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The Rosary meditated on the
Fifteen Sorrowful Mysteries of the Passion

Let us share the infinite sorrows of our Mother, when She witnessed the drama of Her Son ascending to Calvary, when She assisted Him during His agony and death on the Cross...

The Rosary of the Fifteen Sorrowful Mysteries is composed of the same prayers of the traditional rosary. It is preceded by the Creed etc…

First Mystery: The Agony of Jesus
Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane. He suffers in advance all the Sorrows of His Passion. What causes Him the most extreme pain is to know that so many souls will not benefit from the salvation that He will pay such a high price for. The human nature of Jesus is seized with terror. But His Love prevails and He offers Himself as a victim for those who will make Him die, for those who will crucify Him until the end of the centuries…
O my gracious Saviour, bowed down under the weight of our iniquities, allow me no longer to join with those who make Thee weep blood. Inspire in me a deep horror of all my faults, of which the only thought has drowned Your soul in an ocean of desolation; and from now on, by the purity of my life, and the devotion of my heart, may I console You, like the celestial angel, from the ingratitude and blasphemies of Your rebellious children. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

2. Judas’ betrayal
The hypocritical Judas has plunged to the bottom of the abyss of perversity. He betrays his Master with a kiss. Jesus does not turn away. The impure lips of Judas remain stuck on His adorable Face. Jesus suffers him! Much more! He presses His lost apostle to His bosom one last time; and, drawing from His Heart accents capable of touching the most hardened and barbaric soul: “Judas, O Judas!” He said to him in a low voice, “You betray the Son of Man with a kiss!
I adore You, O God of patience, in union with the inexpressible pain endured by my divine Master, when He received the perfidious kiss of Judas. Far from cursing him, He made him hear only words of tender reproach and supreme compassion. I offer You, Lord, the sweetness of Jesus towards the most hypocritical and ungrateful of men. Allow me to stifle in my soul the resentment of the betrayals that come to me from those to whom I have been most devoted, and may my lips never open except to forgive and bless them. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

3. Jesus abandoned by His Apostles
The Apostles, seeing that Jesus does not resist His enemies, but surrenders Himself, abandoned Him and fled. They had not been able to support Him with their compassion in the hour of great anguish; they had slept while He shed His tears and His Blood before His Father…
O my Jesus in chains, let me kiss with tender veneration and sprinkle with my tears these bonds of ignominy that love imposes on You, even more than the defiant cruelty of Your enemies. Oh, may the appearance of Your bleeding hands and Your limbs, bruised by the narrow knots that bind them, inspire me with the courage to break for ever the cursed chains that bind me to sin, and to cling for ever, by the golden chain of a generous and persevering charity, to the perfect observance of Your holy Law! Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

4. Jesus brought before the tribunals, falsely accused and condemned
Dragged before the courts of Anna, Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, Jesus shows no irritation. Accused of all the crimes of the world, Jesus kept silent before His enemies… The servants of the high priest lead the Son of God into the underground dungeon where He will spend the rest of the night. Some spit in His face, others overthrow Him and strike Him, mocking Him. Then they blindfold Him, strike Him and bruise Him with their fists…
I fall at Thy knees, O mighty Son of God, struck, mocked, scorned, booed, beaten by Thy unworthy creatures. I adore Thee, suffering in silence the nameless outrages with which they overwhelm Thee. Alas! Your martyrdom, O holy Victim, is prolonged throughout the ages, and one generation after another passes before You, throwing on Your sacred face the spittle of indifference, the mockery of disdain, and the defiance of blasphemy. You continue to be silent, O patient God, and the impious say that You are dead…
Sweet Lord Jesus, strike then in Your turn; but strike with infinite mercy, so that You may not be reduced to striking, on the last day, in the rigor of Your infinite justice. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

5. Jesus is denied by St. Peter
Peter had abandoned Jesus and fled like the other Apostles. He immediately repented and went to the tribunal to find his beloved Master. The fierce cries of the crowd against Jesus shook his resolve. Confronted by a servant girl, then a second one, then by two other servants, Peter denies his Master and declares with an oath that he does not know Him.
O Peter, wasn’t it enough to have a traitor among Jesus’ friends? Was it needed another renegade?…. As Jesus is led into the dungeon, He turns His gaze on Peter. Feeling the enormity of his crime, the heart of the renegade apostle breaks…
O my Lord Jesus, God of tenderness and forgiveness, grant me, grant to poor sinners, one of those glances that overwhelm the soul, throw it at Your feet, throbbing with desolation and repentance, and convert it forever. Give our eyes those tears of bitterness and gratitude that tell You of our inconsolable pain, of having been able to deny so many times the most tender and loving of Fathers! Your apostle wept for the rest of his life for a few hours of fatal misguidance; give us the grace, O Jesus, to weep for at least a few hours for a whole life of unfaithfulness and ingratitude. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

