The Old Testament Rosary

“Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in the way and opened to us the scriptures?”

Picture: Chora Church Anastasis, Wikimedia Commons

Brief Preface

“Search the scriptures,” said the Lord. “For you think in them to have life everlasting: And the same are they that give testimony of me, and you will not come to me that you may have life. […] Think not that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one that accuseth you: Moses, in whom you trust. For if you did believe Moses, you would perhaps believe me also: for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

John 5:39-47

Several times in the Gospels, Our Lord Jesus Christ himself asserts that the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets point towards him as the Saviour. He specifically claims that Moses wrote of him.

This aid takes short texts from the Old Testament for each Our Father and Hail Mary. It prioritises texts used by the Church, particularly in her Holy Liturgy.

The texts for each Our Father are taken from the Pentateuch (the first five books), also known as the Law of Moses. The redemption appears with great clarity even in these earliest Scriptures, showing Christ as the New Adam and fulfilling so many promises.

“All things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me.”

Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.

Luke 24:44-46

There are many such aids in circulation, but ours are briefer – adding nothing to the time taken to say the Rosary – and are therefore more suited to memorisation. The texts are prophecies and foreshadowings of the life of Christ, and they perhaps even give us a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings of his Sacred Heart, in his joys, sorrows and glories.

“O foolish and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken,” said the Lord. “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and so, to enter into his glory?”

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things that were concerning him. And they drew nigh to the town whither they were going: and he made as though he would go farther. But they constrained him, saying:

“Stay with us, because it is towards evening and the day is now far spent.”

And he went in with them. And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread and blessed and brake and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him. And he vanished out of their sight, and they said one to the other:

“Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in the way and opened to us the scriptures?”

Luke 24:25-32

Some of these texts must have featured in this explanation on the road to Emmaus. We hope that those who use this aid also find their hearts burning within them at the majesty of Our Lord Jesus Christ and his holy Mother, and the admirable precision with which his life makes sense of these 165 texts from the Old Testament.

Printable version here.

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The Joyful Mysteries

1. The Annunciation

I shall put enmities between thee and the woman. Our Father, etc. Gn 3.15.

  1. Behold a virgin shall be with child. Hail Mary, etc. Is 7.14
  2. And his name shall be called Emmanuel. Is 7.14
  3. He shall come down like rain on the fleece. Ps 71.6
  4. And a rod shall come forth from the root of Jesse. Is 11.1
  5. He shall sit on the throne of David. Is 9.7
  6. Drop down dew, ye heavens: let the clouds rain the Just. Is 45.8
  7. Let the earth bud forth a Saviour. Is 45.8
  8. Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee. Ps 2.7
  9. From the womb, before the daystar, I begot thee. Ps 109.3
  10. A body thou hast fitted to me: I come to do thy will. Ps 39.7

2. The Visitation

Shall an old woman bear a child? Is anything hard to God? Gn 18.14-15.

  1. Arise, O Lord, with the Ark that thou hast sanctified. Ps 131.8
  2. Before thou camest forth from the womb, I sanctified thee. Jr 1.5
  3. I made thee a prophet to the nations. Jr 1.5
  4. Behold, I send my angel before my face. Ml 3.1
  5. I send you Elias before the dreadful day. Ml 4.5
  6. The voice crying out in the wilderness: Is 40.3
  7. Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Is 40.3
  8. Valley shall be exalted. Is 40.4
  9. Mount made low. Is 40.4
  10. And the glory of the Lord revealed. Is 40.5

3. The Nativity of our Lord

A star shall rise out of Jacob. Nm 24.17.

  1. And thou, Bethlehem, art not the least in Juda. Mi 5.2
  2. From thee shall come the Captain to rule my people. Mi 5.2
  3. His going forth shall be from the days of eternity. Mi 5.2
  4. A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us. Is 9.6
  5. The Mighty God, the Prince of Peace. Is 9.6
  6. Before she was in labour, she brought forth a man. Is 66.7
  7. The ox knoweth his owner, the ass his master’s crib. Is 1.3
  8. But Israel hath not known me or understood. Is 1.3
  9. But the Kings of Tharsis shall offer presents. Ps 71.10
  10. And they from Saba bring gold and frankincense. Is 60.6

4. The Purification of our Lady

Thou shalt offer thy son for an holocaust. Gn 22.2.

