7-February-2013 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Scottish cardinal marks Year of Faith with giant Rosary blessing

Scotland's Cardinal Keith O'Brien will bless a Rosary four feet in diameter to launch a Rosary campaign in honor of Pope Benedict's recently launched Year of Faith.

"I am very pleased to have been invited to bless this giant rosary and copies of the small ones now being sent out to schools and parishes across Scotland," said the cardinal, who is Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.

He said Catholics are "all called to prayer."

The colorful rosary has beads the size of tennis balls and a crucifix two feet high. It was made by staff and students at the Cardinal Newman High School in Bellshill, Lanarkshire. Cardinal O'Brien will bless the giant rosary at the high school on Feb. 8.

Isabelle Boyd, head teacher at the school, said the high school has "a great rosary tradition." Students and staff pray the rosary every Friday in the school's oratory at lunchtime.

"We see this as a great opportunity to boost the awareness of this accessible and easy-to-say form of prayer further among pupils, staff and parents in this Year of Faith," Boyd said.

The giant rosary is an enlarged version of the World Mission Rosaries that the organization Mission Matters Scotland is sending to parishes and Catholic schools to encourage the rosary as a form of daily prayer to benefit missionary regions. The rosaries include instruction cards to help people learn the Catholic devotional prayer.

The rosary campaign represents Scotland's participation in a world-wide prayer campaign organized by the Pontifical Mission Societies.

Cardinal O'Brien said Feb. 6 that Mission Matters Scotland's invitation to daily prayer "follows the great and proud tradition that we have as a nation of missionary work."

Father Tom Welsh, director of Mission Matters Scotland, said the different colors of the rosary decades represent different areas of the world.

He said the rosary is "an ideal way" to improve the prayer life of Scotland and to remind others of the importance of the missions.

"In this Year of Faith, when the Catholic Church is reaching out through its new evangelization, it's a simple and ideal way of re-introducing the rosary to Scotland at a time when the country and the world need prayer, and the benefits it brings, both at home and on the missions, as never before," Fr. Welsh said.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, President of the Scottish Bishops' Conference, has voiced support for the campaign. He said it "opens minds and hearts to the work of missionaries overseas" and encourages families and schools to "rediscover the great prayer of the rosary."

Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith for the Catholic Church from Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013. The observance is intended to encourage Catholics to strengthen their faith in God.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/World.php?id=6974#ixzz2KGAnxvDf

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