Rosary Group

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Each Tuesday morning at 9:05am, the rosary is prayed in the chapel at Pax Christi. Come and join others in this timeless prayer.

A Brief History of the Rosary

A variety of stories have been attached to the origination of the rosary. The Catholic Encyclopedia (vol. 13, p. 184–189) recounts that in the early centuries of the Church, monks would recite the Psalms as part of their rule of life. Since learning the Psalms was necessarily restricted to those who could read, a simpler prayer tradition was needed for the illiterate brothers. The Lord’s Prayer was adopted for this purpose; the brothers would recite 150 Our Fathers to correspond to the number of Psalms.

Small stones were used originally to count the prayers. Later, beads were strung as prayer counters. In the early part of the second millennium, with the rise of widespread medieval devotion to the Blessed Mother, the Hail Mary developed and gained popularity and was inserted into the prayer tradition. (See The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 12, pp. 667–670).

During the twelfth century the praying of the Hail Mary spread in the West. Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary was, until the seventh century, the antiphon of the offertory of the fourth Sunday of Advent, a Sunday with particular Marian significance. At that time the Hail Mary ended with "blessed is the fruit of thy womb." The name Jesus and the second part—"Holy Mary, Mother of God . . ."—were introduced around 1483.

Catholics have prayed and loved the rosary for centuries. The beads that mark the rosary are prayed in sets of ten called a decade. Ten Hail Marys are prayed, and is framed with an Our Father at the beginning of the decade, and a Glory to the Father at the end of the decade. While praying these decades, the mystery of the life of Jesus and Mary are reflected on. Following are the mysteries of the rosary, involving the life of Jesus and Mary:

The Joyful Mysteries

  1. The Annunciation: The Archangel Gabriel visits with a young Mary to inform her that she will soon become the Virgin Mother to the Messiah.
  2. The Visitation: Mary makes a visit to her older cousin Elizabeth.
  3. The Nativity: The birth of Jesus Christ.
  4. The Presentation: Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the Temple 40 days after his birth.
  5. The Finding in the Temple: Mary and Joseph find a 12-year old Jesus discussing scripture with the elder rabbis in the temple.

The Luminous Mysteries (The Mysteries of Light)

  1. The Baptism of Jesus: John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, and God proclaims Jesus his beloved Son.
  2. The Wedding at Cana: Jesus performs his first public miracle by changing water into wine at a wedding in Cana.
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom: Jesus went to Galilee and proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God.
  4. The Transfiguration: Jesus' divine nature glowed brilliantly through his humanity. His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist: Jesus' Last Supper, an expression of God's saving presence us in the form of a banquet.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

  1. The Agony in the Garden: Jesus prays the night before his Passion.
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar: Pilate has Jesus whipped.
  3. The Crowning with Thorns: Roman soldiers crown Jesus' head with thorns.
  4. The Carrying of the Cross: Jesus meets His mother and falls three times on the way up Calvary.
  5. The Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies before His mother and His apostle John.

The Glorious Mysteries

  1. The Resurrection: Jesus rises from the dead.
  2. The Ascension: Jesus leaves the Apostles and bodily "ascends" to heaven.
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit: The Apostles receive the Holy Spirit in tongues of fire in the upper room with Mary.
  4. The Assumption: Mary is taken bodily–assumed–into heaven by God at the end of her life here on earth.
  5. The Coronation: Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.
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12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347


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