As we entered May, a month that the Catholic Church has devoted to Mary since the 18th century, Bishop Robert Barron launched a prayerful initiative. On May 1, the prelate called on Catholics the world over to pray the Holy Rosary for the Blessed Mother’ intercession for all those who have fallen away from the Catholic faith, so they “may return to the Church with a renewed understanding of God’s love and mercy.”
Bishop Barron announced the initiative on Word on Fire, a Catholic media organization the prelate himself founded in 2000, where he presented Catholics with the call to prayer in a brief video:
“Evangelization must be grounded in prayer,” Bishop Robert Barron, of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, said in the Word on Fire announcement. “The Rosary is a powerful contemplative practice that quiets the mind and draws us into the depths of our faith. United around this common intention, we can pray specifically for the people we know who have left the Church, and also ask for the strength and wisdom we need to be effective evangelizers in our families, workplaces, and communities.”
Goal already reached and more
The stated goal of this initiative was for the faithful pray the Holy Rosary 10,000 times throughout the month of May. Now it seems that Bishop Barron may have underestimated the goal, because Catholics around the world have already reported praying so many Rosaries that they have blown past the goal to practically double it in just the first week of May. According to Word on Fire’s Rosary tracker, the count stood at 21,578 by May 5.
The tracker, which includes a world map with markers placed wherever Rosaries were reported having been completed, shows prayers coming from six different continents. The majority of Rosaries have been prayed in North America and Europe, two areas where Word on Fire is most popular, but many more have come from South America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.
While the goal of 10,000 prayers has already been surpassed, the initiative will continue through the entire month of May, giving Catholics around the world a chance to see exactly how far past the goal they can bring the total. Participation is free and as easy as praying the Holy Rosary and then visiting Word on Fire, where one must submit their first name, location, and email address.
Below the Word on Fire’s tracker, participants are given an option to donate to Word on Fire to support its cause, with different Rosary-themed gifts for each level of donation. Visit Word on Fire today to learn more and join Catholics worldwide in praying the Rosary this May.