The Rosary

     While he was still Cardinal in Argentina, Pope Francis wrote:  “Traditional piety, as a visible and profound manifestation of the religious sentiment of a people, is an example of incarnation of the faith within cultural realities, which it permeates while at the same time being enriched by them; that is to say, traditional piety is an example of inculturation of the faith.”  The most traditional prayer in the Church for the last seven and a half centuries has been the recitation of the Rosary.

     The spiritual core of the Rosary lies in looking at God as he appears in Jesus.  It is a contemplative prayer.  This quiet meditation may fill the soul with praise and love of God, or lead you to important decisions, deepen your sorrow for your sins, or encourage you to pray for others.  As in all good prayer, when you use the Rosary you are putting yourself in God’s hands.  You will be praying ‘with Mary’, which means praying ‘with the Church’.

     The twenty Mysteries of the Rosary are arranged in four groups which form a balanced pattern summarizing the Gospel and easy to remember.  This is the essence of the Rosary.  Pope John Paul II realized that some of the most important elements in the gospel were missing from the traditional fifteen mysteries and proposed five more mysteries, which he called the Mysteries of Light.

The Joyful Mysteries (prayed on Mondays and Saturdays)

1.  The Annunciation to Mary by the angel Gabriel.  “Be it done unto me according to your word.”  (Luke 1:38).  2.  The Visitation of Elizabeth by Mary.  “My soul magnifies the Lord.  (Luke 1:46).  3.  The Birth of Jesus at Bethlehem.  “Peace on earth to those in God’s favor. (Luke 2:14).  4.  The Presentation of the baby Jesus in the Temple.  “My eyes have seen your salvation.”  (Luke 2:30).  5.  Jesus at the Age of Twelve is found in the Temple.  “I must be busy with my Father’s affairs.”  (Luke 2:49).

The Sorrowful Mysteries (prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays)

1.  The Agony in the Garden.  “Not my will, but yours, be done.”  (Matt. 26: 39).  2.  The Scourging at the Pillar.  “First scourged, then handed over to be crucified.”  (Matt.  27:26).

3.  The Crowning with Thorns.  “Pilate said:  ‘Here is the man!’”  (John 19: 5).  4.  Jesus carries his cross through Jerusalem.  “Do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves.”  (Luke 23: 28).  5.  Jesus dies on the Cross.  “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”   (Luke 23:46).

The Glorious Mysteries (prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays)

1.  Jesus rises from the dead—the Resurrection.  “You shall see him, as he told you.”  (Mark 16: 8).  2.  Jesus is taken up into heaven—the Ascension.  “This same Jesus will come back.”  (Acts 1: 11).  3.  The Holy Spirit comes on the Apostles at Pentecost.  “Each of hears them preaching in our own language.”  (Acts 2: 8).  4.  The Assumption of Mary into Heaven.  “A great sign appeared in heaven.”  (Revelation 12: 1).  5.  The Coronation of our Lady and the Glory of all the saints.  “I saw a new heaven and a new earth.”  (Revelation 21: 1).

The Mysteries of Light  (prayed on Thursdays)

1. The Baptism of Christ.  “You are my Son, the Beloved.”  (Mark 1: 11).  2.  The Wedding at Cana.  “His disciples believed in him.”  (John 2: 11).  3.  The Preaching of the Kingdom of God.  “Repent and believe.”  (Mark 1: 15).  4.  The Transfiguration.  “It is wonderful for us to be here.”  (Luke 9: 33).  5.  The Institution of the Eucharist.  “This is my body.”  (Matt. 26: 26). 


Fr. John




1st Parish founded in Queens - 1833