Names for the Luminous Mysteries

Today marks the last post in our Mysteries of the Rosary series as we conclude with the Luminous Mysteries!

I know I went out of order, but it all made so much sense: I posted the Sorrowful Mysteries during Holy Week; the Glorious during the octave of Easter; the Joyful the day after the Feast of the Annunciation; and today’s Luminous Mysteries (also known as the Mysteries of Light), which were added to the Rosary during the Year of the Rosary by our beloved St. John Paul the Great in his beautiful Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (October 16, 2002), come a day after the feast of St. Stanislaus of Cracow, to whom JP2 had a great and subversive devotion. If I can digress for a moment, this is one of my favorite JP2 stories:

A controversy arose [in Poland] over the proposed dates of John Paul II’s visit. The pope wanted to arrive to celebrate the nine hundredth anniversary of Poland’s patron saint, St. Stanislaus, whose feast day is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday after 8 May [only in Poland — we celebrate it on April 11]. In 1079, Stanislaus, the bishop of Cracow, was beheaded by King Boleslaw II for denouncing royal oppression and fomenting a baronial rebellion against him. The legend of St. Stanislaus represented the moral justification for resistance to an oppressive state under the courageous leadership of the church. It linked Catholic morality and Polish history. While Stanislaus’s martyrdom resonated with the pope’s message supporting human rights, this was just the type of symbolic linkage the regime wanted to avoid.

The party opposed the May dates requested by the pope. While First Secretary Gierek wanted to welcome John Paul II in order to show that the PZPR was patriotic and one with the nation, he did not wish to strengthen the opposition or provide occasions for antiregime demonstrations. As Central Comittee secretary Stanislaw Kania put it: ‘Above all … the state leadership wants to demonstrate its happiness with the selection of a Polish pope.’ Gierek and Cardinal Wyszynski met to discuss the broad outlines for John Paul II’s visit. Then a special church-state commission spent many weeks working out the details. They finally reached a compromise: the church conceded that the pope would not come for the May anniversary of St. Stanislaus; instead John Paul II would visit in June but stay longer. The government agreed that the pope would be invited for nine days and would be allowed to visit six cities (rather than the two originally requested). Once the matter was settled, the ‘Polish church immediately announced a delay in the official [St. Stanislaus] anniversary celebrations until the Pope arrived.’ To add insult to injury, Pope John Paul II made it a point to mention St. Stanislaus in every sermon and at every stop along his journey. As masters of symbols and ceremony, the Polish church leaders were far more accomplished in public relations than their state functionary counterparts. IT was not going to be easy for the Communists to thwart the pope’s intentions for his pilgrimage.” (From Solidarity and contention: networks of Polish oppositions by Maryjane Osa, pp. 139-140)

That visit had huge repercussions (this and this are also quite good) and indeed it is said that ” John Paul II’s 1979 trip was the fulcrum of revolution which led to the collapse of Communism.” I can barely write it, so moving I find it all to be. That man. His courage. Thank God for him. ❤ ❤ ❤

Anyway! ((wipes eyes before continuing)) These are the Luminous Mysteries (read more here) (and here’s how to pray the Rosary):

The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan
The Miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana
The Proclamation of the Kingdom
Jesus’ Transfiguration
The Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper

Names associated with the Luminous Mysteries might include:


Alazne — Basque for “miracles” (right skimac? and how is that pronounced?)

Cana — the place of the wedding feast where Jesus performed his first miracle (we have a reader who gave her daughter this amazing name!)

Charis — from the Greek for “grace, favor, gratitude” and is contained within the word Eucharist (“thanksgiving”)

Christi — Latin for “of/belonging to Christ,” inspired for this list by the Eucharistic phrase Corpus Christi (“the body of Christ”)

Clare, Claire, Chiara — from the Latin for “clear, bright” as a nod to the Mysteries of Light and the brightness of the Transfiguration

Evangeline — for the Good News — the proclamation of the kingdom

Jemima — means “dove,” for the “Spirit of God descending like a dove” on Jesus during His baptism

Jordan — the name of the river in which Jesus was baptized

Lucy, Lucia, Lucille — from the Latin for “light”

Mary, et al. — for Our Lady, who brought Jesus’ attention to the wine crisis at the wedding (“He did it because His mother asked Him to!” I frequently tell my boys. 🙂 )

Maya, Mayim — from the Hebrew for “water,” as a nod to Jesus’ baptism

Milagros — Spanish for “miracles,” as a nod to Jesus’ first miracle at Cana; see Alazne

Paloma — means “dove”; see Jemima

Ruby — “red,” for Jesus’ Blood given to us at the Last Supper

Scarlett — same as Ruby



Baptista, Baptiste, Battista, Bautista — referring to Jesus’ baptism and to the one who baptized him (John the Baptist) (these are all listed as masculine by behindthename, but they could easily be used for girls as well, as I don’t think they come across as masculine [or at least not exclusively so] in America)

Colum, Columba — means “dove”; see Jemima

Conway — possibly means “holy water” in Welsh

Elijah — he appeared to Jesus during the Transfiguration, and Jesus spoke with him. See also Moses. “Moses and Elijah represent, respectively, law and prophecy in the Old Testament and are linked to Mount Sinai … They now appear with Jesus as witnesses to the fulfillment of the law and the prophets taking place in the person of Jesus as he appears in glory.”

James — one of the Apostles who witnessed Jesus’ Transfiguration; see also John, Peter

John — the one who baptized Jesus; also the only gospel that contains the story of Jesus’ miracle at the wedding feast at Cana; also one of the Apostles who witnessed Jesus’ Transfiguration (see James, Peter)

Jonah — means “dove”; see Jemima

Jordan — the name of the river in which Jesus was baptized

Lucian, Lucius — see Lucy

Moses — see Elijah

Peter — see James

River — for the River Jordan

Tabor — Mt. Tabor was where Jesus’ Transfiguration occurred

I can’t wait to see what others you can add to this list!

