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)
Ideas to pray the World Mission Rosary:
- A Novena
- A living Rosary with your students
- Spend time praying the rosary and have students get familiarized with the prayers during October–Month of the Missions and Month of the Rosary
- Encourage families to pray the rosary together
Forms are in Adobe PDF format. (Download Adobe Reader)