Can someone answer my question? Part 3

Yes, most of them.

In your mind what makes Catholicism better?

The whole Truth.


I have a lot of questions about the Catholic Church and its teaching.

Could someone explain to me the rosary?

  1. The rosary is simply a tool or a help in prayer. Originally the clergy would recite the 150 Psalms as daily prayer to God. But most people could not read until relatively recently. So they used to say the comfortable, familiar prayers that they knew by heart. Those prayers include the Our Father (from Scripture) and the Hail Mary (also found in its first half in Scripture, Luke 2). St. Dominic, a holy priest, had a vision of the Blessed Mother Mary offering a rosary and asking people to pray to God with it. Rosary refers to ‘roses’ and the beads look like little rose buds. People of the Middle East and Far East too had used beads in their prayers for many centuries to help ‘keep count’ (our "Arabic numbers’ 1, 2, 3 etc. are from that heritage too). The rosary is set up with 5 sets of 10 little beads, each ‘headed’ with a bigger bead, making a circle. Coming down from the circle is a line with 3 small beads and big bead, and it ends with a cross or crucifix. On the Crucifix we start the rosary by saying the Apostles’ Creed. Then we say an Our Father on the big bead, then three Hail Marys (one representing an act of faith, one hope, and one love, as well as the three Persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). We end with "glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Then we start a ‘mystery’ on the first of the five sets of beads. There are 5 Joyful Mysteries, 5 Sorrowful Mysteries, and 5 Glorious Mysteries and they are all about Jesus and His Life, from His Incarnation to His birth, His Agony, Suffering, and Death on the Cross, and His Resurrection, Ascension, and rule as King. We think of a different event in His life with each mystery.

Because there are 50 Hail Marys to each set of mysteries, and 3 mysteries, the total is 150 --so saying a whole rosary 3 times over, once for each mystery, was the same number of prayers as saying the 150 psalms. And for all the people who could not read it was a wonderful way to be able to pray ‘along with’ the clergy in their daily prayer. It still is.

In addition to Tantum’s excellent answer, I would like to add that the Rosary is a beautiful Christ centered set of prayers. In addition to the 15 traditional mysteries mentioned, Pope John Paul II added an additional five mysteries called they mysteries of Light or luminous mysteries-- Christ’s baptism, the wedding at Cana, the proclamation of the kingdom, the transfiguration, and the institution of the Eucharist (at the Last Supper). Of the twenty mysteries, 18 of them are about the Lord and 2 of them are what the Lord did for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Rosary uses the ancient practice of saying easy to remember prayers to draw you into deep contemplative prayer. It is absolutely not “babbling like pagans” as is sometimes claimed. There is a historical context to Jesus’ remark about us not babbling like pagans that few people seem to be aware of. Back in Jesus’ time, there were pagans who literally thought the more words they used in a prayer, the more likely it was that their god would hear their prayers. This is not what the Rosary is about. It is about being drawn into a deeper union with God by contemplating the 20 mysteries.

The Rosary is a most powerful tool for spiritual battle. Two reasons for its power:

  1. When praying the Rosary we must meditate on the birth, life, ministry, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are refocusing our spirit and soul on the gospel. It is a prayer of the gospel because it encompasses everything about Jesus.

  2. We have the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary when we pray the Rosary. When we show our good will toward Christ by praying the Rosary, our Blessed Mother will do everything in her power to help us.

If we have a spiritual problem or a weakness we find difficult to overcome, the Rosary can be the most powerful weapon to defeat it.