AFTER experiencing joy, sorrow, and glory, the Catholic faithful will finally have “light”.

In an apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (The Rosary of the Virgin Mary) last Oct. 16, Pope John Paul II presented the newest set of mysteries of Holy Rosary, the Mysteria Lucis (Mysteries of Light). The innovation signaled the 25th anniversary of his pontificate.

According to Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, the new mysteries were drawn from the Gospel accounts on the public life of Jesus Christ. They are Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan (Mt. 3:17); His self-revelation at the marriage feast at Cana (John 2:1-12); His proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with His call for conversion (Mark 1:15, 2:3-13; Luke 7:47-48; John 20:22-23); and His transfiguration (Luke 9:3-5); and His institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery (John 13:1).

The Pope came out with the new mysteries after observing that the Christological depth of the rosary could be broadened if the mysteries of Christ’s public ministry would be included.

“The traditional 15 mysteries of the Holy Rosary, which are the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious, invite the faithful to meditate on just a few of the many events that mark the life of Christ,” he said.

The Pope explained said the new set of mysteries, is “a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus.”

The first mystery, “The Baptism in the Jordan,” remembers Christ’s descent into the waters, the innocent one becoming “sin” for our sake, the heavens opening wide and the voice of the Father declaring Him the beloved Son, while the Spirit descended on Him to invest Him with the mission which He was to carry out.

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The second, “Jesus’ self-revelation at the marriage feast at Cana,” recalls the event when Christ changed water into wine and opened the hearts of the disciples to faith.

“Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God, with His call to conversion,” the third mystery of light, remembers Jesus forgiving “the sins of all who draw near to Him in humble trust: 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.”

“The Transfiguration,” the fourth mystery, which the Holy See considered as “the mystery of light par excellence,” narrates the glory of the God-head shining forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to “listen to Him” and to prepare to experience with Him His forthcoming agony, so as to share with Him the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit.

The final mystery of light, “Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery,” recalls the episode in the Gospel when Christ offered His body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine, testifying to His infinite love for humanity, for whose salvation He would offer Himself in sacrifice.

According to the Pope, in the new mysteries, apart from the miracle at Cana, “the presence of Mary remains in the background.”

“The Gospels make only the briefest reference to her occasional presence at one moment or other during the preaching of Jesus, and they give no indication that she was present at the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. Yet the role she assumed at Cana in some way accompanies Christ throughout His ministry,” the Pope said.

Her weight in gold

The Pope called the rosary a prayer for peace.

“The Rosary is by nature a prayer for peace, since it consists in the contemplation of Christ, the Prince of Peace, the one who is ‘our peace’,” he said.

The world needs prayer, the Pope stressed. “The grave challenges confronting the world at the start of this new millennium lead us to think that only an intervention from on high, capable of guiding the hearts of those living in situations of conflict and those governing the destinies of nations, can give reason to hope for a brighter future,” he said.

The Luminous mysteries are to be prayed on Thursdays. With reports from Anna Rachelle S. Ariola


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