THE ROSARY is made up of two things: mental prayer and vocal prayer. In the Holy Rosary mental prayer is none other than meditation of the chief mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and if His Blessed Mother. Vocal prayer consists in saying fifteen decades of the Hail Mary, each decade headed by an Our Father, while at the same time meditation on and contemplating the fifteen principal virtues which Jesus and Mary practised in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
In the first five decades we must honor the the five Joyous Mysteries and meditate on them; in the second five decades the Sorrowful Mysteries and in the third group of five, the Glorious Mysteries. So the Rosary is a blessed blending of mental and vocal prayer by which we honor and learn to imitate the mysteries and the virtues of the life, death, passion and glory of Jesus and Mary.
St. Louis de Montfort wrote this classic work before Our Lady of Fatima came from Heaven. Tradition has set the form for the Rosary, and man ought not to change it. However, Our Lady may, since she gave it to St. Dominic, the Rosary is hers. When she came to Fatima she gave the three children and us through them, the Decade Prayer, to be recited:
(To be said after the Glory Be at the end of each decade of the Rosary)
O MY JESUS, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell,
lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.