From a reader…
I have never seen a decree or document stating that the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary have been indulgenced.
I suspect you also have never seen a decree that the Glorious Mysteries have been indulgenced.
The Luminous Mysteries, or Mysteries of Light, are on the Vatican website. HERE They were derived, in part, by John Paul II’s reflection on the writings of Bl. Bartolo Longo, a converted Satanic priest. That’s a pretty impressive conversion.
The short answer is: yes.
These beautiful devotions are a bit fluid. There are different methods of saying the Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross, even different events of the Via Crucis as points of meditation than those commonly found in our favorite versions, such as that of St. Alphonsus. There are different methods of saying the Rosary as well, not just one.
BTW… you will notice that on the Vatican website for the Mysteries, the method of reciting the Rosary includes the Litany of Loreto. Do you do that? No? It also starts differently, more like the recitation of the Office (thus the connection with the Psalter). Also, the Vatican website says that:
The Rosary is made up of twenty “mysteries”….
“This indication is not intended to limit a rightful freedom in personal and community prayer, where account needs to be taken of spiritual and pastoral needs and of the occurrence of particular liturgical celebrations which might call for suitable adaptations” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 38).
Again, there are different ways to pray this devotion.
I have no strong desire to use the Luminous Mysteries. I’m content with the three sets which I originally learned. That said, if I were in some group that was going to say the Rosary, such as on a bus in the Holy Land with pilgrims, and someone launched into the Luminous Mysteries, I wouldn’t run up and down the aisle waving them out of the air. I can’t fathom why it would be a problem do reflect on, say, the Transfiguration of the Lord (I think that’s one of them, no?).
Some will object the recitation of the three chaplets of the Rosary, each with its five decades, amounts to the same number as the Psalms. 50 /3 = 150, right? Sort of like the Office for those who don’t say the Office. I recall reading someone’s notion that by adding another chaplet, the Luminous, you have 200 / 3 and that’s 66.6… Ooooo! We really don’t need that sort of thing. And wouldn’t it be 200 /4 ?
Others might object that adding another set of Mysteries goofs up the days of the week and which set to use. I have zero sympathy for that argument. Use the set you want when you want. See above.
The important thing is that you recite the Rosary.
With that, I’ll conclude with something I’ve posted before, that an exorcist friend told me. He told me about the effect that the Rosary has on demons.
In general, the Rosary has a greater effect on demons than any other devotion. On the “screamometer” from the demons, the Rosary is powerful.
He recounted a particular experience during an exorcism.
Exorcisms can go on for hours and many different prayers and devotions, along with the actual ritual, are deployed. At one point they were saying the Rosary. The demon stared to laugh at them. When queried, the demon responded that their distracted Hail Mary’s were like, “laying wilted dried flowers at her feet”. When asked what an attentive Rosary filled with love was like, the demon said, “What is a fragrant bouquet for her is our downfall.”
[UPDATE: I’m getting notes along the line of “Even if the flowers are wilted mothers like them if their little children bring them!” Sentimentalism isn’t wrong because it is sentimental. Mothers also like the really bad art their children draw… or say they do. Heck, I like it, too, especially in the Christmas cards you send. Sincerely. HOWEVER… wilted flowers are not the best when offered by adults. Sit down at a restaurant and there are wilted flowers. Outstanding, right? Kid art in the Metropolitian Museum… nope. (Even though some kid art is better than what you see in some of the galleries where I rarely go.) We are adults reading this and not 3 year olds. Do your best as often as you can. You can stop with the notes about mothers and children and wilted flowers. As I conclude this I just thought, “Now some Smarticus Pantsicus is going to write that a term for a “still life” painting is “natura morta”, sometimes with wilting flowers, rotting fruit, or even flies.” You can’t win. Smarticus… keep in mind my shifting mood on a stressful day, please. Are hasty Hail Mary’s better than none at all? Maybe.]
Prayers have purposes and effects. While sacraments work ex opere operato, devotions have effect ex opere operantis.
I think it is better to lay nice flowers at Mary’s feet rather than wilted ones. And it is difficult to understand how these are not beautiful flowers:
- Baptism of the Lord
- Wedding at Cana
- Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
- Institution of the Eucharist (which also means Priesthood)