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The Rosary is made up of twenty “mysteries” (significant events or moments in the life of Jesus and Mary), which, following the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, are grouped into four series. The Rosary is made of beads which represent which prayer is to be recited. Normally, the person saying the rosary holds on to the current bead in which they are reciting.

The first of the four mysteries contains joyful mysteries (recited on Mondays and Saturdays); the second, the mysteries of light (Thursdays); the third, the sorrowful mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays); and the fourth, the glorious mysteries (Wednesdays and Sundays).

“This indication is not intended to limit a rightful freedom in personal and community prayer, where account needs to be taken of spiritual and pastoral needs and of the occurrence of particular liturgical celebrations which might call for suitable adaptations.” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 38).