Opinions: How you State Your Intentions when Saying the Rosary

Little question for the folks of CAF:

When saying the Rosary, how do you make known your intentions for the whole Rosary, a single Decade or one of the Hail Mary’s?

I am slightly curious, as I am somewhat concerned I might be falling onto the pathway of “worshipping” Mary.
Is it okay to say, ‘I recite this Decade for XYZ and their battle with YYY. May God grant them strength to persevere’?

The following link contains one of my favorite stories about Blessed Mother Teresa:


Blessed Mother Teresa would often offer a particular decade of each Rosary that she prayed for a different intention.

I state my intentions after each “Our Father,” at the beginning of each decade. I usually address our Lord and Our Lady thus: “Dear Lord, and dear Blessed Mother…” Then I name the person who is to be prayed for, and what the problem is, and then ask help for the problem. All five decades can be devoted for the intentions of one person or situation. It’s really up to the one praying to decide how many decades to pray for someone.

I wouldn’t worry about a problem with worshipping Mary. We ask our Lord’s help, and also the intercession of our Lady when praying the Rosary.

It needn’t be for any particular person, though. You can pray in general, too; for instance, you can dedicate a decade or more for Catholic priests and/or bishops, and so on.

I say the intention(s) silently at the beginning of the entire rosary.

I vary.

Sometimes I’ll pray my intentions just before starting the Rosary.

Sometimes I do one intention for each decade.

Sometimes, if I’m praying for either the holy souls in Purgatory or individuals here, I will say a name for every Ave bead. Such as, “For my Father’s soul…Hail Mary, full of grace…”

At the beginning of the Rosary I say: “Holy Mother, please pray for” and I state my intentions. Then before I start the Rosary I say a “Hail, Holy Queen”. and “Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.” I do the same when I have finished the Rosary. My intentions always include the soul of my father who is deceased and the protection and safety of my mother… My son and daughter-in-law are expecting their second child so I have been praying for a healthy baby and a safe delivery. In my experience the Holy Mother of God has always been not only a “most gracious advocate” but also most reliable.

Before I read through all the answers I want to thank you for asking, and thank those who answered because this same question crossed my mind today while driving and saying a mini Rosary.

I tend to be kind of scatterbrained, so while I usually have a few specific intentions in mind before I start on the decades, I’ll also add intentions in as I think of them. Same thing with the St. Michael chaplet.

Good job on praying the Rosary!

Question: How are you concerned about ‘worshipping’ Mary? Loving her and asking for her intercession isn’t worshipping her. Are you placing her above God? Do you believe that she is all powerful, all knowing, and created us?

I think your intentions as noted, or as others have noted, are very appropriate.

Perhaps I am overly concerned; I do love her, and ask her intercession. But I was concerned my requests might borderline onto “worship” sort of status.
I do not believe she is all powerful/knowing and/or created us - so I suppose thats a good sign…


I’m pretty sure that to worship someone, you’d know it. It isn’t an accident.

Have you always been Catholic?

Only officially since September last year, having completed an RCIA course.

Ah. I think this is a common struggle with converts. I’m a convert, baptized/confirmed this past Easter. I really struggled with praying to Saints and Mary. It felt…blasphemous. That’s my protestant background speaking. I finally just changed the verb. Instead of “praying” to the Saints and Mary, I decided I was only “talking” to them. “Asking” them for help. After that, I didn’t have a problem with it anymore. Now I no longer mind the term “praying”. It also helped in RCIA when they went over dulia, hyperdulia and latria. Dulia being the respect or veneration we give the Saints. Hyperdulia being the great respect or great veneration we give Mary. Latria being the worship we give to the Holy Trinity- to God, and only to God.

I do a version of that but at the end, eg: “Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for Obama, a sinner, now and at the hour of his death, Amen.”

I started praying a daily rosary just before Lent this year. If I have major intentions I will sometimes say them before the three Hail Mary at the beginning, and sometimes before each decade. Usually, though, I just go with what Jesus said that God knows the prayers of our hearts before we ask, and just keep the intentions in my heart as I pray. I usually dedicate the final decade to Pope Francis, my bishop, the three fathers at my parish and all of the clergy.

Woohoo! Welcome welcome welcome! I sensed that, actually; as AKDee mentions, that it can be a common struggle for converts, but also lifelong Catholics. I never personally considered that I would be worshipping the saints or Mary by asking them for prayers and intercession, but it has been thrown at me by non-Catholics. I suppose we just take it for granted, and are sometimes surprised by the question by others.

I think of it as praying ‘with’, or asking them to pray for us. I pray to ask them to pray with me, and since they are with God fully in Heaven, to make known their prayers ever fervently to Him. Since I can’t just dial them up on the phone (ooooh the long distance charges!!), the Good Lord has given us this way to be together with them in prayer.

I know where you are coming from because I am a protestant convert myself. Oh… I read in your other post that you were a protestant. I went through RCIA and was Baptized and Confirmed two years ago.

You cannot worship Mary by accident. What is possible is putting more focus on her than God, but I doubt that will be a problem for you. I think that is mostly a problem with very un-catechized Catholics.

I still have a problem with the term “Praying to the saints” because of my protestant background too. For most of my life I always equated prayer to worship. That is why a lot of protestants think it a act of worship to “Pray” to Mary. The word “Pray” simply means “Ask” and that is what we are really doing. ASKING, the saints to pray for us. So that is exactly what I do when I state my intentions for a rosary. I ask Mother Mary to pray with me for my intention. “Please pray with me to our Lord Jesus, Oh Mother of God for…”

If you know that nothing Mary or any saint can do is of their own power but of God’s alone, you are fine. Nothing wrong with asking someone in heaven to pray for us just as there is nothing wrong to ask someone living and on earth to pray for us.

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I lead the Rosary before each Sunday Mass. Generally, I “dedicate” the Rosary to XYZ between the first Pater Noster and the first set of 3 Ave’s.

There are many ways to dedicate or pronounce intentions and most all are just fine. There are no real set of Rubrics for the Rosary. Mostly its tradition and customs.

I try to say the Rosary daily. I might have a specific intention in mind and express it either before or during the Rosary prayer. But often I don’t express this, or not in words. This might sound peculiar perhaps, but I don’t believe it is necessary to even express this in so many words. It is just there and known, irregardless, I believe, if that is my intention. But this is an individual practice and each person will likely have their own prefererence or way.