Hello there Rosary lovers! In this post we will ask: is it better to pray 3 or 4 rosaries a day?
Let me begin by saying that I have done both of these devotions for extended periods of time, so I can talk from experience.
The Traditional Rosary – 3 Rosaries a day
I will also say right at the start that 3 rosaries a day is the traditional and classical way of praying the entire Rosary daily. 3 rosaries a day equals 150 Hail Marys, which mirrors the 150 Psalms. Since lay people had no access to the 150 Psalms which many monastics recited daily, lay people substituted each Psalm with a Hail Mary.
This is what gave birth to the traditional Rosary made up of 150 Hail Marys, 15 mysteries and 15 Our Fathers.
This is what the saints of old prayed daily. So you’re in good territory if this is your devotion. Praying 3 rosaries daily is a time-honoured method of becoming a saint. It is MUCH to be commended.
Just so you recall, the traditional Rosary of 150 Hail Marys and 15 mysteries is the Joyful mysteries (5 mysteries), the Sorrowful mysteries (5 mysteries) and the Glorious mysteries (5 mysteries).
Not the Luminous mysteries, these are excluded.
This is the Rosary that is recommended by St Louis de Montfort in his amazing book ‘The Secret of the Rosary’. If you haven’t read it, it’s brilliant. His other two dynamite works are ‘The Secret of Mary’ (one of my all-time favourite books) and ‘True Devotion to Mary’, which is an extension of ‘The Secret of Mary’.
4 Rosaries a day
The devotion of 4 rosaries a day is the same as the traditional Rosary, but with the Luminous mysteries ALSO prayed daily.
This is a very modern way of reciting the Rosary, because the Luminous mysteries were first suggested to the Church by St John Paul II in 2002. Since then, the Luminous mysteries have met with widespread popularity in the Catholic Church.
St John Paul II recommended the entire Rosary daily for monastics, including the Luminous mysteries. I know from my Dominican priest that the members of the Dominican Order are encouraged to pray 4 rosaries daily.
However, it is still a tall order for most Catholics to pray 4 rosaries a day. 3 rosaries a day is hard enough for most Catholics. This is why the Church recommends just 1 rosary a day for most Catholics. Even this is a life-changing devotion.
My Journey from 1 to 4 Rosaries Daily
1 Rosary a day was the first devotion I ever had to the Rosary. I LOVED it for its simplicity, and how by spreading it throughout the day it is EXTREMELY easy to do daily. Too easy really. It’s astonishing that such a devotion can vastly improve someone’s holiness and walk with Christ, but that is what it does. That’s the power of the Rosary, just 1 a day.
At some point, I realised that by praying 2 Rosaries a day I could further my holiness and conquer sin better in my life. I was surprised how I could fit this into my life, but I did it and benefitted from it greatly.
I really began 2 Rosaries a day when I realised that I could use pictures from the internet to help me meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary. This transformed the way I recite the Rosary, and gave me a lot more zeal to recite it more often.
This was my devotion when my second son was born, and it kept me wonderfully occupied when I had to constantly hold him and walk around with him because he hated being put down. I couldn’t go on my mobile or watch TV, so the Rosary it was! I have often called him my ‘rosary baby’, and I thank God so much for those times. They were very, very precious.
I experienced some major issues a short while after this. After watching this hugely inspirational video on YouTube, I decided I needed to go up to 3 rosaries a day to help me. The impact was powerful and lasting.
One night I finished the 3 rosaries by 8pm and figured, ‘Well I may as well do one more today,’ so I began adding the Luminous mysteries also.
I kept this up for months and months. It was the greatest spiritual devotion I’ve ever undertaken, BY FAR.
The changes I saw in myself were astonishing. The fulfilment I got from doing it can only be known by those who do it. It was my daily bread.
About 6 or 7 months ago, I decided to drop 1 rosary a day, and this inevitably became the Luminous mysteries. This was because I wanted to pray an entire Rosary daily, and I figured that I could still do the entire traditional Rosary daily.
I kept his up until December 2022, when I caught a chest infection and praying even one Hail Mary, for some reason, proved challenging. For a time I asked God what he wanted from my spiritual life and was open to anything.
I played around with different devotions each day for a few weeks.
In the end I went back to 4 rosaries a day, this time making a great deal of use of a pre-recorded Rosary to help me pray some of the mysteries. I intend to keep this up for the foreseeable future, and the benefits are the same as when I did it before.
This is not a devotion to give up lightly. The grace that comes from it is profound.
So: 3 or 4 Rosaries per Day?
So this brings us to the big question of this post: should someone pray 3 or 4 rosaries a day?
Well, in my experience, 4 rosaries a day is definitely more powerful and grace-filled than 3 rosaries a day. Having done both, each for long periods, I greatly missed the Luminous mysteries when I wasn’t doing them. They called me back.
It’s that EXTRA rosary per day that seems to make a lot of difference. It’s quite easy to pray 3 rosaries a day when spread throughout the day, but when you add a fourth rosary, it starts to take on a kind of daily sacrifice.
Plus, by praying all 4 rosaries daily, you get to experience the ENTIRE life of Jesus Christ daily. Which I always feel is a journey I get to enjoy every, single day.
I often tell myself at the start of the day, ‘This is the greatest thing I will do all day (i.e., pray the 4 rosaries).’
However, 3 rosaries a day is an OUTSTANDING discipline, and is more than enough to make someone a saint.
So it’s really down to where God is leading you personally and whether you even have the grace or time to do this. Using a pre-recorded Rosary can work wonders.
What really made all the difference for me was a simple prayer I prayed to Mary when I first watched testimonies of people who pray 4 rosaries a day and what it has done for them. I simply prayed: ‘Well, Mary, this is absolutely beyond me, but if it’s what you want for me then give me the grace to do it.’
I never really expected Mary to actually give me the grace to do this, because it seemed so radical and I figured it would make me extremely tired every day trying to do it.
The advice often given is: just try this for a week and see what happens.
If 3 rosaries a day is too much, then just pray 1. That is, if you are called to the Rosary.
Other Optional Daily Devotions
Not all of us are called to the Rosary. And there is no command from the holy Catholic Church for Catholics to pray it daily, or at all, or ever.
Praying the Rosary daily is ENTIRELY OPTIONAL, even if the Church recommends it.
You can be a PERFECTLY good Catholic, and become a saint, WITHOUT the Rosary, without ever praying one single Rosary.
The Catholic Church offers many daily disciplines that Catholics can make use of to be all that they might be in Christ.
The Church especially highly recommends the Divine Office, just the Morning and Evening prayers.
Better still, if you are able to pray the 5 daily prayers from the Divine Office! This is what priests and Bishops HAVE to do daily.
That is, from the Divine Office: Morning prayer, ONE of the 9am-3pm prayers, Vespers, Compline and the Office of Readings. If I had my own personal choice, this would be what I would want to do daily, but God has different plans for me for at present.
You could do the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Or you could just pray the Lord’s prayer daily once or a few times. The more the better.
Or you could do Lectio Divina.
Or you could daily be devoted to the Stations of the Cross, even if you can’t get to Church to pray it.
Or 1001 other disciplines that the Church offers.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show YOU what God is calling you to.
Perhaps you are called to 3 rosaries a day. Perhaps you are even called to 4 daily.
Maybe you’re even called to 5 daily!
The more Rosaries you pray daily, the more supernatural your life will be.
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God bless, and I hope this has been helpful. If you wish to get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.