The Vatican is hoping to pull in tech-savvy youngsters with the launch of an 'eRosary' bracelet

Gabriella Swerling
eRosary is an interactive and app-driven device that serves as a tool for learning how to pray the rosary.  - Cover Images

The Vatican has launched an ‘eRosary’ in a bid to attract tech-savvy millennials to the Catholic church. 

The gadget, which costs $109 (£85), can be worn as a bracelet and is activated by wearers making the sign of a cross.

The device works by being connected to smartphones via a mobile app. It features 10 black agate and hematite rosary beads, and a silver 'smart cross'. Christians wanting to use the electronic device for their prayers need to download the 'Click to Pray eRosary' app, which the bluetooth-friendly and water-resistant bracelet then syncs to. 

A press release issued by Click to Pray said: "This project brings together the best of the Church's spiritual tradition and the latest advances of the technological world.”

“Aimed at the peripheral frontiers of the digital world where the young people dwell, the Click To Pray eRosary serves as a technology-based pedagogy to teach the young how to pray the Rosary, how to pray it for peace, how to contemplate the Gospel.”

The device consists of ten consecutive black agate and hematite rosary beads, and of a smart cross which stores all the technological data connected to the app. Credit: Cover Images /Cover Images 

The e-Rosary is by no means the first time that the Catholic Church has attempted to attract young people with technology.

In 2018, a Catholic evangelical group launched "Follow JC Go!", a Christian interpretation on the successful Pokemon Go gaming app. It let players "catch" saints or Bible characters, instead of monster characters.

The Taiwan-based tech company, GadgTek Inc (GTI), developed the eRosary as part of Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network initiative. 

The app tracks the wearer's progress during each prayer and logs each rosary completed. It also contains a selection of prayers and songs.

According to the organisation's website, the app “connects you with thousands of people who, in all the continents, are praying every day for the challenges of humanity and for the mission of the Church as the Pope proposes in his monthly prayer intentions”.

It “offers you three brief moments of prayer each day” and people are “invited to join the Pope's call to connect your heart with others seeking to serve the mission of Jesus.” 

Pope Francis has previously referred to the internet as “a gift from God”. However in September this year, he urged Silicon Valley tech giants to ensure that technological progress - including robotics and artificial intelligence - do not lead to a “form of barbarism” where the law of the strongest prevails over the common good.

He made the comments in an address to participants at a Vatican conference attended by executives from companies such as Facebook, Mozilla, and Western Digital as well as Nobel laureates, Catholic ethicists, government regulators and internet entrepreneurs.