Meditations on the Rosary
The introductory prayer
Lord, Jesus Christ, by reciting the holy Rosary, we are coming to You to reflect on the mysteries of Your merciful love for people. We start with the moment of Your conception in the womb of Mary, Your Mother, and end with her assumption into heaven. Increase our ability to imitate You and Your Mother in showing compassion toward others and strengthen our belief and trust that the intercession of Your Mother and our Mother will obtain for us what is promised by Your infinite mercy. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
While reflecting on each mystery, we should recite: the Our Father… 10 Hail Mary’s… and the Glory Be…
1. The Annunciation
“Then the angel said to her, «Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High…»Mary said, «Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word»” (Lk 1:30-32, 38).
O Son of God, out of mercy for sinners You accepted a human body to hide Your majesty and omnipotence. As God, You knew that human wickedness would nail that body to the cross; nevertheless, out of love for us, You undertook to fulfill the will of the Father. O Mary, we thank you for your “fiat” which opens the way for our salvation.
2. The Visitation
“During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she had entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth… Mary remained with her about three months” (Lk 1:39-40, 56).
O Mary, you are going to see your cousin Elizabeth. You endure a long and strenuous journey, and after that you devote yourself to works of mercy by taking over the household duties from St. Elizabeth. Obtain for us a heart open and willing to help all those who await our assistance. Help us to make our life a joyful song for the glory of Divine Mercy, as joyful as your Magnificat in Elizabeth’s house.
3. The Birth of the Child Jesus
“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 in the inn” (Lk 2:6-7).
O Jesus, Savior of the world, laid down in the lowly manger in Bethlehem, we thank You for Your coming into the world in order to make us children of God. We adore and glorify You together with Mary and Joseph, with the angels and with the shepherds. Rather than separating us from You, let Your poverty and degradation bring us nearer to You, and make us more sensitive to the needs of our poor brethren.
4. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
“Simeon…said to Mary, his mother, «Behold, this child is destined for the fall and 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” (Lk 2:34-35).
O Mary, the self-sacrificing Priestess, you brought your Child to the temple, and there you offered Him to God. The prophetic words of Simeon wounded your motherly heart and united you even more to the salvific work of Your Son. O Mother of Mercy, teach us how to sacrifice magnanimously for each great and important cause, and above all, for the salvation of souls!
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
“Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover… As they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it… They journeyed for a day and looked 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” (Lk 2:41-46).
O Mary and Joseph, in genuine sorrow, you looked for your Son for three days. To your great joy you found him in the temple. Teach us perseverance in looking for Jesus and in finding Him in our life. Jesus teach us to value the things of God more than the things of this world.
1. The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan
“ Now it happened that when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a physical form, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son; today have I fathered you.’ ” (Lk 3: 21-22).
Lord, Jesus Christ, Your baptism in the Jordan testifies to the immense grace of God’s mercy which we receive in the sacrament of holy baptism. This grace makes us like You which means that we become God’s children, in whom the heavenly Father takes pleasure. Our souls become God’s dwelling place. Jesus, we implore You to deepen the awareness of this tremendous grace within us and to make us always act like the children of the heavenly Father.
2. Jesus Reveals His Glory at the Wedding of Cana
“ On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. And they run out of wine, since the wine provided for the feast had all been used, and the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said, ‘Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ ” (J 2: 1-5).
Merciful Jesus, this was the first miracle which revealed Your Divine power. You worked it at the request of Your mother who was concerned about the plight of the newly-weds. And She teaches us to fulfill everything You bid us, so that You can work many more miracles in our lives. We beseech You, Lord, to make us notice the needs of our neighbors, likewise Mary did, and present them to You as well as to trustfully fulfill Your will.
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
“ Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness. And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mt 9: 35-36).
Lord Jesus, through Your life, teaching and miracles You most fully revealed the mystery of God’s mercy. In You, the Son of God, we can see the Father who is rich in mercy. We implore You to make us fathom this mystery and by experiencing Your merciful love proclaim to the world the message of God’s mercy with our lives and words.
4. The Transfiguration of Jesus
“ Now about eight days after this had been said, he took with him Peter, John and James and went up the mountain to pray. And it happened that, as he was praying, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became sparkling white. And suddenly there were two man talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem.” (Lk 9: 28-31).
Lord Jesus, in order to prepare Your disciples for Your passion and death, You first showed them Your Divine majesty at the Mount of Tabor. In Your mercy, please strengthen us too and thereby prepare us for the experience of the cross, so to ultimately transform our lives into mercy.
5. The Institution of the Eucharist
“For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person. (…) This is the bread which has come down from heaven; it is not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.” (J 6: 55-56.58).
Merciful Jesus, by instituting the Eucharist, You allow us to participate in Your passion, death and resurrection, and moreover You give us Yourself as our daily bread, so as to strengthen us on the way to the Father’s home and give us eternal life. Let Your name be worshipped for the gift of Your mercy, revealed in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Make it possible for us to profit by this immense gift of Your mercy and let us become bread for our brothers.