  1. Every firstborn is mine, since I struck the firstborn of Egypt. Nm 3.13
  2. Sanctify to me the firstborn that opens the womb. Ex 13.12
  3. Then the woman shall enter the sanctuary after her purification. Lv 12.4
  4. And bringing a holocaust, shall she be cleansed. Lv 12.8
  5. But thou art all fair, my love, without a spot in thee. Cn 4.7
  6. The Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to his temple. Ml 3.1
  7. The Desired of All Nations shall fill this house with glory. Ag 2.8
  8. Then a voice in Rama, Rachel bewailing her children. Jr 31.15
  9. So the Lord will ascend and enter into Egypt. Is 19.1
  10. ’Til out of Egypt have I called my son. Os 11.1

5. The Finding of our Lord in the Temple

Thrice a year shall thy males appear before me. Ex 23.17.

  1. My soul longs for the courts of the Lord. Ps 83.3
  2. For better is one day in thy courts than thousands elsewhere. Ps 83.11
  3. Zeal for thy house hath eaten me up. Ps 68.10
  4. I have understood more than my teachers. Ps 118.99
  5. For out of the mouths of infants thou hast perfected praise. Ps 8.3
  6. I will rise, and will go about the city. Cn 3.2
  7. In the streets I will seek my beloved. Cn 3.2
  8. I sought him, and I found him not. Cn 3.2
  9. And when I found him, whom my soul loveth: Cn 3.4
  10. I held him: and will not let him go. Cn 3.4

The Sorrowful Mysteries

1. The Agony of our Lord in the Garden

The Lord God put Adam in the Garden, to dress it and keep it. Gn 2.15.

  1. Save me O God: for the waters come into my soul. Ps 68.2
  2. My heart hath expected reproach and misery. Ps 68.21
  3. Friend and neighbour thou hast put far from me. Ps 87.9
  4. I looked for one to grieve with me. Ps 68.21
  5. But I found none that would comfort me. Ps 68.21
  6. The cords of the wicked encompassed me. Ps 118.61
  7. They have hated me without cause. Ps 34.19
  8. They weighed for my price, thirty pieces of silver. Zc 11.12
  9. If an enemy had reviled me, I would have borne it. Ps 54.13
  10. But he who ate my bread hath lifted his heel against me. Ps 40.10

2. The Scourging at the Pillar

He shall wash his robe in wine, in the blood of the grape. Gn 49.11

  1. Unjust witnesses paid me evil for good. Ps 34.11
  2. But I have set my face as a most hard rock. Is 50.7
  3. I am ready for scourges: my sorrow is ever before me. Ps 37.18
  4. I have given my body to the strikers. Is 50.6
  5. The wicked have wrought on my back. Ps 128.3
  6. We thought him struck by God and afflicted. Is 53.4
  7. For the Lord bruised him in infirmity. Is 53.10
  8. But he was wounded for our iniquities. Is 53.10
  9. He was bruised for our sins. Is 53.5
  10. And by his stripes we are healed. Is 53.5

3. The Crowning of our Lord with Thorns

Thorns and thistles shall the earth bring forth to thee. Gn 3.18

  1. There is no beauty in him, nor comeliness. Is 53.2
  2. Despised, the most abject of men. Is 53.3
  3. A man of sorrows, acquainted with infirmity. Is 53.3
  4. His look was hidden and despised. Is 53.3
  5. Whereupon we esteemed him not. Is 53.3
  6. The wicked draw near against me. Ps 26.2
  7. I have given my cheeks to them that plucked them. Is 50.6
  8. I turned not my face from spitting. Is 50.6
  9. And all that saw me have laughed me to scorn. Ps 21.8
  10. O ye that pass by the way, is there sorrow like to mine? Lam 1.12

4. Our Lord’s Carrying of his Cross

He laid the wood for the holocaust on Isaac his son. Gn 22.6.

  1. He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter. Is 53.7
  2. Dumb as a lamb before his shearer. Is 53.7
  3. He hath borne our infirmities, carried our sorrows. Is 53.4
  4. The chastisement of our peace was upon him. Is 53.4
  5. For the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Is 53.6
  6. My soul hath cleaved to the pavement. Ps 118.25
  7. I am a worm and no man. Ps 21.7
  8. My strength is dried up like a potsherd.  Ps 21.16
  9. My tongue hath cleaved to my jaws. Ps 21.16
  10. Thou hast brought me down to the dust of death. Ps 21.16

5. The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord

God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust. Gn 22.8.

