How To Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

 

Today, April 8th, is Divine Mercy Sunday, and in honor of the Feast of Divine Mercy, I am sharing with you instructions on how to pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy. This chaplet can be done with a standard-sized Rosary, and my instructions requires a basic understanding of what the traditional prayers of the Rosary are, and what beads are where. Please see my post on How to Pray the Rosary, if you need a refresher.

Continue reading “How To Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy”

Experiencing the Sacrament of Reconciliation For the First Time

One of the questions I get asked by non-Catholic friends and family is, “Do you really believe that going to confession is necessary?”

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, more commonly known as ‘confession’ is one of those seemly uncomfortable experiences most would rank up there with their annual physical or maybe a root scaling treatment (and that is really uncomfortable). Even the media generally portrays going to confession as something to feel trepidation over, so, it was no surprise during my RCIA program this past year, I was told that feeling ‘a little nervous’ about it would be completely normal. So, why wasn’t I more nervous, I wondered.

In typical me fashion, I was more concerned with the etiquette of ‘doing it right’ than the act of baring my entire life and all of my failings — including the times I’m ashamed of — in the sacred confidence between a priest and a parishioner. Questions that worried me:

  • “Should I sit face to face or go behind a screen?”
    Answer: It’s whatever you’re most comfortable with.
  • “Should I leave the door open or closed?”
    Answer: Close it!
  • “How do you know if someone is in there already?”
    Answer: There’s a light that goes on, visible from the outside of the booth.
  • “How long are you supposed to take?”
    Answer: Depends on a number of factors really. If you attend confession frequently, it may not take as long as if you are doing a first-time confession, aka a ‘lifetime confession’.
  • “What sins should I mention first, and in what order of importance if case I run out of time?”
    Answer: Before you go, you need to do an ‘Examination of Conscience’. Google it. There are tons of websites that offer helpful questions for you to ponder. One site that I found helpful in my own fledgling attempts was the National Catholic Register’s Confession Guide for Adults.
  • “What kinds of penances will I be expected to make?”
    Answer: It depends on the severity of what it is — it could range from a prayer or series of prayers to making reparations with the injured parties involved. Your priest will discuss this with you.
  • “I’m supposed to have an act of contrition (a prayer) to read at the end — do I need to bring one with me, or will there be one already available?”
    Answer: there was a card provided at my church as an option if you didn’t bring one with you. Most missals (those books in the pews with the readings for mass) also have an act of contrition prayer printed inside or near the back cover.
  • “What if I forget to mention something important?”
    Answer: If you genuinely forgot, it’s covered for now, but mention it next time during confession.

For my first experience with the sacrament of reconciliation, I chose to sit face-to-face with the priest and talk with him without the benefit of a screen for anonymity. I think it helped that since he led the RCIA program and we’d had the opportunity to talk together for the past several months, we’d established a rapport. I felt more comfortable talking to him than I might have to a stranger.

There was some stumbling as I started, but, it helped that I’d brought a list based on my ‘examination of conscience’ to help me stay on track. You don’t have to do this of course, but with my poor memory retention, I thought it’d be easier for me. If you do go with a hand-written list, make sure that you destroy it later! You don’t want someone finding that down the road, do you?

Things that I did not expect to encounter during Confession:

  • It was hot. That is a small booth and with two people sitting in there, it can get warm.
  • Kleenex. Smart.
  • Counseling. Huh.

I don’t know if this is common (since it was only my first time) but my priest, following my examination of conscience/confession, talked for a bit, summarizing what I’d said and offering some insights to, on a spiritual level, help me grow in my faith. Confession is NOT supposed to be used instead of getting professional counseling and I’m not recommending you use it as such either. It was helpful, though, in the space of a few minutes, to see my spiritual journey summarized from an outsider’s perspective, without my own biases and personal hang-ups in the way.

After being assigned penances, and giving an act of contrition, the priest will offer absolution for your sins before a dismissal.

Absolution. This is the whole point of the sacrament of reconciliation. God’s divine mercy, which allows you to have the courage to confess your sins, feel genuine sorrow for them and a desire not to do them anymore, and forgiveness of those sins. Since sin is what separates us from God, the act of reconciliation draws us back to God as He invites us home again with open arms.

