Tuesday, March 21, 2006


in distinguished company on this Polish website.

Mysteries of Light

Below a letter I received from the Director of the Catholic media office in London when I inquired whether indulgences had been formally attached to the new Rosary "Mysteries of Light". In the past, variation in the form and content of an indulgenced prayer would have required proper attachment of indulgences. Not today, rendering it doubtful whether the mysteries of light are indulgenced. "would be" are words of presumption and not the same as "are".

"I am not aware of any such attachment and would have thought it most unlikely, as the Mysteries of Light would be covered by the same conditions as the rest of the Rosary.

For your convenience, though I am sure you know this already, I remind you of the relevant section of the official instruction on Indulgences, issued by the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary in 1968, which states the following:

"A plenary indulgence is granted, if the Rosary is recited in a church or public oratory or in a family group, a religious community or pious association; a partial indulgence is granted in other circumstances. Now the Rosary is a certain formula of prayer, which is made up of fifteen decades of 'Hail Marys' with an 'Our Father' before each decade, and in which the recitation of each decade is accompanied by pious meditation on a particular mystery of our Redemption. The name 'Rosary,' however, is commonly used in reference to only a third of the fifteen decades. The gaining of the plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms:

The recitation of a third part only of the Rosary suffices; but the five decades must be recited continuously.
The vocal recitation MUST be accompanied by pious meditation on the mysteries.
In public recitation the mysteries must be announced in the manner customary in the place; for private recitation, however, it suffices if the vocal recitation is accompanied by meditation on the mysteries.”