The Joyful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Mondays and Saturdays.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, “Rejoice, so highly favoured, the Lord is with you.” (Lk 1:26-28)
I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at this same hour. Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want. Afterwards, I will return here yet a seventh time.
Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judaea. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Lk 1:39-41)
This meeting of Our Lady and her cousin St Elizabeth shows us Mary’s great faith and deep humility… And thinking always of God’s mercy, Mary answers her cousin: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden” (Lk 1:46-48). The Virgin Mary and St Elizabeth intone here the most beautiful canticle of praise to God. Their lips are moved by the Holy Spirit. But, after all, was not Mary the living temple of the adorable Trinity?
So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judaea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. (Lk 2:4-5)
In the third decade of the Rosary, we recall the birth of Jesus Christ, God made man. He is the masterpiece of love, God who comes down from heaven to earth to save his poor creatures… He came into the world as a man and manifested himself as Light, Light which shines in the darkness: present among us today as then, but his humanity is veiled. He is present in his word and in his works, in the Eucharist and in the sacraments of the Church and in the person of each of our brothers and sisters.
The Presentation in the Temple
And when the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (Lk 2:22)
“O Lord, make me a saint. Keep my heart always pure, for you alone.” Then it seemed that in the depths of my heart, our dear Lord distinctly spoke these words to me: “The grace granted to you this day will remain living in your soul, producing fruits of eternal life.”
The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple
Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it… They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.” “Why were you looking for me?” he replied. “Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?” (Lk 2:41-42; 48-49)
“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God to bear all the sufferings he wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
“Yes, we are willing,” was our reply.
“Then, you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.”
These meditations were compiled for our book Fatima: the Family and the Church. This summary of Our Lady’s message, updated to include the important development of the canonisation of Francisco and Jacinta by Pope Francis on 13th May 2017, explains why we need the message of Fatima more than ever.