WINDSOR TERRACE — In his last Angelus, Pope Francis invited children to participate together in a very special initiative. He spoke to the crowd gathered outside of St. Peter’s Square.
“Next Sunday, Oct. 18, the Aid to the Church in Need Foundation (ACN) is promoting the initiative ‘for unity and peace … one million children pray the rosary,’ ” Pope Francis said. “I encourage this event that involves boys and girls around the world, who pray especially for the critical situations caused by the pandemic.”
Thousands of children have already signed up on the rosary’s official website, millionkidspraying.org. On the site, an animated video, narrated by a young child, promotes the initiative.
“Can you imagine what would happen if a million children decided to ask for the same thing at the same time? Let’s pray for peace!” the child says.
“This Oct. 18 at nine in the morning, children around the world, let’s join in praying the rosary for peace: peace between countries; peace in families; peace in your hearts; in schools and kindergartens; hospitals and orphanages; in parishes and communities,” the child continues. “We invite you to join wherever children are to this global day of prayer. One million children praying for peace in the world. Children praying, holding Mary’s hand, can bring peace to the world.”
The initiative began in 2005 in Caracas, Venezuela, following the advice of Padre Pio, who used to say that, “when one million children pray the rosary, the world will change.”
Since 2008, ACN has been promoting the initiative all over the world. A map on the event’s website shows that participants are spread across all continents including more than 4,000 in Australia, more than 8,000 participants in India and more than 10,000 in the Philippines.
Even kids from Ghana and Papua New Guinea support it. “We invite all the children around the world to join that day,” the children said in a video.
Children can join together on Sunday, Oct. 18, from their parishes or homes, or on Monday, Oct. 19 from school. The website is providing downloadable resources for that day, including instructions on how to pray the rosary, drawings, and reflections. These materials can also be requested at the foundation’s national offices.
One priest from Aleppo, Syria, stated that, “united we will change the world. One million children praying the rosary will change the world.”