|The complete Rosary consists of fifteen decades
divided into three Mysteries said on specific days, each
containing 5 decades: the Joyful on Monday &
Thursday, the Sorrowful on Tuesday & Friday, and the
Glorious Mysteries, prayed on Wednesday &
Saturday. On Sundays, pray the Joyful during the time
between Pentecost and Lent; the Sorrowful during Lent;
and the Glorious Mysteries during Easter.
We begin the Rosary by blessing ourselves with the
crucifix, and then following the small beads above the
crucifix, say the "Apostles' Creed," one "Our Father,"
three "Hail Marys," and one "Glory to the Father." We
then meditate on the mysteries, say one "Our Father"
and then ten "Hail Mary's," which correspond to the ten
smaller beads in each decade. Each decade is followed
by "Glory Be." At the end of the Rosary, say the "Hail,
The First Joyful Mystery
This is when the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth.
Gabriel explained to Mary how she would give birth to Jesus. Mary said,
"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to your
word." Then the angel departed from her.
The Second Joyful Mystery
During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill
country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted
Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant in her
womb leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the
holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of
my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken
to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
The Third Joyful Mystery
While they were there, the time came for her to have
her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She
wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a
manger, because there was no room for them at the inn.
Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family. Simple shepherds were the
first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven's glory was made manifest.
The Fourth Joyful Mystery
According to the law of Moses, they took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout.
It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before
he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.
When the parents brought in the child
Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and
The child's father and mother were
blessed by Simeon as he said to Mary his mother "Behold, this child is
destined for the fall and the rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be
contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts
may be revealed."
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the
daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven
years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple, but worshipped night and day with fasting and prayer. And
coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all
who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem
The presentation of Jesus in the temple
shows him to be
the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord. With Simeon
and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the
Savior-the name given to this event in the Byzantine
The Fifth Joyful Mystery
in the Temple
Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for
the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve
years old, they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his
parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the
caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him
among their relatives and acquaintances, but not
finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in
the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking
them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at
understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him,
they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son,
why have you done this to us? Your father and I have
been looking for you with great anxiety." And he said to
them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not
know that I must be in my father's house?" But they
did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was
obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in
her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and
favor before God and man.
Luke 2: 41-52
During the greater part of his life Jesus shared
the condition of the vast majority of human beings: a daily
life spent without evident greatness, a life of manual labor.
His religious life was that of a Jew obedient to the law of
God, a life in the community.From this whole period it is
revealed to us that Jesus was "obedient" to his parents and
that he increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with
God and man."
Jesus' obedience to his mother and legal father fulfills the
fourth commandment perfectly and was the
temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in
heaven. The everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and
announced and anticipated the obedience of Holy
Thursday: "Not my will..." The obedience of Christ in the
daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his
restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed.
The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into
fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily
"The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to
understand the life of Jesus--the school of the Gospel.
First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence,
that admirable and indispensible condition of mind, revive
in us...A lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us
what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and
simple beauty, and its sacred and
inviolable character...A lesson of work. Nazareth, home
of the "Carpenter's Son," in you I would choose to
understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of
human work...To conclude, I want to greet all the workers
of the world, holding up to them their great pattern,
their brother who is God."
Pope Paul VI
The finding of Jesus in the temple is the
only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the
hidden years of Jesus. Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse
of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that
flows from his divine sonship: "Did you not know that I
must be about my Father's work?" Mary and Joseph did
not understand these words, but they accepted them in
faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the
years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary
Catechism of the Catholic Church 531, 532, 533, 534
The First Sorrowful Mystery
The Agony in the Garden
Then going out he went, as was his custom, to
the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed
him. When he arrived at the place he said to
them, "Pray that you may not undergo the
test." After withdrawing about a stone's throw
from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying,
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup away
from me; still, not my will but yours be done."
And to strengthen him an angel from heaven
appeared to him. He was in such agony and he
prayed so fervently that his sweat became like
drops of blood falling on the ground. When he
arose from prayer and returned to his disciples,
he found them sleeping from grief. He said to
them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and
pray that you may not undergo the test."
While he was still speaking, a crowd approached
and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named
Judas. He went up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus
said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son
of Man with a kiss?" His disciples realized what
was about to happen, and they asked, "Lord,
shall we strike with a sword?" And one of them
struck the high priest's servant and cut off his
right ear. But Jesus said in reply, "Stop, no more
of this!" Then he touched the servant's ear and
healed him. And Jesus said to the chief priests
and temple guards and elders who had come for
him, "Have you come out as against a robber,
with swords and clubs? Day after day I was
with you in the temple area and you did not
seize me; but this is your hour, the time for
the power of darkness."
