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Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary for Sports: The Baptism in the Jordan

The Rosary is a form of prayer used especially in the Catholic Church named for the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers. The Rosary prayer focuses on the life of Christ from the is partly a history lesson. To that end, the beads of the Rosary are divided into five decades (sections) and each decade represents an event from the life of Christ. These five events are grouped into a set of Mysteries, each with five events. The four Mysteries (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, Luminous) focus on an important part of the life of Christ.

Looking for a special way to pray the Rosary? Try bringing a Living Rosary to your sport team. This beautiful prayer service takes some preparation and practice, but many find it makes for a powerful and prayerful tradition. A living rosary is when people are used to represent each bead of the rosary. Each person leads one prayer of the rosary. Gather your athletes (61 spots in all) to embody the Rosary. If you have fewer than 61 people, you may double-up duties.

Play Like a Champion has sports themed reflections based on the mysteries of the rosary. Consider praying either a single decade or an entire rosary with your team and reflecting on how God is speaking to you individually and as a team.


These "Mysteries of light,” were added by Pope St. John Paul II and focus on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. They are prayed on Thursdays throughout the year.

  1. The Baptism of Our Lord in the Jordan (Matthew 3:13-16)

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.

Reflection: Every athlete can have a “heaven opening” experience when you excel… work towards becoming the best version of yourself that God created you to be. Baptism is a cleansing of sin enabling a new birth into a deeper life with Christ. The heavens opened following Jesus’ Baptism. As an athlete, where are you right now in need of “cleansing” or re-imagining your game so that the heavens will open for you and deliver God’s spirit to you?

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