As an evangelical Christian, before I began the process of conversion to Catholicism, I already believed in God’s divine mercy and that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). I did, and still do believe, that because I had already confessed and asked forgiveness over the years for those sins, that God had already forgiven me, even before I participated in the sacrament.

Still, the act of a verbal confession is also Biblical and there’s something concrete about admitting to someone else, what you’ve only ever admitted to yourself. Also, it’s a requirement of the Church to have no mortal sins before partaking in the Eucharist, and that’s something that I long to do. For a third reason to do it, consider too how regular confession to the same priest may help them (for the long term) help you identify areas that you continue to struggle in sin, and how to better avoid it.

For me, leaving the booth, I felt a sense of freedom and joy that God had given me the grace necessary to get myself there that day, to wait my turn and not put it off, to be honest and completely open, to be forgiven and reconciled to God.

After you leave the booth, you’re not done yet. Whatever penances or reparations your priest requested, you should linger in the church and start them immediately. I found it helpful to ‘take a knee’ back in my pew and begin praying and reflecting upon our conversation, instead of rushing off to the next task of the day.

While I can’t promise that your first-time experience will be (or was) the same, I  hope that you can take away from it the same sense of God’s mercy on your life, and the gratitude for this precious gift that is so freely given to us, available if we only reach out and embrace it.

The Life of St. Thérèse Couderc: A Saint Well-Acquainted with Suffering

What follows is a short biography of the life of St. Thérèse Couderc, a French Catholic nun in the mid-to-late 19th century, who was the co-foundress of the Congregation of the Cenacle, a religious order which holds retreats for women pilgrims. The contemporary order is devoted to the tenets of prayer, community and spiritual ministry (including adult faith formation, retreats, and other ways of developing Christian faith).

Little is publically available about the life of this lesser-known saint so my information is primarily from a few sources (see end of article). I apologize in advance for any inaccuracies and reserve the right to update this article for corrections or additions as I continue to learn more about the life of this humble woman.

While I do not plan to start doing biographies on the lives of all of the saints (there are other people far more suited to the task!). I did want to share what I’ve learned so far however, and my blog seemed a good place to do so.  Also, it should be noted that I may display some unintentional bias in the interpretation of the material I have read about St. Thérèse Couderc, so please excuse any in advance. In full disclosure, St. Thérèse Couderc is my confirmation saint.


Marie-Victoire Thérèse Couderc was a simple mountain girl (born in 1805 at Le Mas, Ardeche) who decided early on, as did her older brother, John, that when she grew up, she wanted to join the religious community. Their father was against her becoming a religious, but the mother, who was herself devout, was for it. Marie-Victoire grew up in a small community without much of a Catholic presence — after France’s Reign of Terror, the religious presence had dwindled in the more rural areas.

Father Terme, Founder of the Order

In 1825, Marie-Victoire attended a mission led by a Father Terme who was impressed by Marie-Victoire and asked her father for permission for her to become a sister in his mission of building catechism schools. He was rebuffed. A second letter and in 1826, she joined Father Terme at Aps.

Now, around that time, Father Terme began a second branch of his mission, focused at Lalouvesc. St. John Francis Regis (patron saint of lace-makers, medical social workers and illegitimate children) had a shrine at La Louvesc, popular enough that pilgrims of both sexes journeyed there and cohabitated in the same inn. Father Terme, who comes across to me as a passionate type, insisted that this practice of mingling the sexes under one roof must be an offense to God,and set out to create a retreat house for women pilgrims to stay and pray while in La Louvesc.

Father Terme opened St. Regis House, and staffed it with his sisters, including Marie-Victoire, now Sister Thérèse, who became the novice mistress, and then succeeded another sister to become the superior, at the age of 23. The demand for a women’s inn exceeded the space that they had available and the unruly pilgrims caused no end of havoc on the reflective prayer life intended for the religious community.

Sister Thérèse proposed that they limit pilgrims to only women willing to complete a novena or a triduum while staying there. This idea, which seemed good to Father Terme, was embraced and it dramatically improved the environment. Father Terme, impressed by the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, which he’d discovered while making a retreat with the Jesuits, gave to the sisters at St. Regis House to go on their own retreat, and begin leading pilgrims through the exercises as well.