Luke 22: 39-53
The cup of the New Covenant, which Jesus
anticipated when he offered himself at the Last
Supper, is afterwards accepted by him from his
Father's hands in his agony in the garden of
Gethsemani, making himself "obedient unto
death." Jesus prays: " My Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me..." Thus he
expressed the horror that death represented for
his human nature. Like ours, his human nature is
destined for eternal life; but unlike ours, it is
perfectly exempt from sin, the cause of death.
Above all, his human nature has been assumed
by the divine person of the "Author of Life," the
"Living One." By accepting in his human will that
the Father's will be done, he accepts his death as
redemptive, for "he bore our sins in his body on
Catechism of the Catholic Church 612
The Second Sorrowful Mystery
The Scourging at the Pillar
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
In the measure in which a Christian lives by his
ties with the supernatural, he will sorrow, above
all, over the sorrows of Christ. The words:
"My heart hath expected reproach and misery;
and I looked for one that would grieve together
with me, but there was none," will pierce his
heart. With the Blessed Jacopone da Todi he
will exclaim: "Mother, fount of love the purest,
make me feel all the anguish though endurest, to
mourn with thee"(Stabat Mater). However
felicitous one may be in one's personal life, this
pain must never be allowed to die away. How
could we forget--though the joys we experience
be ever so genuine and ever so great-- the
suffering of the "Lamb of God, that taketh away
the sins of the world": the suffering which has
redeemed us and is the key of our eternal
happiness? Far from it. He who is wounded by
the love of Christ will pray: "Let me be
wounded by his wounds, let me become
inebriated with the cross and the blood of Thy
Son." It is, in the first place, "they that mourn"
for this cause whom the Lord means when he
says, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they
shall be comforted."
Dietrich von Hildebrand, Transformation in Christ
The Third Sorrowful Mystery
The Crowning with Thorns
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns
and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a
purple cloak, and they came to him and said,
"Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck him
John 19: 2-3
Let us only, who with the Lord's permission
gave the first baptism to believers, prepare each
one for another baptism also, urging and
teaching that this baptism is greater in grace,
more sublime in power, more precious in
honor, a baptism in which the angels baptize, a
baptism in which God and His Christ exult, a
baptism after which no one sins again, a
baptism which brings to completion the
increases of our faith, a baptism which
immediately joins us with God as we withdraw
from the world. In the baptism of water is
received the remission of sins; in that of blood
the crown of virtues. This thing is to be
embraced and longed for and sought after with
all entreaties of our prayers, so that we who
were servants of God may also be His friends.
EXHORTATION TO MARTYRDOM, TO FORTUNATUS by St.
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery
Carrying the Cross
As they led him away they took hold of a
certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in
from the country; and after laying the cross on
him, they made him carry it behind Jesus. A
large crowd of people followed Jesus, including
many women who mourned and lamented him.
Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of
Jerusalem, do not weep for me, weep instead
for yourselves and your children, for indeed,
the days are coming when people will say,
`Blessed are the barren, the wombs that
never bore and breasts that never nursed. At
that time people will say to the mountains,
`Fall upon us!' and to the hills, `Cover us!'
for if these things are done when the wood is
green what will happen when it is dry?"
Luke 23: 26-32
The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the
"one mediator between God and men." But
because in his incarnate divine person he has in
some way united himself to every man, "the
possibility of being made partners, in a way
known to God, in the paschal mystery" is
offered to all men. He calls his disciples to "take
up [their] cross and follow [him]," for "Christ
also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example
so that we should follow in his steps." In fact,
Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming
sacrifice those who were to be his first
beneficiaries. This is achieved supremely in the
case of his mother, who was associated more
intimately than any other person in the mystery
of his redemptive suffering.
Apart from the cross there is no other ladder
by which we may get to heaven.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 618
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
When they came to the place called the Skull,
they crucified him and the criminals there, one
on his right, and the other on his left. [Then
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know
not what they do."] They divided his garments
by casting lots. The people stood by and
watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him
and said, "He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God."
Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they
approached to offer him wine they called out,
"If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
Above him there was an inscription that read,
"This is the King of the Jews." Now one of the
criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
"Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and
us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in
reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are
subject to the same condemnation? And
indeed, we have been condemned justly, for
the sentence we recieved corresponds to our
crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal."
Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you
come into your kingdom." He replied to him,
"Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me
in paradise." It was now about noon and
darkness came over the whole land until three
in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the
sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down
the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit;"
and when he had said this he breathed his last.
