Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Pray The Rosary, What is it? How to Pray it

The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

What is a Rosary??? What is the meaning of the rosary beads?

The meaning of the Rosary is simply a Catholic prayer based upon the Bible that focuses on the events in the life of Jesus and that of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

In the Rosary prayer you make use of both vocal and mental prayer. Vocal prayer consists of the prayers listed below.   Mental prayer is meditating upon the Rosary Mysteries which tell the life of Jesus and His mother Mary.

The Roman Catholic Rosary prayers include the... 

Sign of the Cross
The Apostles Creed
The Our Father Prayer
The Hail Mary Prayer
The Glory Be Prayer
The Fatima Prayer
The Hail Holy Queen Prayer
The "Let Us Pray" Prayer from the Breviary
The Saint Michael Prayer
The Rosary Mysteries

These prayers are listed separately on this blog. Or click on the blue links below that will take you to the How to pray the rosary website.

The 3 basic prayers that make up the Rosary are: the Our Father prayer, the Hail Mary prayer and the Glory Be prayer. But since the Rosary consists of many other prayers it is usually prayed upon rosary beads so as to keep track of the prayers and free your mind to meditate upon the events in the lives of Jesus and Mary.

What is the meaning of the rosary beads?  They are a way to keep track of the prayers being said.  

The actual Roman Catholic Rosary is made up of a cross or crucifix, a medal, large beads and small beads. The basic Rosary diagram above is what a Rosary may look like although they come in all different types, shapes and sizes. 
The Way to Pray the Rosary...
  1. You start by making the Sign of the Cross with the cross in your hand.
  2. Then you say the Apostles Creed while still holding the cross.
  3. Then you move your fingers to the large bead above the cross and say the Our Father Prayer.
  4. Next you move on to the three small beads upon which you say the Hail Mary Prayer.
  5. Then the Glory Be Prayer.
  6. Then you announce the Rosary Mystery being said.
  7. Then an Our Father Prayer.
  8. Then 10 Hail Mary Prayers
  9. Then the Glory Be Prayer.
  10. Then the Fatima Prayer.
  11. Then you repeat steps 7-10 until you have said a prayer on each bead contained on the string of rosary beads.
  12. Then you finish the rosary with The Hail Holy Queen Prayer, Breviary Prayer and The Saint Michael Prayer and finally the Sign of the Cross. 
The Mysteries of the Rosary

 Five Joyful Mysteries
Day of the week to pray this Mystery - Monday & Saturday

1.  The Annunciation

"Good News For Everyone"

Be mindful that the fruit of this mystery is humility and recall this scene as you meditate...

The Angel Gabriel appears to Mary, a young Jewish girl.
Gabriel greets Mary saying,  

"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28.
These familiar words is how Mary is greeted in the Hail Mary Prayer, the main rosary prayer. 

Gabriel is declaring that Mary is holy. She never had original sin, in the words of the angel, she is "full of grace"

Our Lady of the Rosary
Mary being very humble is disturbed by the angels words. The angel recognizing this then adds, "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God."Luke 1:30
Gabriel continues with his message to Mary, 
"Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:31-33
Now because Mary is a virgin she is puzzled and asks the angel how this is possible. 

He answers her...  
"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."  
Luke 1:35
Mary knows about the promise of a savior and is well informed of the Messianic prophesies of the Old Testament. 

However, when you look at her comments to the angel, Mary obviously doesn't fully understand all that is happening to her but she answers in the most obedient and confident way. 

She says...
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word." -Luke 1:38
Mary always conforms her will to that of God's. 
Imitating Mary's attitude toward God's will is a sure way to bring peace to your life. 

For the exact Bible account of the Annunciation please see 
Luke 1:26-38

A personal prayer for this mystery could be to ask Mary for her help to do the Lord's Will in your own life.  And to echo her words with your own, "I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your Will."  Surrendering your will to God.

2.  The Visitation

In The Visitation Elizabeth

Is Overjoyed By Mary's Visit

"And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" -Luke 1:43

The Visitation is took place when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth. Keep in mind also that the fruit of this mystery is love of neighbor.

Use the following story to help you set the scene...

During the Angel Gabriel's appearance to Mary, he also tells her that her cousin Elizabeth is expecting a baby. 

Elizabeth is much older than Mary and was thought to be infertile because of her age and because she had no children.

Gabriel reveals this to Mary to show that "no word shall be impossible with God" -Luke 1:36.
After the Angel leaves, Mary visits her Cousin Elizabeth. Mary enters into the house of Elizabeth and her husband Zachary. 

When Elizabeth hears Mary's greeting she feels her child leap within her. 

Elizabeth proclaims to Mary...
"Blessed art thou among women, 
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." -Luke 1:42
This phrase again is used in the Catholic Rosary Prayers, the Hail Mary Prayer

Elizabeth continues... 

"And how can this be that that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy." -Luke 1:43-44
Leapt for joy...notice here that St. John the Baptist, Elizabeth's child, is the first to experience the joys of Mary and Jesus. How special he is. 

Mary responded to Elizabeth with another famous prayer the Magnificat which is taken directly from St. Luke's Gospel chapter 1:46-55... 

Mary praising God with the Magnificat

"My soul doth magnify the Lord! And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour!
Because He has regarded the humility of His handmaid;
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Because He that is mighty, has done great things to me;

and holy is His name.

