Pope John Paul II has added five new decades to the Rosary today - the 24th anniversary of his election as Pope. The new prayers are believed to be the only modification to the Rosary since it was introduced in the 13th Century by St Dominic. The Pope announced the changes during his general audience with the crowds in St Peter's Square today. He also offered a prayer to the Virgin Mary "so that I can carry out to the end the mission that has been given to me". He said: "We must rediscover the profound mysticism contained in the simplicity of this prayer, dear to popular tradition." The new 'mysteries of light', to be said on Saturdays - highlight five more events in the life of Christ. These are: His baptism; the wedding feast at Cana where he transformed water into wine; his proclamation of the coming of the kingdom of God; the Transfiguration, when God commanded the apostles to listen to Christ and the institution of the Eucharist. "This addition of these new mysteries, without prejudice to any essential aspect of the prayer's traditional format, is to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary's place within Christian spirituality," the Pope writes in his letter announcing the change.
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