The Mysteries of the Rosary
for Youth

Prayers of the Rosary

The Sign of the Cross   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Apostles' Creed   I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again 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 the life everlasting. Amen.

The Our Father   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.

The Hail Mary   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.

Glory Be To The Father   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.

The Hail, Holy Queen   Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope, to you 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, yours eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

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 meditating upon these mysteries in 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.

The Joyful Mysteries (Monday/Thursday)
1. The Annunciation.
2. The Visitation.
3. The Nativity.
4. The Presentation.
5. The Finding in the Temple.

The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday/Friday)
1. The Agony in the Garden.
2. The Scourging.
3. The Crowning with Thorns.
4. The Carrying of the Cross.
5. The Crucifixion.

The Glorious Mysteries (Wednesday/Saturday/Sunday)
1. The Resurrection.
2. The Ascension.
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit.
4. The Assumption.
5. The Coronation.


The Annunciation

The archangel Gabriel announces to Mary that she is to become the mother of the Messiah. Mary is somewhat confused at first because she does not have a husband. The archangel tells her that the Holy Spirit will overshadow her and the power of the most high God will come upon her. Now Mary is aware of many things at this point. She knows that others will suspect her of being an adulteress, and death is the punishment for adultery. Nonetheless, she trusts God completely, and she said to the archangel: "Let it be done to me according to your Word". It is because she said these words that all of us have a saviour. Had Mary said: "I cannot do this, my reputation will be ruined and I will most likely be killed", all of us would have nothing but eternal death to look forward to.

Mary's words "let it be done to me according to your Word" is, in fact, the best prayer we can utter. I have come across many young people who have prayed this prayer during difficult situations, for instance, just before a court appearance that was likely to result in a long jail sentence. All the young people who have put their trust in the Lord and were ready to accept whatever God brought them almost immediately found new life, new hope, and a new happiness.

Let us pray:
   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.
   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.
   Hail Mary ...


The Visitation

After hearing the news from the angel that Elizabeth had conceived a child and is in her sixth month, Mary set out quickly through the hill country to a town of Judah. Isn't it remarkable how Mary is able to think of her cousin at a time like this, that is, after learning that she will be the mother of the Messiah? Mother Teresa had always said that thoughtfulness is the beginning of holiness. If you want to be holy and if you really want a deep sense of peace in your life, then begin thinking of others. Learn the art of being thoughtful. There is no other way to peace than the continual looking out for other people, especially the poor. Think of the poor often, and give to them often. There are many ways you can give to those in need. Find a way, tell no one about it, and give consistently. You will find that giving brings you peace. It makes you feel better. And the reason it makes you feel good is that you become good by giving. And remember, the poor may be in your very own home, for instance your father whom you may not have spoken to for a long while, or your mother or sister. Remember that forgiving is also a kind of giving.

When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child in her womb leaped for joy, and Elizabeth became filled with the Holy Spirit and said to Mary: "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Elizabeth, like the angel Gabriel, clearly sees the greatness of our Blessed Mother and refers to her as "Mother of my Lord." And she was filled with the Holy Spirit as a result of being in Mary's presence. If we allow Mary to draw close to us and if we look to her as our mother, we too will be filled with the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus came to us through Mary, we can only go to him through that very same woman.

Mary is a thoughtful mother and you are her sons and daughters. She does visit you when you need her help, so allow her to approach. Invite her into your life. You will experience the joy of knowing her, just like John the Baptist did in Elizabeth's womb; for he leapt for joy at the sound of Mary's greeting. Yes, John knew what was going on around him. That is why you must never destroy a child that may have been unintentionally conceived in your womb. The child is very much alive and aware of its surroundings. Just as God sent Elizabeth the best help imaginable, so will He send you all the help you will possibly need. You only have to trust Him.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Nativity

During the time of Christ's birth, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be made of the whole world. He was the Roman Emperor when Christ was born, and the Empire regarded Augustus as a "saviour" and "god". He was also regarded as a god of peace because he established peace (the Pax Augusta) throughout the inhabited world during his long reign.

