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  • Co-authored: Karen Shields Wright, Gregory Vigliotta

The Rosary: Gospel Contemplation on the Mysteries Retreat

“With the Rosary, the Christian people sit at the school of Mary, are led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ, and to experience the depth of his love.”

(Saint Pope John Paul II)

AN Ignatian Retreat (Self-Directed or Directed)

By praying the Rosary, we gaze upon the life, ministry, passion, and resurrection of Jesus as Mary did. It is through the eyes of Our Blessed Mother which open us up to receiving the mystery of the Trinitarian life. In praying the Rosary, we come to remember Christ, learn from Him, unify with Him, pray to Him, and proclaim Him with Mary.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

About this Retreat

Moving through the life of Christ and Mary we begin in the Joyful, moving through the Luminous in Jesus' ministry, onto the Sorrowful of His passion and death, coming to meet Him in Glorious joyful resurrection and the crowing of His Blessed Mother Mary.

Preparing for Your Retreat

Review of Retreat Guidelines and Prayers

Links to Ways of Prayer

Night Before Preparations

Retreat Mornings - Offering, Lectio, Close, Reflection

Retreat Day Time - Recalling

Retreat Evenings - Examen, Journaling

Self or Directed


How to Move through this Retreat

This retreat is designed to move one slowly through all 20 Mysteries of the Rosary over a 4 week period. It begins with the Joyful and moves along ending with the Glorious. Each week's days 1 through 5 are for contemplating one mystery each, followed by reflection on the 6th day, and the 7th day for rest and Sunday worship.

Each day begins a new retreat prayer period in the morning with an offertory and petitionary, Beginning of the Rosary, the Contemplation, a decade of the Rosary, Reflection, and Closing prayers of the Rosary. Moving throughout the day recalling that mystery, and ending in an Examen and Journaling in the evening.

steps for Each day's Contemplation on a Mystery of the Rosary

Begin with "Sign of the Cross"

Offertory Prayer ( See below)

Petitionary Prayers (See below - changes based upon the day's fruits)

Pray one "Our Father

Pray three “Hail Marys” for Faith, Hope, and Charity

Pray the “Glory Be

Select one mystery for the day. Read and then pray with the corresponding scripture as you would in Lectio Divina using your imagination (Ignatian Contemplation) in being present with all who are present within the mystery.

Pray a decade of a Mystery

Begin with “Our Father” followed by ten“Hail Marys

After each decade, reflect on the Mystery and the Fruits. Recall what you have seen, heard and considered from the graces received.

End each decade in adoration with a “Glory Be” (optional additional prayer O My Jesus”)

End with the closing prayer: “Hail Holy Queen

Close with “Sign of the Cross”

*Note: One mystery a day.


Preparatory Prayers The Preparatory period is a time for recollection to dispose ourselves rightly with an offertory and a petition of asking for grace what we want and desire from the Lord based upon the meditation exercise. Each prayer lasting a minute.

Offertory Prayer

Beginning your prayer time: At the beginning of each prayer period, offer yourself to the Lord. Pray the “Take and Receive”

Take Lord, and receive all my liberty,

my memory, my understanding, and my entire will,

all that I have and possess.

Thou hast given all to me.

To Thee, O Lord, I return it.

All is Thine; dispose of it wholly according to Thy will.

Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this, is sufficient for me.


Preparatory Prayer

“The preparatory prayer is to ask, God Our Lord for the grace is that all my intentions (wants and desires), actions, and operations (interior mental activities) , maybe order purely to the service in praise of the Divine Majesty” (SE 46)*

Write in your own words your intentions ­­­­­­­­­­____________________________________________

Petitionary Prayer

Now being situated within the mystery, after reading it the night before (or before the prayer period begins) we ask for what we desire from the Holy Spirit to reveal to us how we may go forth to meet the will of God.

(Specific for each day) * Ask Jesus, through the intercession of His Blessed Mother for the particular fruit of the day's mystery, and share your desires with the Lord for the day's retreat. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Mysteries

It is here we enter into each Mystery with attending to all their joys and sorrows as we walk along with Mary as she points to the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Week One: Joyful Mysteries

Day One: First Joyful Mystery - The Annunciation

Day Two : Second Joyful Mystery - The Visitation

Day Three: Third Joyful Mystery - The Birth of Jesus

Day Four: Fourth Joyful Mystery - The Presentation

Day Five: Fifth Joyful Mystery - Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple

Day Six: Gather in the Graces (Meet with Spiritual Director)

Day Seven: Give Glory to God: The Mass

Week Two: Luminous Mysteries

Day One: First Luminous Mystery - Baptism of Jesus

Day Two: Second Luminous Mystery - Wedding at Cana

Day Three: Third Luminous Mystery - Proclaiming the Kingdom

Day Four: Fourth Luminous Mystery - Transfiguration

Day Five: Fifth Luminous Mystery - Institution of the Eucharist

Day Six: Gather in the Graces (Meet with Spiritual Director)

Day Seven: Give Glory to God: The Mass

Week Three: Sorrowful Mysteries

Day One: First Sorrowful Mystery - The Agony in the Garden

Day Two: Second Sorrowful Mystery - Scourging at the Pillar

Day Three: Third Sorrowful Mystery - Crowning with Thorns

Day Four: Fourth Sorrowful Mystery - Carrying of the Cross

Day Five: Fifth Sorrowful Mystery - The Crucifixion

Day Six: Gather in the Graces (Meet with Spiritual Director)

Day Seven: Give Glory to God: The Mass

Week Four: Glorious Mysteries

Day One: First Glorious Mystery -The Resurrection

Day Two: Second Glorious Mystery -The Ascension

Day Three: Third Glorious Mystery - Descent of the Holy Spirit:

Day Four: Fourth Glorious Mystery - The Assumption

Day Five: Fifth Glorious Mystery - The Coronation

Day Six: Gather in the Graces ( Meet with Spiritual Director)

Day Seven: Give Glory to God: The Mass


Prayers of the Rosary

Sign of the Cross In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed I believe in God, the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Oh My Jesus O my Jesus, forgive us of our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

Hail Holy Queen Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our Life, our Sweetness, and our hope. To thee we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then most gracious advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us, the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Final Prayer Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady of the Way, Pray for us!

*(SE#) All quotes are taken from The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: based on Studies in the Language of the Autograph by Louis, J. Puhl. SJ

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