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20 mysteries of the rosary

20 mysteries of the Rosary: let’s discover them

The Rosary is a part of our lives. Many people wear it without really knowing which is its meaning. And without really knowing how to pray it. For this reason, we’re going to talk about how to meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary.

Meditating every day is very important to become more self-aware and to understand the meaning of our choices and actions, even the simplest ones. Every one of us should find out his personal way of meditating. Well, praying the Rosary is a very effective one!

We already talked about the meaning of the Rosary and how to pray it. Here we have an easy guide to the mysteries of the Rosary, a meditation created to focus on specific spiritual contents and goals.

How Many are the Mysteries of the Rosary?

Altogether, we count 20 mysteries divided into these 4 groups:

- Joyous Mysteries;
- Sorrowful Mysteries;
- Glorious Mysteries;
- Luminous Mysteries.

In origin, there were only the first three of them (the Joyous, the Sorrowful and the Glorious). Pope John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries (or Mysteries of Light) as a discretionary meditation in the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae. Each group is divided into 5 parts related to specific episodes of the Jesus’ and Mary's lives. Each group exemplifies a spiritual concept, the so-called Spiritual “fruit” of the mysteries. These “fruits” should inspire us and guide our actions and decisions towards the right purposes.

The 20 Mysteries and their “Fruits”

The Joyful Mysteries focus on the joyful events related to the Incarnation of Jesus.

The Last Supper - Leonardo da Vinci

1. The Annunciation of Gabriel to the Virgin Mary (Fruit: Humility)
2. The Visitation of Virgin Mary to Elizabeth (Fruit: Love of Neighbor)
3. The Birth of Jesus (Fruit: Poverty of Spirit)
4. The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple at Jerusalem (Fruit: Purity of Mind and Body)
5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem (Fruit: Obedience)

The Luminous Mysteries focus on the life and ministry of Jesus.

1. The Baptism of Our Lord in the Jordan (Fruit: Gratitude For the Gift of Faith)
2. The Wedding Feast at Cana (Fruit: Fidelity)
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven (Fruit: Desire for Holiness)
4. The Transfiguration of Our Lord (Fruit: Spiritual Courage)
5. The Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper (Fruit: Love of Our Eucharistic Lord)

The Sorrowful Mysteries focus on the sorrowful events related to the passion and death of Jesus.

The Passion of Christ - Caravaggio

1. The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane (Fruit: God's Will Be Done)
2. Our Lord is Scourged at the Pillar (Fruit: Mortification of the Senses)
3. Our Lord is Crowned with Thorns (Fruit: Reign of Christ in Our Heart)
4. Our Lord Carries the Cross to Calvary (Fruit: Patient Bearing of Trials)
5. The Crucifixion of Our Lord (Fruit: Pardoning of Injuries)

The Glorious Mysteries focus on the glorious events related to the Resurrection and the reigning of Jesus in heaven with the Virgin Mary.

 Resurrection - Andrea Mantegna

1. The Resurrection of Our Lord (Fruit: Faith)
2. The Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven (Fruit: Christian Hope)
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Virgin Mary and the Apostles at Pentecost (Fruit: Gifts of the Holy Spirit)
4. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven (Fruit: To Jesus Through Mary)
5. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth (Fruit: Grace of Final Perseverance)

How to meditate on them

As we know, the Rosary crown is divided into 5 decades, each one made by 10 beads that help us reciting the 10 Hail Mary. Before reciting a decade, we silently announce one mystery of a specific group (from the fist to the last), and meditate on the related fruit. As we pray, we wish to increase this fruit in our spiritual life.

When should we meditate on the Mysteries

Since we are expected to pray the Rosary every day, Pope John Paul II recommended us to meditate on the mysteries on specific days of the week.

- On Mondays and Saturday we will meditate on the Joyful Mysteries.
- On Tuesday and Friday we will meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries.
- On Wednesday and Sunday we will meditate on the Glorious Mysteries.
- On Thursday we will meditate on the Luminous Mysteries.


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