And His mercy is from generation unto generations,
to them that fear Him.

He has showed might in his arm:

He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.

He has put down the mighty from their seat,

and has exalted the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things;

and the rich He has sent empty away.

He has received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy:

As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His seed for ever" 

Notice that it is Biblical to refer to Mary as Blessed. 
It says so right in the New Testament, 
"All generations shall call me blessed."
You obey this command when you pray the Rosary and especially when you meditate upon this mystery, the Visitation. 

Mary then stays with Elizabeth for three months. Surely she helps her cousin who was late in pregnancy. 

Elizabeth has a son and names him John. 

The Bible says that he is the prophet of the highest and that he prepares his way. 

The highest is, of course, Jesus and John went before Jesus and "enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace." -Luke 1:79
Meditating upon the mysteries of the Rosary and especially the Visitation, will direct your feet into the way of peace.

A personal prayer for this mystery could be to ask Our Lady (Mary) to help you to think of others and not of yourself--for the Grace of Selflessness--as she did when she visited Elizabeth, as well, to trust God as she did.

3.  The Birth of Jesus

 All Of Heaven And Earth
Rejoiced At The Birth Of Jesus

"And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."
-Matthew 2:10

Meditate on the Birth of Jesus mystery... 

Mary and Joseph must travel to Bethlehem to register for a census of the entire Roman Empire. 

People are ordered to travel to the town of their ancestors to register. Joseph (and Mary) are from the family of David and therefore go to Bethlehem, the city of David. 

Mary is often depicted as traveling ready to deliver the baby on the back of a small donkey being led by her loyal and chaste spouse, St. Joseph. 
Mary & Joseph on the way to Bethlehem

Because so many people are traveling at this time, Joseph and Mary can't find anywhere to stay. 

They go from place to place seeking a warm room where the baby can be born. 

Time after time the door is closed to them with the words "no room in the inn" echoing in their ears. 

Finally they are offered lodging in a stable. 

Jesus, the Son of God, comes into the world in the most lowly and humble of places. 

He is born in a stable among livestock and laid in a manger. 

The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ
It is interesting to note that the word Bethlehem means "house of bread" and Jesus the "Bread of Life" John 6:35 was born there and laid in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. 

This account is a foreshadow of the Institution of the Eucharist

There are shepherds nearby watching their sheep and suddenly an angel appears to them and says,

"Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: 

Angels announcing Christ's Birth to the Shepherds
"Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will!" -Luke 2:10-14
The shepherds leaving their flocks are the first to go and worship the baby Jesus. The shepherds are the first to see Jesus. The King of kings and Lord of lords humbles Himself to be born in a manger
 and to have among his first visitors simple shepherds.
Mary is also truly humble. 
She says not a word.  She does not seek attention or praise, rather the Bible says, she "kept all these things pondering them in her heart." -Luke 2:20

And upon leaving they are the first to bring the Good News of Jesus' birth to the world. 

The Magi, or the Three Wise Men come from the east. They are astrologers who are following a star that is raising up above the place where Jesus is born. 

On their travels they stop in Jerusalem and ask King Herod where the king of the Jews is and say that they have followed his star and come to adore him. 

Three Kings who followed the Star that lead to Christ
Now King Herod being a jealous man tricks the Three Wise Men into thinking that he also wants to worship the newborn king.
He tells them he does not know where the baby is but when they find him to return and tell him so he too may go and worship the baby. 

Continuing on their journey, they follow the star to Bethlehem.

"And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh." -Matthew 2:11
These three wise men are the first of the Gentiles to visit Jesus.
Three Kings brought gifts for the Christ Child
After the three wise men leave, St. Matthew goes on to say that an angel appears to St. Joseph in a dream and tells him to flee to Egypt. King Herod is threatened by the birth of Jesus and tries to kill him. In Egypt, the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph are safe.
When Herod dies, an angel again tells Saint Joseph to go back to Israel because the baby is now safe.  
There was no room for the Prince of Peace in the inns of Bethlehem.
Make room for Him in your heart as you pray this mystery of the Rosary.

A personal prayer for this mystery could be to beg for the grace of humility.  As Our Lord humbled Himself to become one of us, let us always remember that we are nothing without Him and can do nothing with Him.

Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
4. The Presentation

Presentation Of Jesus
In The Temple...
Another Lesson In Obedience

"The sons of wisdom
are the church of the just:
and their generation, 
obedience and love."  
 Eccl 3:1

 The fruit of the mystery which is the virtue of obedience. 

Mary and Joseph take the baby Jesus to Jerusalem "to present him to the Lord" -Luke 2:22
The presentation of Jesus in the temple is in fulfillment with the Jewish law. Every male child must be taken to the temple and an animal must be offered as a sacrifice. 

That is why Joseph is usually artistically depicted in this scene holding a cage with two doves in it. 

The prophet Simeon and the prophetess Anna meet the Holy Family while at the temple in Jerusalem. Simeon was told by God that he would see the Savior before he died.
When Simeon sees baby Jesus he takes him from Mary and holds Him in his arms and praises God proclaiming,  
                          'Simeon' in the movie, "Jesus of Nazareth"

"Now you can dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen thy salvation" -Luke 2:29

Simeon then blesses Mary and Joseph and prophesies to Mary:

"Behold this child is set for the fall, 
and for the resurrection of many in Israel, 
and for a sign which shall be contradicted; 
And thy own soul a sword shall pierce,
that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed."  
                                                                           -Luke 2:29-32
Even though this is a joyful occasion you can see in the words of Simeon a foreshadow of the sorrows that will be shared between Jesus and his Mother Mary. 

