On Oct. 18, children around the world will pray for peace and unity in the world. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is calling on children worldwide to take part in the joint campaign “One Million Children Praying the Rosary.” As Pope Francis has designated the month of October as the Extraordinary Missionary Month, this year’s theme is: Mission.
“Traditionally, after all, October is the month of the Rosary and we also celebrate the feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist on October 18. He was the only evangelist to write about Jesus’s childhood and is traditionally thought to have had close ties to the Virgin Mary,” Father Martin Barta, ACN International Ecclesiastical Assistant, explained.
On October 18, at 9 o’clock in the morning—or at any other appropriate time— thousands of groups of children worldwide will pray the Rosary together.
“Each year we receive news from all over the world, telling us how children celebrated the day of prayer,” Father Barta was pleased to note. “It has truly become a prayer campaign for the Universal Church, which not only moves the hearts of children, but also those of adults and blazes a trail to peace!”
How the celebration is approached varies widely: some participants choose to pray the entire Rosary, others just in part. Some not only pray, but include a catechesis on praying the rosary, short readings and children’s hymns. Others invite the children to draw the Mysteries of the Rosary in addition to praying. In some places, teachers integrate time for prayer with regular lessons or interrupt their regular schedule for this special time of prayer.
The campaign came into being in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas in 2005. A group of women witnessed a number of children praying the Rosary at a wayside shrine; what followed was a profound experience of the presence of the Virgin Mary, thus giving rise to the movement. In keeping with the promise of Saint Padre Pio — “When one million children pray the rosary, the world will change.”
Aid to the Church in Need is inviting all Canadian children to participate in this great and unique event.