.- More than 80,000 people have pledged to pray the Rosary daily, with their names recorded in a book presented to Pope Benedict XVI.
Father John Phalen, C.S.C., president of the Massachusetts-based Holy Cross Family Ministries, presented a book recording their pledges to the Pope in December during the Ecclesia in America international congress at the Vatican.
Fr. Phalen said the presentation was “a special opportunity.”
“It was an honor to present His Holiness with the book and ask his apostolic blessing on our ministry,” he said Jan. 3 statement.
The book contains the names of those from around the world who have pledged to pray the Rosary daily.
“There are even pledges in languages we can't understand, like some of those from India and Bangladesh,” Fr. Phalen said.
Family Rosary, a ministry of Holy Cross Family Ministries, marked its 70th anniversary in 2012. It collected the pledges as part of its campaign to gave out free rosaries to those who agreed to pray the Rosary daily. Many participants pledged to say the Rosary with their families.
The ministry asked participants in the campaign to pray for peace in accord with the wishes of the Virgin Mary. They are encouraged to post a pledge card in their homes to remind them of their promise.
The rosary campaign was begun in 1991 by Family Rosary founder Servant of God Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.
Fr. Peyton, known as the “Rosary Priest,” famously used the catchphrase “the family that prays together, stays together.” He drew inspiration from his father, who gathered his family to pray every evening.
Fr. Peyton founded Family Rosary in 1942 to help the family through prayer. He was one of the most influential American priests of the 20th century and pioneered Catholic evangelization in radio, movies, televisions and billboards. He died in 1992 and he is under consideration for sainthood .
Holy Cross Family Ministries employs 30 Holy Cross religious and about 125 laypeople worldwide. It has offices in 17 countries and provides rosaries to everyone who asks. The ministry, which is supported by free will donations, has given away more than 20 million rosaries.