A MILLION KIDS PRAYING TO HEAL THE WORLD

Hundreds of Filipino children prayed for peace in the midst of the conflict and violence that they are experiencing in their country and are witnessing in other parts of the world.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation, organized the One Million Children Praying the Rosary campaign last October 18, the feast of Saint Luke, the Evangelist.  The international campaign calls for children, ages 5 to 12, to say the Rosary on that day for world peace.

 

 

In the Philippines, a total of 40 dioceses, close to 1,300 parishes and 800 schools participated in this year’s celebration in solidarity with other children from some 80 countries.

Different schools organized their own special activities to teach children about the importance of the Holy Rosary. In Agusan del Norte province, soldiers joined schoolchildren while praying which served as a powerful and reassuring gesture for the students.

Meanwhile, the main event organized by ACN Philippines was held at the San Jose Academy, a school in Navotas, under the Diocese of Caloocan, that provides scholarship programs for the orphans of those killed by the government’s brutal war against drugs.  The Department of Social Welfare and Development estimates that about 18,000 children lost their parents from extrajudicial killings within the first six months of the government’s war on drugs.

Among these orphans is a 12-year old boy, who witnessed how armed men barged into their shanty in Navotas, and dragged his father out of their home in the middle of the night.  A few hours later, Joaquin Garbo was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds.  “They killed him.  They took him while he was asleep,” he shared while weeping.

When asked why ACN chose the orphans of the victims of the drug war to lead the rosary,  Jonathan Luciano, National Director of ACN Philippines said, “We wanted the children – these orphans – to be the agents of reconciliation, of unity and peace, so they were the ones who led the Rosary in this prayer campaign.”

Another prayer leader was a Grade 5 student, one of those orphaned by the war on drugs.  “I prayed that the killings would stop and justice be given to them and other victims,” she said.

Aside from praying for the victims of the war on drugs, students also prayed with child refugees in Aleppo, Syria, youth groups in Korea, and the displaced children from the war-stricken Marawi City who all joined the event by video.

ACN Philippines also introduced a new component to the prayer campaign called the ”One Peso Solidarity Project.”  Participants of the event were encouraged to donate a portion of their allowance to support projects that would alleviate the plight of children experiencing suffering and persecution.  Luciano quoted Saint John Paul II who said that the Rosary “is also a prayer for peace because of the fruits of charity which it produces.”

Speaking at the event, Reverend Father Jeronimo Cruz, school administrator of the San Jose Academy, said, “The inspiring picture of one million children praying the rosary and sharing whatever they have for those who are suffering and have nothing in life teaches us that peace and unity among peoples are possible only if we have the heart of a child – humble and trusting in the goodness of persons and the love and mercy of God.“

Father Jeronimo Cruz, who is also the vicar general of the Diocese of Caloocan, recognizes the power of a child’s prayer.  “The prayer of a child’s heart is a powerful force that can change the world.  Jesus assured us that to such children belongs the Kingdom of God, and unless we have the heart of a child, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” he added.

 

Dorothy Claro, ACN Philippines Volunteer

Message from our Ecclesiastical Assistant

The ACN Campaign for One Million Children Praying the Rosary for Peace and Unity is an invitation to God who is Love to come and dwell in the hearts of all, thereby uniting all people to live together and work for peace which in turn will bring happiness.

Why One Million? It could be more; it could be less. As long as we are one in asking God to fill everyone with His presence, so that everyone will live in love. And when St. Augustine said: “Love and do what you will”, he meant that a person who loves will not do anything that will hurt others, and a person who loves will always think of the good of others.

Why the Children? Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me…It is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.” I observed the simplicity, the fidelity and the humility of children manifested in the more than one thousand children praying the rosary during the ACN Campaign for One Million Children Praying the Rosary at the San Jose Academy in Navotas City, Philippines These childlike virtues inspire everyone to open their hearts and welcome God in their lives.

Why the Rosary? The Rosary is about the life of Jesus. On praying the Rosary , our Blessed Mother Mary brings Jesus to us. In praying the Rosary, our Blessed Mother Mary brings us to Jesus. In Jesus, we feel God’s presence in our lives. God’s presence will fill us with His love. His love will enable us to live in unity which will bring us peace which in turn will give us happiness.

 

FR. REYNALDO V. ROMERO,
Ecclesiastical Assistant,
ACN Philippines

Children pray for peace in the world 2017

On 18 October: “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” – October is the month of the Holy Rosary in the Catholic Church. This year, the prayer campaign is dedicated to the children in Syria, the innocent victims of a never-ending war.

The international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is calling for children to participate in the campaign “One Million Children Praying the Rosary”. Children of all ages throughout the world will gather on Wednesday, 18 October, at 9.00 a.m. local time (or, if this should not be possible, at some other time) to pray for unity and peace in the world. In many areas of the world, lessons will even be interrupted for half an hour so that the children ACN participate. This year’s prayer campaign is dedicated in particular to the children in Syria, the innocent victims of a never-ending war.

Children in the Philippines will join this activity through the initiative of the dioceses and religious communities all over the country. ACN Philippines has sent out packets to all the dioceses, communities and schools to encourage their children’s participation in this prayerful activity. ACN Philippines started the the One Million Children Praying the Rosary after it began its operation, as one of only two national offices in Asia.

The children’s rosary campaign was initiated in 2005 in Venezuela. The initiators have placed their faith in a quotation from St. Padre Pio, “When one million children pray the rosary, the world will change.” This gave the initiative its name. The response from all over the world has been great. Last year, children in 69 countries took part in the prayer campaign.

“In 2017 especially, the 100th anniversary of the appearances of the Queen of the Holy Rosary at Fatima, the best thing we ACN do for peace in this world is to take the message from heaven seriously. Is it not significant that God chose children in Fatima to be the recipients of the most momentous peace plan for the new age? The children understood the language of Our Lady and, most importantly, believed her words. Shouldn’t we be doing so much more to teach children and support them in playing a part in this peace plan, a plan that is more topical than ever today?” the president of the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, wrote in the invitation to participate in the prayer campaign.

Materials for the prayer campaign ACN be downloaded here: http://www.millionkidspraying.org