Scripture and the Rosary

Scripture and the Rosary

The Rosary is a prayer permeated by Scripture. St John Paul II called it ‘a compendium of the Gospel.’ During the Rosary we meditate on key passages in the New Testament (listed at right).

The Rosary is also a form of intercessory prayer in which we ask Mary, mother of Jesus, to pray with us. With her, we remember (in the biblical sense) our sacred story. While developed in the West, the Rosary’s quiet, meditative rhythm in some sense corresponds to the ‘prayer of the heart’ or ‘Jesus Prayer’ of the Christian East.

The most well-known prayers of the Rosary have a clear biblical basis:

  • Our Father – The prayer taught by Jesus (Mt 6:9-13; Lk 11:2-4)
  • Hail Mary – The words of the Angel Gabriel and Mary’s response (Lk 1:28, 42)
  • Glory Be – A hymn of praise to the Trinity (Cf. Romans 16:27)

See more: Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II (2002)


  • The Annunciation (Lk 1:26–38)
  • The Visitation (Lk 1:39–56)
  • The Nativity (Lk 2:1–21)
  • The Presentation (Lk 2:22–38)
  • The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Lk 2:41–52)


  • The Baptism of Jesus (Mt 3:13–16)
  • The Wedding Feast at Cana (Jn 2:1–11)
  • The Preaching of the coming of the Kingdom of God (Mk 1:14–15)
  • The Transfiguration (Mt 17:1–8)
  • The Institution of the Eucharist (Mt 26)


  • The Agony of Jesus in the Garden (Mt 26:36–56)
  • The Scourging at the Pillar (Mt 27:26)
  • The Crowning with Thorns (Mt 27:27–31)
  • The Carrying of the Cross (Mt 27:32) 
  • The Crucifixion (Mt 27:33–56)


  • The Resurrection (Jn 20:1–29)
  • The Ascension (Lk 24:36–53)
  • Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–41)
  • The Assumption of Mary (1 Cor 15:54)
  • Mary, Queen of heaven (Rev 12:1)