The Holy Rosary: Praying the 4 Mysteries

The Church celebrated the feast of St. Dominic on August 8th. In the year 1208, Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic and gave him the devotion of the Holy Rosary as his spiritual weapon to labor with her in the fight for souls. When we pray the Holy Rosary, we enter into the mysteries of the Life of Jesus Christ and his Mother.

 

We are called to meditate on each Mystery, contemplating its meaning in our lives or in the life of the Church. Here are the 4 Mysteries of the Rosary with the corresponding fruits and a reflection to aid in prayer.

 

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary (Monday & Saturday)

 

1.The Annunciation – Humility

 

It is appropriate to begin the rosary with the virtue of humility. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “humility is the foundation of prayer. Only when we humbly acknowledge that ‘we do not know how to pray as we ought,’ are we ready to freely receive the gift of prayer. ‘Man is a beggar before God.’ (CCC 2559)

 

2. The Visitation – Love of Neighbor

 

Mary hastened to the house of her cousin Elizabeth to help her in her time of need. In what ways can we be of service to our own neighbors today, whether we find that neighbor in our own home, in our community, at work, or on the internet? Are we overjoyed at the sight of Jesus in others like St. John the Baptist in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth?

 

3. The Nativity – Poverty of Spirit

 

We live in a culture of consumerism. This mystery of the rosary invites us to detach ourselves from our many possessions. We are reminded of the poverty the Holy Family lived in, starting with the birth of Our Lord in a stable. What do we truly need and what is excess? What can we share with others?

 

4. The Presentation – Obedience

 

Mary and Joseph humbly brought Jesus to the temple in accord with Jewish law. Obedience to God and to others can be very difficult, but offers us the opportunity to subjugate our own will to that of our heavenly Father. Not my will, but God’s will be done.

 

5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple – Piety

 

Piety is dedication to the Church’s sacramental life and devotions. Mary and Joseph were surprised to find Jesus in the temple. We, too, should be dedicated to our Church and the sacraments.

 

The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary (Thursday)

 

1. The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan – Openness to the Holy Spirit

 

We each receive the Holy Spirit in a special way in Baptism and again at Confirmation. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. We need only ask the Holy Spirit for help and help will be provided.

 

2. The Wedding Feast at Cana – To Jesus through Mary

 

Mary encouraged her Son to perform his first miracle at the Wedding at Cana. She simply told the servants to “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5).  She helps us in a similar way, always pointing us to her Son and interceding on our behalf. We need only to turn to her and ask for help.

 

3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God – Repentance, Trust in God

 

Jesus spent the active years of his ministry preaching and performing miracles to proclaim the Kingdom of God. He asks us to express sorrow from our sin, turn away from sin, and trust in God.

 

4. The Transfiguration of Jesus – Desire for Holiness

 

Jesus gave 3 of his closest friends (Peter, James, and John) a glimpse of His glory at the Transfiguration. We, too, are called to holiness, and to ultimately live in glory in heaven. But, we need to want it and we need to want it more than what the world and the devil attempts to offer us.

 

5. The Institution of the Eucharist – Eucharistic Adoration

 

Jesus gave us the greatest gift in the Eucharist. He gave us His very self. This mystery invites us to appreciate that gift fully and to participate at Mass often.

 

The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary (Tuesday & Friday)

 

1. The Agony in the Garden – Contrition

 

Jesus, both fully human and fully divine, suffered immensely in the garden. He knew what was coming and he was terrified. He begged His Father to spare him, but submitted Himself fully to His will. We, too, are called to do this.

 

2. The Scourging at the Pillar – Purity, Mortification

 

Mortification isn’t popular these days, but making small sacrifices and offering them up can be a great help to one’s spiritual life. There is an opportunity every day to sacrifice and to suffer in some small way.

 

3. The Crowning with Thorns – Moral Courage

 

Jesus remained resolute even as he was being mocked by others. Do we have the courage to stand up for our convictions even when we are being laughed at? Whose opinion matters more – God’s or those who surround us?

 

4. The Carrying of the Cross – Patience

 

Patience is something we all seem to have difficulty with. Jesus patiently carried his cross through the streets of Jerusalem on the way to his Crucifixion. We can look to him for help when we are tempted to lose our patience.

 

5. The Crucifixion – Salvation, Self-Denial

 

Jesus gave up everything for us on the cross. He took on the sins of the world, past, present, and future, and died for our salvation. At the same time, when we are asked to die to ourselves and put others first, we can look to the cross for the example of total self-giving.

 

The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary (Wednesday & Sunday)

 

1. The Resurrection – Faith

 

It takes great faith to believe that Jesus rose from the dead and that we, too, shall rise. As Jesus told his apostles, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (Jn 20:29). This mystery offers us help in maintaining that faith.

 

2. The Ascension – Hope, Desire for Heaven

 

As we reflect on Jesus’ ascension into Heaven, we hope for a world that is better than this one. We desire to live forever with Jesus in heaven. May that hope help shape our lives here on Earth.

 

3. The Coming of the Holy Spirit – Wisdom, Love of God

 

The disciples were scared, huddled together in that upper room and not sure of what to do. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they were ready to go out and give their very lives in service to God. May the Holy Spirit also grant us that wisdom and love of God.

 

4. The Assumption of Mary – Devotion to Mary

 

Mary was brought up to heaven body and soul. We are devoted to her because of her relationship to her Son and because God saw fit to raise her up. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus” (Lk 1:42).

 

5. The Coronation of Mary – Final Perseverance

 

Mary is the Queen of Heaven, enjoying forever her rightful place next to her Son. May we one day share in her happiness.

Visit The Station of the Cross for more authentically Catholic media content and be sure to check us out @thestationofthecross on all social media on Facebook and Instagram, and @iCatholicRadio on Twitter!

 

Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Dominic, pray for us!

Tags:

Related Updates & Blogs

Massive Win for the Unborn

5 Things You Might Not Know About St. Joseph

St. Faustina: Message of Divine Mercy

Upcoming Schedule