“Prayer is the first ‘missionary work’ – the first! – that every Christian can and must do, and it is also the most effective, even if this cannot be measured” Pope Francis (28 May 2018)
The months of May and October are special months on the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar, dedicated to the veneration of the Virgin Mary. The practice of special devotion during the month of May dates back to the 17th Century. The practice would become more common when in 1945, Pope Pius XII proclaimed May 31st as the feast day of the Queenship of Mary. This would later be moved to its current date of August 22nd in the Church calendar.
The month of October is dedicated as the month of the Most Holy Rosary by the Church with October 7th marking the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
October also marks that special time in the year when we remember the mission of the Church and the many Church members who commit their lives to the spreading of that mission. World Mission Sunday is on the penultimate Sunday in October each year. It’s the one Sunday in the year when the entire global Church comes together to pray for the missions and as their resources allow to practically support missionary work and projects worldwide.
We may think that only those who go overseas on mission work really have a mission. Pope Francis wants us to think of ourselves as missionaries. We can easily see that we influence the lives of one another not only by how we live but what we say and do. The reaching out to one another with the message of the gospel, with faith, hope and love is at the core of who we are as Christians. The Pope reminds us that we all are called to be missionaries, “every baptized man and woman is a mission.”
As October provides us with an opportunity to bring together our devotion Our Lady and support for the Mission of the Church, we would like to invite you to pray a ‘World Mission Rosary’ during the month of October, and while praying for all missions, to include a particular intention for the Salesian Mission around the world.
The initiative of the World Mission Rosary dates from February 1951 and Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. During a radio address he said: “We must pray, and not for ourselves, but for the world. To this end, I have designed the World Mission Rosary. Each of the five decades is of a different colour to represent the continents. Praying this Rosary would aid the Holy Father and his Pontifical Mission Society for the Propagation of the Faith by supplying him with practical support, as well as prayers, for the poor mission territories of the world.”
Why different colours?
Each decade of that World Mission Rosary calls to mind an area where the Church continues her evangelizing mission: Green symbolizes the forests and grasslands of Africa; Blue is the oceans surrounding the islands of the Pacific; White symbolizes Europe, home of the Holy Father, shepherd of the world; Red recalls the fire of faith that brought the first missionaries to the Americas; Yellow is for the morning light of the East, symbolizing Asia and the Middle East.
Each evening of October, @7:30pm Salesians will pray the World Mission Rosary live on YouTube and Facebook, please join us in prayer for the World.
You can download our Rosary pamphlet here: Rosary-pamphlet-2021