Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Biblical References for the Rosary Mysteries

Most Catholics pray a 5-decade Rosary, and there is a traditional "rotation schedule" to help you choose which set of mysteries to meditate upon on a given day:

Monday: Joyful Mysteries
Tuesday: Sorrowful Mysteries
Wednesday: Glorious Mysteries
Thursday: Luminous Mysteries
Friday: Sorrowful Mysteries
Saturday: Joyful Mysteries
Sunday: Glorious Mysteries

The mysteries are usually listed in a timeline order. I‘ve included the virtues, or fruits (more on that in a future post...), along with the Biblical references that describe each event:

Joyful Mysteries:
1. The Annunciation (Humility) Luke 1: 26-38; John 1:14
2. The Visitation (Charity/Love of Neighbor) Luke 1: 39-56
3. The Nativity (Poverty) Luke 2: 6-20; Matthew 1:18-25
4. The Presentation (Obedience) Luke 2: 22-39
5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Joy in finding Jesus; prudence) Luke 2: 41-51

Luminous Mysteries:
1. The Baptism of Jesus (Fidelity to our baptismal promises) Matthew 3:11-17; Luke 3:15-22; John 1:22-34
2. The Wedding Feast at Cana (Faith in Mary‘s intercession and maternal care)
John 2: 1-12
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom (Conversion of heart) Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 5:1-8; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 7:21
4. The Transfiguration (Become a new person in Christ) Luke 9:28-36; Matthew 17:1-8
5. The Institution of the Eucharist (Love of the Eucharist; active participation at Mass); Matthew 26:26-28; John 6: 33-59

*Note: The five Luminous Mysteries, or Mysteries of Light, were introduced in 2002 by Pope John Paul II in Rosary of the Virgin Mary.

Sorrowful Mysteries:
1. The Agony in the Garden (True sorrow for sin; repentance) Matthew 26: 36-46;
Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22: 39-46
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Modesty and purity; mortification or self-denial) Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1
3. The Crowning of Thorns (Moral courage; love of our enemies) Matthew 27:29-30;
Mark 15:16-20; John 1: 2-3
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Patience, especially when suffering; fortitude)
Luke 23: 26-32; Matthew 27:31-32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23: 26-32
5. The Crucifixion (Perseverance; mercy) Luke 23: 33-46; Matthew 27: 33-54;
Mark 15: 22-39; Luke 23: 33-47; John 19: 17-37

Glorious Mysteries:
1. The Resurrection (Faith) Matthew 28: 1-10; Mark 16: 1-18; Luke 24: 1-49;
John 20:1-29
2. The Ascension (Hope) Mark: 16: 19-20; Luke 24: 50-51; Acts 1: 6-11
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Love of God; gifts of the Holy Spirit)
Acts 2: 1-41
4. The Assumption* (Grace of a happy death; eternal happiness)
Revelation 12:1
5. Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth* (True devotion to Mary)
Revelation 12:1

* Mary‘s Assumption and Coronation are implied in Revelation Chapter 12 and in other Biblical references, but neither is directly stated in the Bible. Both events are part of Catholic Tradition. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the Assumption in Sections 966 and 974.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rosary Mysteries

The Rosary is composed of both verbal and mental prayer. The verbal portion consists of reciting (aloud or silently) the prayers marked by the crucifix, beads, and central medal. The mental portion, or meditation, is the true "soul" of the Rosary. During each decade (10 Hail Marys), we ponder a specific event from the Gospels. These events are known as mysteries. In this case, a mystery is not a puzzle to be solved, but a scene from the lives of Jesus and Mary that can only be partly understood on earth. By meditating on these mysteries, we can better understand them through Divine inspiration.

There are 20 mysteries of the Rosary. They are divided into four sets of five mysteries each:

The Joyful Mysteries:
- The Annunciation
- The Visitation
- The Nativity (Birth of Jesus)
- The Presentation in the Temple
- The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

The Luminous Mysteries (Mysteries of Light):
- The Baptism of Jesus
- The Wedding Feast at Cana
- The Proclamation of the Kingdom
- The Transfiguration
- The Institution of the Eucharist

The Sorrowful Mysteries:
- The Agony in the Garden
- The Scourging at the Pillar
- The Crowning with Thorns
- The Carrying of the Cross
- The Crucifixion

The Glorious Mysteries:
- The Resurrection
- The Ascension
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit
- The Assumption
- The Coronation (Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth)

Meditation is a skill which takes time and practice to master. My hope is to enhance your Rosary meditation by covering each of the twenty mysteries of the Rosary individually. I will provide Bible references, links to artwork, and reflections based on years of reading and research. I always welcome contributions from others who have studied and pondered these events.