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.” +


Names for the Joyful Mysteries

Yesterday was one of my very favorite feast days and the first of the Joyful Mysteries, which makes today the perfect Tuesday to post names associated with them! And also, Dwija’s little Helen was discharged from the NICU yesterday and is home with her family, happy and thriving. Joy all around!!

Today’s post is a continuation of my Mysteries of the Rosary series, having already done names for the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries, and your comments have been invaluable — keep them coming!

These are the Joyful Mysteries (read more here) (and here’s how to pray the Rosary):

The Annunciation by Gabriel to Mary (yesterday’s feast!)
The Visitation of Mary to Her Cousin Elizabeth
The Nativity of Jesus
The Presentation of the Baby Jesus in the Temple
The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

Names associated with the Joyful Mysteries might include:


Angela, Angeline, Angelica, Archangela, Angel — the angel names all point to St. Gabriel

Annunziata — an Italian name referring to the Annunciation

Annunciación — a Spanish name referring to the Annunciation

Christina, Christine, Christiane/a, Kristin, etc. — the Christ- names refer to Jesus in the last three Mysteries

Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Elise, Elisa, Eliza, etc. — for St. Elizabeth, Our Lady’s cousin

Emmanuelle, Emmanuella — for Jesus, especially in the Nativity

Felicity, Felicitas — means “happiness,” for the Joyful Mysteries

Fiat — for Our Lady’s agreement to what Gabriel announced (“let it be done”); Amy suggested Fiat recently, and suggested the particular first name-middle name combo Marian Fiat

Gabrielle, Gabriela — for St. Gabriel

Jane, Joan, Jo(h)anna — for St. John the Baptist, who leapt in his mother’s womb for joy at being in the presence of his Unborn Savior

Josephine, Josefa — for good St. Joseph

Joy, Gioia — means “joy” in English and Italian, respectively

Joyce — behindthename says it originally came from a name meaning “lord,” and that its more recent popularity may be related to its similarity to the Middle English word for “to rejoice.” “Lord” or “rejoicing” — it’s all good for a Joyful Mysteries name!

Mary, Maria, Marie, etc. — for Our Lady, of course

Natalie, Natalia — literally refers to Christmas Day

Noel, Noelle — French for “Christmas”

Presentación — a Spanish name referring to the Presentation

Seraphina, Serafina, Seraphine — refers to the angels (specifically the seraphim, but I think the angelic meaning is what most people think of)




Angelo, Angel — see the Angel names above

Annunziato — see Annunziata above

Baptista, Baptiste, Battista, Bautista — alone or in combination with a John name, for St. 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)

Christian, Christopher — see the Christ- names above

Emmanuel — see Emmanuelle above

Felix — see Felicity above

Gabriel — of course!

Jesús — it’s not considered reverent to use the name of Jesus in English, but it is in Spanish

John — for St. John the Baptist

Joseph — see Josephine above

Noel — see Noel above

Ryan — means “little king,” which especially calls to mind the Baby Jesus

Seraphim — see Seraphina above

What others can you add to this list? (There are lots more Christmas names, which I’ve posted about a few times — I just included the ones here that seemed particular to what I think of when I’m meditating on the Mystery of the Nativity.)

+ My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. +

Names for the Glorious Mysteries

It’s Easter Tuesday!! Hallelujah and hurrah!! ❤ 😀 ❤

It’s the perfect Tuesday to continue the Mysteries of the Rosary series with a post about names for the Glorious Mysteries! If you remember, last week I posted about Sorrowful Mystery Names, and you were all so great with your comments! Lots of good ideas there!

These are the Glorious Mysteries (read more here) (and here’s how to pray the Rosary):

The Resurrection of Our Lord
The Ascension into Heaven
The Descent of the Holy Spirit
The Assumption of Mary
The Coronation of Mary

Names associated with the Glorious Mysteries might include:


Assumpta, Assunta, Asunción — a traditional girl’s name referring to the Assumption

Anastasia — means “resurrection”

Corona — means “crown,” for Our Lady’s Crowning

Dominica, Dominique — from Dominic, which is from Latin for “of the Lord,” and was traditionally given to a baby born on a Sunday

Evangeline — means “good news”

Gloria, Glory — the glory of Easter! And the Glorious Mysteries!