So Joseph went up to Bethlehem to be enrolled with Mary and while they were there, the time came for Mary to give birth. But there was no room for them in the Inn at Bethlehem.

Now an angel appeared to some shepherds in that region and said to them: "I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a saviour has been born to you who is Messiah and Lord...." Then a multitude of angels appeared praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests."

So you see it isn't Caesar Augustus, this famous and powerful king who is "saviour" and "Lord", nor is any world leader the prince of peace. An angel, a creature exceedingly far superior to any human, declares that this weak child born in poverty like many of us, the child lying in a trough that holds fodder for cattle, he is saviour of the world, he is the Lord's anointed King and our Lord. This child is the true prince of peace who imparts a peace "which the world cannot give" (Jn 14, 27). That is why we must never look to persons of rank to be our salvation. As the Psalm says: "Ordinary people are a mere puff of wind, important people a delusion; set both on the scales together, and they are lighter than a puff of wind" (Ps 62, 9). Only Christ can save us from our enemies and only Christ can bring you and me genuine peace. And remember; only the recognition of Christ's kingship will bring peace to this world and to your own personal life.

If this is true, why do people fail to recognize his kingship? Because he is hidden, he hides himself in the lowly; those most people despise. This is true even in your school. The young person who is unpopular and neglected is, in a profound way, the dwelling place of the Lord. You and I will be judged on how we treated him or her. Think of it. Jesus said: "I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me to drink, I was lonely and you never came to visit me, etc." When others asked him when all this occurred, he said: "As long as you neglected the least of my brothers, you neglected me."

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Presentation

Mary and Joseph brought to the Temple "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons" as an offering (Lk 2, 24). Those Jews who could afford it were required to offer a lamb, but the poor were allowed to offer a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. In other words, Mary and Joseph were poor. Now it is important to think about this. Jesus is God. He is God in the flesh. This means that God chose a poor family to be His human family, a family without wealth and without a great deal of worldly honour. Why? Many of us here also come from families without a great deal of wealth. Many of our parents struggle just to make ends meet. And sometimes young people feel embarrassed, ashamed or angry that this is the case. But you and I must realize something. God himself chose to become a man, and he chose to be born and raised into a poor family. There is no dishonour in being poor. Our poverty brings us into special relationship with God. We are more like Him than the rich. So do not feel ashamed. And we must learn to trust Him, that is, trust that He will provide us with all that we need. Listen to Jesus: "I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, `What are we to eat?' or `What are we to drink?' or `What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself".

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Finding in the Temple

After the Passover celebration was finished, Mary and Joseph left Jerusalem to return home to Nazareth. Jesus, who was twelve years old at the time, remained behind, although his parents were unaware of it. After discovering that he was missing, they returned to Jerusalem and began searching for him. After a three-day search, they found him in the Temple; listening to the teachers and asking them questions. All who heard Jesus speak were astounded at his understanding and his answers.

Young people are capable of growing to tremendous heights of wisdom just like Jesus at twelve years of age, and I have come across so many young teenagers who are profoundly wise. But this wisdom of theirs can quickly disappear, especially when they choose to give in to a life of sin and self-seeking. Then they begin to substitute wisdom for rationalisations. But if a young person can survive adolescence with this simple, youthful wisdom intact, that would be no small accomplishment. So pray often for an increase in the gift of wisdom, and pray that you may be given the grace to acquire a horror of sin.

