The Rosary

Hi everyone. I am writing this post to inform or 'introduce' you (hence why this post is in the introductions category), to the prayer of the Rosary. I know this is a Catholic prayer, and is a Coptic Orthodox website. However, I believe there is a great deal of merit in praying this prayer nonetheless, because of its great power as a weapon against the devil. I myself am Coptic Catholic, and was introduced to this prayer at a young age - and can attest to its power and beauty.

I wanted to share with you all a bit about its history and how to pray it properly. I once read someone say, on these forums, that the Rosary is just an endless repetition of Hail Mary's. However, there is much more to this beautiful prayer than that, as you will see.

Brief History

The rosary was given to Christians by the Blessed Theotokos herself. It is said that in the 13th century, she appeared to St Dominic while he was desperately praying and fasting while trying to convert the Albigensians. After falling into a coma as a result of the harshness of his fasting and penance, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, and asked him, "Do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world? ... The Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the new testament." After this, St Dominic went on to convert the Albigensians through the power of the Rosary, and preached of its power for the rest of his life, until his death. 

The Blessed Virgin's reference of the Rosary as a 'Psalter' is quite significant, as it elevates the prayer to a status equal to or even higher than David's Psalter - these are the Psalms of David. One could say that as Copts we pray using David's Psalter in the Agpeya. An explanation of the Rosary's title as a 'Psalter' can be found in the writings of St Louis de Montfort, in The Secret of the Rosary:

Ever since Saint Dominic established the devotion to the Holy Rosary
up until the time when Blessed Alan de la Roche re-established it in
1460 it has always been called the Psalter of Jesus and Mary. This is
because it has the same number of Angelic Salutations as there are
psalms in the Book of the Psalms of David. Since simple and uneducated
people are not able to say the Psalms of David the Rosary is held to be
just as fruitful for them as David’s Psalter is for others.

But the Rosary can be considered to be even more valuable than the latter for three reasons:

  1. Firstly, because the Angelic Psalter bears a nobler fruit, that
    of the Word Incarnate, whereas David’s Psalter only prophesies His

  2. Secondly, just as the real thing is more important than its
    prefiguration and as the body is more than its shadow, in the same way
    the Psalter of Our Lady is greater than David’s Psalter which did no
    more than prefigure it;

  3. And thirdly, because Our Lady’s Psalter (or the Rosary made up of
    the Our Father and Hail Mary) is the direct work of the Most Blessed
    Trinity and was not made through a human instrument. …

Hence, one can see the significance of the prayer of the Rosary, and why it is so powerful.

To conclude, I will give a brief explanation of how to pray the Rosary properly. It revolves around meditating on different sets of Mysteries - significant events in the life of Jesus, and these are meditated upon according to the day of the week. The sets are the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and the Luminous mysteries (which was added only recently by Pope John Paul II). Generally, the Rosary is not prayed nowadays in its full form, that is, saying all 150 (now 200 because of the added Luminous mysteries) Hail Mary's, but rather only 50 are said while meditating on the mysteries for that particular day.

How to Pray it

I will give an example of how one would pray the Rosary on a Friday, in step form.
  1. Begin by asking the Blessed Virgin to intercede to God on your behalf, and tell her your intentions.
  2. Pray the Apostles Creed, followed by an Our Father.
  3. Pray three Hail Mary's, for an increase in faith, hope and charity.
  4. Announce the first Sorrowful Mystery out loud or in your head (sorrowful Mysteries are for Friday and Tuesday), which is the Agony in the Garden.
  5. Pray an our Father to begin the decade
  6. Pray 10 Hail Mary's while thinking about the Agony in the Garden and meditating on it.
  7. After the 10th Hail Mary, say a Glory be and an O my Jesus prayer
  8. Announce the second mystery, the scourging at the pillar, and continue in the same fashion until all five mysteries are complete.
  9. After the fifth decade, pray the Hail Holy Queen prayer, and optionally the St Michael and Memorare prayer after this. The rosary is complete.
Any prayers mentioned here which are not known (there will be a few), can be searched up and found easily online. You can also find all the mysteries and the specific days they are meant to be prayed online as well.

For those who may feel like they are committing a crime against their church for praying this prayer - you are not! For surely, the Blessed Virgin (and by extension, God) will be glad to receive any prayers from us, no matter which denomination they are normally prayed in. If you still feel somewhat guilty, consider praying the Hail Mary in Coptic! It can be found here, by clicking on .4 in the contents table.