The Sorrowful Mysteries
1. The Agony of Jesus in the Garden
“Kneeling, he prayed, saying, «Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.»… He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground” (Lk 22:41-44).
Merciful Jesus, in great distress You were praying, asking the Father to remove the cup of suffering if this were His will. Lord, teach us to pray in every situation and especially in suffering. Teach us to accept all from the hand of God.
2. The Scourging of Jesus at the Pillar
“Pilate… again went out to the Jews and said to them, «I find no guilt in him… Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?» They cried out again, «Not this one but Barabbas!»… Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged” (Jn 18:38-40, 19:1).
O merciful Jesus, in spirit we are looking at You, tied to the pillar and cruelly scourged for our sins. Now we understand that we have been bought out from the hands of Satan not by silver or gold, but by Your priceless blood. Immaculate Lamb, give us more strength to free ourselves from the slavery of lust and sin.
3. The Crowning of Jesus with Thorns
“Weaving a crown out of thorns, they [the soldiers] placed it on his head and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, «Hail, King of the Jews!» They spat upon him and took the reed and kept striking him on the head”. (Mt 27:29-30)
O merciful Jesus, how formidable and how cruel is the wickedness of man, how limitless is the mystery of sin! Man has raised his hand against God! A creature – against its Creator and Savior! Lord Jesus, You who are patient, merciful and humble, restrain our pride, our viciousness and our desire to torment the defenseless. Teach us patience, kindness and humility!
4. Jesus Carries His Heavy Cross
“And when they had mocked him… they led him off to crucify him. As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross” (Mt 27:31-32).
O suffering Jesus, man did not show You any mercy, not even a little bit; he condemned You to death, and burdened You with the heavy cross which You carried to Calvary. You carried it with great difficulty, falling under its weight, but You still found some strength to glance at your beloved Mother, to console the weeping women of Jerusalem and to reward Veronica for the courageous deed of mercy. Be with us, whenever we are weighted down by our own cross!
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. [Then Jesus said,«Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.»] …It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon… 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” (Lk 23:33-34, 44-46).
O merciful Jesus, immersed in the sea of suffering, You have prayed for the executioners, You promised paradise to the repentant thief, and for us, you gave Mary as the Mother of Mercy. Your passion and death took away sin, conquered Satan and opened the gates of Heaven. You have completed the work of redemption on the cross. We thank You for this! Together with You and Your Sorrowful Mother, we want to save the sinful world through our prayer and sacrifice, so that the fullness of Your mercy may reign over all the world.
The Glorious Mysteries
1. The Resurrection of Jesus
“Then the angel said to the women in reply, «Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.» … And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them…” “Later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed hose who saw him after he had been raised.” (Mt 28:5-6,9; Mk 16:14)
O Risen Christ, Your triumph over sin and death is also our triumph over Satan and futility of life. Your joy is also our joy! This truth rouses us from our torpor, enlivens our faith in the meaning of suffering and in our resurrection. O Lord Jesus You are with us again; now we see You as the Conqueror of death, hell and Satan.
2. The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
“So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs”. (Mk 16:19-20)
Lord Jesus, You have left this earth to be seated at the right hand of the Father in His glory. You preceded us to the heavenly Homeland to prepare for us a place of eternal joy. Filled with trust and gratitude, we adore Your infinite mercy.
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise (…) and it filled the entire house. (…) Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire (…) and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues” (Acts 2:1-4).
O Lord Jesus, You did not leave us orphans, when You left this earth, but You have sent the Spirit of Consolation, the Spirit of Truth, who leads us to “all truth” (Jn 16:13). Together with Mary, Your Mother, we persist in prayer and beg for His gifts for us and for the whole world.
4. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“Behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty one has done great things for me” (Lk 1:48-49).
“When the course of her earthly life was completed Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God and always Virgin, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (Pius XII). O Virgin Mother of God, You were the first to obtain salvation and You became the image of the Church in glory. While we are on our way to the heavenly Homeland You are for us a source of consolation and a sign of hope. O Mother of Mercy, into Your motherly hands we lay down our souls and our bodies, that we may live in God’s presence forever.
5. Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“The Lord instituted her as the Queen of heaven and earth. She is exalted above all the choirs of angels and the hierarchies of saints. She stands on the right hand of her only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. She intercedes for us most powerfully by her motherly prayers, obtaining what she desires. She cannot be disappointed” (Pope Pius IX).
O Mary, you are the Mother of Christ. His kingdom lasts forever; therefore, you fully deserve the title of Queen, and it is fitting that your faithful ones adorn your images with crowns. You began as a humble maidservant of the Lord, and you became the Queen of the universe; but we know that your regal office does not consist of dominating over us, but of distributing God’s graces and imploring God’s mercy for the world. Our Queen and Mother of mercy, we join you in this prayer.
Conclusion: We fly to your patronage… (Sub tuum presidium)