+ “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” … “Do whatever He tells you.” +



29 thoughts on “Names for the Luminous Mysteries

  1. This is an awesome list of names! Some of my favorites are here! Beautiful story about JPII!!!! 💗
    Well done with this series, Kate! I’ve loved it!

    Also one of my biblical school instructors had a little girl named Cana. It’s so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this post!! And I loved this series.

    No names to add really, except a comment on Maya (kind of). Maya has the other spelling of Maia, which is unrelated but said the same, which is the Basque version of Maria! So maybe even Maya could be considered Marian in a way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate you did such a nice job with this series. It was so fun. And I don’t think your order in presenting them was strange at all. In fact it was the one I would have picked for the same reasons of how the feast days fell this year (though just had Luminous tagged on at end because I wouldn’t have made the connection to St. Stanislaus that you did).

    I found the Luminous Mysteries the hardest to think of ideas, especially for girls since I really only had Cana and the “light” names – I did think of many of the boy ones. So am really impressed with all your connections.

    Alazne – ah-lahsh-ney (z are “sh”) – I didn’t have that one. I did have the Basque “light” names Argi (male), Argia (female).

    There is a question about where the transfiguration took place (which mountain). Another location that many Biblical scholars believe to be the actual location is Mt. Hermon – so I thought Herman was a possibility also.

    I have a couple more that I will add later.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very interesting! I’ve recently ‘discovered’ Polish history and it’s one of the most consistently interesting countries. The Poles have had a lot of upheaval, but have kept their identity.

    Anyway, this whole series was a great read. 🙂 The only name I can add to this is Luz, though it’s related to the mentioned Lucy and it’s variants of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The baptism in the Jordan was “theophany,” a manifestation of God to the world. The Epiphany or Theophany as the Eastern Rite Churches call it, have two different focuses. The west focuses on the 3 wisemen and the east focuses on the baptism of Jesus. And since the name Tiffany/Tiffani is derived from Theophany/Epiphany it is a fitting name.

    And the baptism of Jesus is also specifically a manifestation of the Holy Trinity so any trinity names: Trinity, Trinidad, Trini, Trey.

    Shells are a symbol of baptism so Concha, Conchita, Concetta could work since concha is shell (though I know that they are diminutives of Concepcion, so don’t necessarily mean shell in name context). But there are connections.

    For the Wedding at Cana, I had some big stretches, like Mattie (for matrimony) and Vinnie (for vino – wine)
    ; )

    The Proclamation of the Kingdom names could be anything royal from the suggestions of previous mysteries – as they signify kingdom.

    Jesus’ Transfiguration – Herman which I mentioned earlier

    The Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper – I included OT names from the Passover, since that feast was being commemorated at the Last Supper and the Passover is the foreshadowing of the Eucharist. So Moses and Aaron (Moses already included in Transfiguration).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Butting in here to say that the names for Theophany (as skimac says, the feast of the baptism of the Lord, celebrated on January 6th) would be Theophanos/Theophania. And when pronounced in Greek, the feminine is very pretty – Thay-off-an-EE-ah. I know a little Theophania, called Thea, and I tried for a while to convince hubby to use, it to no avail! I found I liked Greek names a lot better once I learned how to pronounce them!

      I loved this series, Kate! We do not pray the rosary, but I have always thought it was a really wonderful devotion and wished we had something similar in our tradition. So your series was quite delightful to me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Theophania – so pretty!

        I am still trying to figure out the Tiffany/Tiffani origin – is it only from the Greek Epiphany or also Theophany? From the entymology sites it is usually described similar to this: “…from Old French Tifinie, Tiphanie “Epiphany” (c. 1200), from Late Latin Theophania “Theophany,” another name for the Epiphany, from Greek theophania “the manifestation of a god” (see theophany). Also popular in Old French and Middle English as a name given to girls born on Epiphany Day.”

        This is sort of off topic, but if you anyone is interested in a fun and informative podcast on Theophany. So much information here on the different traditions and theology between the East and West. Catholic Stuff You Should Know –

        Liked by 1 person

      • Behindthename says “Medieval form of THEOPHANIA. This name was traditionally given to girls born on the Epiphany (January 6), the festival commemorating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. The name died out after the Middle Ages, but it was revived by the movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (1961), the title of which refers to the Tiffany’s jewelry store in New York” … I love the faith significance of Tiffany!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Very interesting!! I learn about so much more than names here.

    It’s easy for my generation to overlook or miss the amazing accomplishments of JPII. I am old enough to remember him as Pope for all of my childhood and teenage years. But he did so much before I was born or during my young years before I was aware of it or truly understood. When I think of JPII, I need to think of more than just my personal memories but his papacy as a whole to really understand how much he did for our faith and the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Sancta Nomina and commented:

    Up today: names for the Luminous Mysteries! Despite (or probably partly because of) all that we have going on here, I’ve been out for the count with strep for the last two-and-a-half days, ugh. That makes twice this winter I’ve been sicker than I’ve been in years. Anyway! I’m not feeling very luminous, but I do love these names. What would you add to them?


  8. The Greek name Fotini (sometimes Foteini) or Photine means light, bright, shining. Perhaps this name could be included for it’s reference to light?

    I’m not Greek, but one of my children had a teacher whose first name was Fotini and I thought it was a lovely name. This woman’s parents were born in Greece and her siblings had equally unusual first names which, due to privacy considerations, I don’t feel at liberty to share.


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