Seeing the Mysteries

It’s never too late to start a collection of pictures with religious themes to make into Rosary books for your children or godchildren. I’ve done this in the past by simply using a three-ring binder and plastic sheet protectors. Back each picture with a sheet of solid paper to hide the distracting print on the back and divide them according to the Mysteries. Catholic calendars, magazines and the internet are all good sources for suitable pictures. It’s a great help for little ones (and bigger ones), to better focus and understand the prayers, and it’s a wonderful way to introduce them to religious art.

From John Paul II’s 2002 Apostolic Letter introducing the Mysteries of Light:

Announcing each mystery, and perhaps even using a suitable icon to portray it, is as it were to open up a scenario on which to focus our attention. The words direct the imagination and the mind towards a particular episode or moment in the life of Christ. In the Church’s traditional spirituality, the veneration of icons and the many devotions appealing to the senses, as well as the method of prayer proposed by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises, make use of visual and imaginative elements (the compositio loci), judged to be of great help in concentrating the mind on the particular mystery. This is a methodology, moreover, which corresponds to the inner logic of the Incarnation: in Jesus, God wanted to take on human features. It is through his bodily reality that we are led into contact with the mystery of his divinity.

Rosarium Virginis Mariae (The Rosary of the Virgin Mary), #29

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