The Rosary and 150 Psalms

If the Rosary was originally meant for laity who could not afford or read the Breviary to have a way to represent praying the 150 Psalms with 15 mysteries x 10, why are there 20 mysteries of the Rosary?

What’s your grounds for thinking that was the original purpose of the Rosary? Not that I dispute it, but I’ve not heard of this before.

And there are 20 mysteries because the Church added a new set of five (the Luminous mysteries) a few tens of years ago.

17 years ago next week, to be exact. I was staying at a bed & breakfast in Floyd, Va. when it was announced.

Thank you, Mr. Zoom. :slight_smile: I was wondering about that myself.

Here’s one explanation:


Thanks. :slight_smile: It’s interesting to hear that the Hail Mary developed over time like that.

On October 16, 2002, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (On the most holy Rosary), proposed ten new mysteries, saying, in part:

A proposed addition to the traditional pattern

  1. Of the many mysteries of Christ’s life, only a few are indicated by the Rosary in the form that has become generally established with the seal of the Church’s approval. The selection was determined by the origin of the prayer, which was based on the number 150, the number of the Psalms in the Psalter.

I believe, however, that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern which, while left to the freedom of individuals and communities, could broaden it to include the mysteries of Christ’s public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion . In the course of those mysteries we contemplate important aspects of the person of Christ as the definitive revelation of God. Declared the beloved Son of the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan, Christ is the one who announces the coming of the Kingdom, bears witness to it in his works and proclaims its demands. It is during the years of his public ministry that the mystery of Christ is most evidently a mystery of light: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” ( Jn 9:5).

Consequently, for the Rosary to become more fully a “compendium of the Gospel”, it is fitting to add, following reflection on the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ ( the joyful mysteries ) and before focusing on the sufferings of his Passion ( the sorrowful mysteries ) and the triumph of his Resurrection ( the glorious mysteries ), a meditation on certain particularly significant moments in his public ministry ( the mysteries of light ). This addition of these new mysteries, without prejudice to any essential aspect of the prayer’s traditional format, is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary’s place within Christian spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of the Heart of Christ, ocean of joy and of light, of suffering and of glory. (source)

So it wasn’t by Mary in an apparition that these additional mysteries were requested?
I assumed it was Fatima or something.
Didn’t Mary ask St. Dominic for the mysteries of the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious?

God wanted the Mysteries of Light to be added to the Rosary. Jesus is the light of the world and we live in an age where darkness reigns.

The Holy Rosary is a meditation on the Scriptures through the Life of Jesus Christ. Thus when one correctly prays and meditates on Mysteries of the Rosary, the sacred mysteries of the life of Christ are unlocked in our own life —not only to help us imitate Christ and make spiritual progress, but to make reparation for the sins of the world.

Thus in our dark age where the world denies sin, we meditate on The Baptism at the Jordan. Where the sanctity of marriage and family are under attack, The Wedding Feast at Cana. Where the Culture is turning away from God, The Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven. Where the Divinity of a Christ is denied, the Transfiguration; in an age where so many blasphemies and outrages are committed against the Blessed Sacrament, The Institution of the Holy Eucharist.

Jesus Christ the Light of the World.

Is mentioned in the old breviary for yesterday’s feast of the Holy[quote=“Zaccheus, post:2, topic:569869, full:true”]

What’s your grounds for thinking that was the original purpose of the Rosary? Not that I dispute it, but I’ve not heard of this before.

And there are 20 mysteries because the Church added a new set of five (the Luminous mysteries) a few tens of years ago.


Not sure why you assumed that. The Luminous Mysteries were added only recently, in 2002.

Confer this article which explains it very well.

Mary giving St. Dominic the rosary is only one possibility for the source of the rosary; it’s not definitive.

That isn’t where it started.
It started for people who were illiterate or poor to be able to recite the Our Fathers or Hail Mary’s 150 times to equal the breviary. There isn’t 200 Psalms so it makes no sense in my opinion to have 20 mysteries.

Just saying - it isn’t set in stone. When you’re pope, change away.

It’s been a long time since the Rosary was used to replace the Breviary. Most people only pray one set of mysteries at a time, so the link to the 150 Psalms is more a part of the historical roots of the Rosary than its modern implementation.

The Luminous mystery fills a void in the contemplation on the ministry of Christ . The Joyful mysteries focus on Jesus’ birth and childhood. The Sorrowful mysteries focus on His passion and death. The Glorious mysteries focus on the resurrected Jesus. The Luminous mysteries focus on the events of His public ministry. The Luminous mysteries make the story of Jesus complete. I only wish that the order for praying them during the week were rearranged to follow the chronological order of the mysteries.

I’m not criticizing the Luminous Mysteries.
Someone above me just said they never heard of the Rosary being related to the 150 Psalms, I just offered an article on it.

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I didn’t think you were criticizing - I saw it as an opportunity to evangelize what I think was a great addition by St. JPII!

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