Aid to the Church in Need
We are all conscious of the extremely worrying political situation throughout the world today. For a long time now it has no longer been a matter of purely national conflicts.
Many regions around the world have become a powderkeg, which could so easily erupt into a worldwide military conflict.
What can we do as Christians in this situation, even though we hold no positions of political power or responsibility? St John Chrysostom, the great Doctor of the Church, boldly remind us: „The man who prays holds the helm of history in his hand.’
And so, as we did last year, the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is once again inviting all parents, teachers and educators around the world to associate themselves with the worldwide prayer initiative „A million children praying the Rosary’ on 18 October 2018 at 9am (or at any other suitable time of day) and pray the Holy Rosary with the children under your care, for unity and peace in the world.
In many places the normal school timetable will be suspended for half an hour for this purpose. This prayer initiative first began in Venezuela in 2005 with a small group of parents and their children. In their minds were the words of Saint Padre Pio, who famously said: „If a million children pray the Rosary together, then the world will change.’ In this way not just one million children, but many millions of children throughout the world will be joining together on this particular day in the month of October – the month of the Holy Rosary – to call down a little more heaven upon our earth. For did not Our Lord say, „Let the little children come to me ... for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 19:14)?
How often has experience shown us that the prayers of children especially have great power with God. In our letter to the children we have given an example of this in the description of the remarkable miracle that occurred on 14 April 1886 in Jaffa in the Holy Land, through the intercession of Saint Maria Alphonsina Ghatta – a miracle attested by the most detailed eyewitness accounts of those who witnessed it.
Together with a group of children she prayed the Rosary, fervently interceding for the life of 12-year-old Nousseira Habib, who had fallen into a well while drawing water and appeared to have drowned. Following the miraculous recovery of this little girl, her entire family became Catholics and Nousseira herself continued till the end of her life to bear witness to the power of the Holy Rosary.
Something that no amount of human effort and striving could achieve was brought about by God, thanks to the prayer of the Rosary, recited by the children and their teacher, Saint Maria Alphonsina. Can we not likewise muster today something of the faith that this sister demonstrated, and encourage our own children to pray with us for peace in the world?
May Our Blessed Lady give you the courage and fervour to join with us in faith and take part in this prayer initiative – which will undoubtedly bear fruit in peace and unity.