Lima, 06/30/2014 (Sodalit News – Peru). The second annual “Free Hail Mary” Campaign went global thanks to the warm reception by youth from different cities around the world that joined in the Sign of Contradiction´s initiative during the Month of Mary.
On the fourth and fifth Saturdays of May, an army of joyful youth took to the streets and plazas of various cities to offer their petitions for their fellow citizens. “I will pray with you for whatever you need” was the slogan which hundreds of youth displayed on signs and T-shirts as they offered their prayers and kind words – especially the Hail Mary – to whomever was willing to accept their invitation as they covered the streets.
The creative greetings of the boisterous youth included things like “Hello, I am giving away Hail Mary’s, would you like one?,” and “We are offering a “Free Hail Mary” Campaign today, where we pray for whatever special intention you want,” even in different languages. The youth brought joy and gratitude to the many people they encountered, even surprising some who were bewildered at the sacrifices that the children were making to search out strangers and pray for them.
In Lima, Peru, in the Parish Our Lord of the Divine Mercy, participant Gema Avellaneda remarked that “what I like the most about the Free Hail Mary campaign was the possibility to participate for the first time with other youth from my Parish Youth Outreach and overcome the fear of inviting others to pray. That is the way that we can spread to others the love that we have for Mary and show them that by praying they can accomplish unimaginable things. All we need to do is trust and have faith in our Mother,” she explained.
The event was organized by the members of Sign of Contradiction, many of whom belong to the Sodalite family, but was open to the participation of youth from different movements, associations and parishes throughout various cities. For example, Heidy Florez of Youth Movement Totus Tuus commented that “the experience of the Free Hail Mary was a very beautiful one for me because I had to pray spontaneously with people and I really felt the strength and love of our “mommy” Mary with me.” She also remarked that she was very thankful for having participated.
Ulises Torres, from the city of Cuernavaca, Mexico, told us that despite the rain “we went out anyway, and when it would slow down a little we would continue, because it was very gratifying to pray with people that you did not know, especially people that really felt that they needed to intercede to our Mother or offer up prayers for noble causes that affect all of us.”
Dominic Castella, from Washington, D.C., valued deeply the experience of praying with people that he walked up to. By the end of the day he mentioned that he had even met people from “Ireland, the Philippines, and many other places,” and remarked that “it was truly an opportunity to experience the love and will of God.”
In Latin America, the Free Hail Mary Campaign was underway in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia. In Central and North America the campaign was present in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the United States. In Europe they were also giving away Hail Mary´s in countries such as the United Kingdom, Poland, Latvia, France, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia and Austria. Finally, the Free Hail Mary´s made their way to Asia thanks to the campaigns presence in the Philippines.
In Ecuador this initiative caught the attention of the media and was featured on the News Network ETV Telerama who interviewed one of the organizers for the event there.