Aid to the Church in Need launches children’s rosary campaign for peace in Ukraine

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the Lord—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer 29, 11-14)

Dear friends,

THE CURRENT WAR SITUATION IN UKRAINE CAUSES US ALL MAJOR CONCERN AND FEAR FOR THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD. Millions of people are on the run, others must hide and suffer from violence, cold, hunger and hopelessness. This terrible distress, which now affects us so directly, especially in Europe, shows us once again the power of evil and the deadly drama that is also taking place in many other countries of the world, often completely unnoticed by the public.

But God has a plan of peace and salvation for all peoples of the earth. He wants to save us from evil and give us new hope. For this, we must open our hearts to Him, turn to Him with trust, follow His commandments and let ourselves be transformed by His love.

God came into the world more than 2000 years ago, through and in Mary. So it is, that He also wants to come to us today through Mary and give peace to the world. Mary, the humble handmaid of the Lord, was promised that she would “crush the head of the serpent” and defeat the demons with the power of Jesus´ suffering on the cross.” We should ask for peace from our Heavenly Mother, since God has entrusted the peace of the world to her,” said the little 9-year-old shepherd child of Fatima, St. Jacinta, before her death.

To prevent World War II, Our Lady at Fatima revealed the greatest peace plan of the 20th century to three children. Unfortunately, we have listened too little to our Mother’s requests and have been very slow to put them into practice. But the “Strategy of God” for peace and salvation in the world remains unchanged. That is why Pope Benedict XVI, in his homily before half a million pilgrims in Fatima on May 13, 2010, emphasized: “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. … Humanity has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror but failed in bringing it to an end.”

Our Lady of Kyiv

Unfortunately, these words today, in 2022, are more relevant than ever. Yet through our conversion and our prayer, many things can be prevented, or at least mitigated. That is why Our Lady reveals to us the sorrowful fate of the world! So that we can prevent it. This must be repeated again and again!

Pope Francis has called for prayer for Ukraine on several occasions. On March 6, for example, he said at the Angelus: “Let us pray together for Ukraine: […] Let us pray together, as brothers and sisters, to Our Lady Queen of Ukraine.”  Therefore, ACN would like to invite all children and adults who participate in the worldwide prayer campaign “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” each year on October 18 to a special “edition” of this prayer initiative for the peace in Ukraine.

This “special prayer campaign” is to take place until April 2, the day of the death of Pope St. John Paul II, whose motto was “Totus Tuus” (All Thine, Mary). He recognized the importance of the message of Fatima and consecrated the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984. Our Lady in Fatima asked the children already at the end of the first apparition on May 13, 1917, “Pray the Rosary daily!” On July 13, she asked again, “Pray the Rosary daily to obtain peace for the world and the end of war.” And in the last apparition of the Rosary month, October, Our Lady made an urgent plea to the human family, “I am the Queen of the Rosary. Continue to pray the Rosary!”

That´s why we invite you in a special way to pray with children in the coming days, in families, schools, parishes, at least one mystery of the rosary every day for peace in Ukraine and in the whole world. Through this worldwide “prayer chain” and through the purity and innocence of the children, we will experience much comfort, courage, help and peace that only God can give.

St. Padre Pio said: “If one million children will pray the rosary, the world will change.” He himself was called “a living Rosary” because he prayed the rosary incessantly. He called it his most effective “weapon,” which wins all battles against evil. Padre Pio described once a dream, about this:

“One evening, I was praying in the choir loft when I was disturbed by a loud yell. It came from the church square. I went over to the window and saw a howling, reckless crowd crying, ‘Down with Jesus! Down with Padre Pio!’ I withdrew and spoke to Our Lady about the situation. She gave me a little weapon, very little, so little that you could have hid it in your hair. I returned to the window and showed my weapon, dangling it back and forth. They all fell to the ground, as if unconscious. Later, I went to the window again and saw a tremendous crowd of people. I called out loudly, ‘Who are you?’ And they shouted back, ‘Long live Jesus! Long live Our Lady! Long live Padre Pio!’ I responded, ‘Oh, you are my spiritual children. Pray the rosary always and nobody will touch a hair on your head.’”

With this childlike trust in the powerful intercession of our Heavenly Mother, we also want to ask God for peace and unity in Ukraine and among all peoples through the “Special Campaign of Prayer – One Million Children Praying the Rosary.” We are all God´s children whom he has entrusted to the maternal protection of the Blessed Mother.

—Father Martin Barta, Ecclesial Assistant for Aid to the Church in Need-International

Our beloved heavenly Mother,

Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of Peace!

Through the intercession of the Little Shepherds of Fatima, Saints Jacinta and Francis, and the Servant of God Sister Lucia, we, little and poor children who still do not know much, ask you to obtain for us from Your Beloved Son, and our Lord Jesus Christ just peace all over the world.

We pray for all corners of our Earth where there is war, and especially for Ukraine.

Wipe away the tears of innocent people who experience hatred and violence.

We ask for the conversion of sinners, who do not know yet your motherly love and the love of Your Son Jesus.  We consecrate to your Immaculate Heart the whole world, especially Ukraine and Russia.

We want to pray the Rosary every day, practice small sacrifices, to the best of our abilities and, together with our Parents, celebrate services in reward to Your Immaculate Heart on the First Saturday of each month.

Queen of Peace, pray for us!

Your loving children