Sacred mysteries  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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The term sacred mysteries generally denotes the area of supernatural phenomena associated with a divinity or a religious ideology.

Pre-Christian religious mysteries

The mystery religions of antiquity were religious cults which required initiation before a participant was accepted. They included Eleusinian Mysteries, Mithraism, the Cult of Isis, and the Cult of Sol Invictus.

Mystery traditions were popular in ancient Greece and during the height of the Roman Empire, and may have influenced the introduction of sacred mysteries in Christianity.

Christian Mysteries

The term is used in Eastern Christianity to refer to what the Western Church currently calls Sacraments and Sacramentals. In the Early Church they were kept hidden from the pagans — the so-called Disciplina arcani — lest they become objects of ridicule. As the Age of Persecution ended, the secrecy was gradually relaxed. But the term continued to be used. Originally the term "Mystery" was used in both the East and the West, as shown from the "Mystagogical Homilies" of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and the work, "On the Mysteries" by St. Ambrose of Milan.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sacred mysteries" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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