Mary suffered with Jesus from the beginning to the end.
Anna also proclaims that this child, the baby Jesus, is the long awaited Messiah. 
Anna prophesies abo
Luke 2:36-38

After all this the Holy Family leaves Jerusalem and returns to Nazareth. 

There they live in peace and joy for many years before Jesus begins His public life

For the Bible says... 

"The child grew, and waxed strong, full of wisdom; and the grace of God was in him." -Luke 2:40

A personal prayer for this mystery could be to pray for the grace of obedience.  As Jesus was obedient to His Father in heaven, let us be obedient to Him.

5.  Finding Jesus in the Temple 
Child Jesus in the Temple teaching the Elders

Mary Experienced Relief
And Great Joy In Finding
Jesus In The Temple

          "Seek, and you shall find."
                           -Matthew 7:7

Every year during the feast of the Passover, the Holy Family went to Jerusalem. 

The Gospel of St. Luke tells of one particular trip when the twelve year old Jesus remains behind in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph don't know this however. Mary thinks Jesus is with Joseph and Joseph thinks He is with Mary. This could easily happen because the women and men would travel in separate groups and Jesus was at the age when he could be either with His father or His mother. 

Mary and Joseph do not notice He is missing until an entire day passes. Can you imagine the anxiety they felt? They lost the Christ Child. When realizing He is not with either of them, they look for Him among their family and friends. Much to their sorrow, they do not find Him so they quickly return to Jerusalem. 

Luke 2:46-47

Mary asks Him, "Son, why have you done this to us?Behold your father and I have been looking for you everywhere." -Luke 2:48
The child Jesus replies, "Why have you looked for Me everywhere?  Did you not know that I would be in My Father's House?" -Luke 2:49
Once again Mary does not fully understand but she humbly accepts what He says to her. Jesus goes on to set a wonderful example. Jesus, the King of Kings, goes home and is obedient to them. 
Mary and Joseph find the Child Jesus in the Temple -- Did you not know I would be in My Father's House?
Peace will penetrate your life when you follow the example of Jesus here and you become obedient first to God, then to Church authority and lastly to civil authority. 

Remember,"render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's: and to God the things that are God's" -Luke 20:25
Just as she did at the Nativity, Mary, His mother "kept all these words in her heart." -Luke 2:51
"And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men." -Luke 2:52

A personal prayer could be to pray to always remember Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of the Mass, and to visit Him often.

Pray the Joyful Mysteries with Inspirational commentary and images on Youtube

    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3: 

Five Luminous Mysteries 

Day of the week to pray the Luminous Mystery is Thursday
"Moving on from the infancy and the hidden life in Nazareth to the public life of Jesus, our contemplation brings us to those mysteries which may be called in a special way 'mysteries of light'.

Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the “light of the world" (Jn 8:12). Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom.... Each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus."

                                                                     Pope John Paul II

Read more:

Baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist
1. Baptism of Jesus

"John was in the desert baptizing, and preaching
the baptism of penance, unto remission of sins."
-Mark 1:4

Be mindful that the fruit of this mystery is living your baptismal promises and recall this scene as you meditate...

John the Baptist was Jesus' cousin and the son of Elizabeth.
Jesus and John had a special relationship that began when his mother and Mary were both pregnant with them. 

John leapt in his mother's womb when Mary, came to visit her.
John preached throughout the river Jordan.  He encouraged people to get baptized to cleanse them of their sins to prepare for the coming of Jesus. 

He prophecized that the Messiah would come and baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. 

Seeing Jesus, John exclaimed, "behold the lamb of God!"
Sometimes St. John the Baptist is shown holding a banner that says "Ecce agnus Dei" which means behold the lamb of God.
John at first refused to baptize him. 

But Jesus told him "Let it be so now, for by us must all righteousness be fulfilled." And John then baptized him. 

When Jesus came out of the water, the voice of the Lord was heard as the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove.
The voice of God said, "This is my beloved Son, in who I am well pleased."
Then after being filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus went out into the desert where He fasted and prayed for 40 days.

A personal prayer could be a promise to live the life that was promised at your own Baptism by renouncing Satan... and all evil.


2.  Wedding At Cana 

The Wedding at Cana

"This beginning of miracles Jesus did  in Cana of Galilee;
and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him."
-John 2:11

The story below will help familiarize you with this second of the Luminous mysteries of the rosary prayers...

Mary and Jesus were at a wedding in Galilee in an area called Cana. The hosts ran out of wine. Mary went to Jesus and told him they had no wine. Jesus responded to her, "Woman, what is that to me and to you? My hour is not yet come." 

This has been misinterpreted by some who say Jesus is rebuking His mother. 

This is not true. How could it be. Jesus is sinless and is the perfect son. He would never rebuke His mother

Mary did not respond. Rather she went to the waiters and told them, "Do whatever He tells you." 

Her remark her proves that she knew He was about to perform a miracle. She knew that he would fulfill her request. 

Jesus instructed the servants to fill some huge pots with water. Because of Mary's advice they obeyed. He told them then to draw some water from the freshly filled pots and take it to the head servant. They again obeyed and were amazed to see that the water was miraculously turned into wine. 

