Announcing… The Luminous Mysteries!

Guys.

It’s here. At last.

The Luminous Mysteries.

The Luminous Mysteries, by Karina Tabone. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
This is what the cover looks like! Isn’t it pretty? It features William Blake’s “The Last Supper.”

It’s available for pre-order on Amazon (psst, that’s an affiliate link!) and Barnes and Noble, and honestly it’s very beautiful. It goes prayer by prayer through the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, each prayer illustrated with a beautiful religious artwork from our rich heritage.

The hardcover version will be released on November 13, and the paperback version of this book and all the other books will be released on November 20.

Karina Tabone holding up The Luminous Mysteries. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
This is a picture of me holding the hardcover test copy in my hands, and CAN YOU TELL THAT I’M EXCITED? BECAUSE I’M EXCITED.
Let’s backtrack a bit…

About two years ago when I started this project, I had no idea what it would blossom into. When I first started this project back in October 2016, I was juggling between a two-year-old and an infant and trying to maintain some semblance to a prayer life. And, when I say that I was trying to maintain some semblance to a prayer life, I mean struggling to find any time to pray at all.

Once, when I was in perpetual adoration with both of my children and trying to entertain my two-year-old with the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary while trying to keep my six-month-old asleep, and failing miserably at it, a thought occurred to me. My two-year-old could keep still for hours if I read her books, just as long as the books had pictures. If I had a book that illustrated the Rosary, prayer by prayer, I could have a fighting chance to pray the Rosary!

At the time, I didn’t find any of those books. But, I had experience in both graphic design and publishing. So, I dusted off my ancient computer that had graphic design software. I started collecting lots of religious artwork. And I started making these books.

First, I started with The Joyful Mysteries, which became an especially dear project when I realized that I was pregnant halfway through making the book. Then, I made The Sorrowful Mysteries, just in time for Lent… and the birth of my third child. Then I released The Glorious Mysteries on the first year anniversary of this website! And now, almost a year after I published the first book, I am about to release The Luminous Mysteries.

The last book of the Illustrated Rosary series.

Aren’t they beautiful?

The stories

One of the best things about being an author is that I get to hear stories from people telling me how much these books have touched their lives in some way.

I’ve heard from parents who have used this book with their children.

  • One mom said that she was able to pray the Rosary all the way through for the first time ever with her two-year-old son in her lap.
  • Another mom told me that she bought only The Joyful Mysteries to pray the Rosary with her kids, and now she jokes that she needs the next couple of books because now her kids only want to pray the Joyful Mysteries!
  • Several mothers of infants who are too tired to even think straight from caring for their demanding infant who use these to pray the Rosary during those late night feeding sessions.

And it’s so wonderful hearing these stories from other people, because, honestly, I’m right there with you. Just the other night when my own baby decided to stay awake past midnight, so I settled down on the floor and read through the prayers while she climbed on all over me. And it’s so gratifying seeing that other people — not just me! — find these books to help them meditate on Jesus, as well.

And I love the fact that godparents are starting to gift these books as Christening gifts — honestly, it’s difficult to figure out what to get for an infant who is to be baptized. And yet, this is the book that I would have wanted when I first had a child. After all, finding the time to fit in personal prayer while taking care of an infant constantly is difficult. And this book helps.

But, it’s not just parents in the midst of taking care of young children who have contacted me about the books. Because, honestly, while the books were inspired for my children, they were made to be beautiful and timeless so that everyone would be able to appreciate, adults included! And I’ve heard from many adults who have used these books too…

  • One man said that he had never really understood how to pray the Rosary, or what to meditate on, until he looked at my books. And then everything clicked.
  • One woman said she used the book to explain the Rosary to her parents, who are not Catholic, so they could understand the devotion better and see that it was quite scripture-based.
  • One couple said they used it to pray the Rosary together for a 54-day novena as they discern their own possible future together.
A peek inside

This book was incredibly fun to make! I’ll talk about some of the stories of how I made this, plus show you some of the pictures that I’ve used in the coming weeks, but for now! Here’s a quick peek inside…

Remember when I said that every prayer of the Rosary is illustrated? By every prayer, I really mean every prayer. Even the introductory prayers of the Rosary get their own special illustrations! It starts off with imagery of St. John the Baptist! After all, he is the one who was the prophet who foretold Christ, and even pointed Christ out to the people! Here is a depiction of him directing people to Christ:

Here's a peek at one of the full pages in the Introductory prayers, in which Christ appears in the distance and St. John the Baptist points him out.
Here’s a peek at one of the full pages in the Introductory prayers, in which Christ appears in the distance and St. John the Baptist points him out.

