Jakarta, a "red and white rosary" for national unity
by Mathias Hariyadi

The archdiocese of the capital inaugurates a special prayer time for "the heroes of the nation and for politicians”. Thousands of rosaries with the colors of the national flag handed out: "They symbolize the search for truth and holiness."

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Within the next five years "through this movement we will harness the efforts of our diocesan pastoral commissions, of Catholic congregations and devotion to Our Lady  will spread across the nation through the recitation of the red and white Rosary”. With this announcement Msgr. Ignatius Suharyo, Archbishop of Jakarta, launched a special prayer campaign among all Indonesian faithful, to strengthen national unity on May 1 last.

The initiative was inaugurated in the 65 parishes of the Archdiocese, in a packed Jakarta Cathedral  where more than 2 thousand red and white rosary beads were distributed, the colors of the Indonesian flag. Fr. Sridanto, President of the Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese and the promoter of the movement, held a conference in front of 300 priests in Central Java, in which he said that the Rosary is part of the commitment of the Archdiocese to strengthen the love of nation among Catholics: "the red symbolizes the will to defend the truth by faith in the Trinity; the white refers to holiness. "

Indonesia's official ideology, founded on modern democratic principles of freedom of expression and religion, are the "Pancasila" (the five pillars). Inserted as a preamble to the Constitution, and greatly desired by the first president Sukarno, predate by a few months before the official birth of the State, dated 17 August 1945. The five columns are based on faith in one God; justice and human civilization; unity of Indonesia; democracy guided by wisdom; social justice.

In leading the recitation of the rosary, the archdiocese has released five prayer intentions: for the heroes of the nation; for the conservation of nature and fertile soil; for the unity of the Indonesian people; for wisdom and guidance of politicians; for all efforts to achieve common good in society.

Marian devotion is very strong in Indonesia. There are numerous grottos dedicated to Lourdes, scattered throughout the country, where thousands of faithful gather every year to pray in a special way in the months of May and October. Last August, in Central Java the world’s tallest statute of Our Lady was unveiled.