Pope Francis thanked children who joined the international prayer campaign “One million children praying the Rosary” that is sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need.
During the traditional Angelus on Sunday, October 16, the pontiff called on children all over the world to join the prayer event “for peace in the world.”
“To all the boys and girls who will be participating, thank you!” said the pope.
He also asked that through the intercession of Mary, participants in the initiative pray for the “martyred people of Ukraine, and all those who suffer from war, and all forms of violence and misery.”
The origins of the prayer initiative “A million children praying the Rosary” date back to the year 2005 when a group of children were praying the Rosary at a local shrine in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, and the adults who witnessed the scene were reminded of the words of Padre Pio: “When a million children pray the Rosary, the world will change.”
Since then, the campaign has spread rapidly and become a worldwide phenomenon.
This year, Aid to the Church in Need once again invited parishes, kindergartens, schools, and families to join in the annual prayer initiative that aims to ask for peace and unity throughout the world while encouraging children and young people to trust in God during difficult times.
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, president of ACN said that with “all the wars and wickedness, the persecution, disease, and fears that weigh upon our world, people might well ask, ‘Is God really in control?’”
“Yes, He is, but we must also reach out for His outstretched hands and cling to Him,” he said.
“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 the cardinal.