Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Johannine Mysteries

I've been enjoying learning rather a lot from reading over archived posts at Fr Hunwicke's Liturgical Notes, and just now spotted a nice idea: the Johannine Mysteries of the Rosary.

These, as might not be expected, are actually a sequence of mysteries in honour of St John the Baptist, the greatest of saints (after Our peerless Lady, and, as has been the case since the close of the Middle Ages, St Joseph), to be prayed and contemplated on ordinary Rosary beads in the usual manner:

  1. The Annunciation to St Zachary that he and his wife St Elizabeth will at last conceive a son, who shall be the Herald of Christ (this event is commemorated in the liturgy on the Vigil of St John Baptist);
  2. The Visitation (whereat the unborn John leaps in St Elizabeth's womb, sanctified by the Holy Ghost and rejoicing at the approach of the unborn Saviour borne in the Immaculate Virgin, just as David leapt before the Ark);
  3. The Nativity of St John the Baptist (at which St Zachary broke forth in the Benedictus, sung by all generations world without end);
  4. The Lord's Baptism (administered by the humble and trembling Baptist, to fulfil all righteousness);
  5. The Decollation of St John (which feast we have just marked - the supreme witness borne to Christ by His Forerunner).

I rather like this idea, and may take it up as a work of supererogation to-day.

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