I strongly encourage everyone to try to pray the Rosary at least once - the immediate peace that one feels while praying it is amazing, especially when currently feeling some form of anxiety or worry. I hope you all found this post interesting to read, at the very least.

God bless you all, and please pray for me.


  • This is heretical.
    Please do not share heretical, non-edifying and most importantly non-orthodox content.
  • @Jojo_Hanna

    Throwing around the term, "heretical" to this post is no better than the garbage I hear from Eastern Orthodox folks about Coptic Orthodoxy being heretical. It's not applicable to us. I do agree fully with you about non-Orthodox content.
  • I changed the category of the discussion to Non-Orthodox Inquiries. 

    The concern that we have as orthodox against the rosary is NOT that it's a glorification of the Virgin St Mary, we have much more detailed prayer that does that in each of our traditions....but the fact that doing so is considered an indulgence. That is an unorthodox belief by which doing so has a direct effect on your salvation (that's the simplest way I can word that idea for now without getting in too many details).

    So, copt333, thank you for the information. 
  • edited September 1

    Please do share what you found heretical about anything I said, if you feel so strongly about it.

    And perhaps if you broadened your perspective a little bit you would find more things edifying and not simply be stuck in the group of Copts who hate anything that is not Coptic Orthodox. Believe me, I understand the hesitancy to trust anything from outside, but its also very important to be able to recognize the truth in certain things, even if it doesn't come from within Orthodoxy.

    I do apologize for not posting this in Non-Orthodox Inquiries in the first place, that is on me.

  • Thank you for changing the category, my apologies for not putting it in Non-Orthodox Inquiries in the first place, I was hesitant as the post was not really an inquiry.

    Sadly I cannot comment too much on indulgences as I am not very well educated in them, they are definitely a Latin Catholic thing which seem to have been taken from the middle ages. Although its worth noting that when you pray the Rosary, the primary focus is not on the indulgences or promises (there are certainly promises from the Virgin herself), but rather on focusing on the life of Christ. Personally, the indulgences are not something which have ever crossed my mind while praying a Rosary, and yet I have always received much benefit from the prayer.
  • edited September 1
    Hmmmm. You can't just brushed off like that and say "indulgence are a thing from the Latin Catholic rite and it's from the middle ages"... you are a CATHOLIC Coptic. For as much as you would like us to believe otherwise, you are under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church...meaning that you accept its doctrines and dogma. While your rite or way-of-worship is Coptic, your foundational belief is RC.

    Now, it's maybe ok that you don't look at the rosery the way it's intended to be in the RC, but, in comparative theology, we don't compare what you do to what we do, we compare what your church believes to what our church believes.
  • Thank you @minatasgeel, you saved me a whole unnecessary hassle.

  • The whole idea of indulgences are not part of my tradition. Accepting the doctrines and dogma of the Roman Catholic Church are significantly different to actually practicing them. While our church may technically 'accept' the doctrine behind indulgences they have no place in our tradition.

    You have made a fair point about me not looking at the rosary as intended - although I would again say that indulgences are in no way necessary to the prayer. Putting the whole idea of indulgences aside, the Rosary has no less merit when prayed.

    So, I am encouraging you and everyone to put "what my church believes" aside, and just pray the Rosary, at least once. The goal of this post was not to have a theological debate, but to encourage the use of this prayer. If you don't want to, fine. But don't try to theologically invalidate the whole prayer based on one of its supposed benefits, because that is impossible.
  • We are Copts, we have our own prayers and in fact we have many of them. Thanks for the offer.
  • St mary is the highest person in creation. She gave god to the world

    In the agpeya i really feel  that the focus is on the holy trinity
    and we ask the prayers of st mary and the saints as a intercession.

    we have als the Jesus prayer which is prayed with a prayer rope. Her we repeat ''Lord Jesus Christ, son of God have mercy on me a sinner'' but here too i feel that it is focussed on the holy trinity...

    When we look at the rosary we say for 53 times hail mary and between them prayers to god. To be honest, i dont feel comfortable by this.. for me it feels like we are more focussing on st mary than on god..

  • Thanks for your reply :)

    The focus when praying the Hail Mary's is not on the Hail Mary's themselves, but on the mysteries. All of the mysteries are focused on Christ, or otherwise they are focused on St Mary, but even these ones direct to Christ.

    If you focus only on the Hail Mary's and not on the mysteries, you are actually not praying the Rosary at all. I haven't just made that statement up, its a fact. Hence, if you don't feel like the Rosary is focused on our Lord Christ when you pray it, then you're not praying it properly.
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