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Maria V. Gallagher recaps her own experience of using the new book, The Family That Prays Together Stays Together, to pray the Rosary.

I’ll admit it—I had to be sold on the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. 

I had been praying the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries since I was a child, pleading desperately that my father, an accountant, would be able to make payroll so that we could eat. I relied on that trio of Mysteries for consolation during difficult times. It was difficult for me to imagine branching off into praying a new set of Mysteries. 

But I realized that Pope John Paul II must have had good reason to add something to what I considered to be the perfect form of prayer. I had to trust in the Holy Father’s judgment on this. 

In The Family That Prays Together Stays Together, Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C, offers an incredibly helpful guide for praying the Luminous Mysteries, along with the other Mysteries of the Rosary. It was as if he and his spiritual guide, the late Father Patrick Peyton, took me by the hand, one on each side, and led me closer to Jesus through the recitation of these Mysteries of Light.  




I gained insight into the Baptism of Jesus and rejoiced at the Wedding at Cana. I finally understood the Proclamation of the Kingdom (admit it: you might have wondered what that was all about, too). I marveled at the Transfiguration, where Jesus led Peter, James, and John up to the mountaintop, and I was filled with wonder as I pondered the Institution of the Eucharist. 

I can now see the immense value of praying the Luminous Mysteries. They further guide us through the astounding life of Christ on earth and the ministry which founded the Catholic Church. In meditating on these mileposts within Jesus’ life, I draw closer to Him and to the love He holds for humanity. 

Now that I have prayed the Luminous Mysteries with great intent, I want to share them with others. I long to see family and friends experience the kinds of insight and “Aha!” moments I have experienced at Jesus’ feet. 




In my book, Joyful Encounters with Mary (Marian Press, 2022), I shared how I had grown in my affection and appreciation of the Blessed Mother by thinking about how I was living out the Joyful Mysteries, in a sense, in my own life. When I experienced a joy akin to Mary’s, I could lean into the love that Christ has for me and to begin sharing that love with other people. 

In a similar way, when I now pray the Luminous Mysteries, I can think back on joyous times such as the Baptism of my baby girl, the weddings of beloved family members and friends, and teachings of Jesus that have led me closer to heaven. I reflect on mountaintop experiences with the Lord and the utter joy and love that filled my heart the initial time I received the Eucharist at my First Holy Communion. 

I now see how the Luminous Mysteries relate to my life and, in this way, I bond with Jesus, my Savior. I invite you to savor the sweetness of the Mysteries of Light and see how they can light a pathway forward for you in your own life.  


Save 20% off the cover price of The Family That Stays Together Prays Together when you purchase the book from the Holy Cross Family Ministries online store. Use coupon code CMROSARY at checkout. This offer expires June 10, 2024. 


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Copyright 2024 Maria V. Gallagher
Images: Ave Maria Press