Stations of the Rosary

I live at the Jesuit Infirmary on the grounds of the Manresa Retreat Centre, Pickering, Ontario. It has a Rosary Lane that passes through an L-shaped pine grove. The pines were planted many years ago and are now very mature and tall. The ground Is carpeted with a thick layer of pine needles. Together they provide a beautiful setting for the 24 concrete pillars that line the pathway through the grove.

The pillars draw attention to the 20 mysteries of the rosary. I think of these mysteries as stories of the earliest years of our Christian heritage. The mysteries are the 5 Joyful, 5 Luminous, 5 Sorrowful and 5 Glorious.

Four of the pillars introduces the Joyful mysterious and likewise the remaining three. On the top of the pillar is a bronze plaque with a inscribed scriptural verse related to the mystery.

One day as I was walking the pathway of Rosary Lane the thought occurred to me that together the scriptural verses on the pillars are telling the story of the beginnings of our Christian faith. Besides using the pillars as an anchor to pray the rosary you could also use them to pray the foundational stories of Christianity.

They tell of the good news stories of the birth, life, death and rising of Jesus and of his mother, Mary. With this in mind I see the 20 pillars as stations. They are the Stations of the Rosary. While walking Rosary Lane you may want to pray with your rosary but you can also pray with the scriptural verses inscribed on the bronze plaques of the pillars/stations.

Might I suggest while walking Rosary Lane you do the Mysteries in the following sequence: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious. A sampling of the scriptural texts follows.

A Joyful Mystery at the Visitation Station: When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” (Luke 1:41-42).

A Luminous Mystery at the Baptism of Christ Station: After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the Heaven was opened for him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to him. And a voice came from Heaven saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matt 3:16-17).

A Sorrowful Mystery at the Crucifixion Station: Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23, 46). A Glorious Mystery at the Resurrection Station: But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.” (Mark 16:6).

When visiting Manresa Retreat Centre I hope you will check out Rosary Lane to pray or just to walk through. It is a very inviting space. You do not have to work on peace and joy, it is peace and joy. Rosary Lane does that for me and it is my wish and prayer that too may be your experience.

Paul Baker, SJ, is a Jesuit Brother in the ministry of prayer at Rene Goupil House in Pickering, Ontario.

  • Margaret Manitowabi
    Posted at 07:38h, 24 September Reply

    Miigwech for sharing the Rosary Pathat the Manresa House in Pickering,Ontario I pray someday soon I make it over there. God willing. Amen

  • John Montague
    Posted at 07:44h, 24 September Reply

    Thank you Paul.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 07:56h, 24 September Reply

    Thank you Paul!

  • Viola Athaide
    Posted at 10:38h, 24 September Reply

    Thank you, I have walked that path when on retreat, and it has brought me peace.

  • Margaret Powell
    Posted at 15:55h, 24 September Reply

    Thank you for a thoughtful introduction to a beautiful and blessed place to visit. Maybe one day I will do just that!

  • Carol Von Zuben
    Posted at 20:34h, 24 September Reply

    Thank you so much Paul for your beautiful description of Rosary Lane .I love Rosary Lane and when I arrive at Manresa for a weekend retreat , once I have put everything away in my assigned room , out I go to sit on the bench there. On one occasion, it had rained all that Friday and the skies were still filled with dark clouds when I arrived . The minute that I sat down on the bench , there was an opening in the clouds and through it came a brilliant sun. The fir trees are very special —- they are lacy ( Michael Shields knows what type of a fir tree they are) I had never seen such beauty —- the sun glistened off the rain drops that filled those trees —- it was spectacular and with the beautiful silence and smell of the wet pine needles that covered the ground —- I could have believed that perhaps I was in heaven! Three weeks from tonight I will again be at Manresa and am very much looking forward to my return.

  • Catherine von Zuben
    Posted at 12:32h, 25 September Reply

    Paul, this is a wonderful account of beautiful Rosary lane. Regarding it as Stations of the Rosary is so creative and makes so much sense. There is so much beauty at Manresa, here on Rosary lane but just everywhere. I don’t ever remember the gardens, filled with so many well cared -for flowers, ever being so beautiful. The flowers in front of La Storta are so lovely to look at while eating in the dining room during a silent retreat. I know that you are one of the main care-givers in this regard and I thank you sincerely.

  • Catherine Hogan
    Posted at 09:52h, 27 September Reply

    The peace that surrounds you in this wonderful lane is amazing. The beauty that is found in the lane enables the mind to explore the wonders of prayer. Thanks Brother Paul for your comments on the 4 pillars of the Rosary.

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