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 October 18.
The purpose of the 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.
“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?’” said Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, international president of ACN.
“Yes, He is,” said the cardinal. “But we must also reach out for His outstretched hands and cling to Him,” he added.
“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,” said Cardinal Piacenza in his invitation letter.
The poster for this year’s campaign features two opened hands enclosing the globe and supporting it along with the children of every continent.
The 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, said the cardinal.
He urged the faithful to entrust to the Lord the situations of war, violence and profound poverty in countries such as Ukraine, Nigeria, Myanmar, Pakistan, or regions such as the Middle East, and the Sahel, in Africa.
ACN 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 came precisely from the regions where peace is most necessary,” said Father Martin M. Barta, international ecclesiastical assistant to ACN.
“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,” he said.
“It gives us hope that the love that comes from faith can triumph over violence,” added the priest.
The prayer initiative “A million children praying the Rosary” dates 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.