“Set-and-Forget” hands-free Rosary apps for your daily commute

We received this great question from a reader:

Can you recommend a Rosary app to complete my Rosary in the car on my commute to work? This article [our Rosary Apps page] has great “hands on swipe” apps but I can’t attend to my phone while in traffic. Is there a set and forget Rosary app which knows the day (takes the mystery out of choosing the mysteries) and just allows me to recite with it?  Thanks in advance.

Love the term: set and forget! The solution is an AUDIO rosary, and that is what I use when driving, gardening or any activity in which my hands and eyes need to be otherwise occupied. Our comprehensive listing of rosary apps includes audio rosaries, but most audio versions out there are imbedded in other apps including standard rosary apps. So you would have to search the features of the apps to see if they offer that option. If you presently have a rosary app, it may very well contain an audio option, and you may not know it. Lots of cool features can be added in upgrades over time that you might miss. Some Catholic apps covering other topics like Marian devotions may have audio rosaries imbedded. To make things easier for you, we gleaned the following audio rosaries from a variety of Catholic apps we recommend. I’ll start with the one I personally use.

App-icon My Parish App (Free) Apple | Android
This is not a rosary app, but among its many resources, this app contains a terrific audio version of the rosary. Simply download the app, open it and select any parish in the listing (if your parish does not participate in this app). Select the rosary icon and then choose the day from the listing. You can also get separate reflection on each of the five mysteries by Fr. John Riccardo. A mini reflection is also offered for each decade in the audio rosary for each day.  Fr. Ricardo’s compelling reflections offer brief yet insightful messages which help to open each mystery up to you, helping you to better reflect on the theme as you pray–and meditating on the mysteries is a crucial element in the experience of praying your rosary, as Our Lady of Fatima instructs. Audio helps to corral your thoughts so your mind doesn’t wander quite so effortlessly. This app requires an internet connection to operate.

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Hallow – (Free download with access to a bunch of content with subscription option to open full content)

On the free side of this app you get an audio rosary that automatically opens to the proper day. The audio is delivered smooth as silk with different velvety voices reading to you with your choice of background music or ambient sounds or silence. You also get meditations on the Daily Gospel (updated every day), the “Stuck at home” praylist, Spiritual Communion, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Examen, Spiritual Writing, and Christian Meditation sessions. Each of these offerings comes with a choice of two voices as your guide, three length options, nine background music selections, a journal, prayer reminder options, goal setting and tracking. You also have access to all of the Guest Sessions, and Minute Meditation sessions. The free side also generously includes the Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz.

The subscription side includes the rest of the enormous catalog of content (prayer, meditations, scripture, reflections, bedtime Bible stories, etc.), that utilizes peaceful, calming audio. Step by step, you will be led into prayerful meditation like you may never have experienced in your life. That’s the goal of this app–to slide you into a meaningful dialogue with God so you can nurture your relationship with him.

To unlock the full version of this app to access all its content, you must subscribe (monthly $8.99; annually $69.99). Before you squawk at the price (which I sure did at first!), please consider what you pay for streaming media subscriptions. Content in THIS app can help save your soul (Can you say that about Hulu?) because it’s focused on one thing: to help get you in a mindset to talk to God. That relationship is the most important relationship in your life. And if you are a nominal Catholic routinely going through the motions of your faith, begrudgingly going to Sunday Mass when prodded or not giving God much thought, it’s time to grow up, spiritually speaking. Let’s be honest.

Hallow is so jam-packed with content (packaged in tasteful, minimalist design), it takes eight full minutes to run through everything this amazing app offers (complete with celebrities), as this video demonstrates:

English/Spanish (limited).

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Catholicer Beads (Free) Apple Our reader asked specifically for hand-free use. This app offers a voice recognition and dictation feature–the app will run by listening to your voice so you can pray with Beads completely hands-free. It also offers voice recording options so that you can record yourself or anyone else reciting the prayers.

Beyond the audio options, this particular app offers a unique digital rosary experience with its elegant 3-D animated user interface and thumb swipe operation. It really is like no other rosary app out there. Give it a whirl. Regrettably, you have to sign up in their system with username, password, birthdate. Once you’re in, you’ve got both a digital and audio rosary to use.

img_7031This rosary app is loaded with useful features:

  • vibration at Our Father breaks (Rosary praying needs some tactile markers)
  • vibration self-activates after long idle to help you re-focus
  • audio sound option with each bead stroke
  • text option (explanations of the mysteries you’re reflecting on)
  • chaplet options
  • option to change background picture (to customize your meditation focus); two viewing options (really cool 3-D or static full Rosary.)
  • option to change audio voice in audio mode (the default voice is the developer’s, and he is difficult to understand)
  • option for right-hand or left-hand users
  • voice recording (you or anyone you wish to record)
  • option to submit prayer requests

The beads are integrated to the Catholicer Global Prayer Network, enabling you to pray for specific intentions others have posted. They appropriately hold you responsible for taking on this task if you choose this option, so don’t be alarmed by the pop-up bubble warning you about the seriousness of your choice!

