The month of May is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother. During this month we have provided below a special Rosary, by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, to be prayed. Together, we can ensure that all children are safe from sexual abuse and can provide assistance and support to victims who are on the path to healing.
You can help in these efforts by offering your prayers for healing and protection.
This rosary will help you to lift up their needs in prayer, offering them to God through Mary who offers her loving protection to all her children.
A Prayer for Healing: Victims of Abuse
God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong
always present, always just;
You gave your only Son
to save us by his Blood on the Cross.
Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, join to your own suffering
the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind, and spirit
by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.
Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters who have been gravely harmed,
and the cries of those who love them. Soothe their restless hearts with hope, steady their shaken spirits with faith.
Grant them justice for their cause, enlightened by your truth.
Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds
and transform brokenness into wholeness.
Grant us the courage and wisdom, humility and grace, to act with justice.
Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors.
Grant that all harmed by abuse mind find peace in justice.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
How to Pray the Rosary
† Make the sign of the cross. Holding the crucifix, say the Apostles’ Creed.
† On the first bead, say an Our Father.
† Say one Hail Mary on each of the next three beads, one for Faith, one for Hope, and one for Charity. Say the Glory Be.
† Go to the main part of the rosary. For each of the five decades, announce the Mystery, then say the Our Father. On each of the small beads of the decade, next say ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery. Then say a Glory Be. (After finishing each decade, some say the following prayer requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.”)
† After saying the five decades, say the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen), followed by this dialogue and prayer:
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. O God, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, death, and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech you, that meditating on these mysteries of the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God the Father almighty Creator of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell;
the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty, from thence he shall come to judge
the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name; thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Hail, Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be
world without end. Amen.
Said on Mondays and Saturdays
Then the angel said to [Mary], “Do not be afraid.” (Lk 1:30)
The angel Gabriel greeted Mary with words to calm her fears.
God wants everyone, especially the most vulnerable, to live in his peace, free from all fear and pain. It is our responsibility, as children of our loving God, to create an environment in which our children can grow up free from fear of those who might hurt or abuse them.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” (Lk 1:46)
After receiving the news that she would become the mother of God’s Son, Mary’s first action was one of compassion. She went to her kinswoman, Elizabeth, and offered aid and comfort. Following her example, we must reach out to those around us in need of hope and healing, offering our assistance and patience as they embrace God’s healing love.
The Nativity of the Lord
She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Lk 2:7)
Jesus, the Son of God, entered the world as a vulnerable child. He was not counted among the great and powerful, instead lying in a manger. We are called to protect all those who are vulnerable, especially children, by providing them with safe places to live and grow.
“You yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Lk 2:35)
The experience of child sexual abuse is shattering and can make a person feel as if his or her heart and world is torn asunder. We pray for those victims who are seeking healing and strength. Their path is challenging, but our loving support can make it easier.
Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple
His mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” (Lk 2:48)
Child sexual abuse affects not only the victim, but his or her family as well. Our healing efforts must extend to these family members, to alleviate their pain and anxiety and help them to grow ever closer to God’s healing love.
Said on Thursdays
Baptism by John
A voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Mt 3:17)
Every child is beloved by God, precious in his sight. There is no room in the Church for those who would harm children, betraying their trust and destroying their innocence. All members of the Church must do their part to make the Church and society safe for children.
Wedding at Cana
Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, ” Do whatever he tells you.” ( Jn 2:4-5)
A guest at a wedding in Cana, Jesus’ mother stepped in to assist the couple in their time of need. We must follow her example by taking active steps to come to the aid of children who are at risk of abuse, to be vigilant in protecting them, and to advocate on behalf of those who become victims.
Preaching of the Kingdom and Call to Conversion
“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1:15)
Jesus boldly preached the coming of God’s kingdom, reminding his hearers of the need to conform their lives to God ’s laws. As members of God’s Church, we must boldly remind all elements of society of the need to protect children and young people. The message may not be welcome, but it is essential.
[ Jesus] was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. (Mt 17:2)
In his Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John saw Jesus as he truly is in all his divine glory. So must we see victims of sexual abuse as they are – the precious children of God, worthy of dignity and respect. We must do all that we can to aid in their healing and to assure them of the love of God and his people.
Institution of the Eucharist
“This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” …”This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.” (Lk 22:19-20)
In the gift of the Eucharist, Jesus makes present his sacrifice of redeeming love. This sacrifice makes us whole as one Body of Christ. We pray that Jesus may heal all that wounds of his Body, most especially the wounds caused by the sexual abuse of children and young people.
Said on Tuesdays and Fridays
Agony in the Garden
He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground. (Lk 22:44)
Many victims of child sexual abuse suffer in silence for years, wrestling alone with the agony of their memories and pain. We pray that the Church may always be a place where they can come to share their stories, be received in love and compassion, and be supported on the path to healing.
Scourging at the Pillar
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. (Jn 19:1)
The experience of child sexual abuse may leave scars no less profound than the scars of a scourging, though they often remain unseen. We must strive to make our parish communities places where victims can feel safe to share their burdens and to find healing and peace.
Crowning with Thorns
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly. (Jn 19:2-3)
Those who have survived sexual abuse may feel isolated from the community, set apart and unwelcome. Jesus must have felt the same as the soldiers mocked and tortured him. As members of Christ’s Body, the Church, we are called to see Christ in our brothers and sisters in need and offer them our aid, comfort, and support.
Carrying the Cross
They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. (Mk 15:21)
Simon helped Jesus carry his cross, helping him bear the weight and the burden. So must we help victims of child sexual abuse bear the weight and burden of their experiences, helping them to find healing with God who is light and life.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit;” and when he had said this he breathed his last. (Lk 23:46)
We commend into God’s hands all those who are at risk for child sexual abuse, those who are doing the hard work of healing, and those who are not yet ready to begin the healing process. Through our prayers, efforts, and sacrifices, may they come to know the peace and whole that only God can bring.
Said on Sundays and Wednesdays
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised.” (Lk 24:5-6)
The Father’s gift of healing is a wondrous thing, bringing new life and hope from what was pain and despair. We pray for all victims of child sexual abuse, that they may come to abundant new life in the Risen Lord.
The Ascension into Heaven
As [the apostles] were looking on, [Jesus] was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. (Acts 1:9)
Jesus ascended into heaven in the presence of his Apostles, making them his witnesses to the whole world. We too are called to be witnesses, speaking on behalf of vulnerable children and young people and helping to build a society where they are safe from those who would steal their trust and their innocence.
The Descent of the Holy Spirit
They were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2:4)
The Spirit brought the Apostles the gift of courage. No longer did they hide behind locked doors in the upper room, seeking their own safety. Rather, they boldly went out into the city proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ and calling the people to repentance in his name. In the same way, we must boldly speak out to protect children and to create environments where they can grow and learn in safety.
The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God. (Rv 12:6)
At her death, Mary was assumed into heaven, body and soul. As she carried the Son of God in her body, her body was taken to heaven to share in the full glory of her Son. We pray for those victims of child sexual abuse who seek healing and wholeness, that Mary will present them to her Son who alone makes us whole.
The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven
I will make your name renowned through all generations; thus nations shall praise you forever. (Ps 45:18)
As the Mother of our Redeemer, Mary was crowned as Queen of Heaven. From heaven, she intercedes for us as a loving mother. We entrust into her maternal care all vulnerable children and young people, praying that she will intercede on their behalf and keep them safe from all harm.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against
the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen
Hail Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy:
Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate
your eyes of mercy towards us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Used with permission by the USCCB Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection.