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The Rosary … is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. ~ John Paul II

The Holy Rosary refers to a set of prayers used in the Catholic Church and to the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers.


  • There has also been felt with greater urgency the need to point out once more the importance of a further essential element in the Rosary, in addition to the value of the elements of praise and petition, namely the element of contemplation. Without this the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas and of going counter to the warning of Christ: "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words" (Mt. 6:7). By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord's life as seen through the eyes of her who was closest to the Lord. In this way the unfathomable riches of these mysteries are unfolded.
  • The Rosary is my favourite prayer. A marvellous prayer! Marvellous in its simplicity and in its depth. … In fact, against the background of the words "Ave Maria" there pass before the eyes of the soul the main episodes in the life of Jesus Christ. They are composed altogether of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries, and they put us in living communion with Jesus through—we could say—his Mother's heart. At the same time our heart can enclose in these decades of the Rosary all the facts that make up the life of the individual, the family, the nation, the Church and mankind. Personal matters and those of one's neighbour, and particularly of those who are closest to us, who are dearest to us. Thus the simple prayer of the Rosary beats the rhythm of human life.
  • The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love.
  • The ruddy rosary
    • John Skelton, "To maystres Isabell Pennell"
    • The Garlande of Laurell (1528); Cotton MS. Vitellius E x
  • His Golden lockes, Time hath to Silver turn’d,
    O Time too swift, O Swiftnesse never ceasing:
    His Youth gainst Time and Age hath ever spurn’d
    But spurn’d in vain, Youth waineth by increasing.
      Beauty Strength, Youth, are flowers, but fading seen,
      Duty, Faith, Love are roots, and ever greene.
    His Helmet now, shall make a hive for Bees,
    And Lovers Sonets, turn’d to holy Psalmes:
    A man at Armes must now serve on his knees,
    And feede on praiers, which are Age his almes.
      But though from Court to Cottage he depart,
      His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.
    And when he saddest sits in homely Cell,
    He’ll teach his Swaines this Carroll for a Song,
    Blest be the heartes that wish my Soveraigne well,
    Curst be the soules that thinke her any wrong.

      Goddesse, allow this agèd man his right,
      To be your Beads-man now, that was your Knight.
    • Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley; formerly attributed to George Peele
    • "A Sonet", Polyhymnia (1590); also titled "A Farewell to Armes"
    • Variants: 1, 3, 7, 12. "My" for "His"; 14. "my" for "his"; 11, 13. "I" for "he"; 12. "My ... mine" for "He ... his"; 14. "I’ll" for "He’ll"; 8. "turne" for "turn’d"
  • I have a Mistresse for perfections rare
    In every eye, but in my thoughts most faire.
    Like Tapers on the Altar shine her eyes;
    Her breath is the perfume of Sacrifice.
    And where soe’re my fancy would begin,
    Still her perfection lets religion in.
    I touch her like my Beads with devout care;
    And come unto my Courtship as my Praier.
  • No Rosary this Vot’ress needs,
    Her very Syllables are Beads.
    • John Cleveland, "The Senses Festival" (1651, 1677, 1685)
  •   Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told
      His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
      Like pious incense from a censor old,
      Seem’d taking flight for heaven, without a death,
    Past the sweet Virgin’s picture, while his prayer he saith.
  •   The Beadsman, after thousand aves told,
    For aye unsought for slept among his ashes cold.
  • Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
  • The hours I spent with thee, dear heart,
      Are as a string of pearls to me;
    I count them over, every one apart,
            My rosary.
    Each hour a pearl, each pearl a prayer,
      To still a heart in absence wrung;
    I tell each bead unto the end and there        
            A cross is hung.
    Oh memories that bless—and burn!
      Oh barren gain—and bitter loss!
    I kiss each bead, and strive at last to learn
            To kiss the cross,
                To kiss the cross.
    • Robert Cameron Rogers, "The Rosary"

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