Now when Mary found Jesus, she said to him: "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." Jesus is reunited with his family. That is why you have to remain united to your family. Just as Jesus came to us through his family, we go to him through our family. Our own family is a little Church, our first Church in fact, and if we sever our relationship with our family, we distance ourselves from God. And as we draw closer to God, we will begin to hear him call us back to our family. We will become the instruments He uses to reunite our family, and you will grow to the degree that you are united to them, so remain loyal to them to the best of your ability. Honour your parents; for the commandment to honour them is the only one with a promise attached to it: "that you may have a long life in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you." Many people are destroying themselves simply because they continue to harbour unforgiveness against their parents. Medical science has discovered that poisonous bile is created in the stomach as a result of holding on to resentment and unforgiveness. This poisonous bile in turn can cause severe illness. If you want a long life, a good life, then ask God to give you the grace you need to be able to forgive your mother, to forgive your father. And ask God to give you the eyes to see them as He sees them, that is, as His vulnerable, weak, and wounded children. That's really all they are - vulnerable little babes with the same fears and anxieties that you and I have.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Agony in the Garden

Jesus is filled with fear. He begins to sweat drops of blood, and he prays to the Father: "if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will."

Even the Son of God experienced great fear and distress. He did not want to suffer pain, but he chose to nevertheless because his Father willed that all of us have eternal life, a life paid for with the death of His Son. And we too will have to suffer many things before we enter into our glory, and we will experience great fear at times, but we have to remember that we are not alone in our fear and distress. Jesus knows what it means to fear, for he said: "my soul is sorrowful even to death." So we have to remember that Jesus is very close to us in our sorrow and fears. He suffers with us; we never suffer alone. Despite the fact that those around us may be asleep to our suffering as the three disciples were asleep to Jesus during this time in the garden, Jesus will be alive to us, especially during those periods in which we feel most alone and abandoned.

The teenage years are often the most difficult years of a person's life. There are so many fears in your life at this point. That is why you must at this time draw close to Jesus in his suffering. Think about how much he suffered, and find him in the midst of your sorrow and anxiety. Do not be overly surprised to find that others have abandoned you at a time you need them most. God allows this so that you may turn to Him and know that you can rely, ultimately, on Him alone: "Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, feel no pity for the child she has borne? Even if these were to forget, I shall not forget you" (Is 49, 15). That is why you must put all your trust in Him.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Scourging

Jesus is scourged with whips made with tips of metal or sharp pieces of bone. His flesh is being torn into ribbons. St. Peter, our first Pope, tells us in his first letter: "He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for holiness; through his bruises you have been healed" (1 Pt 2, 24).

It is a great mystery how Jesus' sufferings and wounds can wipe away our sins and bring us healing, but that is what we believe. All emotional, psychological and spiritual healing takes place ultimately because Jesus suffered these wounds. God's healing grace is now available to all of you. Everyone needs emotional and spiritual healing. Perhaps someone in your family is filled with anger or overcome with anxiety. Maybe you have a difficult time concentrating on school because there is something troubling you. Healing is available for you and others you may know and love. You may need to speak to someone you can trust, but you must also pray, especially for others. There is tremendous power in your prayers. Many of you are unaware of this, but you have the power to move mountains by your prayers. Jesus said: "Whoever says to this mountain, `Be lifted up and thrown into the sea' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions" (Mk 11, 23-26).

That is why you must believe in the power of prayer and begin praying for others. You will begin to see miracles happen if you look for them with the eyes of faith. You must however be persistent in your belief. And when you pray, as Jesus said, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance. If you harbour unforgiveness against anyone, you block God's power to heal. All inner healing comes when we forgive, and much physical healing also occurs when a person forgives. Maybe that's why we are "healed by his wounds". Christ offered himself for us as a sacrifice to the Father, and the Father accepted his offering and granted forgiveness to the entire human family. By receiving the Father's forgiveness into our lives, we are thereby empowered to forgive others. This forgiveness in turn brings healing to our lives and to the lives of those we forgive.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Crowning with Thorns

The soldiers led Jesus into the Praetorium (the residence of the Roman governor) and assembled the whole cohort, that is, six hundred soldiers. They clothed Jesus in royal colours and made a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head. They put a reed in his hand, and the soldiers then began to mock Jesus saying: "Hail, king of the Jews!" They spat upon him and took the reed and kept striking him on the head with it.

