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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
The fifteen mysteries of the Rosary educate us in the precious knowledge of Jesus Christ, in which eternal life consists. They are divided into three series, of joys, sorrows and glories, three words that sum up man’s life on earth and his love in heaven. To each of the mysteries corresponds one of the principal Christian virtues.
The Rosary, (the french word for “Rosary” is “chapelet”) which takes its name from the crowns of flowers which in the Middle Ages were called chapels or little hats, is composed of five decades, that is to say, of a third of a Rosary: it is a beautiful crown which pious people like to place every day on the forehead of the august Mary. We can call this pious practice the queen of devotions. Let us consider first of all the importance of the Rosary as a devotion of the Church, as imprinting on the soul a particularly Catholic character, by constantly reminding us of the memory of Jesus and Mary; finally, as ensuring to a great extent our ultimate perseverance, if we are faithful in reciting it, as several revelations prove.
As for the structure of the Rosary, it is a complete abridgment of the Gospel, divided into fifteen decades which represent as many mysteries and express the three great phases of the work of redemption: joy, sorrow and glory. The particular character of the Rosary gives it a new appeal; it combines mental prayer with vocal prayer. It is a compendium of theology filled with sweet devotion, and an effective practice of the presence of God. It is one of the major channels through which the traditions of the Incarnation are diffused among the faithful. The Rosary shows the true nature of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and is a powerful means of achieving the communion of saints.