Luke 23: 33-46
It is love "to the end" that confers on Christ's
sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation,
as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and
loved us all when he offered his life. Now "the
love of Christ controls us, because we are
convinced that one has died for all; therefore all
have died." No man, not even the holiest, was
ever to take upon himself the sins of all men
and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. The
existence in Christ of the divine person of the
Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all
human persons and constitutes himself as the
Head of all mankind, makes possible
redemptive sacrifice for all. Catechism of the Catholic
First Glorious Mystery
But at daybreak on the first day of the week
they took the spices they had prepared and
went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled
away from the tomb; but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were puzzling over this, two men in
dazzling garments appeared to them, "Why do you
seek the living among the dead? He is not here,
but he has been raised. Remember what he said
to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son
of Man must be handed over to sinners and be
crucified, and rise on the third day."
And they remembered his words.
Luke 24: 1-8
The Paschal mystery has two aspects:
by his death, Christ liberates us from sin;
by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way
to a new life. This new life is above all justification
that reinstates us in God's grace, "so that as Christ
was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
we too might walk in the newness of life." Justification
consists in both victory over death caused by sin and
a new participation in grace. It brings about filial
adoption so that men become Christ's brethren, as
Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection:
"Go and tell my brethren." We are brethren
not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that
adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of
the only Son, which was fully revealed
in his Resurrection.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 654
The Second Glorious Mystery
When they had gathered together they
asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to
restore the kingdom to Israel?" He answered them,
"It is not for you to know the times or seasons that
the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the holy Spirit
comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in
Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and
to the ends of the earth."
When he had said this, as they were looking on, he
was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he
was going, suddenly two men dressed in white
garments stood beside them. They said, "Men of
Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him
going into heaven."
Acts 1: 6-12
"And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all men to myself." The lifting up of Jesus
on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by
his Ascension into heaven, and indeed begins it. Jesus
Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant,
"entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands...
but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God
on our behalf." There Christ permanently exercises his
for he "always lives to make intercession" for "those who draw
near to God through him." As "high priest of the good things to
he is the center and principal actor of the liturgy
that honors the Father in heaven. Henceforth Christ is
seated at the right hand of the Father: "By
`the Father's right hand' we undertsand the glory and honor
of divinity, where he who exists as Son of God before all ages,
indeed as God, of one being with the Father, is seated bodily
after he became incarnate and his flesh was glorified.
Being seated at the Father's right hand signifies the
of the Messiah's kingdom, the fulfillment of the prophet
vision concerning the Son of man: "To him was given dominion
and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and
should serve him; his dominion, which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one that will not be destroyed."
After this event the apostles became witnesses
of the "kingdom [that] will have no end."
Catechism of the Catholic Church 662, 663, 664
The Third Glorious Mystery
The Descent of the Holy
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came
from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled
the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to
tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one
And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to
in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Acts 2: 1-4
On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks
of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled
in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given,
and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness,
Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.
On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed. Since
that day, the Kingdom announced by Christ has been
open to those who believe in him: in the humility of the
flesh and in faith, they already share in the communion
of the Holy Trinity. By his coming, which never ceases,
the Holy Spirit causes the world to enter into "the last days,"
the time of the Church, the Kingdom already inherited
though not yet consummated:
We have seen the true Light, we have received the
heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith:
we adore the indivisible Trinity, who has saved us.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 731, 732
The Fourth Glorious Mystery
The Assumption of the Virgin
The queen takes her place at your
right hand in the gold of Ophir.
All glorious is the king's daughter as she enters;
her raiment is threaded with spun gold.
In embroidered apparel she is borne in to the king.
Psalms 45: 10,14,15
"Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free
from all stain of original sin, when the course of
her earthly life was finished, was taken up body
and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord
as Queen over all things, so that she might be
the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords
and conqueror of sin and death. The Assumption
of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in
her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the
resurrection of other Christians:
In giving birth you kept your virginity;
in your Dormition you did not leave the world,
O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life.
You conceived the living God and, by your prayers,
will deliver our souls from death.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 966
The Fifth Glorious Mystery
The Coronation of the Virgin
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman
clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child
and wailed aloud in pain as her labored to give birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
Revelation 12: 1-2, 5
After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission,
and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude
than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what
the Church already is in her mystery on her own
"pilgrimage of faith," and what she will be in the homeland
at the end of the journey. There, "in the glory of the
Most Holy Trinity," "in the communion of all the saints,"
the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as
Mother of her Lord and as her own mother.
In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory
which she possesses in body and soul in heaven,
is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be
perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth
on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign
of certain and comfort to the pilgrim People of God.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 972
Hail Holy Queen
Hail, Holy Queen.
Mother of Mercy,
Our life, our sweetness,
And our hope.
To you do we cry,
Poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping
In this valley of tears.
Turn, then, Most Gracious Advocate,
Your eyes of mercy towards us,
And after this, our exile,
Show unto us
The blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, o loving, o sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of
The promises of Christ.