Hello Rosary lovers! In this post, we will look at the query: can you pray the Rosary without the mysteries?
St Seraphim of Sarov’s Marian Devotion
Ok, so St Seraphim of Sarov is a WONDERFUL Orthodox saint. He’s also reputed to be a Catholic saint, even though he never submitted to the Bishop of Rome. Pope Francis has an image of the saint next to his bed.
Why do I mention St Seraphim of Sarov in a post about the Rosary? Because, St Seraphim taught his followers a miraculous prayer rule. Every evening, he would say 150 Hail Marys, just on their own.
St Seraphim said that he saw so many miracles associated with this practice and had taught it to many people, who also saw miracles.
The point is that saying 150 Hail Marys is a FABULOUS, FABULOUS devotion. How much it thrills the heart of Mary!!
Even just saying 50 Hail Marys in a row, without doing anything else would be an AWESOME devotion. If you did that every night or every day throughout the day, you should expect wonderful things to happen in your life and the lives of those you love and pray for.
HOWEVER: simply praying 150 Hail Marys or 50 Hail Marys, even if accompanied with 15 Our Fathers or 5 Our Fathers, is NOT the Holy Rosary.
This isn’t in anyway to denigrate such a glorious devotion as simply saying 50 Hail Marys a day. Such a devotion is incredible, and every Hail Mary would be regarded as a Rose offered to Mary. So you are offering 50 a day to Mary, how happy she would be 🙂
But it’s not the Rosary.
The Rosary Requires the Mysteries
The Rosary is a unique Catholic prayer that OF NECESSITY includes the mysteries. You have to include the mysteries if you wish to pray the Rosary.
A Rosary without the mysteries isn’t the Rosary. 50 Hail Marys on their own may well be as excellent a devotion and prayer as praying the Rosary, but they are still different prayers.
The key thing about the mysteries of the Rosary is that they are living events in the life of Christ. They are the Gospel of the Kingdom.
So when we announce and meditate on the mysteries – as we are reciting or hearing the Hail Marys – we are approaching Christ THROUGH his Blessed Mother Mary.
We are, in effect, gazing at and contemplating Christ through Mary’s eyes.
And this is the true glory of the Rosary. It is about trying to enter into contemplation of Christ through the blessed Virgin Mary.
All Through Mary
Seeking Christ through Mary is a extremely old and saintly devotion. St Louis de Montfort assures us in his works – such as the ‘Secret of Mary’ – that this is THE secret of secrets in Catholicism: to seek Jesus THROUGH MARY.
To make Mary the focus in seeking Christ. To seek God in Mary, through Mary, by Mary, with Mary.
In other words, Mary becomes the focal point in our pursuit of Christ. She is the Temple of the living God, and to approach the living God, we ought to always go to him THROUGH and IN his Temple: Mary.
According to many saints, we can’t really get to God any other way, at least not with as much power.
The theology behind this is: God came to us in Christ THROUGH Mary. Therefore, our ascent BACK to God MUST be through Mary.
We must take the EXACT SAME route back to God that he took in coming to us.
And that route is MARY. She is the great channel of grace.
Many saints never tire of telling us that all of God’s graces come to us through Mary. Famous saints who said such things would include St Louis de Montfort (already mentioned), the great St Padre Pio and St Maximillian Kolbe.
So this is why the mysteries of the Rosary are such a big deal. The mysteries make explicit to our souls that we are seeking Christ, that we are trying to meditate on him and his Incarnate Being, THROUGH Mary.
If we are simply praying 50 Hail Marys, this is an amazing, amazing discipline! This also is seeking God through Mary. But the Rosary is a much more explicit way of seeking CHRIST and his Gospel through Mary.
The Rosary also carries a lot of formal indulgences and blessings attached to it, as given by the Church. More so, it must be said, than simply praying 50 or 150 Hail Marys. So if you want all these indulgences, you would do well do pray the Rosary by using the mysteries.
What are the mysteries of the Rosary?
So the answer to this question is: No, you cannot pray the ROSARY as such without the mysteries. But you CAN still offer Mary a garland of roses by simply praying a lot of Hail Marys. And in a sense, this is just as good a devotion.
Remember St Seraphim of Sarov, and remember how his evening devotion of 150 Hail Marys brought lots of miracles.
Any prayers to Mary, no matter what they are, will often bring miracles.
You don’t have to pray the Rosary. But if you want to, you have to use the mysteries.
You don’t need to do much with the mysteries. You can simply announce the mystery at the start of each decade.
You only need to say: ‘The Annunciation’, or whatever the mystery is. Then you pray 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and 1 Glory Be. That’s it. Then go to the next mystery.
Better still, you can look at a picture of the mystery as you are reciting the Hail Marys.
But you do need to, at the very least, announce the mystery, or think on the mystery. Even if only for a brief moment.
I hope that helps.
God bless you all, through Mary immaculate!!