BEAD BY BEAD:
MEDITATIONS ON THE ROSARY,
The Joyful Mysteries
Third Mystery: The Nativity
The Most Pure Mary and the Glorious St. Joseph departed from Nazareth
for Bethlehem alone, poor and humble in the eyes of the world. None of
the mortals thought more of Them than what was warranted by Their
poverty and humility. They did not walk alone, poor or despised, but
prosperous, rich and in magnificence, for They were most worthy of the
immense love of the Eternal Father and most estimable in His Eyes. They
carried with Them the Treasure of Heaven, the Divine Saviour Himself.
The whole court of the celestial ministers venerated Them.
They knocked at the doors of their acquaintances . . . but They were
admitted nowhere and in many places they were met with harsh words and
insults. The most modest Queen followed Her spouse through the crowds
of people, while he went from house to house and from door to door.
Infant God was brought forth from the virginal chamber unencumbered by
any corporeal or material substance foreign to Himself. But He came
forth glorious and transfigured for the Divine and Infinite Wisdom
decreed and ordained that the Glory of His Most Holy Soul should in His
Birth overflow and communicate itself to His body, participating in the
gifts of glory in the same way as happened afterwards in His
Transfiguration on Mount Tabor in the presence of the Apostles [St.
The shepherds of the region watching their flocks were especially
blessed [St. Luke 2:8]; not only because they accepted the labor and
inconvenience of their calling by the Archangel Gabriel
with resignation at the hands of God, but also because, being poor and
humble, and despised by the world, they belonged in sincerity and
uprightness of heart to those Israelites, who fervently hoped and
longed for the coming of the Messias. They exhibited in the
circumstances of their calling the office, which the good Shepherd had
come to fulfill in knowing His Sheep and being known to them. Hence
they merited to be called and invited, as the first fruits of the
Saints by the Savior Himself, to be the very first ones, to whom the
Eternal and Incarnate Word manifested Himself and by whom He wished to
be praised, served and adored.
upright men, be not afraid: for I announce to you tidings of great joy,
which is, that for you is born today the Redeemer Christ, Our Lord, in
the City of David. And as a sign of this troth, I announce to you, that
you shall find the Infant wrapped in swaddling-clothes and placed in a
manger" [St. Luke 2:10, 12]. At these words of the angel, suddenly
appeared a great multitude of the celestial army, who in voices of
sweet harmony sang to the Most High these words: "Glory to God in the
highest and earth peace to men of good will."
themselves on the earth they adored the Word made Flesh, not any more
as ignorant rustics, but as wise and prudent men . . .
The Three Kings prepared gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh in equal quantities, and at the same time the Holy Angel, who had brought the news from Bethlehem to the Kings, formed of the material air a most resplendent star, although not so large as those of the firmament; for it was not to ascend higher than was necessary for the purpose of its formation: to guide the Holy Kings to the cave, where the Child awaited them. Its splendor was of a different kind from that of the sun and the other stars; with its most beautiful light it illumined the night like a brilliant torch, and it mingled its own most active brilliancy with that of the sun by day. On coming out of their palaces each one of the kings saw this new star [St. Matth. 2:2] although each from a different standpoint . . .
Magi pursued their journey under the guidance of the star without
losing sight of it until they arrived at Jerusalem. As well on this
account as also because this city was the capital and metropolis of the
Jews, they suspected that this was the birthplace of Their Legitimate
and True King. They entered into the city and openly inquired after
Him, saying [St. Matth. 2:8]: "Where is the King of the Jews, Who is
born? For we have seen His star in the East, announcing to us His Birth
and we have come to see Him and adore Him." Their inquiry came to the
ears of Herod, who at that time unjustly reigned in Judea and lived in
Jerusalem. The wicked king, panic-stricken at the thought that a more
legitimate claimant to the throne, asked the Magi to tell him when and
where they found this new King.
the blessing of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, they departed, so moved by
tenderest affection that it seemed to them they had left their hearts
all melted into sighs and tears in that place. They chose another way
for their return journey, in order not to meet Herod in Jerusalem; for
thus they had been instructed by the Angel on the preceding night. On
their departure from Bethlehem the same or a similar star appeared in
order to guide them home, conducting them on their new route to the
place where they had first met, whence each one separated to reach his
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