Jemima — means “dove,” for the Holy Spirit

Magdalene/a, Madel(e)ine — for Mary Magdalene, who was the first to see the Risen Christ

Mary, etc. — any of the Mary names would be a perfect nod to the Marian mysteries

Paloma — means “dove”

Pascale, Pascaline, Pasqualina — means “related to Easter”

Regina — means “queen,” for the Crowning of Our Lady

Renata, Renée — means “reborn”

Salome — one of the women who discovered the tomb was empty

Vida, Vita — means “life”



Aidan — from a name meaning “fire,” for the Holy Spirit’s tongues of fire

Ambrose — means “immortal”

Cináed (often anglicized as Kenneth) — means “born of fire”

Colum, Columba — means “dove,” for the Holy Spirit

Dominic — see Dominica, Dominique above

Emmaus — Jesus met Cleopas and another on the road to Emmaus after the Resurrection (so like Emmett!)

Ignatius — connected to the Latin ignis, which means “fire”

Jonah — means “dove”

Paschal, Pascal, Pascoe — see Pascale, Pascaline, Pasqualina above

Renatus, René — see Renata, Renee above

Stephen — means “crowned”! How great is Stephen as a nod to Our Queen!

Vitus, Vitale/y — see Vida, Vita above


What others can you add to this list? (The Holy Spirit names came from this post; I only included the ones that seemed particularly connected to the Descent of the Holy Spirit.)

+ Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Let us praise and exalt him above all forever. +

Names for the Sorrowful Mysteries

A few weeks ago Shelby suggested a post on names for the Mysteries of the Rosary, which I loved right away — what a great idea! So every Tuesday for the next four weeks, I’m going to post on a particular set of Mysteries, starting today with the Sorrowful Mysteries, which is so apt for Holy Week, and also for yesterday’s attacks in Brussels. Suffering Jesus, help us.

In case you need a refresher, these are the Sorrowful Mysteries (all referring to Jesus’ Passion and Death) (read more here):

The Agony in the Garden
The Scourging at the Pillar
The Crowing with Thorns
The Carrying of the Cross
The Crucifixion

And here’s how to pray the Rosary.

Shelby and Mary-Agnes both offered some ideas, and I’ve spent the last couple weeks jotting down some more as I thought of them — there are a good few!


Cruz — cruz is Spanish for “cross” and refers to the Cross of the Crucifixion; used for boys and girls

Dolores — Spanish for “sorrows,” traditionally used for Our Lady of Sorrows (María de los Dolores) and here could refer to both her and to the Sorrowful Mysteries, or to the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows) — the name for the path in Jerusalem Jesus walked on his way to the Crucifixion

Gethsemane — the name of the garden where Jesus suffered His Agony; behindthename lists it as a female name

Magdalen(e/a), Maddelana, Madeleine/Madeline — Mary Magdalene was at the foot of the Cross

Maricruz — a Spanish contraction of María and Cruz

Mary — Our Lady was at the foot of the Cross

Olivia, Olive — for the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (an olive grove); the nickname Via for Olivia would bring in an added nod to the Via Dolorosa (see Dolores above)

Pilar — a Spanish girl’s name meaning “pillar,” which can be a nod to the Scourging at the Pillar (it’s a Marian name referring to the unrelated title María del Pilar — Our Lady of the Pillar, from a Spanish apparition)

Regina — meaning “queen” (or perhaps “royalty” would be the better sense here) because of the Crowning with Thorns

Ruby — “red,” for Jesus’ Blood poured out for us in His Passion and Death

Scarlett — same as Ruby

Veronica — she wiped Jesus’ Face during the Carrying of the Cross



Cruz — cruz is Spanish for “cross” and refers to the Cross of the Crucifixion; used for boys and girls

Cyrene — Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry His Cross

Dismas — the name traditionally given to the repentant thief crucified next to Jesus

John — John the Beloved Disciple was at the foot of the Cross with Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene

Oliver — see Olivia/Olive above

Rex, Regis — meaning “king” because of the Crowing with Thorns; see Regina above

Simon — see Cyrene above

Tristan — often considered to mean “sad” because of its similarity to Latin tristis (sad)


What others can you add to this list?

+ For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. +