The Rosary with the Great Artists: the Sorrowful Mysteries


The Virgin Showing the Man of Sorrows
Hans Memling [Web Gallery of Art]


The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation. Developed in the West, it is a typically meditative prayer, corresponding in some way to the “prayer of the heart” or “Jesus prayer” which took root in the soil of the Christian East.' [St John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, No 5.]


The Rosary here is the formula prayed by members of the Legion of Mary, the way I prefer. There are various ways of beginning and ending the Rosary but the Five Mysteries are the heart of the prayer. 

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

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your love.
v. Send forth Your Spirit, O Lord, and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.

God our Father, pour out the gifts of Your Holy Spirit on the world. You sent the Spirit on Your Church to begin the teaching of the gospel: now let the Spirit continue to work in the world through the hearts of all who believe. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Sorrowful Mysteries 
(Tuesday and Friday)

First Mystery 
The Agony in the Garden

The Agony in the Garden
Giuseppe Bazzani [Web Gallery of Art]

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be

Second Mystery
The Scourging at the Pillar

The Scourging of Christ
Vecellio Tiziano (Titian) [Web Gallery of Art]

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be

Third Mystery
The Crowning with Thorns

The Crowning with Thorns
Caravaggio [Web Gallery of Art]

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be

Fourth Mystery
Jesus Carries the Cross

Christ Carrying the Cross
Vecellio Tiziano (Titian) [Web Gallery of Art]

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be

Fifth Mystery
The Crucifixion

Christ on the Cross
Rembrandt [Web Gallery of Art]

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy; hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show 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 salvation; grant, we beseech You, 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. 

v. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus R. Have mercy on us.
v. Immaculate Heart of Mary R. Pray for us.
v. St Joseph R. Pray for us.
v. St John the Evangelist R. Pray for us.
v. St Louis-Marie deMontfort R. Pray for us. 

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

Ave Regina Caelorum
Sung by the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey at Ganagobie.

Ave Regina Caelorum is one of four seasonal Marian anthems sung or recited at the end of Compline (Night Prayer) in the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours, Breviary). This anthem is sung from after Purification (February 2 or Candlemas) until the Easter Vigil. 

Ave regina caelorum,
ave domina angelorum:
salve radix, salve porta,
ex qua mundo lux est ort.:
Gaude Virgo, gloriosa,
super omnes speciosa,
vale o valde decora,
et pro nobis Christum exora.

Hail, queen of heaven,
hail lady of the angels.
Hail, root, hail the door
through which the Light of the world is risen.
Rejoice, glorious Virgin,
beautiful above all.
Hail, O very fair one,
and plead for us to Christ.

Translation by Dr Rudolph Masciantonio.

Ave Regina Caelorum
Setting by Cipriano de Rore, sung by the Voces8 Foundation Choir.


Virgin of Sorrows
Germain Pilon [Web Gallery of Art]

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