Reflection on the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary

When Jesus Revealed the Face of God, Says John Paul II

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 21, 2003 ( Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today before praying the midday Angelus with pilgrims gathered at the papal summer residence.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. Continuing with my spiritual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Pompeii where, God willing, I hope to go Oct. 7, I would like to reflect today on the mysteries of the rosary, called the “mysteries of light.” They complement the traditional periods of the infancy, passion and glory of Christ with others, equally important, of his “public life” [see apostolic letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae,” 19].

It was the time when Jesus, with the power of the word and works, revealed fully the “face” of the heavenly Father, inaugurating his Kingdom of love, justice and peace. The baptism in the Jordan, the wedding of Cana, the proclamation of the Kingdom, the transfiguration on Mount Tabor, and the institution of the Eucharist are all instances of revelation; indeed, “luminous” mysteries, which reflect the splendor of the divine nature of God in Jesus Christ.

2. In general, the presence of Mary in these mysteries is in the background, except for one: the wedding at Cana, where the role of the “Mother of Jesus” is determinant. It is she, in fact, who points out to her Son that there is no more wine; and when he replied that “his hour” had not yet come, she insists with maternal urgency, saying to the servants: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). In this way she shows that she intuits more than anyone else the profound intentions of Jesus. She knows him “heart to heart” as, from the beginning, she kept and pondered every gesture and word of his (see Luke 2:19,51). Because of this, the Virgin is the first and principal teacher of Christian prayer: In her school one learns to contemplate the face of the Lord, to assimilate his sentiments and accept his values with generous consistency.

3. Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us follow Christ in the way of his mysteries of salvation with the ardent love of the Virgin Mary. In these last weeks of the Year of the Rosary, let us feel ourselves more united than ever in reciting the holy rosary, in a particular way for families and for peace in the world.

[Translation by ZENIT]

[At the end of the meeting, the Pope greeted the pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

I am pleased to greet the English-speaking visitors who have prayed the Angelus with us today. In a special way, on the occasion of the upcoming World Maritime Day, I wish to extend my cordial greetings to seafarers of all nations. May God bless you in your work, and may Our Lady, Star of the Sea, guide and protect you and your loved ones.

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