The Rosary

    THE ROSARY draws upon Scripture and has been called a Gospel prayer, even "the compendium of the entire Gospel."   It includes the sign of the Cross and the following prayers: the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, the Fatima Prayer and the Hail, Holy Queen.
     Better said, the Rosary also includes the contemplation of the mysteries: events in the life of Jesus, and Mary and Joseph. There were 15 of these mysteries prayed, grouped into sets of five called the Joyful, the Sorrowful and the Glorious mysteries. To these have now been added the Luminous Mysteries. With regard to contemplation, Pope Paul VI wrote to the bishops in 1974 "... that the succession of Hail Mary's constitutes the warp* on which is woven the contemplation of the mysteries. The Jesus that each Hail Mary recalls is the same Jesus whom the succession of mysteries proposes to us..."

 *The warp are the lengthwise threads in a loom, which are crossed by the weft, the threads carried   by the shuttle.   Thus we weave a fabric of prayer.

  1. The Annunciation-the announcement of Jesus coming into the world and Mary's consent.
         (Luke 1:26-38)
  2. The Visitation-the Blessed Virgin Mary goes into the hill country to her cousin Elizabeth.
         (Luke 1:39-55)
  3. The Nativity-the birth of Jesus.
         (Luke 2:1-20)
  4. The Presentation-Jesus is presented in the Temple.
         (Luke 2:22-35)
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple--Jesus is found in the temple among the teachers, listening and asking questions, amazing those who heard Him.
         (Luke 2:41-51)
  1. The Agony in the Garden-Jesus suffers in the Garden of Gethsemane.
         (Matt. 26:36-42)
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar--the sacred flesh of Jesus is beaten and torn.
         (Matt. 27:26)
  3. The Crowning with Thorns--the King of Kings endures the cruel pressing of thorns upon his sacred head.
         (Matt. 27:28-30)
  4. The Carrying of the Cross-Jesus carries His Cross to Calvary.
         (Matt. 27:31-32)
  5. The Crucifixion--Jesus is nailed to the Cross, hangs there and dies for our sins.
         (Matt. 27:33-52)
  1. The Resurrection-Jesus rises from the tomb on Easter Sunday.
         (John 20:1-18)
  2. The Ascension of Jesus into heaven.
         (Acts 1:6-11)
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit--the Pentecostal coming of the Holy Spirit.
         (Acts 2:1-41)
  4. The Assumption of Mary is into heaven.
  5. The Coronation of Mary, the Mother of Jesus is crowned.

   (While the Assumption and the Coronation are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, they are in accord with it. They redound to God's glory in the way He treated and honored Mary, the human mother of Jesus who cooperated with God in the salvation of mankind, and suffered doing so. Take away these mysteries and you take away from God.)

  1. The Baptism of Jesus-Jesus is baptised in the Jordan and the Trinity is manifested.
         (Matt. 3:13-17)
  2. The Wedding of Cana-Jesus performs His first miracle in response to his mother's concern.
         (John 2:1-11)
  3. The Announcement of the Kingdom-Jesus proclaimed in Galilee that "The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
         (Mark 1:14-15)
  4. The Transfiguration-Jesus is transformed before His apostles and a voice from a cloud says, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to Him."
         (Luke 9:28-36)
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist-the changing of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus at the Last Supper, which He wanted done in memory of Him
         (Luke 22:14-20)

   (This "memory of Him" occurs in the Mass where the one sacrifice of the Cross is made present again for our benefit. Bread and wine are changed into Christ, Who we receive as the Sacrament of the Eucharist for our souls.)


     In meditating on a mystery, a person need not be limited to the historical event itself, but may also think of a subject appropriate to the mystery.
     For example, the wounds of Christ in any of several mysteries, may remind us, that it is through His wounds that we enter heaven.  His wounds are like entrances for us. 
     In contemplating the crown of thorns, the mind may leave off thinking about the happening itself, and go down such a path as the following: for Our Lord, one thorn alone would've sufficed to make up for sin...and yet He suffered a crown of them, amid all His other sufferings! We may ponder why He suffered so much, and feel appreciation for what He endured.
     Another thought: while God counts our efforts, all the deeds of all the humans of all time, piled together, would not amount to an infinite amount of satisfaction for sin, to offer our infinite God. Christ's actions, however, have infinite value.


The Lords 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.
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.
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.
The Fatima Prayer: 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.
The Hail Holy Queen: Hail holy Queen, Mother of Mercy. Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our signs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
The Apostles' Creed: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day, He rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again 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 the life everlasting. Amen.
The Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. (Sign of our Redemption and the Trinity, made by touching our forehead, heart and shoulders.)


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