The local community responded positively to the retreats, and the work of leading the local schools branched out into the community (sisters walking through knee-deep snow for hours, fasting so they might receive Communion when they got there) and some of the biographies included stories like these of the bravery and sacrifice of the sisters who wished to reach these rural areas with the Good News.

In 1834, while on another mission, Father Terme contracted a fever and died. He had the forethought to compose a will before his death, willing St. Regis House to four of the sisters there (including Sister Thérèse) so the work would continue. The occasion of the lost will (and its finding) led to the inclusion of St. Philomena (patron saint of lost causes) as a friendly/honored saint to the group. Without Father Terme’s leadership however, it seemed like the early efforts of both apostolates would flounder.

Father Renault and the Jesuits

The decision was made to split the two apostolates, and the Jesuits came several times a week to lead pilgrims through the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. Work began on building a chapel to replace their tiny oratory, and a new wing, funded by the dowry of Sister Gallet, a new novice, who also willed her estate to the Congregation upon her death.

Around this time, Mother Thérèse took ill for several months and was confined to her bed. Sent to Notre Dame d’Ay for further care, she dedicated herself at the Feast of the Assumption to Our Lady, and was filled with a great fear as to the wisdom of embarking upon such an ambitious building plan, with no guarantee of funding. Unbeknownst to her, during the period of her illness, Sister Gallet died, and now, her family contested the will, refusing to fund the expansion.

Upon Mother Thérèse’s return, Father Renault accused her, on the feast day of her own saint (Saint Teresa of Avila), of mismanaging funds. The debt was cited to total 37,000 francs but this was miscalculated because they included several gifts, so the actual debt was only 10,000 francs. Despite this, a council was appointed to oversee the financial decisions from there on out and Mother Thérèse had to defer to them for any decisions. As her business acumen, administrative skills and health were called into question, doubt filled the community, and it cast a bad light on the apostolate. Mother Thérèse feared that disunity would result in lost vocations and novices departing from the Congregation. What was to be done?

Madame la Vicomtesse de Lavillurnoy

In 1838, Madame de Lavillurnoy joined their numbers. Madame de Lavillurnoy, a widow of some extensive wealth, impressed Father Renault with her seeming piety, and she received the habit a mere two weeks after her entrance day. Mother Thérèse, who had already offered to step down as Superior, was further demeaned by Father Renault’s decision, not only to appoint Madame de Lavillurnoy as Superior (with approval of the bishop) but also declare her the Foundress of the Congregation, stripping Mother Thérèse, now Sister Thérèse, of any recognition she had for her co-founding work with Father Terme. It was hoped, that the money that Madame de Lavillurnoy brought with her, would secure the future of the Congregation and sacrifices must be made. Sister Thérèse was asked to be her assistant to guide the new mother through the transition.

Unfortunately, with less than a year of religious life’s experience, Madame de Lavillurnoy was unaccustomed to the extreme poverty that the sisters had shared for years. She moved much of her furniture and chandaliers from her old home into the retreat house, and ordered expensive meals every day and eventually ran up debt in the name of the Congregation, which they were unable to pay. This created a scandal and people withdrew their support of the congregation. When it came to the attention of Father Renault, an investigation was conducted, she was forced to resign, and another Superior was appointed, this time, Sister Charlotte Contenet.

Mother Contenet

The election of Sister Contenet, an older nun, came about as both she and Sister Thérèse, were nominated for the same title. Seeing the need for a united front, and that Sister Contenet was a practical woman, Sister Thérèse threw her whole support behind Sister Contenet, and it was a unanimous election. Sister Thérèse resolved to do everything she could to help Mother Contenet be successful in her new role.

Now, I must interject with my own interpretation of what happened, which isn’t explicitly stated in the biographies I’ve been reading.

The next several years of Sister Thérèse’s life are largely silent as she is ignored, ostracized, and given the worst jobs imaginable, by Mother Contenet. Neither of the biographies said anything negative about, well, anyone, but reading between the lines, I think there must’ve been some kind of personality clash that led to Mother Contenent’s dislike of Sister Thérèse from the outset. This compounded over time as Sister Thérèse was not allowed to have common recreation time with the other sisters, and despite her experience, was assigned to the hardest manual labor possible.

