The Structure of this Web publication and Introduction to the Rosary

The structure of this Web publication is such that the context of each of the Mysteries is presented in a fashion similar to a Scriptural Rosary. [1] Each Mystery is then followed by one or more reflections on the Mystery.  The reflections are intended to provide examples so that you can learn to make the Rosary your own personal source of growth in communication with Mary and Jesus.  Your personal reflection takes the Mystery as a starting point.  Fr. Doug Lorig has provided an excellent example of a theme-based set of reflections on the Luminous Mysteries and has shown how to say a Rosary for Peace. 

The context narratives have the scriptural references in a smaller font imbedded in the narrative. Material that may be new to the reader is provided with references (footnotes) so that the reader may review the source materials or review background comments. Each mystery begins with “Our Father” which is an invitation to say the Lord’s Prayer. Throughout each narrative there are 9 “(HM-#)” which are provided to allow you to say a rosary while the reading the document without having to have a rosary in hand.  HM = Hail Mary and each narrative ends with “(HM-10, GB, OMJ)”: the tenth Hail Mary followed by the Glory Be and Fatima Prayer (Oh My Jesus).  The words to each of the prayers can be found in the The Prayers of the Rosary.

There are many additional pages in this Web publication that provide a more detailed explanation of calendars, names, and a review of the principle physical relics of the crucifixion: The Shroud of Turin and The Sudarium of Oviedo. These pages can be accessed via the menu on the right side of the page.

Once you have read the Mysteries you can use the Biblical Rosary Summaries at the end of the Mysteries as a source for future Scriptural Rosaries.  The summary represents a recap so that the short statements bring back to mind the entire context without re-reading the detail.  All the truths necessary for our salvation are contained in the Mysteries of the Rosary.  If we focus on the Rosary, the story of the birth, life, teaching, and death of her son, Mary will take care of us as her own children, we have nothing to fear!  Consider this a kind of users’ manual for the weapon that is the Rosary.  A weapon needed in the storm we find ourselves in. 

A Little Quiz
Just in case you think you know the story and don’t need to read this.  Here is a 20 question quiz.  All the answers are in the text of this Web publication but to make it easy to check your answers they are in order on the page: Answers to the Introduction quiz. If you can get them all correct I applaud you. However, if you can’t that is why this Web publication exists. You can’t love what you don’t know. This is provided to allow you to learn, to increase your love for Jesus, without having to spend the years required to dig it out yourself.
The quiz:
Here are 20 questions about the Passion and Death of Jesus that will demonstrate to you how much you know about it. (Answers are found here.)

1. What was Caiaphas doing while Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?

2. What were the Essene children doing while Jesus cleaned the temple?

3. What day of the week was the Last Supper?

4. Why did the people in the front of the crowd fall over each other when Jesus approached in the Garden?

5. How many trials (opportunities to be freed) did Jesus have?

6. How many blows was Jesus given during the scourging?

7. What was the name of the woman who wiped the face of Jesus? (Hint: it wasn't Veronica.)

8. What was the given name of the man who was released by Pilate instead of Jesus? (Hint: it wasn't Barabbas.)

9. What does barabbas mean?

10. How many times did Jesus fall while carrying the cross? (Hint: it wasn't three.)

11. What were the names of the men crucified with Jesus?

12. Which Psalm did Jesus name while on the cross?

13. Which of the apostles' mothers were at the crucifixion, while they hid?

14. What were the mother's names?

15. What did Jesus say after He finished the Last Supper?

16. Which of Jesus' wounds did Padre Pio say hurt the most?

17. What was the name of the centurion who pierced Jesus' side with a lance?

18. What does INRI stand for?

19. What is the Hebrew equivalent and what does it spell both phonetically and iconically?

20. With what was the shroud bound to Jesus' body?

Here are the Answers to the Quiz

Introduction to the Rosary
The rosary is one of the most cherished prayers of our Church. It is introduced by the Creed [2] , the Our Father, three Hail Mary’s and the Doxology ("Glory Be"), [and since 1917 the Fatima Prayer] and it is concluded by the Salve Regina. The rosary involves the recitation of five decades each consisting of the Our Father, 10 Hail Mary’s, the Doxology, and the Fatima Prayer. During this recitation, the individual meditates on the saving mysteries of our Lord's life and the faithful witness of our Blessed Mother.

Journeying through the Joyful, Sorrowful, Luminous, and Glorious mysteries of the rosary; the individual thinks about our Lord's Incarnation, his life and message, passion and death and his resurrection from the dead. In so doing, the rosary assists us in growing in a deeper appreciation of these mysteries, in uniting our life more closely to our Lord, and in imploring his graced assistance to live the faith. We also ask for the prayers of our Blessed Mother, who leads all believers to her Son.

In 2002, Pope St. John Paul II wrote a letter regarding the rosary. In this letter, which was entitled The Most Holy Rosary, Pope St. John Paul II announced the addition of the Luminous Mysteries to the traditional mysteries of the rosary.

The Luminous Mystery Rosary or the Mysteries of Light, as they are also called, focus on the public life of Jesus: the years He was preaching, spanning the time between his baptism and his passion and death. They are called the Mysteries of Light because Jesus is the light of the World. Jesus as the light is mentioned several times in St. John's Gospel.

"And the light shines in the darkness: and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world." (Jn 1:5-9)

"While I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (Jn 9:5)

You will also discover that Jesus was conceived and born on the Jewish Festivals of Light.

