The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer. It begins with the Apostles’ Creed, which summarizes the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Our Father, which introduces each mystery, is from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angel’s words announcing Christ’s birth and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part of the Hail Mary. The Mysteries of the Rosary center on the events of Christ’s life and Passion. There are four sets of Mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and––added by Saint John Paul II in 2002––the Luminous.

So, why do we meditate on the mysteries?

When Catholics recite the twelve prayers that form a decade of the rosary, we meditate on the mystery associated with that decade. If we merely recite the prayers, whether vocally or silently, we are missing the essence of the rosary.

When we pray the rosary, we may have specific intentions in mind as we work our way through the mysteries. Or perhaps we envision the scenes from Scripture that correspond with each mystery.

Meditating on the spiritual fruit of each mystery — a specific virtue that we can aspire to live out in our own lives like Jesus and Mary — can make our prayer experience deeper and our devotion more spiritually fruitful. Meditating on the fruits of each mystery of the rosary is a way to preach the rosary with our lives, pursue and attain virtue, and become more of the person that God is calling each of us to be.

The Five Glorious Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Wednesdays, and outside the seasons of Advent and Lent, on Sundays:

We make the sign of the cross while holding the crucifix and recite the Apostle’s Creed. This Creed is dated from the earliest period of the church. It is not only a statement of our beliefs, but it is a very powerful prayer. The Creed outlines salvation history and calls us to acknowledge the Lord for who He is and what He has done for us.

Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell.
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.

On the first large bead we recite the Lord’s Prayer. The Our Father is called the Lord’s Prayer because it was given to us by Jesus. The Lord’s Prayer contains the traditional Jewish formula of prayer which begins with praise and thanksgiving and moves toward petition.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, 
Thy will be done
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

We pray a Hail Mary on the next three beads. The Hail Mary is a combination of two scriptures. First, we hear the words of affirmation from the angel Gabriel. Second, we hear the word of Elizabeth who also affirms Mary as the mother of Jesus.

 

The Hail Mary

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

As we pass on to the fifth bead, we say The Glory Be to the Father. This prayer is given in praise of the Trinity. It also acknowledges the sovereign Lordship of our God over all time-the past, the present, and the future.

The Glory Be

Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning
is now, and ever shall be
world without end.

Amen.

Next, we pause and call to mind the mystery that we are to pray.

First Glorious Mystery-The Resurrection of Jesus

If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.    (Romans 8:11)

On Sunday morning the women came to the tomb to embalm the body of our Lord. While on the way, they looked and were astonished that the stone had been rolled away. It seemed that Jesus Christ had lost the battle. But the fact is that He won! Jesus conquered the darkest realities of sin and death by the power of His resurrection.

The Glory Realized

Jesus, your victory over sin and death is real. Yet this world seems so caught up in tragedies which give the illusion that darkness is winning. Increase our faith so that we can know that the victory is ours. Through the Eucharist, Your Word, and the Church, help us to grow in Your love.

We pray that our Holy Father and all bishops will be strengthened in the power of the Gospel.

On the fifth bead of the rosary, we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Next, move from bead to bead, praying one Hail Mary on each of the next ten beads. After we have prayed the 10th hail Mary, pray the Glory Be.

After finishing each decade, some (myself included) say the following prayer requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.

We now pause and call to mind the second mystery that we are to pray.

Second Glorious Mystery-The Ascension of Jesus

As he was blessing them, he departed from them and was taken up into heaven. (Luke 24″51)

Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father. He promised us that we would not be alone and that He would be with us all days, even to the end of time. Jesus goes to the Father to intercede for us and to prepare a place for us.

We Can Do All Things

Jesus, You promised that Your power would work in us if we believe. “You will do greater things than these because I go to the Father.” It is precisely because You are at the right hand of the Father that we experience Your presence and power in our lives.

We pray for our bishop, our priests and all religious, that Jesus will bless them from the right hand of the Father.

On the next large bead of the rosary, we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Next, move from bead to bead, praying one Hail Mary on each of the next ten beads. After we have prayed the 10th hail Mary, pray the Glory Be.

Pray, O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.

We now pause and call to mind the third mystery that we are to pray.

Third Glorious Mystery-The Gift of the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky that sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house. (Acts 2:1-2)

The disciples were gathered together in prayer and the Blessed Mother was in their midst. All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit came in the form of fire upon all those gathered in prayer. People from different countries and backgrounds were all united by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Inner Strength

Lord Jesus, You were able to transform Peter. The one who denied you could now stand tall. Send forth Your Holy Spirit upon the Church so that we, too, may be restored and renewed. Let Your Spirit fill our hearts with praise and adoration. Make us bold in proclaiming the truth of our faith in You.

We pray for unity in the Church, that the grace of the Holy Spirit will unite us in love and peace.

On the next large bead of the rosary, we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Next, move from bead to bead, praying one Hail Mary on each of the next ten beads. After we have prayed the 10th hail Mary, pray the Glory Be.

Pray, O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.

We now pause and call to mind the fourth mystery that we are to pray.

Fourth Glorious Mystery-The Assumption of Mary

She was given the two wings of a large eagle, in order to fly to her place in the desert, where she will be taken care of … safe from the dragon’s attack. (Revelation 12:14)

Being raised to heaven, body and soul, Mary is at the right hand of Jesus. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. Mary is in a unique place to intercede for us. She is in union with the Blessed Trinity by the grace of God.

Future Dignity

Mary, the gift that you received was a gift for the Church. It brings us hope and comfort to know that God is providing for our eternal life. Mary, help us not to focus on passing pleasures, but rather to set our hearts on the will of the Father!

We pray that leaders in governments and businesses may serve the needs of those they represent.

On the next large bead of the rosary, we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Next, move from bead to bead, praying one Hail Mary on each of the next ten beads. After we have prayed the 10th hail Mary, pray the Glory Be.

Pray, O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.

We now pause and call to mind the fifth mystery that we are to pray.

Fifth Glorious Mystery-The Crowning of Mary

Then a great and mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a woman, whose dress was the sun and who had the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. (Revelation 12:1)

St. Paul wrote about his own life: “I fought the good fight, and I ran the good race. From now on a coveted crown awaits me.” Mary, more than any other disciple, was faithful to Jesus. She, who is the humble handmaid of the Lord, has become exalted by God. All generations shall call her blessed.

Reward for Service

Mary, our lives will not be measured so much by our sins and failings as they are by our faith, hope and love. Help us to persevere in faith and truth. Help us to accept Jesus as Lord of our lives so that we too may receive the coveted crown of victory!

We pray for all the needs of the Church.

On the next large bead of the rosary, we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Next, move from bead to bead, praying one Hail Mary on each of the next ten beads. After we have prayed the 10th hail Mary, pray the Glory Be.

Pray, O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.

At the end of the fifth decade, we pray the Hail Holy Queen. Mary helps us as pilgrims moving toward our final destiny in Christ. She is our advocate who helps us to endure the hardships and to discover peace.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this our exile
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

The Concluding Prayers:
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 

Let us pray: O God, whose Only Begotten Son, by his life, Death, and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech thee, that while meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Conclude the Rosary with the Sign of the Cross (In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen).

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
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