6. Jesus is scourged
Pilate, after protesting Jesus’ innocence several times, ordered that He be scourged. Scourging was an infamous and cruel torment inflicted on the slaves and lowly people who had been condemned to the cross. Jesus is tied to the column of torment. The executioners’ rods rise and fall with terrible whistles. From the first blows, the virginal and delicate flesh of the Man-God is torn. Blood spurts out with impetuosity, gaping wounds crisscross all His limbs. The Son of God shudders and twists like a worm under the blows of these wretched men.
Precious blood of Jesus that reddens the column and flows in large streams on the slabs of the execution place, you cry out to God. But it is not vengeance that Your voice calls for, but the grace of repentance and forgiveness that calls upon all guilty hearts…. Let the memory of the cruel mystery of Your scourging, O my God broken by blows, revive the fervour of my piety every time I contemplate or receive the Holy Host of which You said: “This is My Body which will be broken for you!” Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

7. Jesus is crowned with thorns
After the cruel scourging, the body of Jesus our Saviour is but a living wound. His dying eyes have an expression of pain and prayer, capable of touching the hearts of tigers. But the soldiers, led by Satan himself, unleash all their fury on the divine Victim. They overwhelm Jesus with their mockery. The Jews accused Him of proclaiming Himself king. The soldiers, in order to mock Him, weave a crown of thorns and place it on His head. The thorns go into His skull, pierce His forehead, and come out through His eyes, His ears, and His temples. The blood flows in rushing streams, bathes His hair, His beard, His face, His shoulders, and spreads over His clothes…
O Sovereign Monarch of earth and heaven, I prostrate myself at Your knees, my soul overflowing with pain and my eyes full of tears. I proclaim You and salute You, not only as the King of those ungrateful Jews who respond to the excess of Your love only with the excess of hatred, not only as the King of those ferocious soldiers, who pour upon You the most bitter waves of shame and suffering. But I adore You as the only King of my soul. To You my heart that You have fashioned with Your torn hands. To You my spirit that You have illuminated with the sublime teachings of Your Passion. To You my will that You have directed and strengthened by the painful examples of Your divine virtue. To You my body that You have purified and consecrated with the blood of all Your wounds. To You my life that You have conquered by Your torments and Your death. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

8. Jesus is condemned to death and weighed against Barabbas.
Pilate is looking for a way to deliver Jesus from the rage of His enemies. It is customary for the governor to deliver a Jewish prisoner on the occasion of the Passover. Pilate introduces Jesus to the crowd, and compares Him to Barabbas, a criminal of the worst kind. The governor asks the people to choose which one he will deliver: Jesus or Barabbas? The crowd shouts fiercely: “Deliver Barabbas. Let Jesus be crucified! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
O my Lord Jesus, Your lips were silent, while the people tumultuously demanded Your death; but out of Your Heart a cry rose up to heaven more powerful than the voice of Your enemies: “Yes, My Father, You say, may Your Son be crucified! Forgive the sinful mankind. Break the bonds that enslave them to hell. Save them from eternal death! Deliver Barabbas, the rebel against Your law, the snatcher of Your glory, the murderer of his soul… Let Me die so that the guilty, regenerated in My blood, may recover with divine life, the freedom of his innocence, the beauty of Your grace, and His first titles to the heavenly inheritance promised to Your children! Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

9. Jesus, laden with His Cross, ascends to Calvary
Jesus Himself comes forward to meet this much desired cross. He stretches out His arms to receive it and presses it to His chest in a loving embrace: the cross! Was this not the life, the salvation of His children, in the bloody tortures it would cause Him? He placed it on His shoulders and gathered all His strength to carry it to Calvary. By the same means, He takes upon Himself and puts on Himself once again all the crimes of men to atone for them on this infamous wood.
Come near, O my soul, and come to recognize the part you have in this burden. Count and weigh all the ingratitude, all the crimes that you have heaped on the shoulders of your Saviour! And since it is no longer possible for you to unload them from Him, weep, at least, repent and follow Him to Calvary.
Lord, load my shoulders with the cross it will please You to choose for me; I accept it with love. Yes, I will generously carry after You the cross of the Gospel and of duty, of courage in struggles, of resignation in sorrows, of invincible perseverance in virtue. O Lord, O my Way, O my Truth and my Life, I will follow You, I will climb, supported by Your grace, the steep slopes of my Calvary, praying always, fighting always and if necessary, suffering always, weeping always, but always triumphing, until the blessed hour when I will go to gather near You, in heaven, the palms of my victories. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

10. Jesus meets His Holy Mother
Jesus had just fallen, once again, under His cruel burden. As He got up, He saw His Mother reaching out to Him. A double cry was heard: “My Mother! – My Son!” Mary’s soul is shattered with pain. But She is more than ever obedient to God’s Will… This encounter is a consolation for Jesus, and at the same time it doubles His sufferings. The heroic strength of His Mother, Her perfect conformity to the plan of Redemption are a comfort to the Saviour. But to see the suffering of His Mother so tenderly loved adds to His torment…
O Jesus, O Mary, give me a share in Your sufferings, or rather, inflame me with that love which has made You capable of all sacrifices. Imprint Your love and Your sorrows in my heart. Your love, so that I may renounce all love that would take me away from You. Your pains, so that I may bear with patience all the sorrows of life. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

