More than 840,000 people from 140 countries responded to Pope Francis’ appeal for children to join the “One million children praying the Rosary” initiative, promoted by Aid to the Church in Need.
This data only includes people registered on the ACN website, so the numbers are likely even higher because many people participated in the October 18 event without registering.
“We are very happy with the response. All over the world children and families came together to pray for peace, even in countries currently at war,” ACN International executive presiden Thomas Heine-Geldern said.
“The Greek Catholic Church of Ukraine, for example, informed ACN that the initiative was promoted in all its parishes and there were also pictures of children participating in Pemba, in Mozambique, which has been badly affected by terrorism over the past years.
“Some of the numbers are amazing, with Poland leading with almost a quarter of a million, followed by Slovakia with 190,000.”
In Australia, more than 40,000 people participated, marking a new record.
But while the numbers and statistics can give an idea of the scope of the “One million children praying the Rosary” campaign, ACN highlights that each prayer counts.
The origins of the prayer initiative date back to 2005, when a group of children were seen praying the Rosary at a local shrine in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.
Some of the adults who witnessed the scene were reminded of the words of Italian saint Padre Pio, who once said: “When a million children pray the Rosary, the world will change.”