The head servant not knowing what had occurred, went to the bride and groom and congratulated them on serving the best wine last.
As the Bible states, Jesus first miracle "manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him." -John 2:11

A personal prayer could be to Our Lady to pray for us as Her Son always listens and answers to her pleads.

3.  Proclaiming the Kingdom

  "Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ"
-Pius XI

In this mystery, light is shed on the glory of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. 

Verses that Pope John Paul II cited in his encyclical, Rosarium Mariae. 

The fruit of Proclaiming the Kingdom mystery is repentance and trust in God. 

Jesus calls His followers to conversion and repentance...  

"Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying: The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:14-15
Jesus forgives the humble who display faith in Him. The humble show sorrow for their sins. They also show love and hope.  

"And they came to him, bringing one sick of the palsy, who was carried by four. And when they could not reach him because of the crowds,  they uncovered the roof where he was; and opening it, they let down the bed wherein the man sick of the palsy lay.  

 And when Jesus had seen their faith, he said to the sick man: "Son, your sins are forgiven." And there were some of the scribes sitting there, and thinking in their hearts: Why did this man say that? He blasphems. Who can forgive sins, but God only? 

Which Jesus presently knowing in his spirit, that they so thought within themselves, said to them: "Why do you think  these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the sick of the palsy: Your sins are forgiven you; or to say: Arise, take up your bed, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins, (he said to the sick of the palsy,) I say to you: Arise, take up your  bed, and go into your house."

Immediately the man arose; and taking up his bed, went his way in the sight of all; so that all wondered and glorified God, saying: We never saw the like. And he went forth again to the sea side; and all the multitude came to him, and he taught them." -Mark 2:3-13

While Jesus was proclaiming the kingdom of God, he explained that His kingdom is filled with mercy and will last for all time... 
  • "When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." -John 20:22-23
  • When speaking of the truths of Jesus, the Nicene Creed states the phrase, "of whose kingdom there shall be no end". This phrase points to the eternal kingship of Jesus.

"As long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations." -Pius XI from the encyclical Quas Primas

A personal prayer could be to ask the Holy Spirit to come to you and grant you the graces you need to fulfill the Will of God in your life. 


4.  The Transfiguration of Jesus 

"Follow peace with all men, and holiness:
without which no man shall see God."
-Hebrews 12:14

The Transfiguration is the fourth of the new Luminous Mysteries rosary and is a key event in the life of Jesus. 

It beautifully complements both the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries by adding meditations on the Rosary that gave strength to the apostles during Jesus passion and were a foreshadow of Jesus' glory that was soon to come. 

As you read this retelling of the Transfiguration, keep in mind that the fruit of this mystery is a desire for holiness. 

Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John on Mount Tabor. 

When the three disciples and Jesus reached the top of the mountain, Jesus' "face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow." 

Then suddenly Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elias appear.
They were talking to Jesus. Peter got very excited and didn't really understand the significance of what was happening as he called out to Jesus saying... 

"Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias."
Jesus did not answer him and a bright cloud came and covered them. 

A booming voice came from the cloud.
It was the voice of God. 

The words they heard were, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him."
This frightened Peter, James and John. Immediately they fell prostrate. 

Jesus went to them, stooped down, gently touched them then said, "Arise, and fear not."
When they arose, they only saw Jesus and the apparition was over.
While they were making their descent from the mountain Jesus gave them this command... 

"Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead." -Matthew 17:9

A personal prayer could be to ask for the grace to live in holiness, away from sin and a worldly life.

5. Institution Of The Eucharist

"I am the living bread that has come down from heaven.
If anyone eat of this bread he shall live forever."
-John 6:51-52

The Institution of the Eucharist is the greatest gift Jesus left you - a gift that will help you lead a holy and peace filled life.

The following story will help your meditations on the Rosary as you keep it in mind as you pray the Rosary prayers.
The fruit of this mystery is adoration. 

"Satan entered into Judas" and he went to the chief priests to betray Jesus". -Luke 22:3
The chief priests were very pleased because they wanted to have Jesus put to death but they couldn't find a quiet way to arrest Him.
They promised to pay Judas thirty pieces of silver and the betrayal was arranged. 

The time for the Passover was drawing near. Jesus gave directions to the disciples to go into Jerusalem where they would meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. They were to follow the man and tell him that Jesus wanted a place to eat the Passover meal with His twelve apostles. 

Following Jesus' directions, they entered the city and found the man who in turn led them to a room that was prepared for their meal. 

During the meal Jesus said, "Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me."
This really disturbed them all and they began asking "Is it I, Lord?"
Is it I Lord?
Jesus said in response,
"He that dips his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me...woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not  been born."
Then Judas who had already committed to betraying Jesus asked, "Is it I, Rabbi?"
Jesus just responded, "You have said it."
Then Jesus took bread then blessing it, He broke it and gave it to His disciples and said, "Take you, and eat. This is My Body."
Then He took the chalice filled with wine and gave it to them saying... 

"Drink you all of this. For this is My Blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins."
After the meal they all went out to the Mount of Olives where Jesus entered His agony. 

For an exact scriptural account you can read Mark 14:10-15, Matthew 26:19-30

A personal prayer could ask to receive the Eucharist (The Body and Blood of Our Lord) in grace and thankfulness.  Make sure that you make a sincere Act of Contrition and go to Confession (Reconciliation). 

