Praying the Rosary in this way can teach us who Christ is, the meaning of his incarnation, our duties and the identity of his Church.
Thank you to readers who enjoyed the Rosary of Joseph and the Doctrinal Rosary of the Luminous Mysteries pointing to the basics of faith.
St. Pope John Paul II, St. Pope Paul VI, and St. Louis Marie de Montfort all recommend adding descriptors after “Jesus” in the Ave Maria to enrich the rosary. For instance:
Agony in the garden: “…and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus, in agony for our sins. Holy Mary, Mother of God…”
I have included a guide for each mystery in my book The Rosary of Saint John Paul II. Since then, my family has expanded the practice to highlight key doctrines. Here is what we add after Jesus in the joyful mysteries to teach who Christ is, the meaning of his incarnation, our duties and the identity of his Church.
The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation
Mary’s Yes to God through the angel Gabriel caused the incarnation, God becoming man.
… Jesus, “the only Son of God, born of the Father before all ages”.
… Jesus, “God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God.
… Jesus, “begotten, not created, consubstantial with the Father”.
… Jesus, “by [whom] all things have been done.
… Jesus, who “came down from heaven”.
… Jesus, who “by the Holy Spirit became incarnate of the Virgin Mary”.
… Jesus, who was “God infinitely perfect and blessed in himself”. (CCC, 1)
… Jesus, through whom God “created man to share in his own blessed life”. (CCC 1)
… Jesus, who “when the fulness of time had come … was sent as Redeemer and Saviour. (CCC 1)
… Jesus, who invites us to be “his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life”. (CCC 1)
The Second Joyful Mystery, the Visitation
Mary goes in haste to serve Elizabeth, model of the bodily works of mercy united to Jesus.
… Jesus, whose greatest commandment is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (cf. Mt 22, 37-38)
…. Jesus who said “one second [commandment] is similar: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mt 22:39)
… Jesus, who said “everything you have done for one of my little brothers, you have done for me. (Mt 25:40)
… Jesus, whose first bodily work of mercy is to feed the hungry.
… Jesus, whose second bodily work of mercy is to quench the thirsty.
… Jesus, whose third bodily work of mercy is to clothe the naked.
… Jesus, whose fourth bodily work of mercy is to house the homeless.
… Jesus, whose fifth bodily work of mercy is to visit the sick.
… Jesus, whose sixth bodily work of mercy is to visit prisoners.
… Jesus, whose seventh bodily work of mercy is to bury the dead.
The Third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity
The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem showed the emergence of Immanuel, God-with-us, in our world.
… Jesus, of whom Saint Paul writes “when the time was fully ripe, God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Gal. 4, 4; cf CCC 422)
… Jesus, whose name means “God saves” (CCC 452)
… Jesus, whose title Christ means “Anointed, Messiah” (CCC 453)
… Jesus, whose title Son of God means “he is the only begotten Son of the Father; he is God himself. (CEC 454)
… Jesus, “who has two natures, one divine and the other human” (CCC 481).
… Jesus whose two natures are “united in the one person of the Son of God” (CCC 481).
… Jesus, at whose birth “the Creator of man became man, born of the Virgin”. (CEC 526)
… Jesus, who made you, Mary, “truly ‘Mother of God’ since [you are] the mother of the eternal Son of God made man. (CEC 509)
… Jesus, for whom you, Mary, “remained a virgin by conceiving [him]virgin when giving birth to it, virgin when carrying it, virgin when nursing it…always a virgin” (CCC 510).
… Jesus, whom the Magi showed as being “the Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world”. (CEC 528)
The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation in the Temple
The presentation of Jesus in the temple by the Holy Family is a model for our sacramental life.
… Jesus who gave us three sacraments of Christian initiation so that we could receive new life in Christ. (CEC 1420)
… Jesus, who through baptism “purifies [us] of all sins”, makes us a “new creature” and “partakers of the divine nature”. (CEC 1265)
… Jesus, who in Confirmation “gives us special strength from the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith in word and deed as true witnesses of Christ.” (CEC 1303).
… Jesus, who is truly present in the Eucharist which, received in a state of grace, increases our union with the Lord. (CEC 1416)
… Jesus, who gave us two sacraments of healing so that the Church may continue her mission of healing and saving on earth. (CEC 1421)
… Jesus, who in confession reconciles us to God, recovers the state of grace, remits the penalty for sin and increases our serenity and spiritual strength. (CCC 1496)
… Jesus, who in the Anointing of the Sick prepares us for eternal life, forgives sins if confession is impossible and restores health if it leads to salvation. (CEC 1532)
… Jesus, who gives us two sacraments of communion and mission to serve and edify the People of God. (CEC 1534)
… Jesus, who in Holy Orders gives us deacons and priests “to nourish the Church with the word and grace of God”. (CEC 1535)
… Jesus, who unites couples in marriage for “the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of the offspring”. (CEC 1601)
The Fifth Joyful Mystery, The Discovery at the Temple
The Holy Family, obedient Jews, visit the Temple, modeling our duty to the Church, and commanding us to find Christ in the Church.
… Jesus, of whom the Church is one because the Trinity is its source, Christ is its founder and the Holy Spirit is its soul. (CCC 813)
… Jesus, whose Church is holy in her means, which are the sacraments, and her end, which is unity with Christ. (CEC 824-825)
… Jesus, whose Church is Catholic because it proclaims the fullness of faith to all peoples and embraces all times. (CEC 868)
… Jesus, whose Church is apostolic because it was founded on Peter and the apostles and is governed by their successors. (CEC 857)
… Jesus, whose Church gives five precepts “to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum” to grow in the love of God and neighbour. (Compendium of the Catechism, 431)
… Jesus, whose first precept of the Church is: “You will attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and remain free from any work or activity that could prevent the sanctification of these days.
… Jesus, whose second precept of the Church is: “You will confess your sins at least once a year.
… Jesus, whose third precept of the Church is: “You will receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during Easter time.
… Jesus, whose fourth precept of the Church is: “You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
… Jesus, whose fifth precept of the Church is: “You will help to provide for the needs of the Church. (Precepts of Compendium of the Catechism, Annex)