Rosary: Luminous Mysteries – Why Not?

As we approach the Month of Mary, it might be useful to examine the way we pray our Rosary, in the hope of doing all we can to ensure that our prayers are truly pleasing to Our Lady and her Son. Fr Gruner’s explanation about why the new Luminous Mysteries cannot be part of the Rosary is, perhaps, a good place to begin.

Bloggers might also like to share resources, with the aim of enabling better concentration. Francisco, the little Fatima seer, really struggled with his Rosary and had to use pictures to help him focus. This Online Rosary might appeal to some. And if you have a book, pamphlet or website facility that you find helpful, feel free to share it here. However, be aware that, unfortunately, it seems now to be the norm to include the Luminous Mysteries in material on the Rosary.

Also, we’re looking for tips….

A couple of readers have recently raised the subject of the Rosary in the context of their personal struggle to fit it in every day. So, it would be useful to offer tips on how to make sure we don’t leave it until too late at night, when we’re tired and find it difficult to stay awake. Parents with young children are especially vulnerable to this temptation. Can we offer some ideas on how to make sure the Rosary becomes an integral part of our daily life without being burdensome?

43 responses

  1. Here is an article by always compelling Christopher Ferrara on the Luminous Mysteries:

    http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2010-0615-ferrara-rosary.htm

    and a bit of introductory commentary from Christian Order on this same article:

    http://www.christianorder.com/editorials/editorials_2003/editorials_may03.html

    – the highlight of which, to me, is this passage: “It transpires, however, that the situation is more serious than first envisaged. Rather than taking John Paul II at his word and treating his luminous mysteries as purely optional, there is a push from certain orthodox quarters to incorporate them permanently into the traditional Rosary. This smacks heavily of the familiar postconciliar pattern: whereby tradition is trampled as quixotic options rapidly become corrosive obligations.”

    As for tips, I myself frequently say Rosaries whilst driving. In fact, since our SSPX chapel is 30 miles from my house, I can say TWO Rosaries, one each way, to help with the current Rosary Crusade. I also visit a nearby Adoration Chapel usually twice a week and say a Rosary while I am there. Another way to say a Rosary is while taking a walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes I even say one while grocery shopping. Never, however, while reading the latest issue of Catholic Truth….

  2. As to the devotional quality or depth of one’s Rosary meditation, I’ve found that it helps to (a) use St. Louis de Montfort’s introductory prayer and his introductions to each Mystery (e.g. for today: “We offer unto Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, this first Joyful Mystery, in honor of the Annunciation, and we ask of Thee, through the intercession of Thy Most Holy Mother, for the virtue of humility.”), which associates each Mystery with a virtue, and also to b) picture in one’s mind a famous painting of the Mystery you are about to pray. This website has some of those paintings:

    http://www.communityofhopeinc.org/rosary/rosarypromises.htm

    And here is St. Louis de Montfort’s method, though I notice the preface wordings are slightly different than what I am used to:

    http://www.philomena.org/rosarydemontford.asp

  3. Madame Editor,

    We are each given 24 hours in a day. The Rosary can be said respectfully in one quarter of one of those hours. It is a falsity to say that we do not have time. It is a question, not of time, but of the allocation of priorities. We may like to come home to a kitchen sink that is not full of pots awaiting washing up. Why not use that quarter of an hour to pray the Rosary instead, and do the washing up after work, for example? Or that quarter of an hour packing a lunch-box – why not do it the night before and put the sandwiches in the fridge until morning? Or set the alarm clock a quarter of an hour earlier and get out of bed the moment it rings? Our Lady will inspire us on how we can shift our priorities in order to offer her our daily Rosary.

    What if Our Lord had said He was too busy with his preaching to allow a few minutes to Mary Magdalen to weep over His feet and dry them with her hair? Look at the devotion He won from her by prioritising those few minutes for her intentions.

    As for the Luminous Mysteries (or, as a friend of mine refers to them: “the Gloominess Mysteries”) this is just one more example of the tools used by the Modernists to attack, undermine, weaken the great foundations on which our love of Our Lord and His blessed mother are built. Treat that attempt with the contempt it deserves and it will eventually wither along with all the rest of the vine that has severed itself from the root.

    • Leprechaun,

      I think it can be difficult for young parents of young families, who are running around after several lively children all the time, to get into a routine that includes the Rosary.

      However, as you say, it can be done. I remember some years ago being very impressed when visiting a friend who is the mother of five children.

      I’d been invited for dinner, and arrived early enough for a chat with my friend before her husband arrived home. When he did – WOW! The house became alive.

