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What are the five mysteries of the rosary

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

The five mysteries of the rosary represent events in the life of Jesus

The five mysteries of the rosary represent events in the life of Jesus

The Catholic Rosary is both a simple set of prayers and a complex devotional to many of the most sacred beliefs of the Catholic Church. In its simple form, a group of common prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father) are repeated either alone or in a group while keeping track of the number on the beads of a rosary (with a small ‘r’). In between the five sets of prayers, a person saying the Rosary contemplates on five mysteries or events in the life of Jesus Christ. They’re called mysteries because Catholics believe they are deep truths whose meanings can only be reveled by God. These events are grouped into four similar sets which are observed on different days of the week and times of the year. So what are these five mysteries of the rosary?

Joyful Mysteries

The first set of mysteries is the Joyful Mysteries. These are events which took place before and after the birth of Jesus. The Annunciation is the announcement to Mary by an angel that she will be mother of Jesus. The Visitation is the visit by Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. The Nativity is the birth of Jesus. The Presentation is the presentation of young Jesus by Mary and Joseph to elders in the temple. The Finding in the Temple describes Mary and Joseph finding Jesus preaching to the rabbis in the temple.

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Luminous Mysteries

The Luminous Mysteries were added by Pope John Paul II and are events in the later life of Jesus as He becomes a light to His people. The Baptism in the Jordan is the baptism of Jesus by John when the voice of God the Father is heard. The Wedding at Cana is where Jesus changes water into wine. The Proclamation of the Kingdom is when Jesus forgave the sins of his followers. The Transfiguration is the miracle on a mountain where Jesus shows He is God. The Institution of the Eucharist is the Last Supper where Jesus shares bread and wine with His disciples.

Sorrowful Mysteries

The Sorrowful Mysteries describe the events leading up to the death of Jesus. The Agony ion the Garden is His last time of prayer before being turned over to the Romans. The Scourging at the Pillar is His whipping at a stake and the Crowning with Thorns is the painful torture administered before the Carrying of the Cross to the site of the Crucifixion.

Glorious Mysteries

The Glorious Mysteries are the events that followed the death of Jesus. The Resurrection is His return from the dead and the Ascension is His final leaving the earth for heaven. The Descent of the Holy Spirit is the arrival of the Third Person in the Holy Trinity to empower the disciples to preach the word of Jesus. The final two mysteries deal with Mary. The Assumption is her rising to heaven with her human body and the Coronation of the Virgin is Mary taking her place as Queen of Heaven.

Taken as a whole, the four sets of five mysteries of the rosary tell the story of the life of Jesus and Mary is a way that is easy to remember and in a series of prayers that are easy to recite. It’s no wonder that Catholics around the world are so devoted to the Rosary.


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