The New Luminous Mysteries Added by Pope John Paul II
In October 2002, Pope John Paul II issued his Apostolic Letter called ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’, the most significant papal document on the Rosary in over 400 years! In it, he appeals to every Christian to rediscover the spiritual richness of the Rosary, 'to immerse oneself in contemplation of the mystery of Christ who 'is our peace'.' In this way, we may in turn contribute to the spiritual rejuvenation of not only our families, but society at large. The apostolic letter also explains how the Rosary's 'Marian character is not opposed to its Christological character, but that it actually emphasizes and increases it'! In keeping with the Rosary’s central focus on Christ, John Paul II added a new set of 5 mysteries, called ‘Luminous’ (meaning ‘of light’) to the traditional 15. They bridge the gap between the Joyful mysteries surrounding Christ’s birth and childhood and the Sorrowful mysteries of His passion and death. These new Luminous mysteries deal with significant events from Our Lord’s three-year ministry for, in the words of John Paul II, ‘it is during the years of His public ministry that the ministry of Christ is most evidently a mystery of light: ‘While I am in the world, I am the light of the world’ (John 9:5)'.