The Holy Rosary With Extracts from the Apostolic Letter of John Paul II Rosarium Virginis Mariæ
Introduction The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, which gradually took form in the second millennium under the guidance of the Spirit of God, is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium. Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness. (RVM 1)
Opening Prayers In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. V. Lord, open our lips. R. And we shall praise your name. V. O God, come to our aid. R. O Lord, make haste to help us. V. 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 Apostles Creed I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come 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 life everlasting. Amen.
Our Father Hail Mary (x3) Glory Be The Holy Father’s Intentions
The Joyful Mysteries Monday & Saturday
The first five decades, the “joyful mysteries”, are marked by the joy radiating from the event of the Incarnation. This is clear from the very first mystery, the Annunciation, where Gabriel's greeting to the Virgin of Nazareth is linked to an invitation to messianic joy: “Rejoice, Mary”. The whole of salvation history, in some sense the entire history of the world, has led up to this greeting. (RVM 20)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1,14) “’Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus’ … ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word’.” (Luke1:31,38)
If it is the Father's plan to unite all things in Christ (cf. Eph 1:10), then the whole of the universe is in some way touched by the divine favour with which the Father looks upon Mary and makes her the Mother of his Son. The whole of humanity, in turn, is embraced by the fiat with which she readily agrees to the will of God. (RVM 20)
Evocative phrases: Jesus… • Whose arrival was announced by the angel Gabriel. • Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. • Who is Son of the Most High. • Who was Emmanuel, God with us. • Who was welcomed by Mary his Mother. • Who will be given the throne of David. • Whose Kingdom will have no end. • Who will save us from our sins. • Who was welcomed by Joseph, a just man. • Who was named by his parents as the angel had indicated.
Concluding Prayer Lord, help me to respond to my vocation with true fidelity.
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb’ … ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour’.” (Luke 1:42,46)
Exultation is the keynote of the encounter with Elizabeth, where the sound of Mary's voice and the presence of Christ in her womb cause John to “leap for joy” (cf. Lk 1:44). (RVM 20)
Evocative phrases: Jesus… • Who journeyed in his Mother’s womb to the hill country. • Who entered the house of Zechariah. • Who heard his mother greet Elizabeth. • Who caused Elizabeth to be filled with the Holy Spirit. • Whose presence made John leap for joy. • Who heard Mary proclaim the Magnificat. • Who hear his Mother prophesy: “All generations…” • Who came to exalt those of low degree. • Who came to fill the hungry with good things. • Who remained there for about three months.
Concluding Prayer Lord, help me see you in the sick and needy, the downtrodden and oppressed.
“She gave birth to her first-born Son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes… ‘To you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord’.” (Luke 2:7,11)
Gladness also fills the scene in Bethlehem, when the birth of the divine Child, the Saviour of the world, is announced by the song of the angels and proclaimed to the shepherds as “news of great joy” (Lk 2:10). (RVM 20)
Evocative phrases: Jesus… • Whose birth was foretold by the prophets. • Who was born in a stable. • Who was wrapped in swaddling clothes. • Who was laid in a manger. • Who brought peace to those of good will. • Who was circumcised in accordance with the law. • Who was given gold, frankincense and myrrh. • Who was persecuted by Herod. • Who was taken in flight to Egypt. • Who lived in exile.
Concluding Prayer Lord, let there be warmth in my heart and faith in my soul to receive you worthily.
“They brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord… ‘[this child will be] a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel’.” (Luke 2:22,32)
The Presentation in the Temple not only expresses the joy of the Child's consecration and the ecstasy of the aged Simeon; it also records the prophecy that Christ will be a “sign of contradiction” for Israel and that a sword will pierce his mother's heart (cf Lk 2:34-35). (RVM 20)
Evocative phrases: Jesus… • Who is the first-born among many brethren. • Who obeyed the law of Moses. • Whose Mother presented herself for purification. • Whom Joseph ransomed with two young pigeons. • Whom Simeon took into his arms. • Whom Simeon recognised as the Messiah. • Who brings a light of revelations to the gentiles. • Who is the glory of Israel. • Who is a sign which will spoken against. • Who was acknowledged by Anna.
