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Apostolic Movement

Prisoners in Brazil form a Mother and Queen Men’s Rosary group

By: Nilson Ferreira de Souza

In the prison unit Gonçalo de Castro Lima – Vereda Grande Penitentiary – the first Mother and Queen Men’s Rosary group of the state was formed at the initiative of the inmates. The prison is located in the city of Floriano, in the state of Piauí.

For almost two months now, some 20 men have been leaving their cells once a week, always on Thursday afternoons, to pray and meditate for an hour on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary and reflect on the Gospel of the day.

“Here we need to nourish our faith and our hope”

The initiative came from one of the inmates, Jânio Santana Pereira Martins, who has been in prison for three months. He expressed his desire to pray the rosary with the other inmates and asked to have access to the official manual of the Mother and Queen Men’s Rosary.

“Through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, I made this decision and, after talking to one of the prison officers, and through God’s grace, we were able to bring a team of the Men’s Rosary. We know the power of prayer and we need to nourish our faith and our hope”, said Jânio Santana.

It was only going to last one day, but Our Lady wanted to stay

Instead of just sending the manual, a diocesan Men’s Rosary team decided to go to the prison to provide guidance on how to pray the rosary. What was supposed to be just a training day turned into a vivid routine. Since then, every Thursday the group meets in one of the prison’s facilities.

The activity was duly authorized by the prison administration, which also ensures the safety of the members of the Men’s Rosary who come to pray. In this way, the MTA image visits her children every week, thus bringing to them her welcoming and transforming gaze.

Hope and plans for the future

Jânio explains that prison is a place where people lose hope, but by praying the rosary, many have awakened their faith again. Some even plan to create rosary groups in their hometowns when they are released from prison.

The director of the unit, Edilson Porto Mousinho, said that the inmates themselves ask for the right to participate in the meetings and that the experience has borne much fruit in the inmates’ lives.

“They have seen positive changes in their behavior and in their outlook on life, with new hopes for the future, for when they leave prison,” said the director, who also highlighted the work of other religious groups in the unit.

Now they get emotional at every meeting

João Francisco da Cunha Silva, regional coordinator of the Men’s Rosary in Piauí, explains that he felt a thirst for God in the inmates, a thirst for knowing and learning more about the things concerning God. “In view of this, we decided to create the group to deepen the formation. And the response has been fantastic. Here we had men who didn’t even know how to make the sign of the cross, or pray any simple prayer, and today they get emotional at every meeting with the rosary and the manual in their hands,” concluded João Francisco.

The Mother and Queen Men’s Rosary originated in the Schoenstatt Shrine of Olinda. Currently it has more than one million members in Brazil and several groups engage in social initiatives, in addition to meeting weekly to pray. In the Diocese of Floriano, the Mother and Queen Men’s Rosary began on September 4, 2007 and currently has 19 official groups.


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