Monday, May 28, 2012

(84) Meditations For the Rosary IV: The Glorious Mysteries


A painting by Raphael (1483-1520)

The 20 mysteries of the rosary and their corresponding meditations cover the highlights of the life of Christ and His mother, Mary. Four times through this liturgical year, we have published meditations on a set of five mysteries 1)Joyful, 2)Luminous, 3)Sorrowful, and 4)Glorious that coincide with the Gospels of the liturgical year.  Since the rosary is very biblical, bible references follow each meditation.  As to the repetitive background prayer, the Our Father’s is the prayer the Lord Himself gave to us and the Hail Mary prayer comes from Luke 1:28, 42. At the end of each decade, we give glory and praise to the Holy Trinity……the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We don’t adore Mary, but rather we honor her as a model and ask her to pray for us.
     Conceptually, the rosary is a litany of repetitive prayers, which act like background music, while the focus is to meditate upon five of 20 different mysteries of the life of Christ and His mother, grouped according to the joyful, luminous, sorrowful, and glorious events portrayed or alluded to in the Bible. See

    The rosary is said with the aid of beads and a connected crucifix, marking the beginning with the Apostles Creed. This is followed by an Our Father for the intentions of the Holy Father, three Hail Mary prayers for the increase of Faith, Hope and Charity plus a Glory Be. Then each decade or mystery includes one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and a Glory Be (Praise), really a profession of faith.  Please permit me to share insights I obtained from many sources and use while meditating on the holy rosary. You might like to incorporate some of these meditations among yours or add to them.   

        For those who say the rosary every day: The Joyful Mysteries are usually said on Monday & Saturday; the Luminous Mysteries are said on Thursday; the Sorrowful on Tuesday and Friday; and the Glorious on Wednesday and Sunday. The Sunday rosary may use instead the mysteries that correspond to the season of the liturgical year.......Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. The Sorrowful Mysteries are usually said during the entire Holy Week and the Glorious Mysteries are usually said for the entire Easter Week. Of course one may meditate on any set of mysteries. There's no rigid rule.

 “The family that prays together, stays together.” This was the theme promoted by Fr. Patrick Peyton on his Family Theater program on radio and television during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. He recruited the top movie stars of the day (Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Loretta Young, etc. and even a young actor by the name of Ronald Reagan) as volunteers to sing or act in inspiring dramatizations on his Family Theater program on radio and television.  Available on DVD is a movie on the Life of Christ which he produced.  Fr. Peyton, the Rosary Priest, promoted the rosary all over the world in talks and rallies. 

    His cause for canonization is advancing.  Go to for one of Fr. Peyton's messages and links to other clips of his productions.  Learn more about this future saint by clicking on and  The latter has a link to the online store of the Holy Cross Family Ministries for a wealth of DVDs, books, and other resources regarding his work and the work of his order.
In gratitude for his lifetime work Pope John Paul II embraces Fr. Patrick Peyton, the Rosary Priest.

        Prayer has healed millions, ended wars, overthrown dictators, decisively stopped the advance of militant Islam into Europe at least three times at Belgrade in 1456, Le Panto in 1571, and again in breaking the siege of Vienna by the Turks in 1683, each a chapter in a one thousand year old war between Western Civilization and Radical Islam that includes today's War on Terror.  Otherwise, Europe would be a lot different today.


            During the Glorious Mysteries, imagine that you have gone through a time capsule and you are there at the tomb during the Resurrection of Christ on the first Easter Sunday, you are with the apostles during His appearances to them; saying good-by to Jesus as He ascends into Heaven; and being filled with the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost, on fire helping with the many conversions on that day.  
        Then we are with the apostles saying good-by to Mary during her dormition, her beautiful death or falling asleep as she is taken or assumed into heaven (body and soul) to be physically reunited with her son before being crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.  The facts of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary are based on the Bible and tradition handed down by the apostles as seen in the writings of the early Church fathers.
        Below are meditations for each decade or mystery. One may use the entire meditation or read and reflect only upon the Bible passages as he or she can imagine being there as an observer. In bold is a recommended shorter version when time is limited. Anything in italics is a quote taken directly from the Bible.
The First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection


       Over the weekend of Good Friday, there was despair among the disciples who put their hopes and trust in their Master, but to their surprise.......HE IS RISEN as He truly said he would. Alleluia! That gave credibility, validation, and vindication to Christ's to His teachings and His saying that He is the Son of God. Without the Resurrection, Christ would go down in history as just another good man or just another prophet who was killed for what He believed.  

