I pray the Rosary. I like to do the mysteries, but I’ve been doing them for a long time, and like to reflect on other themes besides the 3, oops, 4 sets that we have to choose from. So I make my own sets. And if you’re familiar with the Rosary, maybe you also know about praying a scriptural Rosary, in which a relevant Bible verse is read before each Hail Mary is prayed. At the minor seminary I attended long ago, we used to pray a scriptural Rosary every evening at Vespers. One of the priests had a little book with all the verses, and each evening he’d hand it to whomever he chose to lead the praying. It was a terrific experience, even for a callow teenager as I was then.
Here’s one of my homemade sets. I call it the Fruitful Mysteries; each one is named after what in 6th-grade Catechism class we call a Miraculous Mother. Given that they end with the birth of John, I think they make a good lead-in to the Joyful mysteries, which begin with the most Miraculous Mother of all.
The First Fruitful Mystery: Sarah
1. Gen 1:27 God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
2. Gen 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
3. Gen 16:1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children.
4. Gen 17:15 And God said to Abraham…Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac.
5. The LORD said, “I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.
6. Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”
7. Gen 18:13 The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, in the spring, and Sarah shall have a son.”
8. Gen 18:15 But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
9. Gen 21:2 And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son… 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.
10. Gen 21:6 And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; every one who hears will laugh over me.”
The Second Fruitful Mystery: Rebekah
1. Gen 25:20 Isaac was forty years old when he took to wife Rebekah…
2. Gen 25:21 And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren…
3. …and the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
4. Gen 25:22 The children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is thus, why do I live?”
5. Gen 25:23 And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.”
6. Gen 25:24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
7. Gen 25: 25 The first came forth red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they called his name Esau.
8. Gen 25:26 Afterward his brother came forth, and his hand had taken hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob.
9. Gen 25:27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents.
10. 28 Isaac loved Esau, because he ate of his game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
The Third Fruitful Mystery: Rachel
1. 16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 8 Jacob loved Rachel; and he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
2. 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. 21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.”
3. 22 So Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her.
4. 25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me?
5. 26 Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born. 27 …we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.”
6. Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to wife. 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.
7. Gen 29:31 When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.
8. Gen 30:1 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!”
9. Gen 30:2 Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
10. Gen 30:22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her and opened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son… and she called his name Joseph.
The Fourth Fruitful Mystery: Hannah
1. 1Sam 1:1 There was a certain man…whose name was Elkanah. 2 He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
2. 1Sam 1:4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters; 5 and, although he loved Hannah, he would give Hannah only one portion, because the LORD had closed her womb.
3. 1Sam 1:6 And her rival used to provoke her sorely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.
4. 1Sam 1:11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thy maidservant, and remember me, and not forget thy maidservant, but wilt give to thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life.”
5. 1Sam 1:19 And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her; 20 and in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel.
6. 24 And when she had weaned him…she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh; and the child was young.
7. And the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.
8. Ps 128:1 Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! 2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
9. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Lo, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
10. 5 The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! 6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!
The Fifth Fruitful Mystery: Elizabeth
1. Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.
2. Lk1:5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
3. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
4. 8 Now while he was serving as priest before God, [an] angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
5. 16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah.
6. 24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.”
7. 57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. 58 And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
8. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.”
9. 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. 63* And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.”
10. 80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
Copyright 2016, Christian LeBlanc