The Prayers of the Rosary

The Prayers of the Rosary

The Apostles’ Creed
While the present form of the Apostles' Creed first appeared in the 6th century in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542), it can be traced in one form or another back to Apostolic times. Rufinus' Commentary on the Apostle's Creed (ca 407) contains the prayer in a form very close to what we have today. The Creed can also be found in a letter to Pope Julius I (340 AD) and even earlier in a circa 200 document containing the Roman baptismal liturgy. It appears that originally this Creed was a baptismal creed summarizing the teachings of the Apostles and was given to the catechumens when they were baptized. Instead of the continuous prayer as we have it today, each line was rather in the form of a question to which the catechumen gave assent indicating he both understood and believed. This form is similar to the form found in the Easter Liturgy for the renewal of the Baptismal promises. Eventually this question and answer style was modified into the prayer form as we have it today. [1] Note that the word Catholic means universal:

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 Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sits 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.

The Our Father
The Our Father is taken right out of scripture. The “Our Father” as we say it in church is a very old English translation that uses many words that are now only used in that prayer. It is ok to use a more understandable translation when you are not praying in public:

Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, may your kingdom come, may your will be done on the earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our heavenly bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Lead us out of temptation and deliver us from the evil one. (Mt 6:9-13)

The Hail Mary
(repeat the Hail Mary three times once for the gift of faith, once for hope, and once for charity.)
This prayer is also a Biblical prayer. The first part is composed of the Archangel Gabriel's praises of Mary found in the Gospel of St. Luke. That is why this prayer is sometimes called the Angelic Salutation. The Hail Mary prayer is divided into three sections:
  1. The words of the Angel Gabriel found in Lk 1:26-28, "And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."
  2. The words of St. Elizabeth found also in Lk 1:40-45, "And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord." and finally...
  3. The words of the Church: In the first part, you can see that God's messenger, Gabriel praises Mary's holiness and closeness to God. When Elizabeth proclaims that Mary is blessed among women, she is telling how special Mary truly is. Through Mary, Jesus entered the world. Because she said "yes" to God, Jesus was able to come and save all. This is the way God choose to become man, through Mary. The final phrases of the prayer are the prayer of the Church. At the Council of Ephesus in the year 431 the Church declared that this phrase was worthy to use when praying. You are asking Mary to go to present your needs to God on your behalf and to unite you to God. Because of her closeness to God in her relationship with her son, she can obtain blessings for you. These pieces were put together and formed the Hail Mary prayer and was in common use as early as the year 1196 [2].
Hail Mary (HM) full of grace, our lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The Glory Be
As early as the year 300 Catholics began using the phrase, "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit". This phrase became popular for two reasons. The first reason is because it is fitting to praise God in this form following the example Jesus gave when He instructed his followers go out and baptize and secondly to defend and promote the belief in the Blessed Trinity. In the year 529 the second part of the prayer was added. "As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end." This phrase was added to confirm that there truly are three Persons in one God. That the Son and the Holy Spirit were one with the Father in the beginning, now and always will be. [3] The change from “as it was in the beginning” to “as it always was” has been made to emphasize that is has always been: there was no beginning.

Glory be (GB) to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit as it always was, is now, and always will be world without end. Amen

The Fatima Prayer
The Fatima Prayer was brought about when Mary appeared to three shepherd children during May 13th through October 13th 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. The Mother of Jesus' purpose for these visits was to save souls from Hell and to warn us of the coming tragedies that would happen if we didn't repent and change our ways. During the July 13th appearance, Mary showed the children a vision of Hell. Mary told them, "Pray, pray very much because many souls go to Hell."

Lucia, the oldest of the three children described hell as a "sea of fire in which we saw the souls in human forms, men and women, burning, shouting, and crying in despair."
Mary said to the children, "You have seen Hell where sinners go when they don’t repent." Hell is a real place and this dogma, which must be accepted as truth, is referred to more than 100 times in the Bible such as:
  • And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off, and throw it away: for it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go to hell. (Mt 5:29-30)
  • And do not fear those that kill the body, but cannot kill the soul; but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt 10:28)
Mary wanted to remind us of the so-called Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. If you keep in mind that these four last things are just as certain as death and taxes, surely you will strive to live a holier life so that you will make it to Heaven.
After showing the children Hell, Mary expressly asked for the Fatima Prayer to be recited. [4]
She said, "Each time you say the Rosary, my children, say after each decade:

Oh my Jesus (OMJ), forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen)
At the end of the Mysteries of the Rosary recite the Hail Holy Queen.
The "Salve Regina", also known as the Hail Holy Queen, is a Marian hymn and one of four Marian antiphons sung at different seasons within the Christian liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. The Salve Regina is traditionally sung at Compline in the time from the Saturday before Trinity Sunday until the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent. The Hail Holy Queen is also the final prayer of the Rosary.

The work was composed during the Middle Ages most probably by German monk Hermann of Reichenau and originally appeared in Latin, the prevalent language of Western Christianity until modern times. Traditionally it has been sung in Latin, though many translations exist. These are often used as spoken prayers. [5]

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope, to thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears; turn, then most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

FOOTNOTES:
[1]  SOURCE: Thesaurus Precum Latinarum
http://www.preces-latinae.org/thesau...ostolorum.html

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