Sorrowful Mysteries

Scriptural Rosary of the Sorrowful Mysteries

These Sorrowful Mysteries start with a brief reflection on an Old Testament moment where God’s mercy filled his people.

Moses Strikes the Rock
Moses Strikes the Rock

But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. (Exodus 17:3-6)

Moses strikes the rock with his staff to create a flow of water to quench human thirst and a soldier does the same to God to create a flow of living water to quench spiritual thirst. In both cases it is God who is sorrowful for man.

 

 

 

clip_image005In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

 

 

clip_image007Apostle’s Creed: I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen

 

clip_image009Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

clip_image011Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

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Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

 

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The Grotto of the Agony
The Grotto of the Agony

The First Mystery:The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40 When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”  41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44 In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. 45 When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” (Luke 22:39-46)

Tissot paints the angel on the left holding a chalice while the others hold scenes of what Jesus is about to experience in the following days. A chalice meant for Christ’s blood and scenes of intense human emotion, how can any of this strengthen? Christ must have known the Father lovingly sent angels, lower than him, to raise him up so he may fill the Cup for humankind.

 

clip_image019Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

clip_image020Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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clip_image022Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

 

clip_image024O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

 

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The Scourging on the Front
The Scourging on the Front

Second Mystery: The Scourging of Our Lord at the Pillar.

Pilate Hands Jesus over to Be Crucified

Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. 12 Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate asked them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. (Mark 15: 6-15)

I am seeing crowds purposely gathered in recent news, shouting reminders of what is bothering them. I try to look at both sides of the equation. I am more like Mary, not washing my hands but rather silently praying that God have mercy.

 

 

 

 

clip_image028Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

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Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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clip_image031Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

 

 

 

clip_image024[1] O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

 

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The Crowning of Thorns
The Crowning of Thorns

Third Mystery: The Crowning of Our Lord with Thorns

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.” Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. (John 19: 1-8)

I cannot help but admire Tissot’s choices of moments he paints. In this one he captures the exact timing of the crown in motion about to be put on Jesus’s head. We are familiar with paintings where the crown is already on Jesus. The cringe I feel with Tissot’s painting is far more powerful as I re-live the expectation of the result.

 

 

 

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Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

clip_image029[1]Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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clip_image036Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

 

 

 

clip_image037O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

 

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My God My God why hast thou forsaken me
My God My God why hast thou forsaken me

Fourth Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross

16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; 17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew,  in Latin, and in Greek. 21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” (John 19: 16-22)

I  immediately recognize the two men on either side of Jesus with no tops on their crosses. In Tissot’s painting of Jesus prior to being on the Cross he also does not show the top. I have no doubt this is Tissot’s way of magnifying the image of the Cross but also Pilate’s inscription.

 

 

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Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

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Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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clip_image044Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

 

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Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

 

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The Sorrowful Mother
The Sorrowful Mother

The Fifth Mystery: The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord

25 And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. 28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19: 25-30)

 

How many times in our life are we able to say it is finished? It takes time to bring anything to completion. From a biblical perspective there are over 70 generations between Adam and Jesus. Jesus is saying that through measurable human time, he has fullfilled the Father’s request. God has returned to man the ability to receive what Adam had.

 

 

 

clip_image041[1]Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

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Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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clip_image051Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

clip_image052O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

 

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The Magnificat
The Magnificat

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Appears to the Holy Women
Jesus Appears to the Holy Women

Let us pray. O GOD, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen

 

 

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The art in this Mystery with the exception of my own of painting representing Mary (for the rosary bead)  is from the French artist James Tissot (1836-1902)*.James Tissot’s art is now in the public domain and available as non-copyrighted downloads from the Brooklyn Museum (www.brooklynmuseum.org), The Jewish Museum (www.thejewishmuseum.org) and WikiArt (www.wikiart.org/en/james-tissot) web sites. I have followed their publication guidelines such as using proper captions for use. The small repeating images of Tissot’s paintings in this Mystery are referenced and have captions in the introduction to this collection of Rosary Mysteries. For additional information regarding art by James Tissot, the assembly of the alternative Rosary Mysteries, my comments from Lectio or suggestions on how to use these mysteries,  please see the Introduction.

Return to the Table of Contents of additional scriptural Rosary Mysteries  – Contemplatio Absconia Mysteria – To Contemplate Hidden Mysteries