Catholics can now use a smart rosary to pray for world peace.
Vatican officials unveiled the eRosary wearable bracelet on Tuesday. The device, which is activated by making the sign of the cross, is connected to the ‘Click to Pray’ app. Click to Pray is the official prayer app of Pope Francis’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
“The Click To Pray eRosary is an interactive, smart and app-driven wearable device that serves as a tool for learning how to pray the rosary for peace in the world,” says the Vatican’s news service. “When activated, the user has the possibility to choose either to pray the standard rosary, a contemplative Rosary and different kinds of thematic rosaries that will be updated every year.”
The eRosary consists of ten black agate and hematite rosary beads and a “smart cross” that stores the device’s data.
“The rosary is a beautiful spiritual tradition for contemplating the Gospel with Mary, it is a simple and humble prayer,” said Fr. Frédéric Fornos, the International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network during Tuesday’s launch in the Holy See Press Office. “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 stranger, with different cultures and spiritual and religious traditions, but also with our land, our forests, our rivers and oceans.”
The rosary, which was designed by tech company GadgeTek, is priced at $109, according to the Catholic News Agency.
The Catholic Church is keen to use technology to spread the faith. The pontiff’s Twitter account, @Pontifex, was launched in February 2012, during the papacy of Benedict XVI and now has 18.1 million followers. Pope Francis also joined Instagram in 2016. His @franciscus account has racked up 6.3 million followers.
The Vatican Apostolic Library is also working with the European Space Agency to digitize its treasures using space technology.
The organizations have been working to digitize the Library’s ancient collection using the Flexible Image Transport System data format. The format, which was born out of radio astronomy and adopted by the ESA, NASA and scientific institutions, is described as ideal for long-term data storage.
The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers