Stations of The Rosary

I live at the Jesuit Infirmary on the grounds of the Manresa Retreat Centre. 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.

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