The Luminous Mysteries -Mysteries of Light


By Jim Dunning

(This article was originally published in the October edition of "Irelands Own" magazine. The webmaster would like to gratefully thank the author, Jim Dunning, for his kind permission in reprinting it here.)

Traditionally, The Rosary has consisted of three main categories: the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries. Within each category are found five mysteries which mirror events described in scripture, with the exception of the last two, namely, Our Lady’s assumption and her crowning in Heaven. For some reason the three years of the public life of Jesus, beginning with his baptism in the Jordan, were not included. Pope John Paul II, an ardent advocate of the Rosary, which he fondly described as ‘my favourite prayer’, believed that the gap could be filled by adding five mysteries relating solely to the ministry of Jesus.

The first of these is ‘The Baptism in the Jordan’ (Luke 3 : 21-22), when Jesus insisted on being baptised by John the Baptist, in spite of the latter’s objections. The heavens opened wide and the voice of the Father was heard., saying : ‘Thou art my beloved Son ; in thee I am well pleased.’

The second mystery is entitled : ‘The Wedding at Cana’ (John 2:1-11), when Jesus was persuaded by his mother to change water into wine. The first of many miracles, and one that encourages us today to ask his blessed Mother to intercede on our behalf..

The third Light mystery is called ‘The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God’ (Mark 1 : 15), which refers to that period when Jesus came into Galilee announcing : ‘The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.’ This call to repentance leads to the introduction of that ministry of forgiveness which culminated with the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). This was entrusted to the disciples by Jesus when he told them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit ; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them ; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.’

The fourth of these mysteries is ‘The Transfiguration ‘ (Luke 9 : 28-36), when Peter, James and John were privileged to see Jesus transfigured in splendour, and to hear a voice from the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Listen to him.’

The fifth Light mystery, ‘Institution of the Eucharist’ (Matthew 26 :26-29), refers to the introduction of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, when Jesus offered his disciples bread and wine, saying, ‘Take and eat ; this is my body…..all of you drink of this, for this is my blood of the new covenant which is being shed for many unto the forgiveness of sins.’

Traditionally, the Joyful Mysteries are said on Mondays and Thursdays, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays, and the Glorious Mysteries on Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Pope John Paul suggested that those wishing to include the Mysteries of Light could insert them on Thursdays, moving the Joyful Mysteries from Thursday to Saturday. If all of this sounds somewhat involved, it should be remembered that the daily recitation of five mysteries only takes about a quarter of an hour.

It should also be remembered that Our Lady promised many graces and her special protection to all who devoutly and regularly pray the Rosary. As Pope John Paul II wrote in an Apostolic Letter: ‘Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.’

-"All Generations Will Call Me Blessed" by Jim McManus C.Ss.R.


Anonymous said...

Anyone who wishes to learn to pray or to draw close to Jesus in mystical union, despite lack of theological education, may confidently trust that saying the Holy Rosary devoutly and correctly, will have the effect of accomplishing what one desires. Especially in time of great trial, one can be sure that saying the Holy Rosary will bring relief and assistance. Offering suffering to the Mother of God while saying th Holy Rosary is an offering of extreme value which obtains favors. Blessed be the Mother of God.

Anonymous said...

Within the article, it is stated "For some reason the three years of the public life of Jesus, beginning with his baptism in the Jordan, were not included." It is known that our Lady appeared to St Dominic giving him the rosary, requesting that he should preach it all throughout the world. Why is it then that Pope John Paul the II felt the need to add the Luminous mysteries? Did our Lady mess up when she gave the rosary to the world in the year of 1214?
If "Pope" John Paul the II were actually a "ardent advocate of the rosary" then he would have left the Rosary as our Lady first gave it to us.

BJ said...

I see your point....yet, the devotion of Pope JPII to the Holy Rosary may have manifested (especially in this day & time) a greater need for meditation upon the Sacraments of Baptism & the Institution of the Blessed Sacrament AND our Mother as intercessor through the manifestation at the Wedding of Cana while reflecting on ALL that Jesus blessed us with through the Proclamation of The Kingdom of Heaven & showing us His Glory at the Transfiguration (All Gospel). I recite the Luminous Mysteries and see them as "icing on the cake," if you will. I have even been blessed with a personal version of 5 mysteries, of my own, to folly in my daily walk with our Mother. God bless...

Anonymous said...

The Luminous Mysteries are NOT part of the Rosary that Our Lady gave for future generations. They are representative of the 150 psalms. The Luminous was meant as something extra to pray at ones own discretion. That’s it!