The Story Behind Catholic Rosary Beads

Along with the cross and the sacred holy water fonts, the small beads that make up Rosary beads are one of the most familiar and recognized symbols of Catholicism. According to Catholic tradition, the rosary was instituted by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. In the 13th century, she is said to have appeared to St. Dominic (founder of the Dominicans), given him a rosary, and asked that Christians pray the Hail Mary, Our Father, Glory Be prayers instead of the Psalms. The original rosary of St. Dominic had 15 decades.

The main function of the rosary beads is to count prayers, the prayers that are counted on rosary beads are collectively known as the rosary. The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events or mysteries in history. There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into five main mysteries which correspond to the five decades of the rosary.

  • Five Joyful Mysteries are prayed on Mondays and Saturdays. These events all have to do with Christ’s birth.
  • Five Luminous Mysteries are recalled on Thursdays and were instituted by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
  • Five Sorrowful Mysteries relate to Jesus’ suffering and death and are recalled on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Five Glorious Mysteries remind the faithful of Jesus’ resurrection and the glories of heaven and are prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Although a variety of prayers might be used in saying the rosary, a selection of standard prayers are most commonly used. They are Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. A decade consists of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys and one Glory Be.

Apostle’s Creed:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father:

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; They kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary:

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be:

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


The following are the steps for praying the rosary using rosary beads:

  1. On the crucifix, say the Apostles’ Creed.
  2. On the next large bead, pray the Our Father.
  3. On the next three small beads, pray three Hail Marys.
  4. On the chain, pray the Glory Be.
  5. On the large bead announce the first mystery (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful or Glorious) then say the Our Father.
  6. On the next ten beads, pray ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery/
  7. On the chain, pray the Glory Be.
  8. Repeat steps 5 through 8 for the next four decades.

If you were to ask what object is most emblematic of Catholics a large amount of people would  say the rosary. We’re familiar with the images: the silently moving lips of women and men in church and the rosary hanging from their wrist. They truly are a symbolic treasure of Catholicism and something that remains with you throughout your life, being given to you as early as your first communion.

Take a look at our extensive range of Rosary beads and religious jewelry. Included in our collection are Connemara Marble Rosary beads made from the very rare rock that is unique to Ireland. With rosary beads of different sizes and for different ages, you’ll be sure to find the perfect set for you or your loved one this Easter and give them a truly sacred gift to treasure from the Emerald Isle.

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