An Adaptation of the City of God from the Pen
 of Ven. Mary of Agreda

Compilation, which includes accounts from the Holy Bible,
 by Pauly Fongemie

There are people who express their dissatisfaction with their method of meditating on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary:

"I am overwhelmed by my feelings of inadequacy."
"I can't seem to really picture Our Lady like I want to."

And so forth.

I think they feel this way because they are mistaken about what Our Lady requires. She wants humble souls, who know that they are "inadequate" and she wants purity of heart and intention. The intention---we are not speaking of requests or the fruit of the particular mystery, but the purpose of meditation on the Rosary---is to let the Mother of God take us gently by the hand to enter into her life with Jesus Christ in our own little way. She wants our undivided attention, free of willful distractions. She wants our intention to meditate to be one of an act of will, out of love for the Blessed Trinity and her, whether we experience consolation or aridity.

For novices or those who have been struggling, perhaps for years, in this regard, one thing is essential to remember: the fruit or special grace of each mystery is closely connected to the meditation, bead by bead. For instance, the grace of the First Mystery, the Annunciation, is humility. Thus our meditation should be centered on Mary's humility when greeted by the Archangel Gabriel.

On each page --- there are fifteen decades, one page per decade --- the mystery is announced along with its fruit.

A note about the fruit or special grace: Different traditional prayer books provide slight variations, such as zeal for souls and or wisdom, for the Thirteenth Mystery, one example. This is not surprising because the apparent disparity is just that, only an apparent one; that is, both are closely related and can be said to be the logical outcome of one from the other as in this case. At Pentecost, the Holy Ghost filled the Apostles with His wisdom, inspiring them with a holy zeal whereby they were able to evangelize beyond all human reckoning. Mary, the official Mother of the Church since Calvary, is increasingly revered by the Apostles and their disciples. As the Spouse of the Holy Ghost they are confident that she will provide the wisdom they seek when they go to her, not only as the Mother of the Saviour, but their mother, too, Queen of the Clergy and Mother of the Church.

Thus, whenever there is more than one fruit given, you may choose to meditate on a single aspect of that grace or on more than one, in order to enter into the mystery. We follow tradition and, in keeping with the counsel of Pope John Paul II, that the additional five mysteries, which he inaugurated, are optional [for it could never be otherwise], we are maintaining the Fifteen Mysteries.

Then a list of 10 brief meditation subjects follow, one for each Hail Mary of that decade.

Please note that you are not bound by these subjects, which are presented on these pages as a suggestion only.

A brief explanation for why we do not include the added five mysteries from Pope John Paul II:

Our Lady gave St. Dominic Fifteen Mysteries not twenty. There is nothing in the extra five that requires special 21st century knowledge in order to be told of them or to appreciate them. The Pontiff, merely added novelty. He knew it, too, because he said they were optional: The Holy Ghost would not permit a Pontiff to bind the consciences of the faithful in re a novelty. They add nothing to the devotion of the Holy Rosary as if it needed updating so Catholics would pray it. The Pope is the "custodian of Tradition, not a change agent", in the words of John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News. Mr. Vennari has a CD on the New Mysteries. The CD, an excellent compendium on the Rosary, papal authority and popular piety, is part of a set but I think he still sells it as a single unit. Every Catholic who is serious about true devotion to the Mother of God ought to listen to this CD so he can fortify himself to defend the Church's Tradition. Call 1-905-871-6292 in the USA. The papal oath, which the Pontiffs used to take before Vatican II, includes the declaration that if the Pontiff should break with Tradition he expects God to judge him severely, specifically "May God not have mercy on me." John Paul II did not take the oath but it remains the hallmark of the limits of the papacy. The fact that popes felt it necessary to take this oath for centuries, means that they knew it was possible to stray from Tradition. An oath is unnecessary for matters that are not possible, by definition. St. Vincent of Lerins says that when faced with novelty we ought to keep to Tradition and reject the novelty, which has no place in our religion. When Our Lady came to Fatima the three seers were taught to add the Fatima decade prayer, which is not a novelty but a part of the message of Fatima itself --- the many souls that go to Hell in this very evil age because there is no one to pray for them. The Rosary is Our Lady's Psalter and she may dispose of it as she wants, this is her prerogative, not ours, not even the Pontiff's. The Rosary is called Our Lady's Psalter because the Rosary decades of Fifteen Mysteries contain 150 Hail Marys, one for each of the 150 Psalms of the Old Testament -- -not a coincidence. We do not apologize for following Saint Vincent of Lerins who taught in unison with thousands of Saints, Martyrs, Doctors and Fathers of the Church. I once said that if anyone can point to any official Saint of the Church who taught that novelty in religion was a good thing and practiced it himself, that I would reconsider the extra five "mysteries". To date no one has been able to do so. No Saint has ever said in line with John Paul II that the Rosary of the Fifteen Mysteries lacks "Christological depth." If the Holy Rosary really did, what a slap against Our Lady who would be so ignorant of her own Psalter! Unbelievable!! The entire history of the Rosary is bound closely with the 150 Psalms: St. Benedict and his monks recited the 150 Psalms every week at the minimum. This became essentially the Divine Office until Vatican II. After a time the Psalms were divided into thirds, the joyful, sorrowful and glorious; the laity substituted 150 Hail Marys for the Psalms as they knew the Hail Mary and not each Psalm by heart and having the sense of the Faith they were confident that each Psalm was united to the Hail Mary it represented. Moreover, when Our Lord told the Apostles to cast their nets into the water again, they caught exactly 153 fish, one for each Hail Mary on the Fifteen Decades plus the three at the beginning. Again a pointer to the Holy Rosary which would be the cause of the Moslem defeat at Lepanto in the 16th century and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart when the Pontiff finally consecrates Russia by name to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.

When Our Lady told St. Dominic to preach the Rosary, she said "Preach my Psalter, pray my Psalter." At the time heresy had a stranglehold on the people and St. Dominic had been called by Christ to repel and defeat it.

When Our Lady said "my Psalter" she referred to the 150 Hail Marys of three classes of Mysteries, not four. She said it was a battering ram against heresy. If we used the 20 Mysteries, this places an impossibility on those who are unable to say the entire Rosary but are able to fulfill the minimum of a third, or five decades, traditionally thought of as the daily Rosary devotion. A third of 20 is a fraction, not a whole number or integer. How does one say a fraction of the Rosary. Add 2 and a half Hail Marys? Come on. All this is more modernism, busy work at updating what is complete and perfect in of itself. It is as if an infectious agent or germ has invaded the upper echelons of the human aspect of the Church, one that causes frenetic activity for the sake of activity rather than docility to tradition and serenity in the contemplation of the sublime.

First Joyful Mystery
Second Joyful Mystery
Third Joyful Mystery
Fourth Joyful Mystery
Fifth Joyful Mystery
First Sorrowful Mystery
Second Sorrowful Mystery
Third Sorrowful Mystery
Fourth Sorrowful Mystery
Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
First Glorious Mystery
Second Glorious Mystery
Third Glorious Mystery
Fourth Glorious Mystery
Fifth Glorious Mystery

You may use this image as you wish, for non-commercial purposes. It is copyrighted by CT, but we release it for any personal use.

The image of the Blessed Virgin Mar is public domain, the background and Rosary are exclusively the work of Catholic Tradition.

Click the forward graphic for the First Mystery.


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