Concluding Prayer Lord, may I also marvel at the self-abasement of your incarnate Son.
“The boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem…After three days they found him in the Temple… ‘Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s affairs’.” (Luke 2:43,46,49)
Joy mixed with drama marks the fifth mystery, the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple. Here he appears in his divine wisdom as he listens and raises questions, already in effect one who “teaches”. The revelation of his mystery as the Son wholly dedicated to his Father's affairs proclaims the radical nature of the Gospel, in which even the closest of human relationships are challenged by the absolute demands of the Kingdom. Mary and Joseph, fearful and anxious, “did not understand” his words (Lk 2:50). (RVM 20)
Evocative phrases: Jesus… • Who was called from Egypt by his Father. • Who lived quietly in Nazareth. • Who increased in wisdom and stature. • Who enjoyed God’s favour. • Who went to Jerusalem as the Law prescribed. • Who disconcerted his parents. • Who listened to the Jewish teachers. • Who astounded everyone with his answers. • Who went about his Father’s business. • Who returned home and obeyed his parents.
Concluding Prayer Lord, may I too grow in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and men. (cf Lk 2:52).
To meditate upon the “joyful” mysteries, then, is to enter into the ultimate causes and the deepest meaning of Christian joy. It is to focus on the realism of the mystery of the Incarnation and on the obscure foreshadowing of the mystery of the saving Passion. Mary leads us to discover the secret of Christian joy, reminding us that Christianity is, first and foremost, euangelion, “good news”, which has as its heart and its whole content the person of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, the one Saviour of the world. (RVM 20)
The Luminous Mysteries 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. (RVM 21)
“In those days Jesus came and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased’.” (Mark 1:9,11)
The Baptism in the Jordan is first of all a mystery of light. Here, as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became “sin” for our sake (cf. 2Cor 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son (cf. Mt 3:17 and parallels), while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out. (RVM 21)
Evocative phrases: Jesus… • Who came to the Jordan to be baptised. • Who gave us an example of humility. • Who prevailed on John to baptise him. • On whom the Holy Spirit descended as a dove. • With whom the Father is well pleased. • Who the Father bids us heed. • Who was anointed for his Messianic mission. • Who taught us not to seek privileges. • Who made friends with John and Andrew. • Who engaged them in inspiring conversation.
Concluding Prayer I thank you, Lord, for marking me with the sign of the Cross in Baptism.
“When the wine failed the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine’… Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’. And they filled them to the brim… The steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine.” (John 2:3,7,9)
Another mystery of light is the first of the signs, given at Cana (cf. Jn 2:1- 12), when Christ changes water into wine and opens the hearts of the disciples to faith, thanks to the intervention of Mary, the first among believers. (RVM 21)
Evocative phrases: Jesus… • Who was invited to a wedding. • Whose Mother Mary was also there. • Who was accompanied by his first disciples. • Whose Mother noticed they had run out of wine. • Who seemed reluctant to intervene. • Who said his time had not yet come. • Who always heeds Mary’s prayer for us. • Who told the servants to fill the jars. • Who turned the water into wine. • Who worked his first miracle in Cana.
Concluding Prayer May I always do whatever he tells me. (cf Jn 2:5)
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel’.” (Mark 1:14-15)
Another mystery of light is the preaching by which Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God, calls to conversion (cf. Mk 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him in humble trust (cf. Mk 2:3-13; Lk 7:47- 48): the inauguration of that ministry of mercy which he continues to exercise until the end of the world, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which he has entrusted to his Church (cf. Jn 20:22-23). (RVM 21)
Evocative phrases: Jesus… • Who began preaching in Galilee. • Who called the apostles while they were at work. • Who taught Christian living by word and deed. • Who was meek and humble of heart. • Who taught the primacy of charity. • Who confronted hypocrisy. • Who taught in parables. • Who confirmed his teaching with miracles. • Who loved his disciples. • Who teaches us in his Church.
Concluding Prayer May I heed the call to conversion and enter God’s kingdom.