      Suddenly the patter of feet from all directions, mother calling out “Rosary…” and the children gathered in the living room, collected their rosaries from a sideboard drawer and knelt down in front of the statue of Our Lady, with their mother and father and began to pray. The children each led a decade of the Rosary, some prompting from parents necessary occasionally for the youngest, and then, after the concluding prayers, beads returned to the drawer and everyone headed for the dinner table.

      It was truly impressive – I’ve never forgotten it.

      So, that’s one system. When father arrives home and before (or possibly immediately after) the evening meal, family gathers for the Rosary.

      I know a relative of mine, mother of four, has made it a habit to pray the Rosary even when her children were very small and she just ignored the restless toddler. Then, in no time it seemed to me, they were all – at a very young age – able to lead parts of the Rosary, and the once restless toddler has grown used to the ritual from his earliest days. They take it for granted now that they pray the family Rosary. I can’t recall exactly, but I think they gather just after their evening meal, which seems to me to be a very good time to pray the Rosary with young children. It would be interesting to hear from young parents if they agree, of what, if any, alternative points in the day work for them.

    • Despite my PP telling me during the RCIA course about the Luminous Mysteries, and that they are good to say, I prefer to say the Holy Rosary has given by Our Lady to St Dominic.

  4. The NO church does force the JPII mysteries on the faithful. In one public recitation of the rosary, years ago, I was surprised to find that these good and loyal Catholics did not include the Fatima prayer after each decade- I was later told, that it was because at the time the Pope did not say the prayer when he led the rosary!

    I’ve found that when the parents are devoted to the rosary, they will find the time to say it with their children even if they can’t find a set time for it. It sometimes happens that the rosary may have to be said at different times every day for awhile. Such flexibility, perhaps, shows the children more than any formal teaching, that love will find a way- and the rosary will be said!

    Talking of the family rosary, it is very sad to find Catholic families who struggle with having to say the rosary because it is ‘too repetitive and monotonous’, or worse- it ‘does nothing for me’. I’ve known cases where priests will counsel families – where one parent sees no reason for the daily rosary and resents having to say it – to find another devotion, one that is not ‘divisive’ to the family. In such cases, the mother usually says the rosary by herself, being too afraid to impose it on the children who grow up deprived of the strength and consolations that come from such a beautiful devotion.

    • I recently bought a beautiful Rosary booklet, with St Louis-Marie De Montfort’s opening prayers to be said at the start of each decade. Also, the Fatima prayer was listed as a ‘very important and powerful extra prayer’. The only prayer I cannot remember for the life of me is the Apostle’s Creed. I can remember longer prayers, such as the Hail Holy Queen, and can say that quicker than you can say ‘Jack Robinson’. The Rosary is lovely and a great devotional and I can’t believe Catholics would find it monotonous. It led the Irish people through centuries of trial, not to mention the people of other Catholic nations, such as Poland or Mexico when ruled by Satanic forces. Whenever I say it, I feel purified. My only problem is that I’m frightened of getting caught by my anti-religious parents. They won’t do anything major, but i’m easily embarrassed.

  5. Without a doubt it can be a struggle to say the Rosary every day with young children. Some families might manage it better than others, but I think the editor is right to say that it can be a struggle. We certainly struggle with it. By the time I get in from work, there’s no telling what the day has been like and what state the children are in (never mind the house). Quite often I don’t get home until the children are in bed. So, whilst it is easy to say that everyone can find the time, it’s not so easy in practice.

    I spoke to a traditional priest about this a few years ago and he assured me I wasn’t alone in finding this a struggle. He instructed me to say three Hail Marys on the most difficult days.

    However, Leprechaun does have a very valid point. We do have 24 hours in each day and should do our best to say the Rosary. However, we shouldn’t be too judgemental and do our best to avoid suggestions that families who do not always say the Rosary daily do not have a strong devotion.

    • Petrus,

      I agree that it can be a struggle to say the Rosary every day with young children, some families may well manage better than others.

      The priest who instructed you to say three Hail Mary’s on most difficult days, did give you good advice. This is is a practice I have heard of and practice myself. This link may help and explain it.

      http://www.fatima.org/essentials/requests/3hailmarys.asp

      I wonder how many souls have been saved by even this practice alone.

      The Fatima Centre also have a booklet on praying the Rosary

      http://www.fatimacrusader.com/praytherosary/tocpraytherosary.asp

    • Petrus, I have to keep reminding myself what Pope Pius XII said about the rosary as it is definitely a struggle to be consistent with the family rosary – A means of preserving the home – “There is no surer means of calling down God’s blessings upon the family… than the daily recitation of the Rosary.”

      Also remember that a plenary indulgence (partial indulgence) of 10 years is granted for the recitation of the family rosary devoutly once a day.