Now Jesus is the eternal Son of God who became a man, and we know that all things created came into existence through the Son, the Word of God (Jn 1, 1ff). It is this person, who is being laughed at and spat upon, who gave these soldiers the gift of their existence and who even sustains them in their existence during this humiliating ordeal. If Jesus wanted, he could annihilate them all in an instant. But he loves them and desires only their salvation. And so he submits to their mockery. What love he shows us!

Jesus is the King of the Jews, and he is the King of Creation. He chooses for himself not a crown made of precious jewels, but a crown made of thorns, and the homage he chooses to accept is one of mockery and abuse. He is unlike any other king in human history. He is humble and loving. He is a king who does not condemn, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him" (Jn 3, 17). He is a king who chooses to die for his people "that they may have life and have it more abundantly" (Jn 10, 10). He is Mercy. He does not demand to be served. He said, "the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many". And he also said, "Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant" (Mt 20, 27). So behold your King! Trust in his mercy.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Carrying of the Cross

Jesus is made to carry his cross on which he will be crucified. It was certainly not easy for Jesus to carry his cross. On his way to Calvary he fell three times out of sheer exhaustion and loss of blood.

Now Jesus said that if we wish to be a follower of his, we must take up our cross and follow him. That's what it means to be a follower of Jesus. And all of you have crosses to bear. Some of you have, at this time in your life, very difficult crosses to bear. Perhaps someone close to you is dying or has died, or perhaps you are going through some terribly painful family problems. You may have an alcoholic parent at home, or a terribly nagging parent. Maybe your parents are going through a very painful divorce and you feel completely left out in the cold. All of us will have at some point in our lives very difficult crosses to bear, especially during our teenage years. Whatever difficulty you may have now, you must remember that God can and will bless it and draw great good out of it if you allow him. During these difficult times you must learn to cry out to Jesus as Peter did when he began sinking into the water: "Lord, save me!"

We must never forget that we are children in every way dependent upon God our Father. That is why Jesus said, "Unless you change and become as little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven". Often God allows painful suffering to enter our lives in order to draw us to a more childlike relationship with Him.

But some of you have bigger crosses than I have ever had to carry. Why did God allow such pain to enter your life? I would be a fool to even attempt an answer. I simply don't know, and it is not for me to know. It is a secret God has reserved only for Himself and for you, not for me. As St Paul says, "For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor? How inscrutable are his judgements and how unsearchable are his ways" (Rm 11, 33-35). You will know the secret eventually, but until then look to Jesus who carries his cross and learn to recognize his cross in your suffering.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Crucifixion

Jesus is nailed to a cross. He will hang there for hours until he dies of asphyxiation (suffocation). But Jesus died earlier than expected. The soldiers scourged him so brutally that he went into shock. His heart was severely weakened by this, and before Jesus died he gave out a loud cry. We know, therefore, that Jesus died of a heart rupture. His heart literally cracked. So it isn't poetry to say that Jesus died of a broken heart. Why did God become a man if He knew that He was going to die this way? Because God is Mercy. Jesus said: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they are doing." Can you imagine how merciful and loving Jesus must be to be able to utter these words and mean it? How can he possibly want anything good for these people let alone total forgiveness from the Father? Remember those words and never believe that your sin is too great for God to forgive. There is nothing you can do that God won't forgive as long as you approach Him and seek His forgiveness with genuine contrition.

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, "he saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God." The soldiers jeered at him as well and said: "If you are king of the Jews, save yourself." A former student once said to me after a Mass during Lent: "What a wimp of a God you have, a God who died on a cross!" As you can imagine I was left speechless. I thought about what she said later, after the shock wore off, and it occurred to me that if Jesus did come down from the cross, it would mean that there is a limit to what he chooses to go through for us. But he did not come down from the cross, and this means that there is no limit to what Jesus chose to suffer for love of us. He suffered to the very end, that is, until death. And so we can say that there is nothing he won't suffer for love of you and me. Only an all- powerful God can afford to hang powerless on a cross to show us that his love for us has no limits. He is truly all-powerful.

