Forums Forums Spiritual Support Spiritual, Religious, Scriptural Prayers and Meditations "Year of the Rosary" and "Luminous Mysteries"

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    On October 16, 2002 Pope John Paul II began his 25th year in the office of Roman Pontiff. He proclaimed the year from October 2002 to October 2003 the “The Year of the Rosary” and added 5 new Mysteries to the customary 15, meaning that 20 Mysteries now compose the Rosary.

    The 5 new Mysteries are the Mysteries of Light , known as the “Luminous Mysteries.”

    In them, we contemplate Jesus from His Baptism through his institution of the Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday. These new mysteries are not only for the Year of the Rosary, but for always.

    These are the words of Pope John Paul II:

    “Twenty-four years ago, on 29 October 1978, scarcely two weeks after my election to the See of Peter, I frankly admitted: “The Rosary is my favourite prayer. A marvellous prayer! Marvellous in its simplicity and its depth…

    …With these words, dear brothers and sisters, I set the first year of my Pontificate within the daily rhythm of the Rosary. Today, as I begin the twenty-fifth year of my service as the Successor of Peter, I wish to do the same…

    …I therefore proclaim the year from October 2002 to October 2003 the Year of the Rosary.

    I believe, however, that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern which, while left to the freedom of individuals and communities, could broaden it to include the mysteries of Christ’s public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion.

    In the course of those mysteries we contemplate important aspects of the person of Christ as the definitive revelation of God. Declared the beloved Son of the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan, Christ is the one who announces the coming of the Kingdom, bears witness to it in his works and proclaims its demands.

    It is during the years of his public ministry that the mystery of Christ is most evidently a mystery of light: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (Jn 9:5).

    Consequently, for the Rosary to become more fully a “compendium of the Gospel”, it is fitting to add, following reflection on the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ (the Joyful Mysteries) and before focusing on the sufferings of his Passion (the Sorrowful Mysteries) and the triumph of his Resurrection (the Glorious Mysteries), a meditation on certain particularly significant moments in his public ministry (the Mysteries of Light).

    Moving on from the infancy and the hidden life in Nazareth 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.

    In proposing to the Christian community five significant moments – “luminous” mysteries – during this phase of Christ’s life, I think that the following can be fittingly singled out: (1) His Baptism in the Jordan, (2) His self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, (3) His proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with His call to conversion, (4) His Transfiguration at Mount Tabor, and finally, (5) His institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery.

    This addition of these new mysteries, without prejudice to any essential aspect of the prayer’s traditional format, is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary’s place within Christian spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of the Heart of Christ, ocean of joy and of light, of suffering and of glory…

    I look to all of you, brothers and sisters of every state of life, to you, Christian families, to you, the sick and elderly, and to you, young people: confidently take up the Rosary once again. Rediscover the Rosary in the light of Scripture, in harmony with the Liturgy, and in the context of your daily lives…”

    Excerpts from: APOSTOLIC LETTER
    To the Bishops, Clergy, and Faithful

    Taken from:
    L’Osservatore Romano
    Weekly Edition in English
    23 October 2002


    1. Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan River – Jesus submits to Baptism by St. John the Baptist.

    2. Jesus’ Revelation of Himself at the Wedding of Cana – Jesus performs his first public miracle.

    3. Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God and Call to Conversion – Jesus promises the Kingdom of God to anyone who approaches Him.

    4. Jesus’ Transfiguration on Mount Tabor – Peter, James, and John witness the Glory of Jesus and hear the Father exclaim, “This is My Son, the Chosen One. Listen to Him.”

    5. Jesus’ Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper – On Holy Thursday, Jesus said to the Apostles: “This is My Body…This is the Chalice of My Blood…Do this in remembrance of me,” thereby establishing 2 of the Seven Sacraments: the Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders.

    While this new schedule has been suggested,

    Sunday: Glorious
    Monday: Joyful
    Tuesday: Sorrowful
    Wednesday: Glorious
    Thursday: Luminous
    Friday: Sorrowful
    Saturday: Joyful

    remember that you are free to pray the Rosary in any way you wish. It is a private devotion.

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