So what is a “mystery”? It is something that can be experienced even if it cannot be explained.

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This is one of the first steps of faith–to trace in your life and in the ways of the world the mysterious way God works. He does not work according to our plans and our sensible ways of organizing everything. He is always busy under the radar and behind the scenes doing his work. Faith is being able to see what is going on and how he works in his strange and mysterious way.

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Practical instruction on the Holy Rosary: How to pray it, what it means, what you can expect to obtain, more.

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First, the history.  The Rosary was given by the Blessed Virgin herself to St. Dominic in ARSH 1214.  St. Dominic was having a terrible time combating heretics that were deeply embedded in the Church.  (D’oh!  Sound familiar??)  Long story short, she appeared to St. Dominic and told him what the Holy Trinity wanted done.  Her words were, “I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”

The Angelic Salutation are the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary from Luke 1:28:  ”Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

The rest of the prayer then quotes the words of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, upon Mary’s arrival at her home to be with her through her miraculous post-menopausal pregnancy in Luke 1:42:  ”Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

The rest of the prayer asks Our Blessed Lord’s mother to pray for us to her Son now, and especially at the hour of our death.

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Late director Alfred Hitchcock also appreciated the sacred mysteries of the Catholic faith.

At the time, I was a graduate student in philosophy at UCLA, and I was (and remain) a Jesuit priest. A fellow priest, Tom Sullivan, who knew Hitchcock, said one Thursday that the next day he was going over to hear Hitchcock’s confession. Tom asked whether on Saturday afternoon I would accompany him to celebrate a Mass in Hitchcock’s house.

I was dumbfounded, but of course said yes. On that Saturday, when we found Hitchcock asleep in the living room, Tom gently shook him. Hitchcock awoke, looked up and kissed Tom’s hand, thanking him.

Tom said, “Hitch, this is Mark Henninger, a young priest from Cleveland.”

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A former evangelical learns to love the Rosary…

I was brought up in a devout Protestant, Evangelical home in Pennsylvania. We weren’t exactly anti-Catholic, but we thought Catholics needed to “get saved.” After college in South Carolina, I moved to England and became an Anglican priest. It was my habit to make my annual retreat at the Benedictine Abbey of Quarr on the Isle of Wight. Just as I was about to leave for retreat, a parishioner gave me a rosary. She had just come back from a pilgrimage to the great Marian shrine of Walshingham, and she had felt led to buy me this gift. I had never used the rosary, and was prejudiced against it.

My first instinct was to reject this “Catholic superstition.” However, one of my guiding principles was a little saying I had discovered while a student. It is, “A person is most often right in what he affirms and wrong in what he denies.”

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Pray the Rosary on-line at this helpful site

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Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary: A World-Wide Prayer Movement … for you.

The Rosary Confraternity is a spiritual association (of the Catholic Church), the members of which strive to pray the entire Rosary during the course of each week. They form a union of countless hundreds of thousands of the faithful throughout the world who, along with their own intentions, include the intentions and needs of all its members, while they in turn pray for them.

Since the Holy Father has recently added the five luminous mysteries, we encourage members of the Confraternity to include that extra weekly Rosary. However, we have as yet received no official statement regarding this matter. Those who recite only the fifteen traditional mysteries will continue to share in the benefits of the Confraternity until some official source declares the contrary.

As Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical on the Confraternity, “whenever a person fulfills his obligation of reciting the Rosary according to the rule of the Confraternity, he includes in his intentions all its members, and they in turn render him the same service many times over.”

Each member includes deceased fellow members as well; and thus he knows that in turn he will be included in the prayers of hundreds of thousands both now and hereafter. This led the Cure of Ars to say: “If anyone has the happiness of being in the Confraternity of the Rosary, he has in all corners of the world brothers and sisters who pray for him.” The deceased cannot be enrolled in the Confraternity.

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Read one of our most popular and inspiring Rosary stories

Twelve Tips for Praying a Daily Family Rosary


1) Pray using alternation (The father prays first half of Our Father and everyone else prays second half – same goes for Hail Mary and Glory be).

2) Pray the Rosary after dinner but right before bed – this means homework needs to be finished before dinner. Homework kills the Rosary if you don’t stay on top of it. You’ll also need to say goodbye to watching prime time television – since this is the ideal window of praying together as a family.

3) Pray the Holy Rosary always at the same place at the exact same time. Devotions become strong – even invincible – by constant custom and habit.

4) Pray the Rosary in a special room and set up a little altar with a Bible on it, candles, a statue or image, holy water, or a relic.

5) Dim the lights and light the candles when you begin. If you let the little ones light the candles – they will love it. Kids love fire. Make this a “special time” different from other times. We even burn incense on our domestic altar on feast days. (You can do this easily by placing a little metal screen over a votive candle and then by placing a few grains of incense on the screen. It’s fast and easy. This way you don’t have use charcoal.)

6) Maybe begin with a hymn or Bible reading to slow things down and set the tone.

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