International Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is once again inviting parishes, kindergartens, schools and families to join in the annual prayer initiative “A million children praying the Rosary,” which will take place on October 18 this year.
The purpose of this prayer campaign is to ask for peace and unity throughout the world, while encouraging children and young people to trust in God during difficult times, according to the international president of ACN, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza.
The poster for this year’s campaign features two open hands enclosing the globe and supporting it, along with the children of every continent. These hands symbolize the hands of the divine Father, who has created the world in love and who desires to save all peoples and bring them safely to Himself.
“Looking around at all the wars and wickedness, the persecution, disease and fears that weigh upon our world, people might well ask, ‘Is God really in control?,’” writes Cardinal Piacenza, in his text inviting people to participate in the initiative.
“Yes, He is,” Cardinal Piacenza answered, “but we must also reach out for His outstretched hands and cling to Him. God has reached out to us, through Mary … We believe that if we faithfully recite the Rosary together, then the holy Mother of God will lead us all as one great family into the loving arms of our heavenly Father.”
Concerned with the situations of war, violence and profound poverty that continue to exist in countries such as Ukraine, Nigeria, Myanmar, Pakistan, or regions such as the Middle East and the Sahel in Africa, ACN wishes to entrust, in a special way, all those places where people are unable to live in peace unto the powerful and loving hands of the divine Father, through the powerful intercession of the Mother of God.
The foundation considers the participation of different countries in past campaigns to have been most positive. In 2020, during the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father encouraged all people to join the initiative.
“Some of the most positive reactions we had come precisely from the regions where peace is most necessary. It is especially moving to know that there are children in Iraq, Syria, Belarus, or Myanmar praying along with those who gather in Fátima, Portugal, or in Canada, or the USA. It gives us hope that the love that comes from faith can triumph over violence,” says Father Martin M. Barta, international ecclesiastical assistant to ACN.
The ACN webpage offers free materials for those praying in parishes, schools, children’s groups and families. The free information pack contains instructions on how to pray the Rosary, short meditations for children on the Mysteries of the Rosary, an Act of Consecration to Our Lady for children, and a prayer to St. Joseph. The online information packs are available, together with coloring pictures, in 26 different languages. They can be downloaded here.
The origins of the prayer initiative “A million children praying the Rosary” date back to the year 2005, when a group of children were seen praying the Rosary at a local shrine in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, and some of the adults who witnessed the scene were reminded of the words of Padre Pio, who once said: “When a million children pray the Rosary, the world will change.” Since then, the campaign has spread rapidly and become a worldwide phenomenon.
This article was written by ACN’s María Lozano.