Here’s the link to the video walking you through the app.

This is a well-designed, very cool rosary for the particular 2-dimensional use on a phone screen. You will love the elegant simplicity of the animation.


HolyRosary-android.pngThe Holy Rosary (Free) Android Here’s a rosary app that not only offers an audio option but will pause to accept phone calls when they come in! This is primarily an English app but it is also loaded with Latin options and Latin prayers (in audio and text) as well as French, Maylay and Spanish versions of the Rosary. The many Latin options really make this app stand out for those looking for this dimension in their prayer life. This option is included in the audio versions of the rosary and prayers offered. So you can take advantage of the opportunity to learn basic prayers in Latin on your drive!

holy rosary app screenAs the screenshot depicts, this uses a lit-bead format as you pray through the rosary with the tactile vibration on the Our Father beads– so useful in digital rosaries. But in addition you’ll have access to:

– Catechism of the Catholic Church: Compendium
– Papal documents (encyclicals, letters, etc.)
– Many prayers including Latin version of Veni Creator Spiritus, Litany of Loreto, Angelus, Regina Coeli, Benedictus and Magnificat
– Chaplet of Divine Mercy with audio version in English and Spanish
– audio passages of the Bible

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Relevant-Radio-appRelevant Radio (Free) Apple  | Android  | Kindle Fire (1st generation and up)

Various audio rosaries are imbedded in this app so that you can listen and pray hands-free with a rosary lead by a Catholic priest. Get your rosary with our without music; 17 minutes or 28 minutes (with reflections added).

After you pray your rosary, listen to Catholic radio! Relevant Radio provides calm, clear and charitable discussion of matters of our Catholic faith broadcast on dozens of stations across the United States. Producers characterize the station as “Talk Radio for Catholic life. ” With this app, you can access their broadcasts on live stream. Plus…broadcast shows are available on demand via podcast which they archive for the period of one month. As an additional feature, Relevant Radio serves up audio recordings of various prayers which add considerable value to the app on your mobile device: Rosary (all mysteries with or without music); Chaplet of Divine Mercy; the Memorare; Angelus and Regina Coeli; Prayers to St. Joseph. A separate tab allows you to send in your prayer requests which producers say are prayed for individually in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Daily Mass readings are also available in text format only.

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iCatholicMusiciCatholic Music (Free) iOS | Android  The #1 Catholic Radio App in the world, iCatholic Radio, offers this separate app dedicated to streaming contemporary music by top Catholic artists on weekdays and Saturdays. Sunday mornings switch to several hours of sacred Gregorian chant, offering perfect background music as you prepare for Mass. With this app you not only get spiritually-enriching Catholic music 24/7 (no matter where you are in the world, and no matter what time you’re listening), but you get valuable on-demand features:

  • audio Rosary
  • audio Chaplet of Divine Mercy
  • Podcasts — talks by noted Catholic authors and priests on a variety of topics.
  • the ability to record a testimonial on how Catholic music has impacted your life
  • quick links to iCM’s social media posts

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Truth-Life-audio-bibleThe Truth & Life Dramatized audio Bible New Testament Download the free version which includes other resources (beyond the Bible) including an audio rosary. You will enjoy the slow, deliberate pace in which this is prayed. A lot of audio apps don’t take into consideration you could be driving or out for a walk or doing any number of activities while you are praying the Rosary, and keeping that reader at a nice majestic pace sure helps when you can be so easily distracted.

Here’s another reason to download this app. On those long commutes, when you finish your Rosary, you can then listen to dramatic readings of the New Testament! This incredible app includes the FREE audio version of the Gospel of Mark with complete Bible text, RSV-CE translation).  AppleAdroidWindows PCKindle FireNook Other books (text and audio) are available for $20 or $2 per book. This is the best audio version of the New Testament in the market in this format. Imagine a celebrity-filled “radio drama” of the entire RSV-CE New Testament complete with movie-quality sound effects and an original music score! This is world-class audio production at its finest. And it’s for the best book in the world, the Word of God.

In addition to exhilarating audio, the app features:

  • Complete text of RSV-CE synchronized with audio [text highlights move with the audio reading- very cool]
  • Go directly to any verse and hear and see the Bible instantly [very cool!]
  • Use the built in playlist [built-in reading plan] to hear/read the New Testament in 40 days or in Chronological order
  • Search verses
  • Create your own playlist of verses [who else provides that?]
  • Remembers where you left off with bookmark.
  • Easily fit entire 22 hours of audio on your device.

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touch-rosaryTouch Rosary (Free) Android  An audio rosary option is imbedded  in this app. This rosary app is impressive for the price (FREE) given all its many features. As its name implies, this digital rosary displays a full set of beads that glide as you move your finger from one bead to another–an attempt at simulating using real rosary beads.

