As I’ve gotten back into the habit of praying the rosary each day (a habit I never should’ve gotten out of, but that’s a different story), I’ve developed a “standard” of the intentions that I keep top-of-mind and place before Mary and Jesus during each of the five mysteries.
They’ve come to mean a lot to me and to aid in directing some of my reflections and thoughts as I pray (beyond just the meditation on the subject of each mystery), so I thought it might be worthwhile to share them here. If you’re looking for ideas for intentions as you pray the rosary, perhaps you might find some thoughts, ideas, or inspiration here.
As I reflect upon the first mystery, I also hold especially in my mind the health, well-being, and intentions of my own bishop, Thomas John Paprocki, and of Pope Francis and all bishops.
This one holds a special prayer in my heart, because this structured way of approaching my prayer intentions with my rosary developed when our pastor asked my mother-in-law, when he was blessing a new rosary as a gift for me, to ask me to pray the first Hail Mary of the rosary for him.
As a result, I always remember him, all priests who have served my parish and city, and all priests (especially those I know personally) in mind during the second mystery. I always remember my pastor, Father Jeff, in a special way during the first Hail Mary, but then immediately broaden my prayer to cover all of the priests and seminarians who come to mind.
As I pray the third mystery, I am mindful of and pray for the intentions of all deacons, and my brothers in formation for the diaconate. I pray for our service among God’s people in the world. I also take a moment to pray for all religious, especially the religious sisters who have served in our parish and school.
During the fourth mystery, I turn my prayer toward my wife Suzanne, my four sons, our parents, and our whole extended family.
At any point in time, if you’ve recently asked me to hold a personal intention in my prayers, it’s in front of my on a slip of paper as I pray the fifth mystery.
In recent days, that mindfulness and prayer has included Madalene and her family, my friend Carol and her son John and their family, and our friend Barbara and her aunt Anita and their family. As time goes on, this one changes the most and brings my mind the freshness of prayer. (Note that I find it helpful to include real names – even if it’s just their first name – if someone asks me to pray for someone, I ask for their name, so that it’s easier to be mindful, personal, and intentional while holding them in prayer.)
As I come close to ending the rosary, this also helps to turn my thoughts outward from the authority and structure that help to solidify and support my faith life, and outward toward the world where our prayer and action are needed.
If you have a special way that you structure your mindfulness of the intentions you’re laying before Mary and Jesus as you pray the rosary, I’d love to hear about it in the comments here.
If you have a special intention that you would like me to remember as I pray the rosary, particularly the fifth mystery, please feel free to send me a message and I’d be glad to add your intention to my personal notes and list.