By Sarah Mac Donald - 30 April, 2016
The Primate of All Ireland has announced a rosary prayer initiative for the month of May in the archdiocese of Armagh as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The focus will, initially, be on school participation and Archbishop Eamon Martin indicated that he hoped that it would spread to families and others in the community.
“My intention is that across the Archdiocese as many young people as possible will learn to pray together a decade of the Rosary at 12 noon each day during the month of May.”
“Then, as if in a relay, they will pass on the story of the rosary to their families and friends.”
He said the aim of this Rosary Relay is to engage the pupils and staff in the mysteries of our faith and to be part of what Pope Francis has described as an ‘extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal’ in this Year of Mercy”.
Already many of the schools of the diocese have responded to Archbishop Eamon’s invitation to participate in the Rosary Relay during May.
To date the diocese has despatched 19,000 rosaries as well as 19,000 rosary prayer cards in readiness for 1 May.
Many children will also bring their own rosaries into school.
“While the Rosary Relay will begin in our schools, I am also inviting all the faithful of the diocese to pick up the Rosary Relay baton and pass it on to others,” Archbishop Martin explained.
He explained that social media will be used to spread information about the initiative and that the hashtag #RosaryRelay would be used to invite as many people as possible at home and in the community to say a decade of the Rosary themselves and then to pass on the invitation to their friends, colleagues and families.
He stressed that the diocese has prepared some excellent online resources to accompany the Rosary Relay and to help people who may not know, or may have forgotten how to pray the Rosary.
“I have always liked what the Dominicans teach about the Rosary – Rosarium magis est modus praedicandi quam orandi – that it is more than a method of prayer, but is also a mode of preaching. As the great Lacordaire put it: the Rosary is the Gospel on its knees!,” the Archbishop said on Friday.
In extending the invitation, he said he was mindful of what Pope Francis said about education of children in the faith in his recent Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia on love in the family.
He said ‘Children need symbols, actions and stories.’
“The Rosary has all of these things together – the wonderful symbolism of the Rosary beads, the stories contained in the Mysteries of the Rosary and the actions of offering a prayer,” Archbishop Martin said.
To assist schools new rosary resources, including an engaging video of the Mysteries of the Rosary aimed at children, have been made available on the diocesan website at www.archdioceseofarmagh.com
The Jubilee Year of Mercy, which was called for by Pope Francis, began on Sunday 8 December – the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and will conclude on Sunday 20 November 2016 – the Feast of Christ the King.