The Rosary Mysteries


There are a total of 20 Mysteries. They are divided into 4 main reflections: the Joyful, the Sorrowful, the Luminous and the Glorious.  Each inspires meditation on a certain event in the Life of Jesus Christ.

The Joyful Mysteries:  the Incarnation, birth and early years of Jesus’ life.


•  The Annunciation: the Arc-angel Gabriel appears to Mary and asks if she will be the Mother of God. She responds, “Let it be done to me according to your word.”


The Visitation: Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visits her aged cousin, Elizabeth.  Elizabeth after being barren for many years was able to conceive, and the baby in her womb leapt for joy at Mary’s arrival.


The Nativity: Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem because of the census.  They lodge in a humble dwelling—traditionally a cave or stable— where Mary gives birth to Jesus.


The Presentation:  According to Jewish custom, Mary and Joseph have Jesus circumcised and present Him at the temple.  Here they met two prophets who recognize Jesus as the long awaited Messiah.


The Finding of Jesus in the Temple:  The Holy Family, years later, (many believe Jesus was twelve), travel to Jerusalem.  On the way home they realize Jesus is not in their company. They go back to the temple where they find Him instructing the elders.


The Luminous Mysteries:  the public ministry of Jesus


• The Baptism of the Lord:  Elizabeth’s son, St. John the Baptist, baptizes Jesus in the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit appears as a dove, and a voice is heard from the heavens, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”


• The Wedding of Cana: The first public miracle of Jesus is at a wedding, where Jesus turns water into wine.


• The Proclamation of the Kingdom: Jesus teaches about the kingdom of God. He sums up the Ten Commandments into two: love God and one’s neighbor.  He establishes the Church and gives authority to Peter to guide it.


• The Transfiguration: Jesus goes up to a high mountain with Peter, James and John. There He shows them His glory. This is to fortify them for His coming passion.


• The Institution of the Eucharist: Jesus took bread and wine, consecrated them into His Body and Blood. He gave them to the disciples to consume saying, “Do this in memory of Me.


 The Sorrowful Mysteries:  the passion and death of Jesus.


The Agony in the Garden:  The night before His death, Jesus prayed to His Father. “Let this Cup pass from Me, but not My will, but Thy Will be done.” His agony was so intense that He sweat drops of blood.


The Scourging at the Pillar: Jesus was scourged severely by the Romans who are known for their brutality.


The Crowning of Thorns: Jesus was given a thorny crown. The soldiers hammered the thorns into His head and mocked His kingship. They also pulled on His beard and spat on Him.


• The Carrying of the Cross: Jesus was forced to carry the cross that He was to be crucified on to where His death would take place.  He fell three times on the way.


• The Crucifixion: Jesus is affixed to the cross by nails through His hands and feet.  For three hours, He hung on the cross before He died. To make sure of His death, a solider pierced His heart with a lance.


The Glorious Mysteries:  the events after the burial of Jesus.


• The Resurrection: Three days after Jesus’ death, He rose from the dead. The stone of His tomb is rolled away by angels and He begins to appear to His followers.


• The Ascension: About forty days later, Jesus publicly ascends into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, where He judges the living and the dead.


• The Descent of the Holy Spirit: In the form of tongues of fire, the Holy Spirit descends upon the apostles, and Mary, who are gathered in prayer.


• The Assumption:  Mary was taken up to heaven soon after. Because of the privilege of her Immaculate Conception, she didn’t experience death, nor was her body to ever decay in the ground.


• The Coronation:  Mary was crowned as Queen over all heaven and the earth.  She was given twelve stars for her head and the moon at her feet. 


Written by Theresa Frassrand


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