Catholic Bishop in South Africa Directs Rosary Prayer for “suffering of Eastern Europe”

Credit: SACBC

The Catholic Bishop of South Africa’s Tzaneen Diocese, Bishop João Noé Rodrigues, has directed members of the Clergy to spearhead the prayer of the Holy Rosary in their respective communities in solidarity with the “suffering of Eastern Europe”. 

In a Tuesday, March 22 statement, the Bishop who chairs the Department for Catholic Social Action of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) says the initiative is in solidarity with Pope Francis ahead of the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25.

“I invite our Priests with community members to do a recitation of the Rosary for peace in our churches and homes in solidarity with the prayer of Pope Francis for the suffering people of Eastern Europe,” Bishop Rodrigues says.

The South African Catholic Bishop gives five prayer intentions to be observed for each decade of the prayer of the Holy Rosary. 

For the first decade of the Holy Rosary prayer, he says, the Catholic community should “pray for the people of Ukraine who are suffering and living in fear because of the bombardments of their cities and homes that your Spirit of comfort may be with them.”


The second decade should focus on the “vulnerable children and their mothers that they may be sheltered and be protected from harm,” Bishop Rodrigues directs.

For the third decade, the Bishop says that prayers should be offered for the world leaders so that they “may be guided by your Spirit of wisdom, discernment and compassion and help bring an end to the war.”

The fourth decade of the Holy Rosary prayer should focus on praying for “the Russian leadership and its soldiers so that they may hear the voice of God urging them to stop the bombardments and to lay down their weapons and withdraw from occupying unjustly the country of the Ukraine,” Bishop Rodrigues further directs.

As for the fifth decade of the Holy Rosary prayer, the Catholic community should pray for “peace in other regions of the world where people are suffering from the ravages of war and violent conflicts,” the 67-year-old South African Bishop directs.

He explains, “We are also aware of other regions in the world and in Africa where there are terrible conflicts taking place such as in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and in Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.”

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The Local Ordinary of South Africa’s Tzaneen Diocese adds, “Let us intercede for the needs of all victims of war and pray for the conversion of the perpetrators of unjust violence so that they may heed the words of the Lord.”

Pope Francis is expected to consecrate both Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of the Annunciation that is to be celebrated March 25, the director of the Holy See press office, Matteo Bruni said.

The Holy Father is expected to preside over the prayer initiative in St. Peter’s Basilica, on the occasion of the Celebration of Penance, scheduled to begin at 5 pm (Rome Time).

The Vatican official said, “The same act, on the same day, will be undertaken by the Catholic Bishops of the world. Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, will perform the act of consecration at Fatima as the envoy of the Pope.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.