October 16, 2017


It was on the 16th of October 2002 that Pope John Paul II issued the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (The Rosary of the Virgin Mary). If the date seems familiar, its because the Pope issued that letter right on the date that he was commemorating the 25th anniversary to the day that he was elected Pope in 1978.

In the Apostolic Letter, the Pope gives a relatively lengthy explanation as to why, after hundreds of years of people praying the Rosary in one way, he is adding another set of five ‘mysteries’ of meditation. The ones he added regarded: 1. The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan by John – i.e. the Theophany; 2. The Marriage feast in Cana – where he “performed His first Miracle”; 3. the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God; 4. The Transfiguration and 5. the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. These came to be known as the “Mysteries of Light” or the “Luminous Mysteries”

Perhaps we have all wondered at one time or another what mysteries would have we chosen or what mysteries we would add to the Rosary. Well, Pope John Paul, who certainly had the authority and saw a benifit in doing so, decided to add more mysteries to enhance our prayer life. It certainly worked as meditation on the five “new” Mysteries of Light has offered countless people many new insights into the glory of the Lord and has unfathomable love toward His People.

A longtime tradition was to pray certain mysteries on certain days of the week. Saint John Paul designated the “Mysteries of Light” to be prayed on Saturdays for those who follow that schedule. Otherwise these new mysteries, like the Rosary itself, can be prayed at anytime that is convenient for the one who prays. The important thing of course is to pray regularly. In this centenary year of the Fatima apparitions, it is good to recall that Mary asked that everyone “pray the Rosary daily”.

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