  • RosaryTouch-screenshotPrayers for each bead are displayed to the side. Probably easier to use if you’re right-handed.
  • Mysteries can be chosen automatically based on the day.
  • Each mystery has an image and corresponding Bible verse to help your meditation on the mysteries.
  • Audio recitation of the prayers and mysteries can be played
  • Bead highlight to track your progress.
  • Ability to change the font size, background images, locations of the beads
  • bead clicking sound and vibration (We appreciate those tactile cues since real beads cannot be felt. These electronic substitutions are helpful.)
  •  Fifteen Promises of our Lady and how to pray Miraculous 54 Days Rosary Novena.

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Rosary Pro (Free) Apple Here’s an audio rosary app that includes different languages! Spanish, English, Italian, French, Catalan. While it does not offer an English audio version, this app offers you the ability to record the prayers yourself for playback during the automatic audio rosary.

Outside of its audio use, this is a text-based visual presentation that counts your swipes on the screen as you advance through the rosary. It is not meant to be a virtual rosary bead experience as other apps offer. Don’t look for virtual beads that advance in some way.

Looking for a rosary that will chime or vibrate in your hand as you advance through the prayers? This one has a rich tactile/audio option so you can pray without looking at your screen. It vibrates when your iPhone is set to silent mode (so you can use it in church or while it is in your pocket). The Our Father beads vibrate and chime differently, so you can tell where you are without peeking at the screen. Its scrolling through beads option is a little odd. Enjoy an assortment of configuration options to choose from including setting a reminder alert to pray at a particular time and the option to include various prayers and other traditional elements people add to their Rosary. Also, you can send a tweet or post to your Facebook account a message when you are going to pray the Rosary.

Here’s a tablet screenshot:



holy-rosary-audioHoly Rosary Audio (99 cents)  Apple

This app is so much more than just an audio rosary as its name implies. Besides a complete Rosary with text and audio, you get the complete audio version of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with text. I have to admit that I do like background music in audio rosaries, and this app allows you that option with five different choices!

Also included are:

  • Mysteries for each day of the week
  • Background pictures fitting the Mystery that is being prayed
  • Five different animation themes
  • Five different background music
  • Support selecting by day, default as Today
  • Easy and fast jump to any Rosary bead position

Once installed, an internet connection is NOT required.


Mary-AppMary App (Free) Apple

Rosary-Mary-appThe Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception who brought you the Divine Mercy app have produced a full-resource Marian app that includes an audio option of the rosary. 

As one reviewer put it, this app is comprised of three great apps rolled into one. Because Our Blessed Mother is a big topic, developers broke the subject of Our Lady into three categories: Doctrine (Church/Scriptural teachings about her and reasons for our devotion with FAQs); Devotion (rosary, chaplets, prayers, feasts, consecration to Mary, sacramentals) and Mary Plus (pilgrimage sites, images, info on apparitions, info on the Marian Fathers). The rosary in this app is terrific if all you want is a nice virtual bead experience with vibrations (iPhone only) at each bead so you can have tactile cues when advancing through your prayers. The vibration does not change with the Our Father beads, so you still need to peek every now and then. 


Spanish-Holy Rosary


Holy Rosary–Spanish Edition (Free) Android

Our reader asked for a hands-free rosary app that automatically loads the appropriate mystery for the day. This is the only one we have found, and it is only in Spanish and only in Android format. You also have the option to manually choose which mysteries you would like to pray for the day.

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Don’t forget YouTube

Lots of rosary videos are available for each day of the week. Search “rosary” and see what comes up. I prefer the videos that show a simple set of animated beads that light up to indicate where I am in the rosary. Simple to glance to check as I drive. Here’s an example:

Finally…to avoid disappointment, we encourage you to visit the links provided to read up on the details of the apps you are interested in. We include apps in this site because they contain certain functions or elements worthy of your consideration. But the individual apps may not exactly fit your needs. The more information you look up, the less likely you will be disappointed in your purchase.

Categories: Blog for Catholic Apptitude

Author:Jennifer Kane

Content Evangelist, Jennifer Kane, is a secular Carmelite (OCDS), wife, mother, grandmother who worked for more than 30 years in marketing/communications which included 20 years in radio broadcasting including news director. She holds degrees in Journalism/Communication (BA) and English (MA) from St. Bonaventure University. In 2016 she authored the Vatican application for minor basilica status for The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, New York. Pope Francis granted that title in 2017. Research on the basilica formed the basis of her history book, A Place Set Apart. She previously authored the book, A Worthy and Capable Clergyman, the second part of the history book in a slightly different format. She is founder and editor of the website, CatholicAPPtitude.org, the #1 English language website cataloging/reviewing Catholic apps for mobile devices.

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One Comment on ““Set-and-Forget” hands-free Rosary apps for your daily commute”

  1. September 11, 2019 at 6:50 pm #

    iSanctuary is hands-free and you can even tell siri to start the rosary for you. It will select the mystery for you or you can choose the one you want. It also has live adoration feeds, prayers and even an Augmented Reality chapel where you can light candles and go through the stations of the cross. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/isanctuary/id1443431833?ls=1&mt=8

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