In 1842, Sister Thérèse was eventually assigned with another religious, Sister Marie, to a completely different house altogether, away from the rest of the community in Lyons (a rental the Congregation was considering purchase and required occupancy to retain). The house proved to be unsuitable to be developed into a retreat, but the sisters lived there for eighteen months, eking out what food they could from their efforts in the vegetable garden. While all of this was going on, Mother Contenent decided that several of the sisters that Thérèse had nurtured from the earliest days of the apostolate, were unfit for the work, and they were sent away, so, Sister Thérèse Couderc became truly, alone.

It’s unknown to me why this dislike existed on Mother Contenent’s side towards Sister Thérèse. Did she blame Sister Thérèse for the financial problems that Father Renault accused her of? Did she consider her culpable or incompetent in the way that Madame de Lavillurnoy handled her affairs? Was she perhaps fearful of losing her role as Superior and wanted to separate Sister Thérèse from her advocates within the Congregation? Maybe we’ll never know the answers to these questions.

A brief moment of joy the biographies mention during this period where Sister Thérèse is largely in the background, was the role she played in acquiring some property for the Congregation in 1843. Mother Contenet was interested in purchasing some land with buildings attached to expand their apostolate to the city of Lyons but the price quoted was too high.

Sister Thérèse, upon learning of the situation, and that an offer had been made by another party, went back to the sellers and pledged to purchase it in the name of the Congregation, it being accepted for a far lower bid than what Mother Contenet had been unable to afford. Mother Contenet had to return to the city and when she discovered that Sister Thérèse had been the means of them securing the property at a far better price, was flabbergasted that Sister Thérèse had in it her. Despite this vouching of her business acumen, little changed in terms of attitude. After setting up the new house, five sisters (including Sister Thérèse) moved in and by 1846, there were regular retreats at that location.

Schism in the Congregation

In 1851, a house in Paris was opened, formed from a donation the year before, and in 1852, Mother Contenet died from an illness. Madame Anais de St. Privat, her assistant general, insisted that Mother Contenet’s wishes were that she succeed her as Superior General, but Sister de Larochenegly was appointed instead. This resulted in a schism in the Congregation as Madame Anais refused to accept the decision.

This continued for two years at which time the Paris group was considering departing from the mother group altogether and the bishop was appealed to for a decision. The bishop sent Sister Thérèse to offer what aid she could, and she was placed in charge for the summer, during which time some of the sisters left (and a few later returned). In the fall, Mother de Larochenegly united the groups as Superior, but asked Sister Thérèse to remain for a year, and, seeing how the manual labor often made her ill, Sister Thérèse finally had relief from her labours, and was treated kindly by both Superior and sisters alike.

Montpelier and the Franco-Prussian War

In 1860, Sister Thérèse was sent to Montpelier to help with the new house there and where she was to remain until the end of her life (eighteen years later). The Church and its clergy were persecuted as people lashed out at France’s defeat by Germany during the war (1870), and it was a dark time for the Cenacle. Sister Thérèse who a year before had made a vow to God, an act of self-surrender, felt the persecution keenly, grieving for the suffering of those around her. As time passed, she increasingly went deaf, and weakened, was confined to her bed or to activities on the same floor as her room.

During these years, miraculous acts were said to take place — claims of bilocation in other cities, despite her inability to move, and an intense suffering as her soul united with the agony of Christ.

In 1864, Sister Thérèse had a spiritual experience where the Holy Spirit invited her to share in Christ’s agony during the Passion. Mother Lautier, a confidant of Sister Thérèse , wrote of the experience:

“Before granting her the favor of witnessing his Agony and participating in it, the divine Master had asked her consent. The humble Mother admitted that at this suggestion she felt her courage fail and trembled with fear, but nevertheless, she did not hesitate to accept and to surrender” (cited in pg. 64 of de Lassus).

In 1885, towards her final days, Sister Thérèse spoke of hearing the voices of the poor souls in Purgatory, some in praise, others in anguish. On September 26, 1885, Sister Thérèse died. Father Renault, who in Sister Thérèse’s lifetime, called her a saint, proved to be correct. She was declared venerable on May 12, 1935 by Pope Pius XI. She was beatified on November 4, 1951 by Pope Pius XII. She was canonized on May 10, 1970 by Pope Paul VI. Her incorrupt body can be viewed in Lalouvesc.