You see, God the Father loves you more that you love yourself. His desire that you spend all of eternity with Him is greater than your desire for Heaven. If you could only believe how loved you are, nothing would worry you anymore. If you could see just how much you matter in the eyes of God, a profound rest would take root in the recesses of your heart. Think about the dying Jesus often, and recall that he suffered so grievously only because he loves you so much and wants so much that you be forgiven and come to know His mercy.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Resurrection

Christ is risen. This is the gospel, the Good News of our salvation. Christ has conquered death. And so we no longer have to fear death, because "if we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere, we shall also reign with him" (2 Tm 2, 11-12).

The question you must ask yourself is: "do I really believe Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday?" The Apostle Thomas, at first, did not believe that Christ rose. The disciples said to him: "We have seen the Lord." But Thomas said in reply: "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hands into his side, I will not believe" (Jn 20, 25). In my experience, I havn't encountered many young people who think like Thomas. The vast majority of young people I teach believe quite readily that Jesus is the Christ and that he did indeed rise from the dead. And so if you are one of those who firmly believe, count yourself blessed, like Peter. When Peter made his profession of faith that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus said to him: "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father" (Mt 16, 17). You see, faith is a gift that a person cannot earn, nor can a person bring himself to believe. It is a free gift from God, and it is a great mystery why some have it and others do not. So consider yourself blessed and cherish your faith. Nourish it, pray for more faith, and pray for the gift of final perseverance.

After seeing the risen Jesus one week later, Thomas said to him: "My Lord and my God!" Jesus then said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed" (Jn 20, 28-29). You are the ones Jesus refers to as blessed for believing without having seen.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Ascension

After spending forty days with the Apostles, Jesus ascended to the Father. He told his Apostles to remain in Jerusalem "for the promise of the Father", the promise that the Holy Spirit will descend upon them and empower them. They asked Jesus: "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?" Jesus replied: "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority." Then Jesus was lifted up and taken from their sight.

So do not fall into the temptation of trying to figure out when the world will end, and do not listen to those who believe they have determined the time of the world's end through the Scriptures. We are not to concern ourselves with "the times or seasons". Our task is to witness to the risen Christ while there is time left, to proclaim what he has done for us.

The disciples must be feeling certain loneliness at this time. For they spent forty days with Jesus after his resurrection, and now he is gone to the Father. And it is true that you too, if you stand up for Christ and live your life in him, will come to know loneliness soon enough. All I can say is that you will find Christ within that loneliness if you listen for him. And remember what he told his Apostles: "Wait for the promise of the Father." Jesus does not simply leave us alone to continue his work on our own strength. No, he empowers us well beyond our human capabilities, and he promises us that we will do even greater things than he: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it" (Jn 14, 12-14).

How can this be, you ask? The next mystery will provide the answer.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Descent of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit descends upon the Apostles. From the sky there came a noise like a powerful driving wind, and the sound filled the entire house in which they were. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in different tongues. In Jerusalem at that time there were Jews from every nation in the world. They were astounded to hear these poor, uneducated Galileans speaking a language they never learned before, the language of their own nation. Some wondered what it all meant, others said that they are drunk on new wine.

Then Peter stood up and delivered a powerful speech that cut to the heart of all who listened. Three thousand people were converted and baptised that day. Remember, this is the same Peter who denied Christ three times. Notice the change that has come over him. He is filled with supernatural courage and wisdom. Peter said: "Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Peter then exhorted them saying: "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation".

I believe young people today have it tougher than any other era of teenagers ever had it in the twentieth century. It is very difficult for a teenager to be a practising Catholic today. Teenagers are continually bombarded with messages in the various media that are totally at odds with the teachings of Christ and his Church.

