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Meditating on the Rosary mysteries with ‘A Rosary Litany’

A woman holds a rosary while praying during a Holy Hour at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)


As the month dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary, October is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a beautiful opportunity to rekindle one’s relationship with Jesus through the Blessed Mother by praying a daily Rosary.

Many people, though, aren’t sure how to approach praying a daily Rosary. It can seem intimidating or even boring. For a few years now, I have been a huge proponent of praying the Rosary while meditating on the fruits of each mystery, as promoted by St. Louis de Montfort.

For example, when meditating on the mystery of the Annunciation, the saint recommends reflecting on the fruit of “humility.” While reciting each Hail Mary, we can ask the Lord for the grace to follow him and his mother in the footsteps of selflessness. To me, this method helps provide focus to the Rosary, though it is only one way of many. If you’d like to have the complete examination of conscience that I use along these lines, let me know, and I’d be happy to send you the link.

But while meditating on the fruits of each mystery has been my preferred method for some time, that might be changing. A new booklet from Our Sunday Visitor offers a beautiful, Scripture-based method for praying the Rosary that is quite moving — and also based on the writings of St. Louis de Monfort.

In “A Rosary Litany” (OSV, $4.95), Father Edward Looney offers a “meditative element” to be prayed at the end of the first half of each Hail Mary during each mystery. He lists the one suggestion per decade provided by St. Louis de Montfort, but also gives his own for each repetition of the Hail Mary. To once again use the example of the Annunciation, the first Hail Mary would go like this: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus, announced by the angel Gabriel. Holy Mary. …” The next phrase, then, would be “conceived by the Holy Spirit,” and so on through all 10.

This method actually integrates the Scripture passage into the prayers, rather than simply reading it at the beginning of each decade. It also allows the person praying to meditate on a specific aspect of Scripture related to the mystery during each individual Hail Mary. As I have prayed with “A Rosary Litany,” I have found it gives me the opportunity to have more detailed meditations on each mystery, and to focus on many different angles of the mystery rather than only one. It is a simple way to get more out of the Rosary, whether praying alone or with a group. As Father Looney writes, “Let us pray that this small Rosary devotional can help renew devotion to Our Lady’s Rosary, for it is a tried-and-true devotion of our faith.”
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If you’re interested in finding out more about “A Rosary Litany,” it’s easy to do so — just visit and search for “A Rosary Litany.”

May the Blessed Mother keep you close this month and always.

Gretchen R. Crowe is editor-in-chief of Our Sunday Visitor. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.

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