Sunday, 11 March 2012

Meditating on these Mysteries - in Art

As I continue on my journey into the mysteries of the most holy Rosary, I was delighted to discover a series of articles at Crisis Magazine, on praying the Rosary through Art.  (I should give a H/t to whoever it was on Twitter who pointed them out, but carelessly, I have not kept the link and can't remember: apologies, if you are reading this: feel free to take the credit (and add any observations) in the Comms box.)

As ours is a religion of Incarnation, use of visual imagery to stimulate prayer and meditation is both apposite and valuable.

There are pictures and commentaries on:
There are none on the Luminous Mysteries (and I’ll come back to that).

Many of the works of art are familiar, some are new (at least to me).

And some I like, but others are not my favourite representations of a particular mystery (Poussin’s Assumption, for example, really doesn’t do anything for me).

Which leads to a new game: collecting one’s favourite artistic representations of each mystery: and that, of course, means one can add in the Luminous Mysteries, should one wish to do so.

Anyone with particular favourite paintings of any of the mysteries, feel free to add them in the comms box.  Who knows, maybe one day I’ll list them all...


Caral said...

Not sure if you know of Canon John Urdis, but he produced the most beautiful small book, called 'A New Illustrated Rosary'. It is such an inspiring book of colour illuminations from rare medieval manuscripts, acting as Icons, and special written meditations based on visual details. It with truly deepen one's experience on praying the Rosary. Where contemplation is the gaze of faith.

It's whole focus is together with Mary, we fix our gaze on the face of Christ.

Below is the link to amazon. This small book is worth every penny of the and so much more.


Ben Trovato said...


Thanks so much! This looks fantastic. I think I'll buy copies for each of the children.


Part-time Pilgrim said...

I was going to suggest using images as another way of fixing one's meditation on the mystery as a response to your previous post on the Rosary. I find it really helpful.

I am not sure this one for the Annunciation will be everyone's cup of tea but I find the modernisation actually brings home the reality of the situation:

and for something older for the last joyful mystery, I just love this painting:

The original is in the Walker gallery in Liverpool.

Screen captures from Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ can be good for the Sorrowful Mysteries.

Jonathan Marshall said...

I agree with PtP that images are very useful. I have a little booklet illustrated with pictures of the mosaics at Lourdes for each Mystery. I bought it over 20 years ago and it has been around the world with me - and I still use it.

Fortunately it pre-dates the Luminous Mysteries, which I avoid. They break up the otherwise straightforward weekly cycle of the Rosary - and I'm sure that if Our Lady had wanted Luminous Mysteries she'd have said so!