Pray the Luminous Mysteries with Inspirational commentary and images -

 Five Sorrowful Mysteries
 Days to pray this Mystery Tuesdays & Fridays

1. Jesus' Agony In The Garden

Reassures You That You Are Not Alone In Your Suffering...

   "Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows,
and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were
hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not."
-Isaiah 53

The Agony in the Garden is such a sad event. It's when Jesus sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane and has been often depicted by artists throughout the ages.

It is the first of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary prayers.
You should feel a true sorrow for the sins you have committed, for they too contributed to the emotional pain Jesus suffered. 

Following the Institution of the Eucharist at the last supper, Jesus takes His disciples to an olive grove, called Gethsemane. He tells most of them to stay behind while He leads Peter, James and John further into the garden to pray. 

The Bible says Jesus "began to grow sorrowful and to be sad." He reveals to Peter, James and John, "My soul is sorrowful even unto death". He tells the three of them to stay behind and watch as he goes further alone to pray. 

Jesus falls upon his face in an agony being overwhelmed by what He knows He must suffer the next day in atonement for the sins of mankind. He prays to God, 

 "My Father, 
if it be possible,
 let this chalice pass from me. 
Nevertheless not as I will, but as you will." 

An angel came and comforted Jesus. St. Luke's gospel says, "And being in an agony, he prayed the longer." -Luke 22:43
Returning to Peter, James and John, who have fallen asleep, Jesus somewhat disappointed asks them, 

"Could you not watch one hour with me?"

He tells them to pray that they will be guarded against temptation. Then He leaves them once again and goes off alone once more to pray. Again He prays to God saying, 

"My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done."

Once again Jesus returns to Peter, James and John. And once again they have fallen asleep. 
He leaves them for a third time and prays the same prayer and this time upon returning and finding them asleep Jesus says, 
"Sleep  now and take your rest; behold the hour is at hand,    
and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners."

Judas approaches Jesus along with soldiers and kissing Him he says, "Hail, Rabbi." Previously, Judas told the soldiers that the Man whom he would kiss would be Jesus. And Jesus sadly replied saying, "Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss?" -Luke 22:48
The soldiers take hold of Jesus and all the disciples run away abandoning Him. Jesus is then taken to Caiphas, the high priest where many people are already gathered awaiting Him.

Most of what is recounted above about the Agony in the Garden, can be found in St. Matthew's Gospel in Matthew 26:36-57.

A personal prayer remembering the suffering Christ had in the Agony of the Garden, remember and repent of the sins you have committed and ask God to accept your small offerings of sickness, pain and sorrow.


2.  Scourging At  The Pillar

Understand The Nature Of Suffering To Bring Serenity In Your Life

"Blessed are they that suffer persecution
for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 5:10

The scourging at the pillar is a mournful event that serves as a reminder of the horrors Jesus suffered for love of you.

The fruit of the mystery is purity. 

Jesus scourged is a truly sorrowful event in the life of Jesus.

After Jesus was arrested, He was brought before Ciaphas the high priest. Ciaphas, after finding Him "guilty" took Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who ruled over those parts. 
Jesus was brought before Pilate, because Jesus' enemies wanted Him executed and only the Roman ruler could have a prisoner put to death. 

This all made Pilate quite uncomfortable. Pilate went on to interview Jesus. 

During the interview, Pilate asked Jesus...
"Art thou a king then? 
Jesus answered:  
"You say that I am a king. For this was I born, 
and for this came I into the world; that I should give 
testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, 
hears my voice."  
Pilate said to him: What is truth?" -John 18:37-38.

In all justice, Pilate believed it was wrong to condemn Jesus to death. 
His 'crime' did not warrant such a punishment. 

Pilate was also a coward. He was afraid the leaders of the Jews would start a rebellion if he did not give into their demands. 

Trying to weasel his way out of this predicament, and in honor of the feast day of the Passover, he offered to release a prisoner.
Hoping the people would chose Jesus, Pilate had them choose either Jesus or Barabas a violent criminal. 

His plan backfired and the people chose to have Barabas released and demanded that Jesus be crucified. 

Knowing he was backed into a corner and being a weak man, he caved into the pressure from the crowd and symbolically asked for a bowl and then washed his hands in the water claiming he was innocent of Jesus blood. 

"Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him unto them to be crucified." -Matthew 27:26
Jesus was stripped of His clothes and tied to a stone pillar.  He was surrounded by a blood thirsty mob who were shouting and encouraging the cruel Roman soldiers as they lashed His divine flesh with leather whips tipped with sharp stones. 
Blood flowed forth as His flesh was torn from His sacred body.

A personal prayer could be in reparation for the blasphemies that the Lord suffers... using His Name in vain, mocking Him... even though He is not present now to receive them, He is still being scourged.

3. Crowning with Thorns

Understand Suffering Like Jesus' Crowning With Thorns To Achieve Peace In Your Life

  "If doing well you suffer patiently; this is thank worthy before God.   For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps."                             -1Peter 2:20-21

Meditating upon Jesus' Crowning With Thorns you will come to see that suffering must be understood before peace can be grasped.

Keep in mind as you read this account that the fruit of the mystery is moral courage.

As if it wasn't bad enough having Jesus Scourged, the cruel soldiers mocked Him and crowned Him with thorns. They clothed Him in a scarlet robe, the color of royalty.  Then they pressed upon Jesus thorn crown.  They placed a reed into His right hand and made fun of His Divine Kingship.  Mocking Him all the while with their pretend coronation. 

