The rosary is a simple prayer, one deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition. It can be prayed vocally or in silence, in private or in a group setting. Its purpose is to immerse its users in the mysteries of the Christian faith through heartfelt prayers to Jesus and his mother Mary. Traditionally consisting of fifteen decades of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be to the Father, the rosary has often been called "the poor man's Psalter." These fifteen decades reflect the 150 Psalms of the Old Testament and were a means of giving the poor and illiterate a way of participating more deeply in mysteries of the faith. The traditional fifteen decades are further arranged into five joyful, five sorrowful, and five glorious mysteries. These relate respectively to the Incarnation, Christ's passion, and death, and the glories of Jesus and Mary. For those wishing to penetrate the Gospel message ever further, Pope John Paul II has recently added five mysteries of Light relating to Jesus public ministry. This addition expands the traditional arrangement to a full twenty decades. The purpose of this book is to offer a profound meditation on each of the mysteries of the twenty-decade rosary. In doing so, it seeks to respond to the Pope's recent call for theologians to help the Christian people ". . .to discover the Biblical foundations, the spiritual riches and the pastoral value of this traditional prayer" (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 43). The book seeks to provide a prayerful reflection on each of the mysteries and then to ask probing questions that will help its readers to deepen their awareness of God's action in their lives. These meditations on the mysteries of the rosary are intended not only for newcomers to this venerable prayer form but also for those who already practice it regularly and are interested in making it an even more integral part of their lives and daily devotion.
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