But you have the power to "save yourself from this corrupt generation", the generation of leaders who make it difficult for you to follow Jesus today. You have been confirmed, strengthened, that is, sealed with the Holy Spirit. Pray that the Holy Spirit may be fully released in you. You were baptised not just with water, but with the Holy Spirit, and you have received many gifts of the Holy Spirit as well. Pray that those gifts may emerge in your life and that you may begin to use them for the building up of Christ's body, the Church. And when Peter speaks, listen to him and obey him, that is, his successor the Pope.

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary


The Assumption

Mary, the one whom Gabriel addressed as "full of grace", is assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven. Mary was completely untouched by sin, especially Original Sin, and so she remains untouched by the consequences of Original Sin. And so her body did not corrupt after death. And her death was not the destruction of the self that it is for us. Her death was more of a transition. In fact, Mary's Feast of the Assumption was celebrated as early as AD 400, when it was called "Mary's Transition".

Why did Jesus preserve his mother from the stain of Original Sin? And why did he preserve her body from destruction after death? Simply because the fourth commandment tells us: "Honour your father and mother". To honour, in Hebrew, is to `bestow glory upon'. Jesus was faithful to the commandments and so he bestowed glory upon his mother. He preserved her from Original Sin and filled her with grace. We know that Christ filled her with glory right from the beginning because the angel addressed her as "full of grace", and Mary herself said, "all ages will call me blessed" (Lk 1, 48). Because she was preserved from Original Sin, she was preserved from its consequences, namely death, the kind of death that is the tragic and lonely destruction of the human self. She is blessed, and all the graces we receive come to us through Mary. And so all of you who believe that Mary is your mother and have a devotion to her are also blessed. For there is ultimately only one reason why she is so full of grace, and that is to bless you with a sharing in the fullness of her graces.

St. Joachima Vedruna de Mas says: "My daughters! Rejoice and be glad to have the Blessed Virgin for your Mother. Serve her with great joy, for she well deserves it. Go to her in all your straits and you will always come out successfully.


The Coronation

Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven. The Church teaches this from her Oral Tradition. But the Scriptures also support the Church's teaching. In the first book of Kings, chapter 2, we read about Adonijah, who went to Bathsheba, the mother of King Solomon. Adonijah asked Bathsheba to ask Solomon to give him Abishag for his wife. Adonijah insisted that the king would not refuse his mother anything. So Bathsheba went to her son Solomon, son of David, and when she entered into his presence, the king "stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king's mother, who sat at his right". To sit at the king's right was a sign of authority.

Bathsheba was the Queen Mother (Hebrew: Gebiyrah) of King Solomon. And every king in Israel from the beginning of the monarchy to the end will have his Queen Mother who will receive homage from the king and will sit enthroned on his right.

Now Jesus is the true son of David, the fulfilment of God's promise to David: "I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from you loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house for my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me...Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me" (2 S 7, 12-16). Since Jesus is the king of Israel and the true son of David, he too must have his Queen Mother, and just as Solomon paid his Queen Mother homage in fulfilment of the commandment to honour (glorify) one's mother, so does Jesus pay his Queen Mother homage and enthrone her at his right.

We can have more confidence than Adonijah who believed that the king would not refuse his mother anything. Jesus will never refuse his mother's request, so call on Mary and have confidence in her intercession.

The book of Revelation describes a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Mary is that crowned Queen, the Queen of the twelve Apostles. And so she is the Queen of the new Israel, the Church. Other titles in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin are "Queen of Mercy" and "Queen of Peace". If you seek mercy and peace, approach her throne with confidence. She is the Queen of Angels and the Queen of all Saints. She is the Queen of Heaven and the Queen of the Universe. If Jesus has entrusted her with total authority, should we not also begin to place our total confidence in her?

"By you we have access to the Son, O blessed finder of grace, bearer of life and mother of salvation, that we may receive Him by you, Who through you was given to us."

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Let us pray: Our Father ... Hail Mary

Copyright 1998 Doug McManaman (email). Web site designed and managed by St. MaxMedia
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