  1. O God, my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me? Ps 21.2
  2. They have pierced my hands and my feet. Ps 21.17
  3. They have numbered all my bones. Ps 21.17
  4. They divided my garments; casting lots for my vesture. Ps 21.19
  5. In my thirst they gave me vinegar. Ps 68.22
  6. Her sun is gone down, while it was yet day. Ez 37.26
  7. They shall not break a bone of him. Ex 12.46
  8. They shall look upon him whom they pierced. Zc 12.10
  9. He was reputed with the wicked. Is 53.12
  10. But his sepulchre shall be glorious, made with the rich man. Is 11.10, 53.9

The Glorious Mysteries

1. The Resurrection of our Lord from the Dead

The Lord God cast a deep sleep upon Adam. Gn 2.21.

  1. The Stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. Ps 117.22
  2. My heart hath been glad, and my flesh shall rest in hope. Ps 15.9
  3. For thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell. Ps 15.10
  4. Nor suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Ps 15.10
  5. O Death, I will be thy death: O Hell, I will be thy bite. Os 13.14
  6. I have risen, and am with thee still. Ps 138.18
  7. Thou hast lifted me up from the gates of death. Ps 9.15
  8. The Lord brought me out of the pit, and set my feet on a rock. Ps 39.3
  9. To him my soul shall live: and my seed shall serve him. Ps 21.31
  10. This is the day that the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein. Ps 117.24

2. The Ascension of our Lord into Heaven

Arise, O Lord, and let thy enemies be scattered. Nm 10.35.

  1. Make a way for him who ascendeth upon the West. Ps 67.5
  2. He mounteth above the heavens to the East. Ps 67.34
  3. God is ascended with jubilee, the Lord with sound of trumpet. Ps 46.6
  4. Ascending on high, thou hast led captivity captive. Ps 67.19
  5. Sit at my right, ’til I make thy enemies thy footstool. Ps 109.1
  6. The Lord hath prepared his throne in Heaven. Ps 102.19
  7. His kingdom shall rule over all. Ps 102.19
  8. The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty. Ps 92.1
  9. Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. Ps 20.4
  10. All people, tribes and tongues shall serve him. Dn 7.14

3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost

The Lord thy God is a consuming fire. Dt 4.24.

  1. Send forth thy Spirit, and they shall be created: Ps 103.30
  2. And thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Ps 103.30
  3. Come, Spirit, from the four winds: Ez 37.9
  4. Blow on these slain, and let them live: Ez 37.9
  5. And the Spirit came into them, and they lived. Ez 37.10
  6. I will pour upon you clean water: Ez 36.25
  7. And you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness. Ez 36.25
  8. I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: Jo 2.28
  9. And write my law in their hearts. Jr 31.33
  10. And those that call on the Lord shall be saved. Jo 2.32

4. The Assumption of our Lady into Heaven

It is not good for man to be alone. Gn 2.18.

  1. Hearken, O Daughter, for the King hath desired thy beauty: Ps 44.12
  2. Arise, my love, my dove, and come. Cn 2.13
  3. For winter is past, the rain is over and gone. Cn 2.11
  4. Forget thy people, and thy father’s house. Ps 44.11
  5. With thy comeliness and beauty, proceed and reign. Ps 44.5
  6. Who is she going up from the desert? Cn 3.6
  7. A pillar of smoke, of aromatical spices; Cn 3.6
  8. Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense; Cn 3.6
  9. Flowing with delights, and leaning upon her Beloved. Cn 8.5
  10. Come from Libanus, my spouse, come and be crowned. Cn 4.8

5. The Coronation of our Lady as Queen of Heaven

She shall crush thy head. Gn 3.15.

  1. My heart hath uttered a good word, I speak my words to the King. Ps 44.2
  2. By me, his handmaid, hath he fulfilled his mercy. Jt 13.18
  3. And he hath killed his people’s enemy by my hand. Jd 13.18
  4. I am the Mother of fair love, and of holy hope. Ecclus 24.24
  5. The Queen at thy right hand, in gold arrayed. Ps 44.10
  6. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, and the honour of our people. Jt 15.10
  7. All the rich shall entreat thy countenance. Ps 44.13
  8. Grace is poured out from thy lips. Ps 44.3
  9. Instead of thy fathers, princes are born to thee. Ps 44.17
  10. They shall remember thy name forever and ever. Ps 44.18

Printable version here.


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One thought on “The Old Testament Rosary

  1. Anan Dinomaniam

    Hi i wanna know which is objectively a more powerful prayer. The divine office or the rosary? Most ppl tell me its the divine office but where is this taught? Is there an authoratative document that shows this? The saints, Mary, magisterium, theologians throighout the ages promote the rosary more than any other devotion, like its 1st place. The divine office comes no where close to the level of promotion

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