In the neighbourhoods worst hit by the pandemic, when public worship was suspended, many east London Christians turned to this form of prayer. The People's Rosary Project is sharing their experience and insights. 

In this season, we are sharing reflections from local Christians on the Luminous Mysteries, in which we journey from the beginning of Jesus' public ministry to the eve of his Passion.

Listen to Fr Angus Ritchie introducing the first of these mysteries, the Baptism of Christ.

Click here for an introduction to the People's Rosary Project, and links to meditations on the five Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

The Baptism of Jesus

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Mark 1.4-13

There are two occasions in the Gospels when Jesus chooses his teachers - in the Temple as a child, and when he goes to hear John the Baptist before he starts his public ministry
Sister Josephine Canny OA

Sr Josephine explains why she uses this Mystery of the Rosary to pray for all who preach and teach the Gospel today.

In baptism, your sins are washed away and you are regenerated in Christ
Olajumoke Grace, Catholic Parish of Manor Park

Jummy is preparing for her baptism. Watch her reflecting on the Baptism of the Lord, and on the graces given to Christians in their baptism.

In these Luminous mysteries, apart from the miracle at Cana, the presence of Mary remains in the background... Yet the role she assumed at Cana in some way accompanies Christ throughout his ministry.

The revelation made directly by the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan and echoed by John the Baptist is placed upon Mary's lips at Cana, and it becomes the great maternal counsel which Mary addresses to the Church of every age: “Do whatever he tells you."

This counsel is a fitting introduction to the words and signs of Christ's public ministry and it forms the Marian foundation of all the “mysteries of light”.

Pope St John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae

You are invited to pray the Rosary now.

Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus who was baptised for us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

If you have not prayed the Rosary before, you can read our introductory page here.

The People's Rosary is a project of the Centre for Theology and Community and De Mazenod Retreat House in east London.

We are grateful for the support of the Lady Peel Trust in developing this project.