The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary

When I was growing up, my mother and I would say the rosary every day together. Before each decade, she would announce the mystery and the fruit, or virtue, associated with it. I have continued the practice of saying the rosary in my adult life. Indeed, it is one of my favorite devotions and can’t imagine life without it. I do remember all the mysteries of the original Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious sets of five decades. It took me a while, but I even managed to memorize the Luminous Mysteries established by Pope John Paul II. My memory had long since forgotten the fruits of the mysteries, however. In talking to some friends recently, we realized we were all in the same boat. No one knew the fruits of the mysteries of the rosary — only that there were some! To rectify that ignorance, here are the mysteries of the rosary and their corresponding fruits along with a brief reflection on each one. They offer yet one more good reason to say the rosary.

The Joyful Mysteries

1. The Annunciation – Humility

It is appropriate to begin the rosary with the virtue of humility. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “humility is the foundation of prayer. Only when we humbly acknowledge that ‘we do not know how to pray as we ought,’ are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. ‘Man is a beggar before God.’ “ (CCC 2559)

2. The Visitation – Love of Neighbor

Mary hastened to her cousin’s Elizabeth’s house to help her in her time of need. In what ways can we be of service to our own neighbor’s today, whether we find that neighbor in our own home, in our community, at work, or on the internet?

3. The Nativity of the Lord – Poverty of Spirit, Detachment from the Things of the World

We live in a very consumerist culture. This mystery invites us to detach ourselves from our many possessions. What do we truly need and what is excess? What can we share with others?

4. Presentation – Obedience

Mary and Joseph humbly brought Jesus to the temple in accord with Jewish law. Obedience to God and to others can be very difficult, but offers us the opportunity to subjugate our own will to that of our heavenly Father. Not my will, but God’s will be done.

5. Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple – Piety

Piety is dedication to the Church’s sacramental life and devotions. Mary and Joseph were surprised to find Jesus in the temple. We, too, should be dedicated to our Church and the sacraments.

The Luminous Mysteries

1. The Baptism of Jesus – Openness to the Holy Spirit

We each receive the Holy Spirit in a special way in Baptism and again at Confirmation. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. We need only ask the Holy Spirit for help and help will be provided.

2. The Miracle at Cana – To Jesus through Mary

Mary encouraged her Son to perform his first miracle at the Wedding at Cana. She simply told the servants to “do whatever he tells you.” She helps us in a similar way — always pointing us to her Son and interceding on our behalf. We need only to turn to her and ask for help.

3. Proclamation of the Kingdom of God – Repentance, Trust in God

Jesus spent the active years of his ministry preaching and performing miracles to proclaim the Kingdom of God. He asks us to express sorrow from our sin, turn away from sin, and trust in God.

4. Transfiguration – Desire for Holiness

Jesus gave three of his closest friends a glimpse of His glory at the Transfiguration. We, too, are called to holiness, and to ultimately live in glory in heaven. But, we need to want it and we need to want it more than what the world and the devil attempts to offer us.

5. Institution of the Eucharist – Eucharistic Adoration, Active Participation at Mass

Jesus gave us the greatest gift in the Eucharist. He gave us His very self. This mystery invites us to appreciate that gift fully and to participate at Mass often

Sorrowful Mysteries

1. Agony in the Garden – Contrition, Conformity to the Will of God

Jesus, both fully human and fully divine, suffered immensely in the garden. He knew what was coming and he was terrified. He begged His Father to spare him, but submitted Himself fully to His will. We, too, are called to do this.

2. Scourging at the Pillar – Purity, Mortification

Mortification isn’t popular these days, but making small sacrifices and offering them up can be a great help to one’s spiritual life. There is an opportunity every day to sacrifice and to suffer in some small way.

3. Crowning with Thorns – Moral Courage

Jesus remained resolute even as he was being made fun of. Do we have the courage to stand up for our convictions even when we are being laughed at? Whose opinion matters more – God’s or those who surround us?

4. Carrying of the Cross – Patience

Patience is something we all seem to have difficulty with. Jesus patiently carried his cross through the streets of Jerusalem on the way to his Crucifixion. We can look to him for help when we are tempted to lose our patience.

5. Crucifixion – Salvation, Self-Denial

Jesus gave up everything for us on the cross. His took on the sins of the world, past, present, and future, and died for our salvation. We need to be so thankful for that gift. At the same time, when we are asked to die to ourselves and put others first, we can look to the cross for the example of total self-giving.

Glorious Mysteries

1. The Resurrection – Faith It takes great faith to believe that Jesus rose from the dead and that we, too, shall rise. As Jesus told his apostles, “Blessed are that who have not seen, and yet believe.” This mystery offers us help in maintaining that faith. “Lord, I believe. Please help my unbelief!”

2. The Ascension – Hope, Desire for Heaven

We hope for a world that is better than this one. We desire to live forever with Jesus in heaven. May that hope help shape our lives here on Earth.

3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit – Wisdom, Love of God

The disciples were scared. They huddled together in that upper room not sure of what to do. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they were ready to go out and give their very lives in service to God. May the Holy Spirit also grant us that wisdom and love of God.

4. The Assumption of Mary – Devotion to Mary

Mary was brought up to heaven body and soul. We are devoted to her because of her relationship to her Son and because God saw fit to raise her up. “Blessed are you among women and Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”

5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Eternal Happiness

Mary is the Queen of Heaven, enjoying forever her rightful place next to her Son. May we one day share in her happiness.

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur


Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur writes from western Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and two sons. A Senior Editor with Catholic, she blogs at

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  • In the finding of the temple, we should contrast, looking for God to hiding from God in the garden of Eden. Next, He states the obvious, He wants people to be looking for Him not hiding from Him, but all this must start with the very first, who looked. This loving couple set before us the true meaning of marriage, any couple who seek God, will have loving relationships, and a Holy Family.

    Today, we seek God through the Church and the sacraments.

  • elkabrikir

    Thanks Patrice for this article. It’t a good reminder. As you may know, some Rosary prayer books will include the fruits of the mystery; but, I’m printing this anyway.

    When I pray the Rosary with my kids, we discuss the fruit associated with it. In this way we activate our intellect along with our faith. The Rosary can reveal more fruit if you know what you’re picking. (For you gardeners, only an expert “cucumber finder” can spot all the camouflaged fruit.)

    Pope JP II also recommended using the name of “Jesus”as the lynchpin of the Hail Mary. Sometimes we’ll add to the prayer, per his advice, an extra line in the middle. For example, during the 5th Sorrowful Mystery we might add,…..of thy womb ….Jesus please help me joyful in sacrifice…..Holy Mary mother of god……

    Sometimes we’ll all say the name of Jesus in unison without invoking a prayer-line.

    Usually when I pray with the kids, I’ll stop halfway through the mystery (after 5 hail mary’s) and remind them what the meditation/fruit is. The multifaceted Rosary is an excellent teaching tool, among so many things.

    The Rosary takes longer, but can bear sweeter fruit.

    One reason the Rosary is so beautiful is that when we’re empty, we can pray it and allow the Holy Spirit to “groan” for us. At other times we can pray with an intense involvement of our intellect supporting faith. It’s all good.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  • elkabrikir

    post script! For anyone who has ever loved a toddler…..

    I attempted to print this article several times. The paper kept jamming. I took the printer apart and saw nothing, so I attempted another printing. It jammed. Upon removing that crumpled paper, I noticed a………..lime green, light-up toothbrush crammed in the recesses of the machine. “Of course! Just what you’d expect!”

    I removed the toothbrush and went on to print the article!

    Just a day in the life of a mom with a toddler.

  • Considering the fruit of the mystery made a huge difference in my contemplation and spiritual growth that came from praying the Rosary in the first place. Until lately, I didn’t realize that praying the Rosary would actually help me grow in virtue and holiness. The fruits of each mystery are mine to gain as I imitate the lives of Jesus and His Mother. How cool. You may want to check out to learn even more about the Rosary and it’s many fruits.

  • Jackywatkins

    Thank you for this information.

  • Victor

    Sorrowful Mysteries

    1. Agony in the Garden – Contrition, Conformity to the Will of God.
    Could You please help me to understand why contrition is a fruit of this first sorrowful mystery (i.e. How does “contrition” relate to our LORD’s agony)?

  • Pendzimas64

    Thank you for the refresher…I needed to re-learn these, and I WILL practice practice practice!

  • Chuck henry

    How did the” Fruit of the Mysteriers” come about?  Chuck Henry   Thank you and God bless

  • Duke

    I think maybe because our sins were what brought Jesus to that point,
    therefore we have contrition.

  • Mjurado

    thank so much.  has enriched my life and feel so much peace in my heart.

  • bellaflore

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve had a hard time finding the fruit of the mysteries….

  • Agnes

    Where did these friuts of the mystery originate?

  • Tina C

    I often wondered but couldn’t find the virtues for the Luminous Mysteries. Thank you for sharing.