St. Thérèse Couderc, the Woman and her Writings

Who was this woman who was formed into a saint? Her fellow sisters have in writings remarked on her frequent contemplation of the Passion of the Christ, and of her often meditations upon the Stations of the Cross. She tried, as much as possible, to forget herself, even her own failing health, for the needs of others.

De Laussus’ biography has a wonderfully detailled description of her, which I thought worth including, as follows:

“She had a well formed personality and except during the dark years which were years of silence for her, she knew how to intervene, to express her position, and her convictions, never insisting on them, however” (pg 191, de Lassus).

“We have already noticed in her admirable examples of integration: head and heart, — dependence and freedom, — humility and magnanimity, presence to God and to the needs around her, […] sacrifice and joy, — passivitity and active cooperation, — in a word, the mystical life and daily practical realities” (pg 197, de Lassus).

Throughout her life, the suffering St. Thérèse Couderc experienced from her humiliations and physical pain developed within her a humility that marked her as a living saint. I truly believe that the only way in which we learn humility is by sharing in Christ’s suffering, as it is manifested in our own lives — not the mere tolerance, but the embracing of it, being a willing participant. This begins when we practice surrender in the pursuit of following God, as St. Thérèse Couderc is said to have written of in her 1864 work, To Surrender Oneself, but, unfortunately, I have been unable to find an English copy yet. If you know where a copy is available for lending, please contact me.

A portion of her masterpiece was quoted in de Lassus’, in which St. Thérèse Couderc, in her own words, speaks of the nature of surrender:

“There is nothing so easy to do, nothing so sweet to put into practice. The whole thing consists in making a generous act at the very beginning by saying will all the sincerity of your heart: ‘My God, I wish to be entirely thine; deign to accept my offering.’ Then all is said. But henceforth, you must be careful to keep yourself in this attitude of soul and not to shrink from any of the little sacrifices which can help you advance in virtue; […] Oh! If they could but understand beforehand the sweetness and peace experienced by those who hold nothing back from the good God! […] Let them but experience it and they will see that therein lies the true happiness they are vainly seeking elsewhere.” (from To Surrender Oneself, cited by de Lassus, 130)

If I may reverently add, oh, that we may all learn to embrace more fully the Passion of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, and the road to Calvary. May the Lord be at work in us, to nurture the virtue of humility and grant us the courage to say, “Not my will, but Thine”.

Special thanks to the libraries at Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI) and Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA) for the lending of source material.


Source Material:

  1. St. Thérèse Couderc: Foundress of the Cenacle, 1805-1885, canonized May 10, 1970 by Eileen Surles, r.c.1970, Editrice Ancora. Nihil obstat.
  2. A Great and Humble Soul, Mother Thérèse Couderc, foundress of the Congregation of Our Lady of the Retreat in the Cenacle (1805-1885) by Henry Perroy, s.j., translated from the French by John H. Burke, C.S.P., S.T.D., 1960, The Newman Press, Nihil obstat, Imprimatur.
  3. Therese Couderc: Woman and Saint, 1805-1885, by Paule de Lassus, r.c., 1988, Sisters of the Cenacle.*
  4. Wikipedia contributors. “Thérèse Couderc.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 May. 2017. Web. 28 Mar. 2018.

*This title in particular is a wealth of photography of the locations and people discussed in the book.

How To Pray the Rosary

The Rosary needs no introdution. Even amongst non-believers, a Rosary is one of the most iconic symbols of the Catholic faith around the globe. A standard-sized Rosary contains five decades of 10 beads each, intersperced with five larger or unique beads, for each of the mysteries that are being meditated upon.

Highlights From “What I, a Non-Catholic, Discovered While Praying the Rosary”*:

When you pray the Rosary, you are connecting with Christ. You are using a visual aid (the Rosary) to inspire reflection on the life and nature of Christ.

On Mondays and Saturdays, Catholics reflect on the life of Mary, and the events leading up to Christ’s birth and His early childhood (the Joyful Mysteries).

On Thursdays, they remember some of Christ’s miracles and His early ministry, leading up to the Last Supper, (the Luminous Mysteries).

