The Catholic Church has dedicated October to pray the Rosary, a special devotion to Mother Mary. About 2,500 Kandhamal survivors in Tiangia, a village in Odisha’s Kandhamal district, gather every evening in October to pray the Rosary. Tiagia was among the worst affected Catholic villages during the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal. Its survivors say that it was the Rosary that had kept them strong in their faith during the persecution.

As reported by, Anakleto Nayak, who led the Rosary at Tiangia on October 3, remarked that “I had experienced special strength and power through the Rosary prayer at the time of Kandhamal persecution.”  During the Rosary, the catechist prayed for peace, harmony, equality and fraternity in India, Odisha and Kandhamal where fundamentalists continue to openly threaten Christians to leave their faith. “The hatred towards us still persists in the secular country,” Nayak noted.

Daughter of Charity Sister Jayanti Nayak, who led the children in the prayer, said reciting the Rosary helps devotees to get special power and strength. “It gives us victory over all our enemies, enriches us with graces and merits, brings peace, reconciliation and healing power,” she added.