Prayed on Wednesdays, Sundays, and every day during the Octave of Easter
The First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection
Saint: St. Mary Magdalene–It was her great faith that saved her and caused her to turn from sin, as she is believed to have been the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), as well as the Mary who wept and anointed Jesus’s feet with oil (Luke 7:36-50). She was also present at the foot of the Cross and was the first person Jesus appeared to after His Resurrection.
After a brief period of uncertainty and grief for His followers, Christ rose again on the third day. It was the true epiphany to all the world that He was Who He said He was, and the fulfillment of the many prophecies and words He had spoken to His apostles and others. The epitome of His glory was made manifest to those around Him who believed. This is why we ask for an increase in the virtue of faith while praying this mystery. Jesus could only save by His Resurrection those who believed and were open to Him and His grace. The guards at His tomb, as well as the Pharisees and others who chose to cover up and spread false rumors about the events surrounding this glorious event were not open to Him and what He offered. They chose to remain in the darkness and cling to their laws and old ways of doing things. But Peter and John, as well as the other apostles and Mary and the women who first discovered the empty tomb, including Mary Magdalene, were open to His grace and remembering and believing in His previous words, rejoiced greatly. We have to have a lively and concrete faith in order to fully experience the joy of this event and trust in God’s great mercy and love for us.
- How deeply rooted is my faith in God and His actions and love for us?
- Am I willing to completely abandon myself to Him when it seems like my life is going wrong and my faith is a bit shaken?
The Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension
Saint: St. Jude–Commonly known as the patron saint of hopeless or lost causes, St. Jude is perhaps better described as the patron saint of hope, since we know that for one who has faith and believes in the power of prayer and in miracles, nothing is hopeless or a lost cause.
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky?” (Acts 1:11). This question, which was posed to the apostles by a voice in the sky following Jesus’s Ascension, reminds us that we must not get caught up in wishing that Jesus was still here with us to guide us physically and give us tangible evidence that He is real. We must now go forward and preach the Gospel to others based on His teachings that have been passed down and the evidence that He has allowed us to see here on earth. Our hope that Jesus has indeed gone to prepare a place for us in heaven has to be rooted in our faith that is gained through both reason and a surrendering to God when we come across things that we don’t fully understand. We can also see this question as a reminder to look forward to our future and our destination at the end of this life when we are tempted to keep our minds on the past. We must keep looking forward, not back, and pray for the hope that our future in the life that comes after this earthly one will be a glorious and happy one shared with Our Lord Jesus Christ and Mary, His Mother and ours as well.
- Do I find it difficult to surrender to God and hold on to hope when I don’t understand something about the Faith?
- Do I get stuck in the past too often and lose sight of where I am going after my time on earth is finished?
The Third Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Grace: Zeal for the Kingdom of God
Saint: St. Elijah the Prophet–Founder of the original Carmelite Order, St. Elijah is known for saying “With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts (1 Kings 19:14), which is still the motto of the Carmelite Order today.
Celebrated each year on Pentecost, this mystery describes what we commonly refer to as “the birthday of the Church.” The Holy Spirit descended from heaven and on to the apostles and Mary, bestowing upon them His seven gifts: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, courage, piety, and fear of the Lord. These were the gifts necessary for their ministry and missions. These gifts also filled them with zeal, and once they had received them they were eager to begin their work and win souls for Christ. Thus, the Church was born and the apostles were ready to carry out the duties She would require.
This descending is also carried out for us in the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Holy Spirit comes upon us to bestow these gifts and commission us to go out and spread the Faith to others. But in order to do this, we are required, as were the apostles before they received the Holy Spirit, to be in constant prayer and discernment. Where were the apostles before the descent of the Holy Spirit? In the Upper Room praying. We all need to have this prayerful attitude in order to really receive what God wants to give us. And the zeal that we need in order to carry out our mission and bring these fruits to others also needs to be acquired through prayer and contemplation.
- Do I spend time alone with God each day in prayer?
- Am I open to the consistent prayerful attitude that I need in order to hear what God is asking of me and carry it out?
The Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption
Grace: A holy death
Saint: St. Stephen–When praying for a holy death, we must look for our example at the holy martyrs, who died the ultimate holy death, death for Christ. And who better to look to than the first martyr, who set the example for the others.
After a life of obedience to God and constant prayer and contemplation of His works, Mary falls asleep in the Lord and is taken up body and soul into heaven. She is given this privilege because She was also given the privilege of being created without the stain of Original Sin. In turn, She also lived without sin for Her entire life and this merited not only her soul entering heaven, but Her body as well. During this mystery, we ask for the grace of a holy death for ourselves. We are not without sin, so we can’t be assumed body and soul all at once like Mary was, but we can have a peaceful passing from this life to the next with the assistance of the angels and the entire celestial court. We are also called to unite whatever sufferings our death brings with the suffering of Christ and to never cease praying. In this way, we can have a holy death and be ushered into the gates of heaven once we have drawn our last breath.
- Have I been storing up treasures for myself in heaven during this life as Scripture asks us to do?
- How do I feel about death and if I were to die today, do I feel like I would be ready to face the judgment of God?
The Fifth Glorious Mystery: The Coronation
Grace: For true devotion to Mary
Saint: St. Louis de Montfort–St. Louis is known for spreading and greatly encouraging devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and he created a 33-day method of total consecration to Jesus through Mary.
Following Her Assumption, Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth by Her Divine Son. Since She had been given the privilege of living without sin, another privilege of Hers was to be a Mother to all of us and to be able to intercede for us with Her Son. This means She is also Queen. In history, even history documented in the Scriptures, the Queen Mother had heavy influence with her son the King and she could intercede on the peoples’ behalf. This is what Mary does for us. We have only to accept Her maternity and honor Her Son by honoring Her. This was His wish, as He told St. John while dying on the Cross, “Behold, your Mother,” after likewise giving him to Mary as Her son (John 19:26-27).
- How do I view Mary and what is my relationship with Her like? Do I accept Her as I should?