Scotland on Sunday
Date: 29 November 2009
By David Leask
FANS called it the Jesus Phone, such was the near religious hysteria that accompanied its launch. Now Apple's cult mobile really is bringing its owners closer to God.
The world's first Digital Rosary, meant to help the faithful to pray, goes on sale tomorrow. Custom-designed for the iPhone, it comes complete with a voiceover from one of the Vatican's most-trusted archbishops.
The new phone application, or "app, is essentially software that helps the electronically-minded faithful say the Rosary.
Most Catholics have traditionally kept track of the complicated sequence of recitations and Hail Marys involved in the Rosary – a ritual of devotion – by counting out sets of consecrated beads on a string.
Now they can carry out the ritual, which is done regularly by the most devout believers, by following prompts on their touch-sensitive iPhone screen instead. The app itself guides users through the rosary by speaking the words, which they can say at the same time.
It also provides digital access to a Communion website, where users can contact other believers, enter discussion groups and get information on prayer rituals. Vincenzo Coccoli, chief executive of MoreTechnology, the company that has developed the app along with religious leaders and communications experts, said: "It's a religious Facebook."
The inventors of the new app – which costs £3.49 – argue that the Digital Rosary will open the world to believers who do not want to pray alone and offer comfort to those who are far from a church or friends.