The Sorrowful Mysteries
Dominican Friars | April 24, 2023
The Gospels give great prominence to the sorrowful mysteries of Christ. From the beginning Christian piety, especially during the Lenten devotion of the Way of the Cross, has focused on the individual moments of the Passion, realizing that here is found the culmination of the revelation of God’s love and the source of our salvation. The Rosary selects certain moments from the Passion, inviting the faithful to contemplate them in their hearts and to relive them. The sequence of meditations begins with Gethsemane, where Christ experiences a moment of great anguish before the will of the Father, against which the weakness of the flesh would be tempted to rebel. There Jesus encounters all the temptations and confronts all the sins of humanity, in order to say to the Father: “Not my will but yours be done” (Lk 22:42 and parallels). This “Yes” of Christ reverses the “No” of our first parents in the Garden of Eden. And the cost of this faithfulness to the Father’s will is made clear in the following mysteries; by his scourging, his crowning with thorns, his carrying the Cross and his death on the Cross, the Lord is cast into the most abject suffering: Ecce homo!
This abject suffering reveals not only the love of God but also the meaning of man himself.
Ecce homo: the meaning, origin and fulfilment of man is to be found in Christ, the God who humbles himself out of love “even unto death, death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). The sorrowful mysteries help the believer to relive the death of Jesus, to stand at the foot of the Cross beside Mary, to enter with her into the depths of God’s love for man and to experience all its life-giving power.
The above excerpt is from the Apostolic Letter of St. Pope John Paul II entitled Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
First Sorrow Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
“Then going out Jesus went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.” Luke 22:39
Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
Pilate addressed them a third time, “What evil has this man done? I found him guilty of no capital crime.” Luke 23:22a
Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around him.” Matthew 27:27
Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
“As they led Jesus away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.” Luke 23:26
Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
“When they came to the place called the skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. “ Luke 23:33