When you hear the word “mystery,” you probably think of something like a detective story. Or you might think of something dark and mysterious that can’t be figured out. Whenever we can’t figure something out, we just say “It’s a mystery.”

But the rosary isn’t like that.

When it comes to the rosary, the mysteries are not far-off events we can’t know anything about. Instead, they are events we can never stop thinking about! That’s what a “mystery of the rosary” means — something you can always keep reflecting on. The more you reflect on these special events in the lives of Jesus and Mary, the more insights you gain. The mysteries of the rosary are meant to teach you about Jesus and Mary. And the more you reflect on their holy lives, the holier you will become in your own daily life.

Every day of the week has a set of mysteries:

  • Sunday: Glorious Mysteries
  • Monday: Joyful Mysteries
  • Tuesday: Sorrowful Mysteries
  • Wednesday: Glorious Mysteries
  • Thursday: Luminous Mysteries
  • Friday: Sorrowful Mysteries
  • Saturday: Joyful Mysteries

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

The Annunciation
The angel Gabriel visits Mary, who responds “Yes” to God’s plan for her.

The Visitation
Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth. The infant John the Baptist leaps in Elizabeth’s womb.

The Nativity
The Son of God is born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem.

The Presentation in the Temple
Mary and Joseph bring the infant Jesus to the Temple according to Jewish custom. Simeon foretells future suffering for Jesus and Mary.

The Finding in the Temple
The child Jesus goes missing for three days in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph find Him in the Temple, teaching the elders.

The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary

The Baptism in the Jordan
Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist. The voice of God the Father speaks: “This is my beloved son.”

The Wedding Feast at Cana
At the request of Mary, Jesus performs his first public miracle: turning water into wine.

The Proclamation of the Kingdom
Jesus calls us to repent and believe in the Gospel.

The Transfiguration
Jesus offers a glimpse of His glory to Peter, James and John.

The Institution of the Eucharist
At the Last Supper, Jesus takes bread and wine and says, “This is my body; this is my blood.”

The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary

The Agony in the Garden
Jesus prays to let the cup of the Passion pass from Him, but that the will of the Father be done.

The Scourging at the Pillar
Jesus is brutally beaten and whipped by Roman soldiers.

The Crowning of Thorns
The soldiers mock Jesus and dress him up like a king.

The Carrying of the Cross
Jesus perseveres under the weight of the cross and the weight of all our sins.

The Crucifixion
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is nailed to the cross and dies.

The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

The Resurrection of Christ
Jesus rises from the dead; the world will never be the same again.

The Ascension of Christ
With the apostles looking on, Jesus returns to His Father in Heaven.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
The Holy Spirit comes in tongues of fire to give spiritual strength and power to the apostles.

The Assumption of Mary
At the end of her earthly life, Mary is taken up body and soul into Heaven.

The Crowning of Mary
Mary is crowned in Heaven as the Mother of God and our spiritual mother.

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The next time you pray the rosary, make a special effort to reflect on the mysteries. Over time, you’ll grow to love coming back to them again and again.

“To recite the rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.” – St. John Paul II

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