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Andrey Cordova wrote:

Hi, guys —

I went to Confession for the first time in almost 56 years. During my Confession the priest asked me if I have a Rosary, which I answered, No. After my Confession he stated I need to pray (10) ten prayers for each decade for each child that I have. I have five children.

  • So how do I add everything up and how do I pray?

I want to do this correctly. Please help me.

God Bless,

Andrey Cordova

  { How can I do my penance when I don't have a Rosary and don't know how to pray with one? }

Mike replied:

Hi Andrey,

Thanks for the question and welcome back!

There are numerous web sites that offer free Rosaries. You can just Google for one and request one at no charge. Most, if not all, free Rosaries come with instructions on how to pray it.

I've attached an MS Word and PDF document about what the Rosary is and its history.

Seeing you have five children, he wants you to say (5 X 10) or fifty Hail Marys for your penance.
That is exactly how many Hail Mary's are said in one of the four sets of mysteries:

  • the Joyful
  • the Luminous
  • the Sorrowful, and
  • the Glorious mysteries

and what most people pray daily. The Church has assigned each set of mysteries for certain days:

On Mondays
the Joyful Mysteries
On Tuesdays
the Sorrowful Mysteries
On Wednesdays
the Glorious Mysteries
On Thursdays
the Luminous Mysteries
On Fridays
the Sorrowful Mysteries
On Saturdays
the Joyful Mysteries
On Sundays
it will vary depending on the Catholic calendar:

  • during Advent and Christmas: the Joyful Mysteries
  • during Lent: the Sorrowful Mysteries
  • during Ordinary Time: the Glorious Mysteries

All of these mysteries are Scripture based and focus on the life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. There is no reason why anyone who calls themselves a Christian should not be praying the Rosary. If a Protestant Christian feels uncomfortable praying certain parts of the Creed, like:

I believe in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the Resurrection of the Body; and the life everlasting.


I believe in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Christian Church; the (Biblical) Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the Resurrection of the Body; and the life everlasting.

I hope this helps,


Bob replied:


The Rosary is set up as a series of meditations on a mystery of faith and a decade of prayers to follow:

  • The Our Father
  • 10 Hail Marys, and
  • The Glory Be.

There are other prayers added as well. So, the priest must have meant that he wants you to pray five decades, or five mysteries. That is essentially one time around the Rosary using either the joyful, luminous, sorrowful, or glorious mysteries.

You should go to a religious store or bookshop to find a pamphlet on the whole form and pick out a set of beads that you are drawn to.

You will find this form of prayer life-changing and extremely powerful if you put your heart into it.

God bless you,

Bob Kirby

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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