In October, 2002 Pope John Paul II updated the prayers of the Rosary for the first time in five centuries when he issued his Apostolic Letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae." The rosary is the best-known devotional practice of the Catholic Church. Designating this the Year of the Rosary (October 2002 - October 2003), Pope John Paul II added a new set of "mysteries" - events in the life if Jesus - for worshipers to reflect on the mystery of salvation and the role of Mary as intercessor. He has also invited the faithful to pray the rosary for peace.
"The addition will give 'fresh life' and 'renewed attention' to the rosary as a vital part of Christian spirituality," the Pope has said.
The rosary was standardized in the 16th century and called for contemplating on the fifteen mysteries, clustered in groups of five: the Joyful Mysteries of Christ's birth, the Sorrowful Mysteries of his crucifixion, and the Glorious Mysteries of his resurrection. Different mysteries are contemplated on each day, with the Glorious repeated on Sundays. Now, on Thursday, the Pope asks Catholics to reflect on five Mysteries of Light: Christ's baptism, his first miracle at Cana, his proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of God, his Transfiguration in front of three disciples, and the institution of the Eucharist as a sacrament.
Mysteries of Light: Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary offers simple meditations written by Pope John Paul II on each of the 20 mysteries of the rosary, along with 25 stunning color illustrations (icons) woven throughout the text.
Icon reproductions are taken from Helen Protopapadakis-Papconstantinou's collection and make this book a beautiful and thoughtful prayer book and marvelous gift-giving idea.
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