      By His resurrection, Christ conquered death, evil, and sin.  God made good come out of evil.  Since Our Lord rose again victorious, we also have the hope of rising again victorious and achieving everlasting happiness with Him in heaven.  No matter how difficult are the crosses we must bear on earth, we can accept and unite them with His cross, TRUSTING that our crosses will make us saints and OUR VICTORIOUS RESURRECTION WILL COME.  All that remained in the tomb was the shroud wrapping the body of Christ.  At the instant that Christ's soul gloriously reentered His body, there was a burst of radiation that scorched the shroud just enough to leave on it an image of the crucified Savior that He left for us to strengthen our weak faith.

       Other options include reading and reflecting during the recitation of this decade on Psalm 16:5-11; Jeremiah 20:10-11; Matthew 16:21-22; 17:22-23; 20:17-19; 27:57-28:15; Mark 15:42-16:13; Luke 23:50-24:48; John 2:19-22; 19:38-21:25; Acts 1:1-3, 21-22; 2:30-32; 4:33; 10:39-43; Romans 1:1-3; 6:3-14; 1Corinthians 15:3-8, 12-22; 1Peter1:18-21. 

The Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension


The eleven apostles went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.   Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age"  (Matthew 28:16-20).  Christ meant that not only for His apostles, but also for us to evangelize in little or big ways by prayer, by example and witness, by word, and by deed in our daily it in the home, in parish functions or apostolates, in the community, in conversation, and even on the job.  

        He promised to always be with us, particularly in the Eucharist.  At the same time our Savior “is seated at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.”  The apostles were sad to see their Master depart and now had to wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit (confirmed) to begin their great mission of evangelization.  Other options include reading and reflecting during the recitation of this decade on Mark 16:14-20; Luke 24:47-53; and Acts 1:6-12.   

The Third Glorious Mystery

 The Descent of the Holy Spirit

       Present were Mary and the apostles....... “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.  And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.  Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted 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, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim” (Acts 2:1-4). 

    May the Holy Spirit renew in us the graces and His gifts of the sacrament of Confirmation as well as His fruits.  As soldiers of Christ, may we be always faithful to the Lord and His Church.  As were the first apostles, may we also be fearlessly on fire for the defend it, to spread it, and to share it with others no matter the cost.    Dear Holy Spirit, always tell us what to do, what to say, and what to write.  Other options include reading and reflecting during the recitation of this decade on Psalm 2:1-7; 104:30; 118:1-9,19-29; Ezekiel 37:14; Joel 3:1-5; Mark 16:14-20; John 3:5-8; 7:37-39; 14:15-28; 15:26-27; 20:19-23; Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-41; 3:12-26; 4:5-14; 23-31; Romans 8:22-27; 1 Corinthians 12:3-13; Galatians 5:13-26; 1 Peter 1:10-12.

The Fourth Glorious Mystery: 
The Assumption of Mary into Heaven

        According to tradition, the apostles joyfully found only the most beautiful flowers where Mary previously laid in state.  Christ followed the 4th Commandment in honoring His mother by having her body and soul taken directly into His arms in Heaven.  Our Lord would not allow her body, a living tabernacle for nine months, the new Ark of the Covenant, to deteriorate in the earth. 

        Mary’s womb, the new Ark, did not contain manna, but the Bread of Life which is the Eucharist, Christ Himself.....not the staff of Aaron, but the Good Shepherd and High Priest who will offer Himself for us…..not the Ten Commandments, but the Son of God, who will speak for the Father.

        All of Heaven received Mary with immense joy.  Mother Mary, pray for us so that we may have a happy death as you had.  Other options include reading and reflecting during the recitation of this decade on Judith 13:18; Luke 1:39-56; 11:27-28; 1 Corinthians 15:20-27, 54-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; Revelation 11:19; 12:1.

The Fifth Glorious Mystery: 
The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven & Earth


Imagine that you are there with all Heaven rejoicing in jubilation as Mary is gloriously crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth by her Son and the Father with the Holy Spirit looking on.   In the tradition of the Old Testament, the Queen Mother of Christ the King of the universe took her place of special honor and influence in the heavenly court.  From there our mother continues to intercede and pray for us and the world. 

Other options include reading and reflecting during the recitation of this decade on Judith 15:9-10; Revelation 12:1-6.  For meditations on the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries of the rosary go to Blogs # 50, 73, 78, and 84 at

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