By: Claire Bergin
Today across the British Isles, many thousands of Catholics are taking part in Rosary on the Coast - a lay initiative which was first introduced in Poland and Ireland. Rectors of the two National Marian Shrines (Walsingham & Our Lady of the Taper) in England and Wales have given the day their full backing and encouragement.
Many Bishops are taking part, including Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, Bishop Tom Burns of Menevia, Bishop Ralph Heskett of Hallam and Bishop John Keenan of Paisley.
More than 200 groups are gathering at locations around the coast. Those unable to reach the sea are holding prayer events closer to home in cathedrals and parishes. In London, Rosary groups are gathering at several locations on the River Thames - including the Vicrorai Embankment, the site of St Thomas More's estate in Chelsea and the South Bank.
One of the organisers, Antonia Moffat, said the initiative has "touched something in people's hearts… We are an island nation - we have a very strong history connected to the sea."
Antonia said the prayers of the sick and housebound, wherever they were, would be important. "In the end, prayer is prayer. It doesn't matter where you are," she said. Quoting St Louis Marie de Montfort, she said: "When people say the Rosary together it is far more formidable to the Devil than one said privately, because in this public prayer it is an army that is attacking."
For more information and a map of rosary groups, visit: rosaryonthecoast.co.uk and https://m.facebook.com/rosaryonthecoast/