In an age of gadgets and innovation, the Catholic Church has launched an app-driven tool to help the faithful recite the rosary, drawing interest from tech-savvy Christians in Asia.
Launched at the Vatican this week, the Click to Pray eRosary is a high-tech rosary bracelet with a cross and a free app that connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth.
Father Frederic Fornos SJ, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, said Pope Francis wanted more young people in particular to learn to pray the rosary for greater world peace.
“In a world of indifference and in the face of so many injustices, poverty, elementary rights denied, praying for peace in the world means reconciling ourselves in our daily relationships, with the poorest, with the foreigner, with different cultures and spiritual and religious tradition,” Father Fornos said at the launch.
Making the sign of the cross with the bracelet automatically opens the app on the phone, while clicking one of the 10 black beads allows the person to move through an audio guide, prayer texts and images.
Catherine, a Catholic from Taiwan, said she would download the app and buy the bracelet when it went on sale in Asia next year, saying it would be convenient to use on crowded public transport.
“Sometimes the bus is too crowded, it’s not easy holding the phone in your hand, but the eRosary will not have these problems,” she told UCA News.
Clara, a Catholic and store owner in Hong Kong, said the bracelet was stylish, but she was concerned the cost, currently 99 Euros in Rome or $US 110, might put it out of reach for some. But she added many would appreciate the fact it was approved by the Vatican and a limited product.
“There is only one Vatican, there is no branch. This is not simply produced by any Italian factory,” she said.
The eRosary joins a plethora of religious apps developed in recent years, as faiths innovate to meet the needs of their increasingly tech-savvy congregations. The Gurbani World app allows Sikhs to listen to and watch morning and evening prayers on their phones, while Buddhist meditation timers can also be downloaded.
The eRosary was launched in the middle of the Extraordinary Missionary Month which you can find out more about by watching this video.