we have the transfiguration of Jesus on Mt Tabor when he revealed himself as the son of God. Lastly we have the institution of the Eucharist through the celebration of the Last Supper.

Though Catholics recite the rosary we do not, under any circumstance, worship Mary. We do revere her as Mother of God and often ask her to intercede for us. This tradition of asking Mary to pray for us is based on old testament examples of the Mother Queen of Israel in addition to the example of  Jesus’ obedience to her request to come to the assistance of the wedding party in Cana despite his initial response: “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”  John 2:1-11

If one wishes to learn more about the Virgin Mary I recommend that you look into Scott Hahn and his many books. While there are many resources available about Mary,  I have both read and listened to Scott and so feel comfortable recommending him.

In the mean time – I leave you with seven beautiful Marian hymns for you to peruse and enjoy during this month of the Rosary. Dare I say it but we have only FIFTY SEVEN days before Advent begins on Sunday November 29th this year.  I won’t add to your stress by telling you how many days until Christmas but for those who just have to know – go here.  it will tell you down to the very second!  

Quick Take one: The Hymn The Seven Joys of Mary has an alternative title of The Very First Joy That Mary Had. You can listen to it here as sung by the Choir of Kings College and read the lyrics here

Quick Take two: Regina Coeli is an ancient marian hymn, you can learn more about it here, and hear it sung in Latin here. In English the title of this hymn is Queen of Heaven.

Quick take three: O Sanctissima is another time honoured marian hymn which is often sung on marian feast days. You can listen to it here and read more about it here

Quick take four: Hail Star of the Sea, or Ave Maris Stella, is a hymn that was very popular in the middle ages and is still often sung today. Listen to it here as sung by the Daughters of Mary and read more about it here.  (By the way – if you click on the link that takes you to the Daughters of Mary – you will discover that they sell CDs of very beautiful music to which you can listen to clips of before buying.)

Quick take five: A Rose Has Sprung Up is considered both a Christmas carol and Marian hymn which is popular both with Catholics and Protestants alike and apparently can be centered on Mary or Jesus. It is of German origin and the original title was Es ist ein Ros Entsprungen. Click here to listen to it in German and here to read more. 

Quick take Six: My sixth hymn is The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came and while it is Gabriel in the title this hymn is clearly about Mary. I have to admit its more a Christmas carol than a Marian hymn but its so beautiful especially when sung by the Choir of Kings college. If you want to read the lyrics go here

Quick take seven: I will leave you with the beautiful hymn the Magnificat which I especially love when sung by John Michael Talbot. This piece has a long instrumental introduction but in my humble opinion is just beautiful. You can read more about this hymn here.

the Magnificat

If you are finished enjoying the various hymns I’ve share with you here you should mosey on over to This Ain’t the Lyceum  and see what other Quick Takes have been shared today.  Next month I will be back with ideas of how to get through the month of November. It will be quite different from last year’s  suggestions. Until then I bid you adieu!