Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the international Vatican-sanctioned pontifical foundation, is inviting all parishes, schools, and families to take part in the annual prayer event, “One Million Children Praying the Rosary.” The October 18 event will draw kids from all over the world for a day of prayer inspired by the words of Padre Pio: “When a million children pray the Rosary, the world will change.”
This year’s campaign will focus on guardian angels, and to that end ACN encourages children to reflect on the biblical passage in which Joseph is visited by an angel, in a dream, and warned to flee to Egypt. It was thanks to God’s messenger that Joseph was able to take prompt action and protect the life of the infant Jesus.
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, president of ACN, explained the importance of guardian angels, noting that praying to our guardian angel is a Catholic tradition of centuries:
“It is imperative that our world recovers the concept of guardian angels, to whom we can turn for help, so that we may clearly recognize and distinguish the many different challenges of our time. Shouldn’t we start teaching our children the prayer to the guardian angel, which was such a staple of the Church’s life for many centuries?”
The announcement went on to note that this year’s intentions will include an end to war, violence, and poverty in places like Ukraine, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Pakistan. ACN wishes to entrust these intentions to God through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, with the plea that all people may be allowed to live in peace.
To support children of all ages in praying the Rosary, ACN has provided a resource page in which kids can learn each prayer for each bead. As a bonus, there is a full color comic-style page that portrays the journey of Joseph.
ACN provides the frames in black and white so the little ones can color them in on their own. This valuable free resource is available in 11 languages.
Last year’s event drew more than 800,000 children registered to pray the Rosary worldwide. This year, while it’s still early, only around 18,000 have signed up with their intentions to pray with ACN. The website includes an interactive map that tracks where the prayers are coming from around the globe.
Cardinal Piacenza encouraged all children to participate in “One Million Children Praying the Rosary,” and reiterated the importance of the Catholic prayer:
“The Rosary is highly valued by God, and praying it is more necessary than ever, for two reasons: firstly, because the Mother of God asked for it specifically in the apparitions that have been approved by the Church! Secondly, because it is part of the experience of the Church, and of many of its saints, as confirmed by the Magisterium and in keeping with the senitivity of our Christian faith.”