One million rosaries of hope
October is the month of the rosary and the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is again inviting parishes, schools and families to take part in the worldwide initiative “One Million Children Praying the Rosary”, to be held on the 18th of this month. As Saint Padre Pio once said, “When one million children pray the rosary, the world will change.”
The purpose of the campaign is to pray worldwide for unity and peace. In light of recent events, the focus of this year’s edition will be on peace in the Holy Land.
From Australia to Argentina
On the website alone, more than 500 000 children living in more than 90 countries all over the world had signed up to participate in the event by 16 October. Children have joined from Australia (more than 12 000), the Philippines (more than 90 000), India (more than 14 000), Slovakia (more than 86 000), the United Kingdom (more than 46 000), Sierra Leone (2000), Canada (3400) and Argentina (more than 8 000), among others.
In Portugal, children will pray the rosary at the Chapel of the Apparitions, in Fatima. This will be broadcast live on the internet, radio and television. In Poland, around 70 000 children are planning to pray the rosary. Families, parishes and more than 270 schools and kindergartens will be participating in the initiative, and many children will gather for a communal prayer at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, in Zakopane.
In Brazil, a live television broadcast of children praying the rosary will be shown on two channels and about 1000 children will gather to pray at the Cathedral of Maringá, in southern Brazil. Four days prior, more than 50 residents of a children’s home that has received support from ACN will form a “human rosary” around the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
In Germany, Radio Horeb will broadcast an international rosary. The hour of prayer will feature children’s groups from Kibeho, in Rwanda; São Paulo, Brazil; Beit-Habbak, Lebanon; Fatima, Portugal and Munich, Germany.
Even in countries where Christians face tremendous challenges, such as Nicaragua, Nigeria, Qatar, Iran, Pakistan and Vietnam, children have declared their intention to take part in the rosary campaign by signing up on the website.
Angels are at the centre of this year’s campaign, which is why the children will learn about the passage from the Bible in which an angel appears to Saint Joseph in a dream and warns him to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus.
The beginnings and today’s growing interest
The children’s rosary campaign was initiated in 2005 in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. While a number of children were praying, several of the people present recalled the words that Saint Padre Pio once said about the power of children praying the rosary. Since then, the prayer campaign has spread to all continents of the world and the number of participants has increased every year. Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his approval of the “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” initiative and encourages children to take part.
The pontifical foundation has prepared a free prayer leaflet for parishes, children’s groups and families, which contains instructions on how to pray the rosary, child-friendly meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary and a Prayer of Consecration to Mary for children. There are also posters for the prayer campaign. The materials are available in 18 languages.
Are you planning to take part in “One Million Children Praying the Rosary”? Then sign up on the website and tell us about it on social media. Please don’t forget to tag ACN!