More than 140 countries are expected to participate in the sixth annual World Rosary next Saturday. The devotion began in 1996, when a group of lay Mexicans called for a large group recitation of the rosary, as a gift for the Holy Father on the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. The venue for that rosary was Mexico City's Plaza de Toros. Twenty countries participated. Last year, Pope John Paul II led the World Rosary from the Vatican. Sr Lucia dos Santos, 93, the last surviving Fatima visionary, led one of the mysteries, via satellite, from Portugal. As in previous years, this year's rosary will be prayed by many thousands of people gathered in parishes, cathedrals, stadiums, convention centres, schools, factories, prisons and hospitals. In parishes and church groups across the USA, a church organisation, the Blue Army, has already begun a praying a series of nine daily rosaries for peace which end on Saturday.
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