Participants in World Youth Day 2019 – January 22-27 in Panama – will be able to pray the rosary with rosaries from Bethlehem.
“This initiative is essential because on the one hand encourages prayer, and the other helps to support our brothers in the Holy Land,” said Archbishop of Panama, Monsignor José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta to Aid to the Church in Need ACN). The rosary project is supported by the Pontifical Foundation.
With a contribution of 100 thousand euro, ACN has helped to give to young people who participate in Panama in 2019, a million crowns of the rosary.
“A gift already valuable itself is made even more special by the fact that the rosaries were made by Christian craftsmen in Bethlehem, which thanks to this project received substantial help in support of the Christian presence in the city where Jesus was born,” said the manager of ACN-Italy Alessandro Monteduro
More than 350 thousand Christians have left Bethlehem since the creation of Israel in 1948. This is closely linked to economic difficulties and high unemployment among Christians who are in the tourism sector, increasingly in crisis, and the unique forms used for the production of sacred items.
“The art of making pearl artifacts or olive wood is an ancient tradition imported by the Franciscan fathers in the fifteenth century and as well as being an important means of support, allows Christians to express their faith,” Monteduro said.
The approximately 200 Bethlehem families who for months have worked on the construction of a million rosaries for World Youth Day will be sustained for a full year. “I am grateful of the support received, but most are happy to know that hundreds of thousands of children in Panama will pray for peace, praying the rosary with wreaths made from them,” continued Monteduro.
As at previous World Youth Day, this year Aid to the Church in Need has supported numerous projects related to Panama in 2019 – a total of over 430 thousand euro – which include the distribution of thousands of Youcat and Docat in different languages and financing travel expenses for children belonging to dioceses in difficulty.