With that begins the Baptism! Every mystery starts out with an in-depth scripture passage to read and meditate on before the prayers begin.

A sneak peek from the new book, The Luminous Mysteries, by Karina Tabone. Here is a lovely image that illustrates the scripture of the Baptism! Just as the gospel speaks of God's glory descending on Jesus, so we can see a depiction of God's glory in the art! Via IllustratedPrayer.com
Here is a lovely image that illustrates the scripture of the Baptism! Just as the gospel speaks of God’s glory descending on Jesus, so we can see a depiction of God’s glory in the art!

After every scripture passage, the decade begins with an Our Father. Every Our Father gets a full-paged artwork like this. And, considering that the book is 8 by 10 inches, it is quite a large and beautiful picture!

Sneak Peek at the Luminous Mysteries - The Wedding at Cana. This is a picture by Vasari of the Wedding at Cana, featuring the Lord's Prayer! Vasari was quite an artist by his own right, but he is known mainly as an art historian and his books about art are still studied today for art history today! Via IllustratedPrayer.com
This is a picture by Vasari of the Wedding at Cana! Vasari was quite an artist by his own right, but he is known mainly as an art historian and his books about art are still studied today for art history today!

Then the Hail Mary prayers! Each Hail Mary prayer is in its own page, with an artwork that accompanies it. Here are two pages that illustrated the next mystery, The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God:

Sneak Peek of The Luminous Mysteries - The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. For the mystery of the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, I chose pictures, both of Christ preaching and of Christ ministering and performing miracles to the sick. After all, it was through His preaching and ministry in which He fully manifested Himself as the Messiah! Via IllustratedPrayer.com
For the mystery of the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, I chose pictures, both of Christ preaching and of Christ ministering and performing miracles to the sick. After all, it was through His preaching and ministry in which He fully manifested Himself as the Messiah!

Did I mention there are a lot of Hail Mary prayers in the Rosary? Here’s some that illustrate the next mystery, the Transfiguration!

Sneak Peek at The Luminous Mysteries by Karina Tabone - The Transfiguration. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
There were SO MANY artworks of the Transfiguration based on Raphael’s iconic image, which you can see to the right! Also, the left artwork is a family coat of arms that features a donor praying a Rosary, almost five hundred years before the Luminous Mysteries were added to the Rosary.

Every Glory Be and Fatima prayer, which ends every decade of the Rosary, is illustrated with a full page spread of an artwork. Here’s a same spread that depicts the last mystery of the Luminous Mysteries: The Institution of the Last Supper.

Sneak Peek at The Luminous Mysteries by Karina Tabone - The Transfiguration. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
Here’s the full page artwork depicting the Last Supper by Juan de Juanes! Isn’t it stunning?! Every halo of the saints contains their name, so you know who each of the disciples are. Except for Judas, who has no halo… he’s sitting on his name.

Remember how I said that every prayer was illustrated? That includes the ending prayers as well!

Sneak peek at The Luminous Mysteries, by Karina Tabone - The Concluding Prayers. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
For these prayers, I decided to choose a type of artwork that is entitled: “Christ Takes Leave of His Mother.” While not in scripture, it is a depiction of Christ saying goodbye to His mother, just before the Passion… a poignant image that segues beautifully into the Sorrowful Mysteries.

Like I said, it’s beautiful, isn’t it? It’s even prettier in person too! The white strips that you see on the screenshots between the two different pages aren’t there at all, and the pictures are so large that it’s easy to get lost in the art and immerse yourself more fully in Christ’s life.

Which is the whole point of the Rosary: to immerse yourself in Christ’s life.

The Luminous Mysteries are now available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, along with all the other books in the Illustrated Rosary series. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed making them! I pray that these books inspire you to reflect and meditate on Jesus Christ and help you pray the Rosary. And I hope that you will never stop reflecting on the glory of God.

God bless!

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of three, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer

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