Maximum security prisoners and death row inmates in Zambia will receive booklets about the Rosary through a joint initiative of two U.K.-based charities.
A reported 1,600 copies of the booklet, created by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), will be distributed to prisoners in Kamfinsa State Prison and Kabwe Maximum Security Prison. The initiative is conducted by ACN and the charity Crown of Thorns in response to inmates’ requests for more information about the Rosary.
Lisa de Quay, chief executive of Crown of Thorns, told ACN the charity regularly receives many letters from prisoners, including those on death row. She said contact with the prisoners was probably established after a visiting chaplain distributed Crown of Thorns cards describing the rosary prayers.
“Inmates are usually family breadwinners, worried about the poverty and hardship that their crime has left their families suffering and too far from home for their families to visit,” de Quay explained.
“Although kindly treated, most inmates spend years in prison with only the clothes that they were arrested in, and with no soap, and with no blanket or sheet to cover themselves in through the cold months of the year, and (are) often rejected from their society through crime or disease.”
Sending Rosary cards to prisoners and the booklet is making a difference in their lives, she said.
“Their letters will surprise you, (they are) full of the great joy of contact, of being accepted, and of finding God,” she commented.
Another message of thanks came from a maximum security prisoner in Kabwe jail, who called the Rosary distribution “a lamp that one cannot hide under the table.” “It is a light of the world, a light that can be seen thousands of miles up and much farther on land. This light shines before people.
“How thrilling it is to be part of God’s work, shining out in this dark and corrupt world.
“For the love and faith you have for God’s people, I pray that God should bless you all, and that he gives you knowledge that you can share with me.”