      I personally tried different schedules for the family rosary. At first we prayed the rosary in the morning before school, that worked very well for a while as our routine changed slightly. Now we have our evening meal at 5 pm and our family rosary at 6pm. Then the children go to bed at 7pm in the Winter time and 8pm in the spring and summer time. This works for us. So the children know that after their dinner time they say the rosary, then they have some free time before bed.

      I started the family rosary with my youngest at the time who was 6 months old, he listened at first as this was something new for him, then eventually he wriggled and moved about too much, I sat him in his buggie, then he learned that this was quiet time. He is now 8 years old and accepts that the family rosary has to be said with no nonsense. He knows the rosary well, and always asks if he can do an extra decade. Each one of us takes a decade each, so all are involved. I can assure you it took years to establish this routine, so it was hard work because not everyone was in the mood for kneeling down for 15 minutes. So I had to deal with all their moans and groans at first but now it is much easier. Having said that, praying the rosary devoutly is also hard too, meditating can be difficult, we must learn to do our best and use what resources we have to improve our meditating.

      Obviously, once we know how to meditate, we can tell stories to the children on the mysteries and show them pictures that will help them understand the rosary better.

      I have read some books that have helped me with the rosary:-

      Divine Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary

      The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis De Montfort
      http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary.htm

      When speaking to Blessed Alan one day, Our Blessed Mother said “I want you to know that, although there are numerous indulgences already attached to the recitation of My Rosary, I shall add many more to every fifty Hail Marys (each group of five decades) for those who say them devoutly, on their knees, being of course free from mortal sin. And whosoever shall preserve in the devotion of the Holy Rosary, saying these prayers and meditations, shall be rewarded for it; I shall obtain for them full remission of the penalty and of guilt of all his sins at the end of his life…” – Divine Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary

      I have to keep reminding myself of this remark from Sister Lucy of Fatima:

      “There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” – Sister Lucia dos Santos, Fatima seer.

      I do hope this helps you.

      • Catherine,

        Thank you for that fantastic post. I’ll be re-reading it a few times to take it all in, but you are correct – we ought to pull out all the stops to say a daily Rosary no matter how difficult. The quote from Sr Lucia which you finish with is all the reason we need to make the effort. Thank you again.

    • Miles,

      Those are the final three numbers of my mobile phone – and have been for years.

      One man told our then Media Officer that he just had to look at my mobile number to know all he needed to know about Catholic Truth.

      LOL ? Or STD ? (Scared to Death) 😯

  6. The first time I encountered the Luminous Mysteries was about 20 years ago during a visit with a priest friend to some Ukrainian Catholics in Bradford. I was told that they were very common amongst Eastern Rite Catholics and then, low and behold, they turned up amongst Western Rite Catholics in the past few years. Although I don’t care for them myself I don’t think they are as modern as some think they are.

    • Vianney,

      Father Gruner points out in the above video that there’s nothing wrong with the points of meditation (of the “Luminous Mysteries”) in themselves. They’re just not part of the Rosary and never will be – that’s the issue.

  7. Here is just one more illustration, amongst many, of the power of the Rosary. This one mightn’t be so well known as others.

    http://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/scary-story-about-the-power-of-the-rosary/

    The fifteen promises of the Rosary given to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche should also provide us with all the incentive we need to find the time to say the daily Rosary.

    The magnification function, which should be at the bottom right hand side of the opened file, will probably need to be used here.

  8. If the conciliar spirit is about reform, then what kind of ‘reform’ makes something more complicated? The Rosary was perfect as it was.

    I have the same sentiments in regard to the new lectionary: they made a one year cycle a three year cycle, and increased the number of readings from two to three and included a ‘responsorial’ psalm as well! This is a reform?

    It must take a big ego to feel you can single-handedly change one of the most fundamental prayers of the universal Church.

    Does anyone else think the name ‘mysteries of Light’/ ‘luminous mysteries’ sounds bizarre? It has an air of occultism about it. Indeed, luminous sounds similar to illuminatus.

    • Miles Immaculatae,

      I completely agree about making things more difficult – what kind of reform, right enough.

      Leo,

      Thank you again for your information-packed comments. If I needed any convincing about the Luminous Mysteries (which I do not) your comments would have done the trick.

    • Naughty me but when I think of these “mysteries” I can’t help but think of a word that rhymes with “light”!

  9. I would like to thank the editor or launching this thread and the various erudite bloggers who have made this thread so edifying.

    For those of you interested, the 33 day consecration to Our Lady devised by St Louis Marie De Montford starts tomorrow with the date of Consecration being 13th of May. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, something I’ve tried several times but failed but something id really like to get done now.

    Perhaps we could support each other if others are interested?

