The Rosary is appealing and simple. The purpose of the Rosary is to help us meditate on the great mysteries of our salvation. Every time we pray the Our Father we are reminded that Jesus’ Father is the initiator of salvation. Praying the Hail Mary reminds us that we are joining with Mary in contemplating these mysteries. In addition, they help to make us aware that Mary was and is still intimately joined with her son, Jesus, in all the mysteries of earthly and heavenly existence. The constant repetition of prayer creates an atmosphere of contemplation.
The traditional fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary were finalized by the sixteenth century. The mysteries are grouped into sets: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, the Glorious Mysteries, and, in 2002, Pope John Paul II announced the new Luminous Mysteries.
Spiritual Fruit – Humility
Of all women, God prepared Mary from her conception to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Spiritual Fruit – Love of Neighbor
Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, conceives in her old age…for nothing is impossible with God. Mary serves her cousin in humility for three months until the birth of John the Baptist.
Spiritual Fruit– Poverty of Spirit
In the stillness of the night, the Savior is born in a manger; Mary remains a Virgin.
Shepherds pay homage to the Infant in the stable; the Magi come to adore Him and give gifts.
Spiritual Fruit – Purity of Mind and Body
Observing the Law of Moses, they take Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord. After they fulfill all the law requires, they return to Nazareth.
At the end of the first day’s journey, Mary and Joseph discover Jesus is missing.
They find Jesus in the temple. Because He is subject to them, He goes with them to Nazareth.
Spiritual Fruit – God’s Will Be Done
Jesus sees the sins of all mankind, whose guilt He has taken upon Himself.
Jesus asks, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet, not My will but Your will be done.”
Spiritual Fruit – Mortification of the Senses
The Jewish leaders take Jesus before Pilate, for only he can impose the death penalty.
Jesus is bound to a pillar and cruelly scourged until His whole body is covered with deep wounds.
Spiritual Fruit – Reign of Christ in our Heart
Pilate asks, “Are you a king?” Jesus answers, “I am a King, but My Kingdom is not of this world.”
They fashion a crown of thorns and press it down upon his head. In mockery, they cry out “Hail, King of the Jews.”
Spiritual Fruit – Patient bearing of Trials
Condemned to death by crucifixion Jesus is forced to carry the cross to the place of execution.
Jesus meets His afflicted Mother causing untold anguish in the Hearts of Son and Mother.
Spiritual Fruit – Pardoning of Injuries
The hands and feet of Jesus are nailed to the cross in the presence of His afflicted Mother.
Jesus cries out, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Spiritual Fruit – Faith
On the third day, Jesus rises from the dead, glorious and immortal.
The holy women come to anoint Him. An angel calms their fears: “He is not here. He has risen as He said.”
Spiritual Fruit – Christian Hope
Jesus remains on the earth forty days after His Resurrection to prove He has truly risen from the dead. He commissions the apostles to preach the gospel to every creature, and promises to be with them forever.
Spiritual Fruit – Gifts of the Holy Spirit
While praying in the upper room, the Holy Spirit descends on the apostles in the form of tongues of fire. The feast of Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, for on that day it begins to grow.
Spiritual Fruit – To Jesus through Mary
Mary dies, not of bodily infirmity, but is wholly overcome in a rapture of divine love.
Mary’s body, as well as her soul, is taken up into heaven.
Spiritual Fruit – Grace of Final Perseverance
Mary enters heaven and is crowned by her divine Son as Queen of heaven and earth.
Mary shares so fully in the glory of Christ because she shared so fully in His suffering.
Spiritual Fruit – 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.
Spiritual Fruit – 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.” 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.
Spiritual Fruit – 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.
Spiritual Fruit – Desire for Holiness
Jesus gave three of his closest friends 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.
Spiritual Fruit – Eucharistic Adoration, Active Participation at Mass
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.