Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary

Richard Salbato


Thirty years ago I bought a very large motor home and put a nine foot picture of a Rosary on the back with a sign that said, “The Family that prays together stays together”.  At the time I only wanted to remind people to pray the Rosary and to pray as a family.  However, this sign caused me to have unwanted attention when I parked near churches to go to daily Mass.  People wanted me to help them start up Rosary Hours in their parish.  I objected to it at the time for the same reasons I object to it now.  I do not even like Rosary Hours in Churches for many reasons.  Sometimes the prayers are too fast and sometimes too slow.  When they come to the Mysteries they say, “The Annunciation” and then go on with the next prayer, but the Rosary is primarily a meditation on the mysteries and not just repetitious prayers. 

When I voiced my dislike for the way Rosaries are prayed, the people offered to let me set them up anyway I wanted to.  Once the proper plan was set up, these Rosary Hours were so successful that I continued to set them up all over the diocese, and they continued to grow from an average of 10 people to an average of 100 people.  What was wonderful about this was that they were not tied to any Mass or other church activity, but required people to make a special trip to the Church just for the Rosary. 

The way we set these up was to have two or three people (with good singing voices) singing as people came in.  They would set the mood for prayer and silence by singing Marian songs in a very soft and prayerful method. 

When seated the leader would give a short homily on the Rosary, Mary or prayer in general.  After the introductory prayers people would stand to sing a short Marian song, and then sit to hear another homily on the first mystery. Then kneel to pray the decade of the Rosary.  Then repeat the same again: stand to sing, sit for the homily on the next mystery, and kneel to pray the prayers.  All in all, it took about one hour.  

Pope John Paul II said what has always been known by the saints, “The Rosary is primarily a meditation on the mysteries.”   One of the reasons I love the apparitions of Our Lady of Cuapa, Nicaragua to the sacristan, Bernardo Martinex, is the emphasis on the Rosary.  The message of the Virgin Mary was simple: pray the Rosary properly (especially in the family), make peace with each other (especially in the family), and renew the First Saturday Devotion as often as you can, (especially as a family).

Two of the visions Our Lady showed to Bernardo were of the Franciscans and Dominicans praying the Rosary in the method I have outlined above. 

The object of my meditations is to give you a very broad outlook on the historical and mystical meanings of the mysteries, but not something that you can read each day.  The following assays on each of the 20 mysteries are far to long to be read each time you do a Rosary, but they will give you mental images that I hope stay in your head, so that as you pray you see clearly the meanings of each mystery. 

The first mystery of the Rosary is the one that sets up all the rest of the mysteries, so it by default has to be the longest and hardest to understand.  The reason I say this is because after you read this first one you will think all the mysteries will be this overly long winded and not read the rest.  This will not be the case, because in the first mystery of the Rosary we set the stage for all the rest by seeing God’s master plan from the creation of the world to the end of the world, from the creation of the heavens to the end of the heavens, from the creation of the Kingdom of Heaven and the angels to the fulfillment of the Kingdom and eternity. 

Because of 30 years of reading the Bible, Bible Commentaries, Early Church Fathers, visions of the mystics, and interpretations of the saints, I have visual images in my mind that I will pass on without any real reference.  These are just my meditations based on my memory of the above and are not without error.  I have postponed doing these meditations for many years because I wanted to do them with all the references from the thousands of books I have read on the subject, but just the references alone would take me thousands of hours of work.  Sorry, but the following is just off the top of my old and limited head.

These are divided into ten sections so that they can be read with each Hail Mary, or just read all at once to have the mental image. 

Richard Salbato

Joyful Mysteries

Meditation on the Annunciation

Meditation on the Visitation

Meditation on the Birth of Christ

Meditation on the Presentation

Meditation on the Finding of Our Lord in the Temple

Enlightening Mysteries

Meditation on the Baptism of Our Lord

Meditation on the Marriage Feast of Cana

Meditation on the Preaching of the Kingdom

Meditation on the Transfiguration

Meditation on the Institution of the Eucharist

Sorrowful Mysteries

Meditation on the Agony in the Garden

Meditation on the Scourging

Meditation on the Crowning of Thorns

Meditation on the Carrying of the Cross

Meditation on the Crucifixion

Glorious Mysteries

Meditation on the Resurrection

Meditation on the Ascension

Meditation on the Decent of the Holy Spirit

Meditation on the Assumption of Our Lady

Meditation on the Crowning of Our Lady