The First Sorrowful Mystery
The Agony of Jesus in the Garden

(Mark 14:33)
He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed.
Then He said to them,

"My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Remain here and keep watch."

(Luke 22:53)
Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived at the place he said to them, "Pray that you may not undergo the test." After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying,

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still,
not my will but yours be done."

And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground. When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. He said to them,

"Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test."

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

While he was still speaking, a crowd approached and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas. He went up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked, "Lord, shall we strike with a sword?" And one of them struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said in reply, "Stop, no more of this!" Then he touched the servant's ear and healed him. And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards and elders who had come for him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? Day after day I was with you in the temple area, and you did not seize me; but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness."

(Psalm 35:7)
For without cause they set their snare for me,
without cause they dug a pit against my life.

The Second Sorrowful Mystery
The Scourging of Jesus at the Pillar


Psalm 35:15

...They tore at me without ceasing;

Luke 23:7
...and upon learning that he was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.

Luke 23:10
The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly. [Even] Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate. Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly.

Luke 23:14-16
..."You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him, nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him."

But all together they shouted out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us."
(Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city
and for murder.")

(Matthew 27:20)
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus. The governor said to them in reply, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" They answered, "Barabbas!" Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?" They all said, "Let him be crucified!" But he said, "Why? What evil has he done?" They only shouted the louder, "Let him be crucified!" When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood, Look to it yourselves." And the whole people said in reply, "His blood be upon us and upon our children." Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.

(Isaiah 53:4-6)
Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
But the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all.

(Isaiah 50:6)
"I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard"

The Third Sorrowful Mystery
The Scourging of Jesus at the Pillar


(Psalm 35:15)
...they gathered together striking me unawares.

(Matthew 27:27)
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about him. Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail King of the Jews!" They spat upon him and took the reed and kept striking him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him.

(Isaiah 50:6)

"My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting"

(Isaiah 52:14)

Even as many were amazed at him so marred was his look
beyond that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals -

(John 19:5)

"Behold the Man"

The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery
The Way Of The Cross


(Isaiah 53:7)

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth;
Like a lamb lead to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.

(Isaiah 53:8)

Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?

(Psalm 35:15)

Yet when I stumbled they were glad and gathered together;

(John 19:17)
So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.

(Luke 23:26-31)
As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said,

"Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed,' At that time people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?"

(Lamentations 4:20)
The annointed one of the LORD, our breath of life,
was caught in their snares, He in whose shadow we thought
we could live on among the nations.

The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
The Crucifixion And Death of Jesus


(Psalm 22:2)

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me"

(Psalm 22:15)

"I am like water poured out; all my bones are racked.
My heart has become like wax melting away within my bosom.
My throat is dried up like baked clay, my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
to the dust of death you have brought me down."

(Luke 23:33-34)
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. [Then Jesus said, 

"Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."

They divided his garments by casting lots. 

(John 19:24)
So they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be," in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled [that says]:

"They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots."

This is what the soldiers did.

(Luke 23:35)
The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said,

"He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one,
the Messiah of God."

Even the soldiers jeered at him.

(Psalm 35:16)

they put me to the test; they mocked me, gnashing their teeth at me.

(Luke 23:38)
Above him there was an inscription that read,

"This is the King of the Jews."

(Luke 23:39)
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,

"Are you not the Messiah?  Save yourself and us."

The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,

"Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?  And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal."

Then he said, 

"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

He replied to him,

"Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

(Luke 23:44)
It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun.

(John 19:25,27)
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother,

"Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,"Behold, your mother."

And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

(John 19:25-30)
Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said:

"I thirst".

Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar.  And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to his mouth.

(Psalm 69:22)

Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated.  And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.

(Mt 27:50-54)
...And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.  And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.  The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said,

"Truly, this was the Son of God!"

(John 19:33,34)
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.

(John 19:36,37)
For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled:

"Not a bone of it will be broken."

(Psalm 34:21)

He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.

(John 19:37)
And again another passage says:

"They shall look upon him whom they have pierced."

Jack Wintz, O.F.M., is editor of Catholic Update. He is also the author of the inspirational book A Retreat With Pope John Paul II: Be Not Afraid (St. Anthony Messenger Press).