Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 31 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Ignatius Loyola
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Here’s how John Paul II taught others to pray the Rosary

Philip Kosloski - published on 10/03/18

He gives detailed instructions in his encyclical Rosarium Virginis Mariae.

St. John Paul II was a strong advocate for the Rosary, frequently promoting it during his pontificate and praying it himself on a daily basis.


Read more:
7 Ways John Paul II revolutionized the Rosary

One of the ways he promoted the Rosary was by offering detailed suggestions on how to pray the beloved devotion.

Announcing the mystery while using a religious icon

In Rosarium Virginis MariaeJohn Paul II writes, “Announcing each mystery, and perhaps even using a suitable icon to portray it, is as it were to open up a scenario on which to focus our attention. The words direct the imagination and the mind towards a particular episode or moment in the life of Christ … the veneration of icons … [can] be of great help in concentrating the mind on the particular mystery.”

Proclaim a related Bible passage

John Paul II continues, “it is helpful to follow the announcement of the mystery with the proclamation of a related Biblical passage, long or short, depending on the circumstances. No other words can ever match the efficacy of the inspired word. As we listen, we are certain that this is the word of God, spoken for today and spoken ‘for me.'”

Allow for moments of silence

After the mystery and Bible passage, John Paul II suggests, “Listening and meditation are nourished by silence. After the announcement of the mystery and the proclamation of the word, it is fitting to pause and focus one’s attention for a suitable period of time on the mystery concerned, before moving into vocal prayer.”

Add a short clause around the name of “Jesus”

When praying the Hail Mary, John Paul II recommends adding an additional short clause that relates to the mystery being meditated, “Pope Paul VI drew attention, in his Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, to the custom in certain regions of highlighting the name of Christ by the addition of a clause referring to the mystery being contemplated. This is a praiseworthy custom, especially during public recitation. It gives forceful expression to our faith in Christ, directed to the different moments of the Redeemer’s life.”

Read more:
Making the Rosary New Again

Conclude each decade with a short phrase on the fruits of the mystery

John Paul II writes, “conclude each mystery with a prayer for the fruits specific to that particular mystery. In this way the Rosary would better express its connection with the Christian life. One fine liturgical prayer suggests as much, inviting us to pray that, by meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, we may come to ‘imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.'”

There are a few other suggestions for a fruitful Rosary in Rosarium Virginis Mariae, all with the goal of making the Rosary a prayer filled with love of God.

If the Rosary remains a dry prayer for you, consider using these alternative methods. Whatever you do, let the Mother of God move your heart and bring you closer to her son, Jesus Christ.


Read more:
Tiny reflections that will make your Rosary into a real meditation

Devotions and FeastsSaints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.