11. Jesus falls under the weight of His Cross and is consoled by the gesture of Veronica.
The executioners do not cease to beat and mistreat Jesus, who ascends to Calvary with His cross. A woman who follows Him weeping, unable to contain herself any longer, splits the crowd, braves the swords that prevent her passage, and falling to her knees, she respectfully wipes with her veil the disfigured face of her God. To reward her for her generous devotion, Jesus leaves on this veil the imprint of His divine face.
O Jesus, my loving Redeemer, allow me to console You also by my generosity in serving You, without ever allowing myself to be stopped by the world that seeks to snatch me from You. Imprint in my soul Your divine likeness. Make me a co-redemptor with You, for Your glory, Your consolation and for the salvation of my brothers and sisters on earth. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

12. Jesus is crucified
Having reached the top of the Calvary, the executioners grabbed the Saviour and threw Him down harshly on the rough wood of the cross. Jesus extends His hand. A huge nail goes into the palm of this almighty hand, goes through the nerves, the muscles, the veins… the heavy hammer falls and falls back with resounding blows. The executioners do the same for the other hand and the divine feet suffer the same terrible torment. Then the executioners raise the cross in the air and suddenly let it sink with all its weight, with a frightful jolt into the hole prepared to receive it. The divine wounds widen, the sacred head is thrown back, blood flows with new abundance. The pain is so violent that the Son of God cannot hold back a long groan.
O my Jesus, O You, the most lovable of the children of men, what is Your crime? Why were You crucified? Alas, I alone am guilty. You, the Son of God thrice holy, You suffer the punishment due to the sinful man. You, the King of the Worlds, You make Yourself the ransom a vile slave… O my Victim and my Salvation! From now on, do not let me leave this Cross that You have so painfully sanctified. May I cling to it forever to live and die with You. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

13. Jesus expiring on the Cross
From the top of His cross, Jesus looked sadly at the crowd that was insulting Him. And the holy Victim lets out from His broken chest this cry of supreme mercy: “Forgive them, O My Father! For they know not what they do…” Then He saw, standing by His cross, His divine Mother, Her soul crushed and full of tears. In the priest’s attitude at the altar, Mary offers to the heavenly Father the great immolation asked from Her faith and love. Her grieving gaze meets that of Her divine Son. Never before has human language expressed such deep tenderness and sorrow. And Jesus, in a burst of infinite love, gives us His Mother and gives us all to Her to be Her children. Finally, Jesus expires in the throes of the cruellest agony.
O my crucified God, I give You my soul. You bought it with all the martyrdom of Your own. Until death, my adoration and my prayer will only repeat to You the last cry that You sent up to Your Father: “I commend My soul into Your hands!” I give You my heart. If Yours stopped beating, it is because it gave me all the love it had. He loved me to the point of exhaustion. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, how You draw my heart to You, how You hunger and thirst for it!…. Yes, my crucified God, I am Yours for time and eternity. I promise You, for the rest of my life, a generous and constant fidelity to Your love. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

14. Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to His Blessed Mother.
Jesus died… A deep solitude had set in on Calvary. Some of Jesus’ friends went to Governor Pilate’s house to claim His body. They respectfully took down the divine remains and placed them in the arms of His poor Mother…
Lord, I offer You my Jesus, resting inanimate on His Mother’s lap, for the Christian mothers who see Satan and the world snatching the souls of their children and pushing them towards eternal damnation. Satan has sworn to snatch from God and His Church the sweet and precious treasure of the souls of children. Soldiers of hell have renewed in our sad times the massacre of the Innocents. The Holy Church weeps because her children are torn away from the heavenly Fatherland.
O holy God! O good God! O righteous God! Listen to the cries of the Church, as You listened to Mary’s groans, and give back to her the souls of her children, as You gave back to Mary Her risen Jesus. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

 

15. Jesus is laid in the tomb
With sublime heroism, but not without suffering the cruellest martyrdom, Mary disposed Herself with the few companions of Her sorrow to place Jesus in the tomb.They bowed their knees before the mortal remains of their God and adored Him most profoundly. After placing Him in the tomb dug in the stone, they went away in silence. Exhausted with fatigue and pain, the Virgin Mary reluctantly separated from Her beloved Son.
O Christian! Come near your Mother and follow Her with tears. Remember always, in the bitterness of your memories, how many times you turned the sword in the wound of this tender Heart, understand at last that so much love was not to be paid with so much cruelty, and carry forever in your soul the mourning of the God whom your sins have caused to die…
O Jesus crucified, help us to carry our cross as You carried Yours… since the cross is our only hope, the only pledge of our salvation. Amen.

Our Father, ten Hail Marys, Glory be to the Father, O my Jesus…

(The texts, sometimes slightly modified, are taken from De Gethsemani au Golgotha, by Canon Alfred Weber. -Available from Editions Magnificat, in French only).