The Catechism taught: Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. (CCC 2708)
To meditate on the mysteries of Christ during the rosary, John Paul II advised that a biblical passage be read after the announcement of each mystery.
Also St. Josemaria recommended that, aside from reciting one rosary daily, meditating on the mystery of Christ of the day (e.g. Joyful for Mondays), Catholics contemplate for a few seconds daily on each of the other mysteries of Christ in the rosary (i.e. for Mondays, meditating also on the Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries).
For both of these recommendations, here below is a list of short biblical passages for contemplating each of the mysteries of Jesus in the rosary.
- Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!
- He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
- Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.
- The Lord said, as he entered the world: Behold, I come to do your will, O God.
- Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and his name will be called Emmanuel
- Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
- Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
- And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
- Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
- My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices at God my savior.
3. Birth of Jesus
- While they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
- Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
- And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them
- Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.
- Going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
- They brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord)
- Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.
- This is the light of revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people, Israel.
5. Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple
- They found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions;
- And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
- And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.
- Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work?
1. Baptism of Our Lord
- When Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened
- A voice came from heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.
- It is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.
2. Self-manifestation of Jesus at the Wedding of Cana
- The mother of Jesus was there...When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, They have no wine.
- And Jesus said to her, O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come. His mother said to the servants, Do whatever he tells you.
- Jesus said to them, Fill the jars with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
- You have kept the good wine until now
- This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
3. Proclamation of Gospel and Call to Conversion
- The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.
- The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.
- From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
- I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.
- And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white.
- And he was transfigured before them, and
- a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!
- And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
- Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.
- Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.
5. Institution of the Holy Eucharist
- And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. 20 And likewise the cup after supper, saying, This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
- This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
- And likewise the cup after supper, saying, This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.
- Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
1. Agony in the Garden
- And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling upon the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow
- My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me. And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed
- My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
- He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood
- Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.
2. Scourging at the Pillar
- Not this one but Barabbas! Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged
- He released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified
- We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities
- Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.
- I gave my back to those who beat me
3. Crowning with thorns
- And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him. And they began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him
- The soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they fixed it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
- For all my foes I am an object of reproach, a laughingstock to my neighbours, and a dread to my friends
- I gave my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.
4. Carrying of the Cross
- So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.
- And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe, and put his own clothes on him, and they led him away to crucify him.
- And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him.
- Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers
5. Crucifixion and Death of our Lord
- When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
- And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.
- And Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
- There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
- When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, Woman, behold, your son! Then he said to the disciple, Behold, your mother!
- Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), I thirst. ...
- Then they crucified him and divided his garments by casting lots for them to see what each should take. It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, The King of the Jews. With him they crucified two revolutionaries
- They shall look at him whom they have pierced
- Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised
- The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!
- He went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
- Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some. So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord!
- We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this day he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus.
2. Ascension of our Lord
- Lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.
- And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy
- You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside the
- Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.
- The Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
- God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
- Ascendit Deus in iubilo, et Dominus in voce tubae.
3. Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles
- All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. ... When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
- And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them.
- And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
4. Assumption of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
- Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, and the rains are over, and gone.
- Come then my love, my lovely one. Show me your face, let me hear your voice. For your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful.
- Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your strength.
- Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it
5. Coronation of the Blessed Virgin
- The king has fallen in love with your beauty. How resplendent is the daughter of the king, with her robe spun from gold!
- For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed
- Come: thou shalt be crowned (Cant 4:7, 12 and 8).
- Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. A great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars
- At your right stands the queen in robes of gold, finely arrayed.
- Blessed are you among women