On Tuesdays and Fridays, it’s a reflection on the events of Good Friday, beginning with the Garden when Jesus is betrayed, leading up to His crucifixion (the Sorrowful Mysteries).

And finally, on Wednesdays and Sundays, it’s a celebration of Christ’s resurrection and ascension, the events of the early Church, and a life of obedience to God, rewarded at the end of Mary’s life (the Glorious Mysteries).

You can also find one-decade rosaries available, called chaplets, like a miniature Rosary for your pocket. These have ten beads, plus the mystery, and when you finish praying all of the prayers through the beat set once, you can go back and do the other decades’ worth of prayers.

Obtaining your first (blessed) rosary usually isn’t difficult. Many Catholic churches will have a free area where donations are placed as a form of outreach — prayer cards, pamphlets, and yes, even rosaries. If you find yourself without the benefit of a Rosary on you, and you’d like to try anyway, ask yourself — “Have I got 10 fingers?” If you do, you can pray the Rosary.

Holding the Rosary in your hands, you’ll begin praying starting at the ‘tail’ — the end with the Crucifix and the four beads.

Step 1: Make the Sign of the Cross, by touching your hand to your head, then your heart, then your left shoulder, and finally your right shoulder. As you do this, say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen.”

Step 2: Say the Apostles’ 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 power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will 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.

Step 3: Say the “Our Father”:

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

Step 4: For each of the three beads on the tail end, say a “Hail Mary”:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed are 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

Step 5: Finish the tail off with a “Glory Be”:

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

You’ve now come to the first large bead on the main circle of the Rosary. There are five similar beads in all, each representating a different mystery.

Step 6: For each mystery, you will say an “Our Father”, followed by 10 “Hail Marys” and the “Glory Be”.

Step 7: Pray the “Fatima Prayer”:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.”

Each prayer will guide you further along the circumference of the Rosary’s circle. During your prayers, be sure to reflect upon the mystery you are ruminating over. Repeat Steps #6 and #7 for all five decades, or, if you’re ambitious, try the full 20 decades all at once. When you’re finished with the final decade, you should return to your starting point.

There are a few final prayers to finish the Rosary.

Step 8: Pray the “Salve Regina” prayer:

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 valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus; O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Step 9: Pray the “Let Us Pray” prayer:

O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries in the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise: through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Step 10: Pray the “Memorae” prayer:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence; I fly to you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother; to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful, O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Step 11: Conclude with the “Sign of the Cross”. (See Step #1 for a refresher if needed.)

*This has been slightly edited from the original.

The Mysteries of the Rosary

​When you pray the Rosary, you are connecting with Christ. You are using a visual aid (the Rosary) to inspire reflection on the life and nature of Christ.

The Joyful Mysteries

On Mondays and Saturdays, Catholics reflect on the life of Mary, and the events leading up to Christ’s birth and His early childhood (the Joyful Mysteries).

1st Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel

2nd Joyful Mystery: The Visitation of Elizabeth by Mary

3rd Joyful Mystery: The Nativity of Our Lord

4th Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of Baby Jesus

5th Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Young Jesus in the Temple

The Luminous Mysteries

On Thursdays, the Rosary is a meditation on some of Christ’s miracles and His early ministry, leading up to the Last Supper, (the Luminous Mysteries).

1st Luminous Mystery: Baptism of Christ

2nd Luminous Mystery: Wedding at Cana

3rd Luminous Mystery: Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

4th Luminous Mystery: Transfiguration

5th Luminous Mystery: Institution of the Holy Eucharist

The Sorrowful Mysteries

On Tuesdays and Fridays, the Rosary is a meditation and a reflection on the events of Good Friday, beginning with the Garden when Jesus is betrayed, leading up to His crucifixion (the Sorrowful Mysteries).

1st Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden

2nd Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging

3rd Sorrowful Mystery: Crowning with Thorns

4th Sorrowful Mystery: Carrying of the Cross

5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion

The Glorious Mysteries

On Wednesdays and Sundays, the Rosary meditations are a celebration of Christ’s resurrection and ascension, the events of the early Church, and Mary’s life of obedience to God, rewarded at the end of her earthly life (the Glorious Mysteries).

1st Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection

2nd Glorious Mystery: The Ascension

3rd Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

4th Glorious Mystery: The Assumption

5th Glorious Mystery: The Coronation