The inhumane executioners pranced around Jesus shouting in jest, "Hail King of the Jews" and mockingly they bowed down before Him. They taunted Him and took the reed from His hand and struck His head with it. 
His own blood blinded Him as it trickled into His Eyes.
How those agonizing blows made Jesus suffer compounding the throbbing pain caused by the crown of thorns upon His head. 
Three out of the four Gospels recount this sorrowful event in the life of Jesus. Jesus being crowned with thorns is one of the sorrowful events in the life of Jesus that it makes your heart sigh that they would treat Jesus as such.

The exact Bible text can be found in Mark 15:16, Matthew 27:28-30 and John 19:4-5.

A personal prayer for this mystery could be for those who do not believe in God, that say they are too"smart" to believe in Him. 

4.  Jesus Carrying The Cross

Embracing Your Sufferings
Leads To Peace And Serenity

"Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened,
and I will refresh you. 

Take up my yoke upon you, and learn
of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: 

and you shall find rest to your souls. 

For my yoke is sweet and my burden light".                                                                     -Matthew 11:28-30

In Carrying the cross, Jesus shows how embracing suffering is the only way to peace. It is one of the most beneficial meditations on the rosary. 

When you are praying the rosary prayers you will find a greater appreciation for this sad event in Jesus' life and come to understand how you must embrace your own crosses and sorrows.

Be mindful as you say the rosary prayers that the fruit of this mystery is patience.

Jesus carrying the cross demonstrates the need to embrace suffering and carry your own cross as the only way to peace and serenity.  It is the fourth of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary prayers. 

As you meditate on this mystery you should feel a true sorrow for the sins you have committed, for they too contributed to the emotional pain Jesus suffered.

After Jesus was mocked and crowned with thorns, He was stripped of the purple robe and dressed in His own clothing. 

This caused such torment for the wounds from the scourging were reopened and pained Jesus anew. 

Jesus was then forced to carry His own cross to Calvary.
The journey was excruciatingly painful. 

Jesus already weak from the torture He underwent stumbled and faltered along the way. 

He fell many times and the weight of the heavy cross came crashing down upon His weary body. 

Mary accompanied by John and Mary Magdalen followed Jesus as He carried His cross. Mary wanted to look upon her Son. 

The moment presented itself and there Mary was face to face with her Son, God made Man in all His suffering. 

Simeon's prophecy rang true at this moment when her heart was pierced with sorrow as she beheld Jesus in such pain. 

Seeing her brought much comfort to Jesus and gave Him renewed strength and courage to carry on with His mission. 

So Jesus continued on as best He could. But He was so weak and His wounds were to immense that He could have expired on the way to Calvary. Seeing this, the executioners picked a man from the crowd, Simon of Cyrene, and forced Him to help Jesus for fear that Jesus would not make it to the place where He was to be crucified. 

So Simon helped Jesus carry His cross. 

Along the way there was a holy woman named Veronica. She was a follower of Jesus and as she waited to see Him. 

As He approached her, she removed her veil and wiped His bloody face. Her gesture was so refreshing and loving that Jesus performed a miracle. 

The image of His face was impressed upon her veil.

When Jesus finally completed His long and agonizing journey, the executioners threw Him to the ground and stripped Him once again of His clothing and prepared to crucify Him.

Most of what is recounted above about Carrying The Cross, can be found in various bible verses like Luke 23:27-32, Mark 15:20-21, and John 19:17.

A personal prayer for this mystery could be sorrow for your sins that caused such horrendous sufferings to Our Lord.  To pray to His Mother to help you live the life Christ wants of you.

5. The Crucifixion of Christ 

Allow The Love And Self Sacrifice
Jesus Demonstrated Through
His Crucifixion Permeate
Your Entire Being

"Greater love than this no man hath,
that a man lay down his life for his friends."
-John 15:13

Catholic Rosary Myteries

The Crucifixion is one of the most popularly depicted historical events in art. Every Catholic home should have a crucifix to remind them of what Jesus suffered in order to redeem them and all mankind. 

Keep the following story, the saddest in the life of Jesus in mind while praying this mystery of the Rosary.

When meditating on this last of the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, keep in mind that the fruit of the mystery is perseverence.
After the miserable carriage of the cross, Jesus finally arrived, exhausted to the place where He was to be crucified, Golgatha. 

The executioners offered Him wine mixed with a sedative, but when Jesus tasted it, He refused to drink. 

Between the hours of 9 and 12 o'clock, Jesus was crucified between two thieves, one on His right and the other on His left.
"And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." -Luke 23:34
An inscription was posted above Jesus on the cross. It was written in three languages, Hebrew, Latin and Greek. 

The chief priests were very disturbed by this inscription. They did not want people to think Jesus was their king, for that is the reason they wanted Him put to death. 

So they went to Pilate and said, "Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews.
"Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written." -John 19:21-22
The soldiers took clothes of Jesus and divided them amongst themselves. His tunic was made of one piece so rather than dividing it they said to one another, "Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be." -John 19:24
Many people were passing by on their way into the city for the Passover. They ridiculed Jesus as He hung there on the cross, saying things such as... 

"Thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days dost rebuild it: save thy own self: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." -Matthew 27:40
The chief priests and scribes also ridiculed Him saying, "He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him." -Matthew 27:42
The soldiers, giving Him sour wine taunted, "If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself." -Luke 23:37
One of the thieves that was crucified with Jesus also ridiculed Him. He dared to say, "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us."
Good Thief, Remember me when you come into Your Kingdom
The Good Thief reproached the other for his blasphemy. He defended Jesus as he rebuked the other saying, "Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art condemned under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done no evil." 
"And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.
"And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise." -Luke 23:39-43
Mary mother of Jesus, was standing near the cross along with John and Mary Magdalene and the other Holy Women. 

When Jesus looked down upon His sorrowing mother, He said to her, "Woman, behold thy son." Then looking at St. John, Jesus said, "Behold thy mother." -John 19:26-27

Jesus was not only asking St. John to care for Mary, which he did, but Jesus was also giving Mary to be the mother of all. 

From about noon until 3 o'clock the sky became dreadfully dark.
This fearsome occurrence terrified many of the onlookers and their demeanor changed from mockery to that of dread and repentance.
Then at 3 o'clock, Jesus cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" -Matthew 27:46 those near the cross thought Jesus was calling out to Elijah. 

Then Jesus said, "I thirst."
The executioners filled a sponge with vinegar and put it up to the mouth of Jesus. Some of the bystander said, "Let us see whether Elias will come to deliver him." -Matthew 27:49
Jesus bowed His Head and gave up His Spirit
Then Jesus said, "It is consummated." -John 19:28-30
"And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost." -Luke 23:46

 The head of Jesus bowed and His spirit departed. 

When Jesus died, there was a great earthquake and the Temple was torn in two. 

St. Matthew's Gospel says that the graves of the dead were opened and that the bodies of the saints rose and went into Jerusalem where many people saw them. 

The soldier and many of those who witnessed the death of Jesus repented and believed. The centurion said, "Indeed this was the Son of God." -Matthew 27:54
The chief priests however, went to Pilate and asked him to have the legs of those being crucified broken because they did not want the bodies to stay on the cross on the sabbath day. 

Upon Pilate's command, the soldiers went and broke the legs of the thieves first but when they came to Jesus they saw He was already dead. But to be sure, they speared open His side and "immediately there came out blood and water." -John 19:34
Mary and John and Mary Magdalen silently gathered at the foot of the cross worshiping Jesus the God-man and their Savior. 

Mother Mary at the foot of the cross (Movie-Passion of the Christ)
The pain Mary felt when Jesus was lost in the Temple all those years ago was drastically renewed as this new sorrow pierced her suffering heart. 

The body of Jesus was taken down from the cross and placed in the arms of His sorrowful mother. 

If you would like to read the full scriptural account of the Crucifixion it can be found in Matthew 27:33-51, Mark 15:28-35, Luke 23:32-46 and John 19:19-30 

A personal prayer for this mystery could be one of thankfulness to Jesus for loving us so much to suffer such pain and agony to save us from our sins... and open the gates of heaven. And to pray for those who are suffering in this world and in purgatory.

Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries with Inspirational commentary and images - Youtube

 The Five Glorious Mysteries
Days to pray this Mystery Wednesdays & Sundays 

1. The Resurrection of Christ 

Jesus had risen as He said He would...

The fruit of this mystery is faith and recall this scene at Jesus tomb as you make your meditations on the Rosary, particularly on the first of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary which is the rising of Jesus Easter Sunday.
After the crucifixion, the next event in the life of Jesus is the Resurrection. 

         This is the greatest of the miracles of Jesus
Jesus was laid in a borrowed tomb. The tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimethea. 

The body of Jesus was hastily placed there without the usual burial ceremony because the Sabbath was drawing near. 

His body was wrapped in Linen and anointed with some spices. Then a large rock was rolled in front of the tomb. 

The enemies of Jesus and the High Priests went to Pilate. Knowing that Jesus promised to rise from the dead on the third day, they asked that guards be placed at the tomb in case the followers of Jesus came and stole His body in order to fool people into believing that He did in fact rise from the dead. 

Pilate did as they asked. 

And so a guard was sent and secured the tomb. 

After the Sabbath the Holy Women went to the tomb so they could finish anointing Jesus' body. 

But, Jesus had already rose. 

There was an earthquake and an angel came down from heaven, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. The guards were so frightened they ran away in fear. 

Mary Magdalen was the first person to the tomb. She cried out in sorrow when she saw that Jesus' body was missing for she thought it had been stolen. 

Mary Magdalen ran to Peter and John. She cried, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him." -John 20:2
Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. John, being much younger, outran Peter and arrived first. 

When Peter arrived he entered the tomb. There he saw that the linens that Jesus' was wrapped in were on the floor but that the cloth that covered Jesus' face was folded neatly and placed somewhere separate from the other linens. 

At that moment they both believed that Jesus had risen as He said He would. 

Meanwhile, Mary Magdalen remained outside the tomb, crying. Two angels appeared to her and asked her why she was sad.
She answered... 

"Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him." -John 20:13
She turned around and saw Jesus standing there yet she did not recognize Him. 

He asked her... 

"Why are you weeping?Whom do you seek? She, thinking it was the gardener, said to him: Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus said to her: "Mary." She turned, said to him: Rabboni [which is to say, Master]. Jesus said to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren." -John 20:15-18
She went back to the other disciples and proclaimed, "I have seen the Lord!!"  But they did not believe her. 

