DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A group of young Catholics has taken to social media to help them pray the Rosary every day.
In honor of the Marian year called for by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Young and Catholic Nigeria has started an Instagram prayer community to pray the Rosary every day until the re-consecration of Nigeria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13.
The bishops are urging devotion to the Virgin Mary and expect all Catholics to "fervently pray for the intercession of Our Blessed Mother to save our country from social evils." Professor Michael Ogunu, who is the coordinator of the Fatima Apostolate in Africa, says the year is not about wearing souvenir clothing and congresses but that "it is an opportunity for prayer revival, a spiritual rebirth and revolution in individual, family, community, parish and diocesan lives."
Nigeria has been under attack from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram since 2014. The Nigerian government sought help from the United States, but none was given. One bishop even suggested that Western countries looked at Boko Haram as population control for Africa.
In April of 2015, Bp. Oliver Dashe Doeme, head of the diocese of Maiduguri in Nigeria's Borno State, claimed he had a vision of Our Lord while praying before the Blessed Sacrament. In the vision, Jesus offered him a sword, and when he took it, it immediately turned into the Rosary beads. He then heard Jesus say, "Boko Haram is gone."
Bishop Doeme encouraged all Catholics to pray the Rosary, and in October 2015 he noted that the presence of Boko Haram was diminishing and would soon "fizzle out." He said he believes Christ appeared to him in 2014 "in order to console his people" and to remind us "that His Mother is there for us."
He explains the vision is encouraging to the people of Nigeria, saying, "The Rosary would ultimately give us victory over this evil. Boko Haram is evil, ISIS is evil. So as long as we go to a place with His Mother, especially by praying the Rosary, which is the most pronounced form of Marian devotion, we will be victorious."
The Young and Catholic Nigeria group has a special Maiduguri Outreach to help those affected by the violence. They claim 22 parish churches and 306 missionary churches have been destroyed by the Islamic terrorists. They are collecting donations and asking for prayers for their brothers and sisters in Christ saying, "Think about it – thousands of Christians who have no means of receiving the Sacraments."
Archbishop Valerian M. Okeke of Onitsha archdiocese has also composed a prayer for the country in preparation of the reconsecration. The Instagram group prays daily at 8 a.m. West African time and can be found at #RingAroundTheRosary, #DailyWalkWithMary and #YCNDailyRosaryWalk.