Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries

“Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today.
All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.”

– St. Padre Pio


The Rosary is a prayerful reflection of the Gospels. It is comprises 20 Mysteries or significant events in the life of Jesus and Mary. These events are organized into four sets of Mysteries. The Five Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary are recited on Mondays and Saturdays (except during Lent).

In Mary’s Touch Program 2.39, Mike shares his journey of faith, which was nurtured by our Blessed Mother and by praying the Rosary. His love for Mary now inspires him to write contemplative prayers. Here, he shares his Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. To open a printer-friendly version of these meditations, click here.

The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation
(LK 1:26–28)

We pray for the gift of Humility.

In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The Angel Gabriel comes to Mary to announce she is to be the Mother of the Messiah—the Mother of God. So great was Mary’s love and faith in God that she accepted God’s will in this, even though she knew there could be grave personal consequences. Mary is the model of perfect human acceptance of God’s will over personal will. She truly and completely turned her life over to the care and love of God.

In the same way, God wants us to say yes to His will. God makes His presence in our lives known in many ways. Sometimes we have an open heart and open mind to hear His voice. Sometimes our minds and hearts are closed by our own selfishness and fear.

We can turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God in many important ways. But, too often we take back what we give up. Mary did not take back any of it. She became the living model of human spiritual perfection.

Mary comes into our lives and asks us to follow her example. God sends the Holy Spirit into our lives to help us.

Do I open my heart and mind to hear the voice of God calling me to do His will? Do I say yes to His will regardless of the possible consequences to myself?

I pray that I can open my heart and mind to hear the will of God in my life. I pray that I see the example given to me by my Holy Mother, the Virgin Mary. I pray that I accept the help sent to me through the Holy Spirit.

The Visitation
(LK 1:39–45)

We pray for the gift of Charity.

Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, “Of all women, you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Mary, after consenting to become the Mother of God, became aware that her cousin Elizabeth would also be giving birth, even in her old age. Mary traveled a good distance to serve her cousin in her time of need. Mary could have remained home. She could have basked in the glory of the knowledge she received from Gabriel. But she did not. By visiting her cousin Elizabeth, Mary shows us the perfect model of charity. At a time many of us would have let pride and self-centeredness consume us, she humbly went out of her way to serve someone else. She saw God and His works in another and went to take care of her. She focused on the needs of someone else.

Do I look outside of myself for opportunities to perform service for others? Do I humbly serve the will of God, or do I look for personal recognition for what I do?

I pray that I can turn my life and my will over to the care of God and that I can act upon it. I pray that I put my faith into action through service to others in need.

The Birth of our
Lord, Jesus Christ
(LK 2:1–20)

We pray for the gift of Detachment from the World.

Now at this time Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census of the whole world to be taken. This census—the first—took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and traveled to Judea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s house and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her Child, and she gave birth to a Son, her first-born. She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn. In the countryside close by, there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took turns watching their flocks during the night. The Angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the Angel said, “Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” And suddenly with the Angel there was a great throng of heavenly host, praising God and singing:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
And peace to men who enjoy His favor.”

Now when the Angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph and the Baby lying in a manger. When they saw the Child, they repeated what they had been told about Him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.

Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the census. Traveling was difficult, especially for someone in Mary’s condition. But she and Joseph once again accepted God’s will. Mary gave birth to God’s only Son in a cave, the humblest of conditions. Although poor, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into this world with perfect love and dignity. The birth of Christ was the perfect model for what is truly important in our lives. God came into this world without any worldly possessions. There were no distractions to draw attention away from the most important thing of all. There was no pride or self-centeredness to take away from the miracle of His birth. Mary in all humility and love brought the salvation of all mankind into this world. In Jesus’s birth, God is telling us that nothing is more important than His presence in our lives and His will for us.

Am I easily distracted by worldly possessions and other temptations? Do I humbly bring Christ into this world through my prayers, thoughts, words, and actions?

I pray that when I bring Christ into this world, I do so humbly without pride or self-centeredness. I pray that the things of this world do not distract my focus away from what is truly important—God’s presence in my life and His will for me.

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
(LK 2:22–35)

We pray for the gifts of Obedience and Purity of Heart.

And when the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, they took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord—observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord—and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man. He looked forward to Israel’s comforting, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit, he came to the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for Him what the law required, he took Him into his arms and blessed God, and he said:

“Now Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
Just as you promised;

Because my eyes have seen the salvation
Which you have prepared for all nations to see,
A light to enlighten the pagans
And the glory of your people Israel.”

As the Child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about Him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His Mother, “You see this Child: He is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected—and a sword will pierce your own soul too—so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.”

According to the law, Mary and Joseph took their new Son to the Temple to be consecrated to the Lord. Simeon recognized Jesus as the Messiah. Mary gave Jesus to God through the priest—a sacrifice. God gave Jesus back to us through the priest—a sacrament. Simeon prophesized about Jesus.

Jesus is not subject to the Law of Moses; yet, to teach obedience, He submits to it. Mary is not subject to the law of purification; yet, in humility she submits to it. Jesus and Mary submitted themselves publicly to the law. They are true and pure models for the Word of God. In their submission to the law, Simeon confirmed the presence of the Messiah in the world. He publicly prophesied Jesus’s mission and the effect it would have on the world. He also confirmed Mary’s role and the suffering she would endure for Jesus and for us as our mother.

Do I turn to the traditions and laws of the Church to guide and direct me to God? Do I turn to devotions, like the Rosary, to give me strength and grace to fulfill the will of God?

I pray that I might use the teaching of the Church created by Christ and nurtured by the Virgin Mary to guide and direct me to God. I pray that I might use suffering in my life to bring me closer to God as shown to me by the lives of Jesus and Mary.

The Finding of Jesus After Three Days in
the Temple
(LK 2:41–52)

We pray for the gift of Piety.

Every year, His parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. When He was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed He was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find Him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for Him everywhere.

Three days later, they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard Him were astounded at His intelligence and His replies. His parents were overcome when they saw Him, and His mother said to Him, “My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for You?” “Why were you looking for me?” He replied. “Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?” But they did not understand what He meant.

He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and men.

Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. When it came time to return home, it was the custom of the Jewish people to travel in large groups for security and company. It was also their custom for the men and women to travel separately within the caravan. Because Jesus was only twelve, He could have comfortably traveled in either group. Mary probably thought that Jesus was with Joseph, and Joseph probably thought He was with Mary. What panic must have overcome them when they discovered He was missing?

Jesus did not lose His family. They thought He must be with them. They took it for granted that He was there. What a hole was left in their lives when they discovered He was not there—what panic! We often take it for granted that Jesus is there with us. He does not lose us. He is always there in the “temple” doing His Father’s business. We know where to find Him now that He has taught us, but we must go there to be with Him.

When I lose Jesus in my daily life, do I go frantically searching for Him like I would my lost child? Do I know where to find Him? Do I go straight to the obvious place to look for Him?

I pray that in those times when I feel like I have lost Jesus Christ in my life I realize that He has not lost me. I pray that I remember where to find Him at all times—He is busy with His Father’s affairs.