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8 Reasons Why Catholics Pray the Rosary

Praying the rosary is a fundamental part of the Catholic tradition. Catholics are encouraged to pray the rosary often to focus their minds, clear them of any distractions, meditate on the law, and pray for the special needs of those around them.

Published Apr 26, 2023
8 Reasons Why Catholics Pray the Rosary

Within the Catholic tradition, there are many elements to the faith, including praying the rosary.  The rosary looks like a bracelet, with varying beads of size and color.

On the end is a cross. Catholics can easily purchase a rosary or receive one from their church. Catholics are encouraged to pray the rosary regularly so they can spend time with the Lord.

How to Pray the Rosary

First, make a sign of the cross on your body. With your right hand, touch your forehead, then your chest, and across your shoulders. While doing this, start your prayer time by saying, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Then, hold the crucifix and say the Apostles Creed. You can say this silently if you are alone or if you are with other Catholics. Say it out loud. Next, place your fingers on the first bead to the left.

While holding that bead in your hand, say, “Our Father.” Place your finger on the next bead and say, “Hail Mary” for the next three beads. Once you get to the next large bead say another “Our Father.”

Repeat this until you get through the entire necklace. Say “Hail Mary” on the little beads and “Our Father” on the big bead, and end with the prayer Glory Be. End with giving yourself the sign of the cross once again.

Catholics pray the rosary so they can pray for people who are sick. They also pray for those who have passed away. If you have never prayed the rosary, this can be a great way to excite your prayer life. Here are some reasons why they pray the rosary:

1. Rids Them of Distractions

When people come to Lord to pray, they sometimes have deep burdens they're carrying. Pray the rosary with specific prayers associated with certain beads helps people clear their minds and prepares them to have an experience with God.

2. Helps Them Focus

By having a schedule of which prayers to pray at what time helps people focus. This is a great tool for people who don't talk to God during their quiet time. Having rote prayers helps us keep focus and can clear our minds.

Any time spent with the Lord is a good thing, and he cherishes and honors all of it. By focusing on the Lord, we get closer to him, and God desires our fellowship.

Having said this, even if you know the prayers by heart, it is important to make sure you're saying those things with emotion and intentionality. Simply rattling off prayers while doing something else negates the reason to pray the rosary at all.

Simply going through the motions of the faith isn't helpful because it doesn't give glory to God and the way he deserves. When praying the rosary, make sure you have no other distractions around you.

Take a piece of paper and write down all the things on your to-do list. This way, they are not intruding and your prayer time by constantly coming back to mind.

3. Helps Them Reflect

When we take the time to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we also reflect to see God's transformative power in our lives. Reflection allows us to recall the mistakes of our past but look forward with hope to the future.

Reflection has its place. It’s an important part of understanding God's presence. But once we are done reflecting, we need to look forward to the future, knowing that Christ’s blood covers all our mistakes and failures.

4. Pray for Special Needs

Praying the rosary also helps us to bring any special needs to the Lord. This could be anything from someone's friend to a relative and anything in between.

This is also the time when we bring forth our own needs to the Lord. God wants us to tell him our needs as well. He knows everything before we even speak a word. He wants us to bring our needs to him and wait patiently as God works on our behalf.

5. Theme

Some people arrange their rosary, praying around a special theme that is dear to their hearts. For example, if you ever desire to stop world hunger, use each bead to pray for that issue.

The first bead, for example, can be all the people in our community who have struggled to have food to eat.

The second bead might be asking God to see how they can be helpful in this situation. The next bead can signify praying for people who need food the most.

We can pray if they choose to donate their food rather than throw it away. Choose a theme that you want to use, and then use each bead. There's a way to pray for that special theme.

6. Sacrifice

Because the season of Lent focuses on sacrifice to better understand Christ suffering on the cross, people pray the rosary to better understand what it means to sacrifice.

For example, if you choose to give up meat on Fridays, take the time when you would be eating meat and take time to pray the rosary.

Pray for the farmers and the animals and for self-control to get through the Lenten season without eating meat. However, if you choose to better understand the concept of sacrifice, often pair your sacrifice with praying the rosary.

7. Meditation

Although many people associate meditation with new-age practices, we are biblically called to meditate often. Scripture says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).

Meditation can be dangerous if we don't fill our minds with Scripture. Satan can use that as an opportunity to feed lies to us. Christian meditation is different in that the mind is not cleared completely but rather filled with Scripture.

When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the garden, he was able to thwart Satan's tactics by holding Scripture. Scripture is a powerful weapon when it comes to Christian meditation. While it is important to clear our minds of any distractions, it is important to fill it with the Holy Spirit.

A great way to know more about the Holy Spirit is through Scripture memorization. Meditation helps filter out any lies and replace those lies with the truth of who Jesus is.

8. Comfort

It is comforting to have peers in mind to pray for if you are struggling to talk to God. God loves all our genuine efforts to spend time with him. But, those who are not used to talking to God all the time may feel uncomfortable.

The rosary is comforting in that it has a system as to how it is prayed. Catholics understand that although they may want to talk to God on their own, the rosary is a tool to get them started back on the track toward contemplative prayer.

What Does This Mean?

Praying the rosary is a fundamental part of the Catholic tradition. Catholics are encouraged to pray the rosary often to focus their minds, clear them of any distractions, meditate on the law, and pray for the special needs of those around them.

For further reading:

Why Do Catholics Use the Sign of the Cross?

What Is the Significance of the Catholic Rosary?

What Is the Assumption of Mary? Origins of this Catholic Doctrine

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/RapidEye

Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website

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