A Catholic Monthly Magazine

A Different Scripture Rosary

Fr John Rea SM

Distractions at prayer are a bugbear for many of us. In his book, Introduction to Spirituality, Father Louis Bouyer mentions an aid to focusing our attention when praying the Rosary, which has been popular in a number of countries, notably in Germany.

This is to introduce, either after the name of Jesus, or after “Holy Mary, Mother of God,” depending on which mystery we are praying, a brief statement expressing the essence of the event or truth we want to contemplate.

For example – “blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus, scourged at the pillar...”

And another example – “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, assumed into heaven, pray for us sinners…”

This way of praying the Rosary can be developed further by putting a verse or part of a verse from the Bible in place of the statement of the mystery. 

Here are twenty selections from the Prophecy of Isaiah which I have found helpful. Why Isaiah?

Because St Jerome declares in the prologue to his commentaries on Isaiah that This part of the Scriptures contains all the mysteries of the Lord. These pages will proclaim Immanuel born of the Virgin, his many wonderful deeds and signs, his death, burial and resurrection, his work as Saviour of all people.

These same short passages from Isaiah can also be used to say the Rosary in the ancient Dominican way, popularised many years ago by the late Father Eugene Klimeck OP. That is, to pray them in place of the second half of the Hail Mary.

The Joyful Mysteries

1. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son and shall call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).

2. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God (Isaiah 61:10a).

3. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given (Isaiah 9:6a)

4. Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen in whom my soul delights (Isaiah 42:1a)

5. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding (Isaiah 11:2).

The Luminous Mysteries

1. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me (Isaiah 61:1a).

2. The Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of wine on the lees (Isaiah 25:6).

3. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news (Isaiah 57:2).

4. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God (Isaiah 35: 2).

5. He will feed his flock like a shepherd (Isaiah 40: 11).

The Sorrowful Mysteries

1. Surely, he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4a).

2. With his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5b).

3. I did not hide my face from shame and spitting (Isaiah 50:6b).

4. Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb (Isaiah 53:7).

5. He was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people (Isaiah 53:8b)

The Glorious Mysteries

1. Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you (Isaiah 60:1).

2. Make known his deeds among the nations, proclaim that his name is exalted (Isaiah 12:4).

3. I will give you as a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6b).

4. Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes, his reward is with him” (Isaiah 62:11).

5. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord and a royal diadem in the hand of your God (Isaiah 62:3).

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