Pope St. John Paul II felt that it was important to add these mysteries to the rosary because there was a gap between the childhood of Jesus that is meditated upon during the Joyful Mysteries and the suffering and death of Jesus that is meditated upon during the Sorrowful Mysteries. He also added them to revive interest in the Rosary which in his words illustrates an "ocean of joy and of light, of suffering and of glory" in the lives of Jesus and Mary. [3] The fact that our Church continues to include the Feast of the Holy Rosary on the liturgical calendar testifies to the importance and goodness of this form of prayer. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, "The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description." [4]


The Shroud images shown in this document (used with permission from Barry Schwortz) is the photographic image used by the team of scientist who studied the Shroud of Turin in 1978.

Fr. Sherman Orr, pastor of Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parish in Wichita, KS, has been directing my journey, focusing my study, with annual retreats for the past 20 years.

I have learned so much from Scott Hahn’s Bible studies and books that it is not possible to provide the appropriate references or even identify where I have quoted him. His talks on the 4th Cup pointed me to the solution of the fulfillment of Un-Leavened Bread.

Brant Pitre's book Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Doubleday 2011 provided the connection between the Eucharist and the Manna Jesus has provided us during our Exodus in the spiritual dimension as we follow him into the Kingdom of God.

Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries [5] has provided mentoring in Hebrew and background Jewish history.

Fr. Doug Lorig deceased priest from the Phoenix Diocese has provided a set of reflections on the Luminous Mysteries with a theme of “Peace”.

Arthur Eedle’s historical research in Seven Steps to Bethlehem provided the details necessary for the historical validation of the events mentioned in Luke’s Gospel.

The dates shown in this document are based on the Kaluach – Hebrew/Civil Calendar version However, the calendar prior to 1 AD which is shown at the end of this document, was taken from the android application HEB-DATE.

Phil Ondrei, and Frank & Sally Glemba provided editing on the initial manuscript.


The narratives for each Mystery point out the dates of events in Jesus and Mary’s life, where they can be determined. In some instances, the dates conflict with the dates on which we celebrate some feasts. The actual dates are provided because knowing the dates makes the rest of the narrative make more sense. It also resolves apparent conflicts and omissions of details in scripture [6]. It is not recommended here that we change the religious calendar. It is not important that we use the right date, it is important that we celebrate the event. An example for this rationale is the date of Mary’s birthday. We celebrate Mary’s birthday on September 8th, nine months after we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mary, however, told the children at Medjugore that she would be celebrating her 2000th birthday on August 5th in 1984 [7]. The children complained that her birthday was September 8th. Mary simply said “I have two birthdays”.

The information presented here will either have footnotes or it is based on what has been gleaned from commentaries, from other sources, or logical deduction. For example: Scott Hahn said the Kings of Israel were all considered “sons of God” by adoption. I don’t remember which CD, audio tape or book it was from, but I have also heard it from the pulpit on August 24, 2016 in the homily on Nathaniel’s calling to follow Jesus. There are also things that I have deduced based on human nature. We know from scripture that Mary said: “How can this be for I do not know man?” (Lk 1:34). Mary’s answer implies a vow of celibacy. It leaves no opening for a future relationship with a man. A vow of celibacy for Essenes was frequent enough that going to Wikipedia for “Essenes” you will find a reference to it. One didn’t have to formally be an Essene to join the prayer chain for the Messiah. The rest of the story of the Joyful Mysteries is deduced from human nature, history, and the practice of the Jewish religion.

I am not a Biblical scholar. I do not care which Gospel was written first or which evangelist used what source material. The Bible is the inspired word of God however it came to be written. The Israelite people of Jesus’s day memorized the Torah (the first 5 books of our Bible) word for word. Many had also memorized other parts of the Tanakh [8] In retelling a story, it was viewed as extremely necessary to get it exactly word for word as it was received. So, one listened carefully and repeated it over and over until it was part of them: word for word. I doubt that the scripture scholars that debate over which Gospel came first, and which evangelist copied each other, will ever find “Q” because it is in the soul of the early Jewish Christians.

When I have a problem with the wording, such as … “behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.” (Lk 1:48) which does not fit the humility of Mary, I go back to both the Greek and the Latin Vulgate in this case to discover that the Greek word used is better translated as “fortunate,” "happy," or "blest" as in "blest by God".

I find the context filled with coincidences and I have always felt that there is no such thing as a coincidence. When the number of coincidences starts stacking up such that the probability gets ridiculous I consider it a “God thing”. The names of the patriarchs from Adam to Noah is a God thing. The context of Jesus’s birth is a “God thing”. So much so, that it seems to me that dating Jesus’ birth has been something the devil just doesn’t want done. The objections are numerous and yet if you read what the Jewish historian, Josephus wrote you can deduce that Herod the Great died between January 10th and April 15th of 1 BC so Jesus could be born in 2 BC when Mary, according to Mary, had just turned 15

[1] A Scriptural Rosary is a Rosary during which a scriptural verse is read between each Hail Mary.
[2] All the prayers used in a rosary are found here
[4] Fr. William Saunders October 6, 1994 issue of "The Arlington Catholic Herald."
[6] For example: St. Luke didn’t need to tell us how Mary got to Elizabeth’s house, just that she left right away. There was a caravan leaving for Jerusalem the very next day.
[8] The Tanakh, also called the Masoretic Text, is a combination of the Torah, Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings). Basically, it is the Hebrew Bible in the original Hebrew and Aramaic.
[9] Mary told the visionaries in Medjugorje in July of 1984 that she would be celebrating her 2000th birthday on August 5 so the children had a birthday party for her. That means she was born on August 5, 17 BC (remember there was no year 0: the year before 1 AD was 1 BC).

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