In February of 1951, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1950 to 1966), in a radio address (The Catholic Hour), inaugurated a World Mission Rosary. “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 color to represent the continents.”
Praying this Rosary, Archbishop Sheen said, would “aid the Holy Father and His 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.”
What do the colors signify?
Each decade of that World Mission Rosary calls to mind an area where the Church continues her evangelizing mission: GREEN for the forests and grasslands of AFRICA; BLUE for the ocean surrounding the ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC; WHITE symbolizing EUROPE, the seat of the Holy Father, shepherd of the world; RED calling to mind the fire of faith that brought missionaries to the AMERICAS, and YELLOW, the morning light of the East, for ASIA.
“The Rosary is a prayer that always accompanies me; it is also the prayer of the ordinary people and the saints…it is a prayer from my heart.”
–Our Holy Father, Pope Francis
For further resources:
Our Missionary Childhood Association has created a brochure with information and prayers, and mysteries with missionary reflections that will help children of all ages learn more about the World Mission Rosary. (*Adobe Acrobat recommended. click on image to view and download PDF)
You can request free copies of the brochure to learn how to pray the rosary by getting in contact with our office via email email@example.com or calling us at (213) 637-7229.
World Mission Rosary Pamphlet (English or Spanish)
Ideas to pray the World Mission Rosary:
Pray a novena with families and children at your parish or Catholic School.
Image of the Virgin Mary at a Novena at Christ the King Parish, Los Angeles
Organize a living rosary for the month of October or May.
Religious Education students from Christ the King Parish doing a Living Rosary
Spend time praying the rosary and have students get familiarized with the prayers during October–Month of the Missions and Month of the Rosary
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 (May 28, 2018)
Forms are in Adobe PDF format. (Download Adobe Reader)
Download the worksheet that students can color and read a small explanation of the colors of the World Mission Rosary. (PDF Version)
The Rosary and You Reflection (PDF Version)
Use the following videos to talk about the World Mission Rosary with children and youth in high school.