Archbishop Eamon Martin promotes Rosary Sunday prayer initiative

26 Aug 2014

Archbishop Eamon Martin promotes Rosary Sunday prayer initiative

“I invite people to pray the Rosary for the intention of the ‘Family’ and thereby linking with those gathered in Rome for the Synod on the Family in October” – Archbishop Martin

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, spoke last Thursday 21 August at Knock Shrine about the Rosary Sunday initiative from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The bishops announced it following their June 2014 General Meeting in Maynooth to encourage the practice of this special and much loved family prayer.  This year marks the 135th anniversary of the Apparition at Knock.

Rosary Sunday will be celebrated in parishes across Ireland on Sunday 5 October next, the day on which the Church celebrates our ‘Day for Life 2014’.  It is the Sunday closest to the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and it coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Rosary Rally of Father Peyton and the Marian Year of 1954 (see below).  Archbishop Martin said, “this prayerful initiative has been scheduled to take place during October, the month in which the recitation of the Rosary is especially promoted”.

Archbishop Martin continued, “Rosary Sunday is an invitation to people in parishes, in homes, and in religious congregations to pray the Rosary for the intention of the ‘Family’.  The once-common tradition of the family Rosary links very well with the theme of the Synod on the Family in Rome which takes place from 5 – 19 October.

“I encourage all parishes and faith communities to join on this special occasion to pray for the intention of the Family.  In praying the Rosary we meditate on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and the life of the Holy Family.  In a particular way on Sunday 5 October we pray that the Gospel of the Family will be proclaimed faithfully and joyfully by all who turn in prayer to the Mother of God.”

Archbishop Martin concluded, “Pope Francis has recommended the Rosary as a form of ‘spiritual medicine’, saying ‘it’s good for your soul, for your whole life.’”


Notes to Editors

  • Resources are available to all parishes including a two-page leaflet How to Pray the Rosary.  Rosary Sunday resources are available on
  • Follow the initiative on Twitter using the hashtags #praytherosary and #rosarysunday
  • Irish-born Father Patrick Peyton led the first ‘Rosary Crusade’ in Canada in 1948. This was followed annually by crusades in different parts of the world. Father Peyton left his native Attymass in Ballina at the age of nineteen. He contacted tuberculosis while studying for the priesthood two years before his ordination. He started his Rosary Crusade in thanksgiving to Our Lady for his recovery from that illness. Father Peyton brought the crusade to Ireland during the Marian Year of 1954 and from April to August he visited the dioceses of Tuam, Galway, Clonfert, Achonry, Elphin, Killala, Down and Connor, Meath, Waterford & Lismore, and Ferns. Thousands of people attended these family rosary gatherings. The twenty first and final rally was held on Our Lady’s Island, fourteen miles from Wexford town, and it was attended by forty thousand people.

 For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678