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The Rosary: The Luminous Mysteries

Sunday, September 07, 2014
"The Transfiguration", Raphael

The Luminous Mysteries (or Mysteries of Light) were introduced as “a proposed addition to the traditional pattern" by Pope John Paul II, in October 2002, at the start of the Year of the Rosary. These mysteries focus on the public ministry of Jesus Christ, and were added in the words of St. John Paul “for the Rosary to become more fully a 'compendium of the Gospel'”; in contemplating revelatory moments in Christ’s public ministry, the Christological depth of the Rosary is brought out more fully.

In St. John Paul’s words: Moving on from the infancy and the hidden life in Nazareth [the Joyful Mysteries] to the public life of Jesus, our contemplation brings us to those mysteries which may be called in a special way 'mysteries of light'. Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the 'light of the world' (Jn 8:12). Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Indeed, one idea when praying these mysteries is to ask for the intercession of St. John Paul whose devotion to the Rosary, was clear. We pray the Luminous Mysteries especially on Thursdays, but of course one can pray mysteries of the Rosary at any time, and in any place - and that is part of their beauty! May the Luminous Mysteries enlighten our path as we go about our daily business praising, blessing, and preaching the Word of God.


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