ABOUT THE PRAYER CAMPAIGN
The main aim of the prayer initiative “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” is to show that the trusting prayer of children can fly like an arrow straight to the heart of God and therefore has such great power. The worldwide common prayer of the rosary by children brings many graces upon the world and is a great blessing for families and the Church.
HOW DID IT START?
The idea for the campaign was born in 2005 in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. While several children were praying the rosary at a wayside shrine, some of the women present had a profound experience of the presence of the Virgin Mary. They immediately thought of Saint Padre Pio’s promise: “When one million children pray the rosary, the world will change.” And that is exactly what this is all about: trusting in the power of childlike prayer. Jesus teaches us: “Unless you become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 18:3).
Over the years since then hundreds of thousands of children have joined in this initiative, and we have received numerous moving testimonies from all over the world. They speak not only of the joy and zeal of the children, but also of how adults, who prayed with them, were themselves touched by grace and have begun to give the rosary a permanent place in their lives.
Why on the 18th of October?
October is for the Church in a special way the month of the rosary. On the 18th of October we celebrate also the feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist. It is he who has handed on to us the story of Jesus’s childhood and, according to tradition, he was closely associated to Our Lady, the Mother of God. So, this is a very appropriate day.
WHY HAS AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED BECOME INVOLVED IN THIS PRAYER CAMPAIGN?
We not only see ourselves as a pastoral charity, but also as a prayer community. In Fatima, Our Lady instructed the three visionary children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta to pray the rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world. The daily project work carried out by ACN in over 140 countries allows us to see first-hand just how greatly Christians and the entire world are suffering from the effects of poverty, terrorism and wars. God alone can bring peace. We can contribute to this – through concrete help, but first and foremost through our prayers.
THE MEANING OF THE ROSARY
As Pope St John Paul II wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation on the rosary, “The rosary is by its nature a prayer for peace, since it consists in the contemplation of Christ, the Prince of Peace, the one who is “our peace”. The rosary is also a prayer for peace because of the fruits of charity which it produces. By its nature as an insistent choral petition in harmony with Christ’s invitation to “pray ceaselessly”, the rosary allows us to hope that, even today, the difficult “battle” for peace can be won.”