The other woman later arrived at the tomb. 

Upon entering they saw an angel sitting inside. He told them Jesus had risen. 

Delighted, they ran back to tell the others. On the way they met a man clothed in white. 

He told them...
"Be not be afraid; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen! He is not here! Behold the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see him, as he told you." -Mark 16:2-7
If you would like to read the full scriptural account of The Resurrection it can be found in Matthew 27:60-28:9, Mark 16:2-11, Luke 23:54-56, and John 19:40-20:18.

Personal prayer could be asking Jesus to strengthen your faith and to pray for those who have died. 

2. The Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven
  As Jesus was blessing them, 
He went up into a cloud 
and vanished from their sight. 
Suddenly two angels 
were in their midst and asked them, 
"You men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? 
              This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, 
          shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven" 

For forty days since the Resurrection, Jesus lived among the apostles. 

He ate with them and taught them new things concerning the Kingdom of God

One evening as the remaining eleven were eating dinner, Jesus appeared to them. He reproached them for their lack of faith.
They were being stubborn and refused to believe those who had seen Jesus alive after the Resurrection and were locked in a room for fear of Jesus' enemies. 

"And he said to them: Go,into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that does not believe shall be condemned." -Mark 15:15-16.
But before they were to do these things, they had to wait for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit Who would give them the strength they needed to carry out their mission. 

The Apostles begged Him not to go but He said to them, 
"Do not be afraid, 
for I will be with you always."

He was speaking to all of us. 

Personal prayer could be to ask the Lord to give you the grace to trust in His words that He will be with you through all your trials--Trust In Him. 

3. Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (and Our Lady)
 "Come, Holy Spirit fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle within them the Fire of Your Love."
The Fruit of this Mystery is the Love of God.

 Let the peace and confidence that comes from through the gifts of the Holy Spirit permeate your life as you deepen your understanding of them while reciting the rosary prayers that focus on the life of Jesus and the apostles. 

After the Ascension, the Apostles and Mary did as Jesus commanded and went to Jerusalem. 

They stayed in the Upper Room where they prayed together for the coming of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. 

"And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever." -John 14:16
Suddenly a mighty wind came up and blew into the room.
Then above each of their heads appeared a tongue of fire.
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit."
Their souls were filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and they were able to speak in foreign languages. 

This event, The Descent of the Holy Spirit, is called Pentecost and it is the birthday of the Church. 

St. Peter went out where a crowd had gathered. 

This man who had denied Jesus just a short time ago, preached about the Kingdom of God and about Jesus. 

"Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." -Acts 2:38
That day 3,000 people converted and were baptized.

Personal prayer could be to ask the Holy Spirit to grant you the graces of great faith and conversion of your hard heart.

4.  The Assumption of Mary into Heaven 

 My beloved spoke, and said unto me: 
'Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away."
Song of Songs 2:10

Mary's time on earth drew to a conclusion. Around her bed knelt the apostles and disciples of Jesus.
Her soul was surely filled with peace and joy as she eagerly awaited her reunion with Jesus, her Son. 

The Blessed Virgin Mary closed her eyes and fell asleep in death. 

Those present felt both an overwhelming joy and a profound grief. 

Joy that Mary was now united with her Son and grief at the loss of their Mother. 

They would have to wait for their own earthly journey to come to an end before they would see her and their Lord, Jesus again. 

The Apostles and the Holy Women prepared Mary's body for burial. 

They devoutly and lovingly laid her to rest. 

When the Apostles went to the tomb to pray the following day, Mary's body was gone, replaced with the sound of birds singing and the lovely scent of flowers. 

Mary was conceived without sin and Jesus would not allow her body to decay. 

The devil had no power over her. 

Jesus took her, body and soul up to Heaven where He had a place prepared for her. 

There she is now, among the angels and the saints praising God and interceding on her dear children's behalf. 

Personal prayer could be to ask Our Mother Mary to pray for us that we too can be with her soon to praise God with her and the Angels in heaven.

5. Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven       
           and Earth

After Jesus took Mary, body and soul 
into heaven, He crowned her 
                  Queen of heaven and earth. 

The Coronation of Mary sets Mary up as your Queen who distributes many gifts, especially the gift of peace. 

By her very relationship as the mother of Jesus, Mary is queen because Jesus is King. Who is a king's mother? 

A queen of course! And Mary is the greatest queen ever for she is the mother of the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace, Jesus. 

The Angel Gabriel declared this to be true... 

"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." -Luke 1:32-33

Not only is Mary the mother of the King, she is the most highly favored daughter of God the Father and the Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. 

She always obeyed God and was humble before Him. 

Mary received the promised "never fading crown of glory" because her life so perfectly resembled that of her Son's and because she shared in all His sufferings. -1Peter 5:4
As a reward for her holiness and perfection of virtues, Jesus gave her dominion over the Angels and the Saints as their queen. 

Evil spirits fear Mary more than any other human because they never had any power over her for she was conceived in her mother's womb without the blemish of original sin. 

Jesus could only enter this world through a spotless woman, one created as Adam and Eve were created, perfect in the eyes of God.

Personal prayer could be to ask the Queen of Heaven for her prayers to help you on your journey to heaven. 

Pray the Glorious Mysteries with Inspirational commentary and images - Youtube

Special thank you to  
How to Pray the Rosary everyday
 for their insight in explaining this great prayer.