“One of the Most Important Projects of pastoral widespread effect in Brazil.” It is the initiative which is mobilizing thousands of men in Brazil. They gather weekly to pray the Rosary with the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt as the standard-bearer.
Emergence of the Proposal
It emerged in the northeastern part of Brazil as an activity undertaken by the men who accompanied their wives to the conferences they had as missionaries (coordinators) of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign. Not knowing what to do with the time on their hands while their wives were at the conference, the idea emerged to pray the Rosary as a means of spiritually accompanying their wives in the apostolate they were undertaking. All of this in the shadow of the Shrine of Olinda.
The proposal also has a very concrete mission to conquer and motivate the masculine religious spirit.
A proposal which grew
The best data to demonstrate the power of this masculine prayer dates back to the Second National Conference for Men’s Rosary Prayer Groups. In Geraldao, approximately 14,000 men belonging to the more than 200 groups, gathered in December of 2010, to share their faith and Marian devotion. The First National Conference had taken place in Olinda, Perambuco in June of 2005, with 9,000 men participating, and in 2007, the third conference took place in Fortaleza in November. At present there are approximately 300,000 men who gather in different localities, not only in the northeastern part of Brazil, but in important cities like San Pablo and in the southern part of the country.
The Rosary is only masculine
The initiatives of popular devotion exclusively for men are not frequent in the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, the man continues to have a fundamental role in society and the family. Therefore, the proposal of this group intends to offer a space within the bosom of the Church for the growth of the man to “to better fulfill his fatherhood and his Christian mission.” Praying, cultivating his spirit, man can again occupy the place of pastor and teacher, following the example of Christ.
Another of the virtues of these groups is to facilitate the encounter among peers, the building up of sincere attachments of friendship and thus strengthen their roles as fathers and husbands. There lies the reason for an exclusively masculine prayer.
A Rosary united to Don Joao
It was also in Brazil where the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign came forth…..from the work of Deacon Joao Pozzobon, one of the great “men of the Rosary.” Therefore, those who participate in the Rosary for Men have in Don Joao a model to follow. The love and respect for him are for many a fundamental element for the success of this similar campaign.
During the Rosaries, they pray intensely for his process of canonization and they distribute pamphlets about his life and Work. In spite of the fact that the prayer groups function in the parishes of each diocese, the Shrine is the support for the entire initiative. At each conference, the Blessed Mother is received by those present with a solemn entrance. Simultaneously, Marian devotion wants to be accompanied in the Men’s Rosary with the closeness of Jesus and his Word. During the Rosaries, the Gospel of the day is read and meditated upon.
Faith which is transmitted in works
The men of the Rosary are also men of action. The proposal of these groups also includes visiting the sick in the hospital and the collection of food and clothing for the poor.
The Prayer Groups of Men’s Rosaries first emerged in Maceió where the Rosary is prayed monthly. From there it arrived in the Parrish Jaboatao dos Guararapes in Parnambuco and also in northeastern Brazil. But it was in the Shrine of Olinda, Recife where Marian pilgrimages were formerly organized, that the initiative multiplied.
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