By Tim Harfmann
Bead by bead, or in this case balloon by balloon, students prayed the rosary at Saint Athanasius Catholic Academy in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To honor her, students formed a human rosary in the schoolyard, holding balloons and rosary beads, hands folded around them in prayer as they recited the decades.
“This is a tool for these young kids to learn devotion to Mary and the rosary,” said Monsignor David Cassato, pastor of Saint Athanasius.
He believes that teaching children the rosary at a young age creates a strong relationship between them and the Mother of God.
“When you need a little break from what’s going, hold onto the rosary and pray the rosary,” he added.
“I feel like it’s really important,” said third grader Anya Lerner, “because since we’re in a Catholic school, that’s probably the key to what to do: to pray.”
“She’s a mother to everyone because she was the Mother of God, our Savior and our Lord; and she’s just a very important part of my life,” said Jezebel Minchala, a fifth grader at the Brooklyn Catholic academy, who sees Mary as her role model.
From Spanish to Italian, Arabic to Albanian, students prayed in 10 different languages.
Eighth grader Annalisa Conte led the Italian recitation.
“Not everyone speaks the same language,” she said, “and everyone gets the opportunity to pray.”
“She inspires me a lot by doing good things and respecting one another,” said Lerner.
After praying, students let the inflatable rosary soar into the cloudy sky, symbolizing their prayers rising into heaven.