The Mission Rosary links two major concerns of our church: prayer and apostolate. The rosary is a traditional form of prayer, which combines remembrance, praise and petition. It remembers the events of Salvation History, and is in fact the memorial of Christ's mission. The Mission Rosary is a tool that reminds us through prayer of our responsibility to share that Good News with all the nations.
What is the World Mission Rosary?
The World Mission Rosary was envisioned by Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, then the national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, in 1951. He made the request on a radio show that his listeners "Embrace the world in prayer." To do so he introduced this Rosary.
Its uniqueness is in the five colors represented in each of the decades. Color symbolism in a rosary is a gentle reminder on which to focus our prayers.
This rosary honors the work of mission, our call to be missioners, and world unity and peace through its special emphasis on each of the Earth's regions, where prayers are needed and our brothers and sisters in Christ live and play and pray just like each of us! Each region is represented by a different color, it is not only a beautiful rosary, but rich in symbolism.
How do you pray the Mission Rosary?
The Mission Rosary can be prayed in the same way that you would pray any other Rosary, be that in a group, with your family or individually. As you do so, simply keep in mind the area and other people of the world that each decade's color represents, and perhaps offer a special petition relating to that area after you announce the mystery.
The Mission Rosary can also be prayed in a special way, using the "Mission Mysteries" developed by Maryknoll.
These mission mysteries are:
The visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1)
Jesus talks with the Samaritan woman (John 4:23)
Jesus cures the centurion's servant (Luke 7:9)
The conversion of Paul (Acts 9:20)
Jesus sends out His disciples (Luke 9:6)
Get your own Mission Rosary
Mission Rosaries can be purchased from religious goods stores. (note: different makers may arrange the colors in different order)
What are the colors/areas of the Mission Rosary?
Green - for the forests and grasslands of Africa (green is also a sacred color for the Muslims)
Red - calling to mind the fire of faith that brought missioners to the Americas (US, Canada, Latin America and Native Americans)
White - symbolizing Europe, the home of the Holy Father
Blue - for the ocean surrounding the Islands of the Pacific (Australia/Oceana)
Yellow - symbolizing the morning light of the East and 'beginning of civilization' for Asia/ Middle East
Note: These colors do not need to go in any particular order in the making of the Rosary.