The 5 Mysteries of Mercy




A new set of five mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary that concentrate on the Mercy of Jesus for the salvation of the world is proposed by John N. Lupia, Editor, Roman Catholic News. This proposed addition to the traditional pattern of the Rosary was first received during reflection on March 28, 2011. For three days revisions were made to the initial conception so that the new 5 Mysteries of Mercy, conform more consistently with the traditional patterns as we have received them. In order to bring out more fully the Christological and Soteriological 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 from His conception in Mary's womb to His post resurrection appearances. In the course of those mysteries we contemplate important aspects of the person of Christ as the definitive revelation of God’s mercy. Consequently, for the Rosary to become more fully a “compendium of the Gospel”, it is fitting to add, following all of the reflections on the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ (the joyful mysteries), the meditation on certain particularly significant moments in his public ministry (the mysteries of light), and focusing on the sufferings of his Passion (the sorrowful mysteries) and the triumph of his Resurrection (the glorious mysteries), a meditation that draws from each of these in order to reveal more perfectly the vision of the Christ as the Sha'ar Harachamim (שער הרחמים), the Gate of Mercy (the mysteries of mercy). Jesus tells us, “I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved” (John 10:9). 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, an infinite ocean of mercy, joy and of light, of suffering and of glory. The 5 Mysteries of Mercy rest aloft as a crown upon the four pillars of the Rosary : The Joyful Mysteries, The Mysteries of Light, The Sorrowful Mysteries and The Glorious Mysteries. "Divine Mercy, crown of all of God's handiwork" --- Sister Faustina. “A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Revelations 12:1. And these twelve stars shine forth the mercy of God that form the crown of Mary, Mother and Queen of Mercy.

Scripture citations given herein are taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).




Luke 1:50 His mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

51 He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;

53 he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever."


2. SECOND MYSTERY : JESUS ABSOLVES THE PARALYTIC. Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:5; Luke 5: 17-26


Luke 5:17 One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; 19 but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. 20 When he saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven you." 21 Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, "Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 22 When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, "Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, "Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, "Stand up and walk'? 24 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he said to the one who was paralyzed—"I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home." 25 Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. 26 Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today."




Luke 7: 36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. 37 And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner." 40 Jesus spoke up and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." "Teacher," he replied, "speak." 41 "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt." And Jesus said to him, "You have judged rightly." 44 Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." 48 Then he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49 But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" 50 And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."




Luke 23:33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 [Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."] And they cast lots to divide his clothing.




John 20:19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."


These new 5 Mysteries of Mercy are proposed in the same spirit as those 5 Mysteries of Light given to the Church by Blessed Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, October 16, 2002. The New Testament passages selected for the 5 Mysteries of Mercy reveal the Mercy of God as His plan of sheer goodness so that we may share in His own blessed life for ever. Moreover, they provide insight and understanding of God’s mercy in theological depth as taught by the Roman Catholic Church through the Holy See and recorded in the Catechism of the Catholic Church published by Blessed John Paul II, 1994, 1997.

Please write to your local bishop asking him to endorse this proposal to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, so that these Mysteries of Mercy may be established with the seal of the Church's approval for the benefit of the whole Church throughout the world; so that we may become more perfectly a people of Hope, Faith, and Charity and shine forth the Light and Mercy of Jesus Christ in our interactions and transactions with our neighbors throughout the world.