In many Catholic schools, the day begins with the prayer of the rosary. Getting children used to reciting the holy rosary means placing them in the school of Mary, the teacher of the Master; we shouldn’t be afraid to take away time from the lessons: those fifteen minutes help to put order in the minds and hearts of children, stimulating their ability to learn.
If the schools have the gift of an inside chapel with Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, the children can gather there once a week, in turns, following the guidelines given for the Prayer Nest in church.
Today, in most public schools, there are current regulations which restrict religious activities but, with a bit of imagination and with the Angels’ help, a way can be found to create a Prayer Nest.
Even though for many decades we have been living the marvels of grace which the Spirit accomplishes with children, we are always amazed each time we hear about news on the subject. This is the “amazement” we read about in the Gospels and which amazes especially people who live this experience which is transparent from the descriptions they make of it. Here are a few:
An elementary school teacher from Benevento (Italy), who we met in the school during the town mission, told us that after the encounter she continued to pray the rosary every day in her classroom with her students, saying the intentions every time: she was amazed at the miracles obtained by the children’s prayers, even some of the children’s relatives were healed of cancer.
“At Torre de’ Passeri (PE) the students get together regularly to pray the Holy Rosary. At first they didn’t even know what the Rosary was, but now they even teach it to their families: Gino, a 14-year-old gypsy boy, gets together with his mother and the other gypsies and together they pray the Rosary”. (Licia T. teacher – Mafalda (CB).
“Even a three-year-old little boy, Sebastiano, has joined the group, and he is so sweet. At first he used to listen and remain silent, then he asked me for the rosary because he had learned all the prayers and wanted to pray the Rosary aloud too. He is present every day in church. In the pre-school where I teach all the children pray the Rosary every day. They are four or five years old. It’s not true that they get tired: we started with only a decade of Hail Marys, but now they want to say all fifty of them”. (Mariella Balassone, teacher – Sulmona, AQ)
“Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting Sister Teodora at Baucina who convinced me to form Children’s Prayer Nests. Even though I felt this initiative entailed a great responsibility, I accepted and involved all the other elementary school teachers who work in the same field as I do. Our Armata Bianca is made up of kindergarten and elementary school children, in all about one hundred children.
On November 27, we began our “nest” at the feet of Jesus in the Eucharist and on Friday November 30, coinciding with the beginning of the Immaculate Conception novena, we had the first prayer meeting. We meet in church every Friday afternoon, but since we always try to involve all the children, we prefer to say prayers at school. Our goal is not only to consecrate all the children to the Immaculate Heart but to get them used to praying well”. (Stefania C., Baucina – PA)
“Rev. Father Andrea, the pre-school children have seriously committed themselves to pray for the needs of the Holy Father who suffers so much and for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Every day, in five groups, they pray the Rosary; the teachers explain the intention of the decade with the mystery. Then they have all learned spontaneous prayer, they say whatever comes from their hearts… A mother told us: Since the image of the Virgin Mary came into my hut, we began to pray the Rosary; my husband, who at night used to come home drunk, now prays with us, and he doesn’t drink anymore. We have rediscovered harmony and peace. The people in the village, who know about my situation, are amazed at our transformation and they want to know why. The Virgin Mary, by means of my five children, has saved my family and now we are happy. All the people in the village want to see the picture of Our Lady and pray the Rosary. My husband and I have organized the recitation of the Rosary by going from hut to hut and making the children of the Armata Bianca who consecrated themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the Father pray: it’s so nice to see them all together at night praying around the fire for our country, for the problems of each family and for peace in the world. The elderly, who pray intensely, seem rejuvenated and their eyes are full of light”. (Sister Angel, Karatina Mission, Kenya)