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"The NEW Mysteries of Light"

Five New Mysteries

Pope John Paul II has declared October 2002 through October 2003 as the Year of the Rosary, and announced five new mysteries to be prayed. These mysteries are called the Mysteries of Light, or the Luminous Mysteries, and focus on Jesus' divinity and ministry.

The new mysteries are:

  • Jesus' Baptism

  • The Wedding at Cana, Jesus' First Miracle

  • Jesus' Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

  • The Transfiguration

  • The Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper

Along with the new mysteries comes a new schedule for praying the rosary.

  • Monday and Saturday: The Joyful Mysteries

  • Tuesday and Friday: The Sorrowful Mysteries

  • Thursday: The Luminous Mysteries

  • Wednesday and Sunday: The Glorious Mysteries

  • Sundays during Lent are Sorrowful Mystery days, and Sundays during Advent are Joyful Mysteries.

The new mysteries are not a requirement, however we are encouraged to pray them as they truly help us to journey through the life of Jesus in our prayers.

Some people may feel disturbed at the idea of "changing" the Holy Rosary. It is worth noting that the rosary is a form of prayer that has evolved over time, from memorizing and reciting all 150 psalms, to substituting a Hail Mary for each psalm, then adding the meditations. The most recent commonly used addition to the Holy Rosary would be the Oh My Jesus prayer, added in 1917 when the Blessed Virgin Mary taught it to the Fatima seers. Additionally, the final prayer of the Holy Rosary is most commonly the Hail Holy Queen, but many people use other Marian prayers, such as the Memorare.

The Holy Rosary is an intensely personal form of prayer, in that we meditate on each mystery in our own way, trying to grasp its full significance and learn from it. There are no prescribed forms of meditations that must be used, and in fact, many people who have never had a strong rosary devotion will often simply hold a rosary in their hands while praying any of hundreds of different prayers.

The Holy Rosary is not a required form of prayer in the Catholic church, but it is a special form, because it helps us to observe the life of Jesus through the eyes of His Blessed Mother. The new mysteries and schedule only serve to enrich the experience of praying the rosary.

The Holy Father Comments On Each Of The New Mysteries

"The Baptism in the Jordan is first of all a mystery of light," the Pope writes. "Here, as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became 'sin' for our sake (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son (cf. Matthew 3:17 and parallels), while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out."

"Another mystery of light is the first of the signs, given at Cana (John 2:1- 12), when Christ changes water into wine and opens the hearts of the disciples to faith, thanks to the intervention of Mary, the first among believers,"

"Another mystery of light is the preaching by which Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God, calls to conversion (cf. Mark 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him in humble trust (cf. Mark 2:3-13; Luke 7:47-48): the inauguration of that ministry of mercy which he continues to exercise until the end of the world, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which he has entrusted to his Church (cf. John 20:22-23),"

"The mystery of light par excellence is the Transfiguration, traditionally believed to have taken place on Mount Tabor. The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to 'listen to him' (cf. Luke 9:35 and parallels) and to prepare to experience with him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit.

"A final mystery of light is the institution of the Eucharist, in which Christ offers his body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine, and testifies 'to the end' his love for humanity (John 13:1), for whose salvation he will offer himself in sacrifice." 

To view the entire Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae.

When Should It Be Prayed?

"Where might the 'mysteries of light' be inserted?" asks the Pope. "If we consider that the 'glorious mysteries' are said on both Saturday and Sunday, and that Saturday has always had a special Marian flavor, the second weekly meditation on the 'joyful mysteries,' mysteries in which Mary's presence is especially pronounced, could be moved to Saturday. Thursday would then be free for meditating on the 'mysteries of light,' the Luminous Mysteries.

Scripture Meditations on the New Mysteries

First Luminous Mystery: Christ is Baptized in the Jordan

When Jesus is baptized, the Father's voice is heard: "This is my beloved Son." All are called to become adopted sons and daughters of God through baptism. We pray that children in the womb may be protected, so that they may be born and welcomed into the Christian community by baptism.

Second Luminous Mystery: Christ is made known at the Wedding of Cana

Jesus revealed His glory by the miracle at Cana. The new couple was blessed not only with wine, but with faith in Christ. Let us pray for strong marriages, rooted in the Lord, and open to the gift of new life.

Third Luminous Mystery: Christ proclaims the Kingdom and Calls All to Conversion

"Repent and believe the Good News." Let us pray that these first words of Jesus' public ministry may be heard by all who have committed abortion. May they know that the Lord calls them to conversion, and may they experience life-giving repentance.

Fourth Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration

Christ is transformed on the mountain, and the disciples see His glory. May the eyes of all people be transformed, that they may see each and every human life as a reflection of the glory of God Himself.

Fifth Luminous Mystery: Jesus gives us the Eucharist

"This is My Body, given up for you." The Eucharist teaches us how to live and how to love. Let us pray that parents who sacrifice the babies for the sake of themselves may learn instead to put themselves aside for the sake of their babies.




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