    • Petrus,
      Do you have the book Fr. Helmuts Libietis wrote? A very long and very good conference he gave on the Total Consecration to Mary is on YouTube. Many times I thought I would post the link to it but unfortunately it’s on a resistance channel! However it’s a great conference and can be found by searching YouTube for Fr. Helmuts Libietis. It was recorded while he was still in the SSPX. (He didn’t leave as part of the rebels)

      • 3LittleShepherds,

        If he could condense it to being a very short and very good conference…. I’d look it up, but I don’t DO “very long” anything these days – sorry!

        I’m not alone either. I once knew a 90-something year old lady who had an un-expected visit from a young enthusiastic insurance salesman. He tried to get her to sign up for Life Insurance over 15 years, then 10 years, then five years.. and so it went on until the old lady smiled and said: “young man, I don’t even buy bananas unless they’re ripe!”

      • Thanks, Great Pretender. I will have a look at that link. I have the details in St Louis De Montford’s “True Devotion”.

        • Petrus,

          This is probably a silly question but I read the True Devotion a few years ago, not that I can remember everything in it. Would I need to re-read it as part of the 33 days preparation?

  10. The power of the Rosary has been demonstrates time and again throughout history.

    In the 12th century Saint Dominic’s struggle against the Albigensian heretics only began to be successful after Our Lady appeared to him and taught him to pray and promote the Rosary.

    I’m sure everyone here is familiar with the story of the great victory against the forces of Islam at Lepanto on 7 October 1571, obtained through Our Lady, as a result of Pope Saint Pius V calling on all Catholics to pray the Rosary.

    On the morning of 6 August, 1945, four Jesuit priests and four laymen were in the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, praying the Rosary at the time the first atomic bomb was dropped. The centre of the nuclear explosion was only eight block away, yet none of the eight were killed, wounded, or even affected by radiation (even though 90% of the city was destroyed and 130,000 people were killed or wounded).Over 200 scientists examined these survivors during the following years, but no one had a medical or scientific explanation for their survival.

    Three days later after Hiroshima, 75,000 people were killed by a second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. This time, a small group of Franciscan Friars happened to be at the centre of the explosion, and emerged unscathed. They attributed their safety to the fact that they were living the Fatima message of prayer and penance.

    Theresa Rose has posted on a previous thread about what happened when the Soviets occupied Austria after World War II. In 1948, tens of thousands of Austrians committed themselves to praying the Rosary every day until the Soviet forces left their country. In 1955, without any warning and without making any demands, the Soviets suddenly departed from eastern Austria. The date was May 13.

    Also in 1948, Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty, the heroic leader of the Church in Hungary, in his last sermon before being imprisoned by the communists, said, “Give me a million families with Rosaries in their hands, uplifted to Mary. They will be a military power, not against other people, but for all mankind…With the Rosary in our hands, we shall conquer ourselves, convert sinners, do penance for our country, and will certainly move the merciful, mild, and benevolent Heart of Mary.”

    Pardon me if someone has mentioned the Five First Saturdays devotion already. Surely it’s a return offer of assistance that none of us can turn down. Catholics need to hear a lot more about this great promise of Our Lady “to assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation, those souls, who, on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of removing (from My Heart) these thorns” (the thorns of “blasphemy and ingratitude”).

    The following words of Sister Lucia express very concisely and eloquently the importance of praying the Rosary.

    “The prayer of the Rosary, after the Liturgy of the Most holy Eucharist, is what most introduces us to the intimate mystery of the Most Holy Trinity and the Eucharist; what most brings us to the spirit of the mysteries of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

    “The prayer of the Rosary is the spiritual bread of souls: Whoever does not pray, wastes away and dies. It is by prayer that we find ourselves with God, and in this meeting with Him, He communicates to us Faith, Hope and Charity; virtues without which we cannot be saved.” – Sister Lucia, in A Little Treatise on the Nature and Recitation of the Rosary.

  11. Catherine has very considerately and kindly posted a link to The Secret of the Rosary by Saint Louis Marie De Montfort, a must read.

    There is an immense amount on which to ponder in this great gift to the faithful. How about the following listed benefits of praying the Rosary:

    1. it gradually gives us a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ;

    2. it purifies our souls, washing away sin;

    3. it gives us victory over all our enemies;

    4. it makes it easy for us to practise virtue;

    5. it sets us on fire with love of Our Blessed Lord;

    6. it enriches us with graces and merits;

    7. it supplies us with what is needed to pay all our debts to God and to our fellow men, and finally, it obtains all kinds of graces for us from Almighty God.

    The above was copied from the following particular page in Catherine’s link.

    http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary27.htm

    I’m not sure of the exact page in the book, but the great Saint also tells us all we need to know about the importance of public recitation of the Rosary:

    “Public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and to call down His mercy.”

    Who can deny that the above words should be constantly before us in these days when the forces of the city of satan appear to be running wild throughout the world, waging open warfare against the Kingship of Christ.

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