On Friday, May 1, the Catholic Bishops of Canada will consecrate their individual dioceses and eparchies to Mary, Mother of the Church, seeking her protection during the Coronavirus pandemic, similar to what other Episcopal Conferences throughout the world have already done.
Along with the Bishops, pastors, families, groups, individuals and other faith communities may likewise choose to join the consecration as part of the global effort to unite in faith and prayer in this most difficult time.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), in fraternal communion with the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has agreed that this Marian consecration be held on the same day in both countries, making this a most meaningful and powerful intercession throughout North America to the Blessed Mother.
The Bishops of Mexico, as well as the other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, consecrated their dioceses and eparchies to Mother Mary this past Easter Sunday.
Pope Francis has already offered up a moving Prayer to the Virgin Mary for protection in light of COVID-19 last 11 March 2020.
The first day of May holds particular significance as it marks the beginning an entire month to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. “May is the month dedicated in a special way to the Mother of Christ. We believe that she is, in a spiritual but real sense, our mother too,” said the Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and President, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. “We turn to her and ask for the help of her powerful and maternal prayers to God for us. To consecrate ourselves to Mary means to be united with her in entrusting our lives entirely to God.”
To assist dioceses and eparchies with the consecration, the CCCB prepared a specific prayer for use during the solemn act of entrustment. It can likewise be incorporated into family or individual prayer at home and used by other groups and faith communities.
PRAYER OF CONSECRATION
Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, in this time of pandemic, we turn our gaze to you, and in Christ consecrate to you the faithful of our Eparchy (or parish, or members of our family, or myself), together with all the people of Canada.
At the Annunciation, fear gave way to trust as you embraced the mysterious and loving plan of God, who through his providence, care and concern brought about newness of life in you and through you.
Intercede, we pray, on our behalf as your children, Virgin most faithful.
Grant us faith, hope and perseverance, as we strive to serve and bear witness to all persons, responding to the needs of those affected by this virus.
Standing at the foot of the Cross at Calvary, you united yourself with the sufferings of Christ and so uniquely contributed to the mystery of our redemption.
We beseech you as Health of the sick, draw to yourself in maternal compassion the brothers and sisters of your Son Jesus and all those who are grieved by this pandemic.
Strengthen the dying and comfort those who weep so that all may experience the healing grace of Christ our Divine Physician.
At the Cenacle, after the Resurrection, you accompanied the Apostles with prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
In your maternal care as Consoler of the afflicted, accompany healthcare professionals, all who minister to the sick and those who seek a cure to end this pandemic, that the Holy Spirit may renew the face of the earth.
To all of us, dearest Mary, Mother of all the living, be present and show forth your tenderness, as we raise our eyes to you who shines forth before the entire community as a merciful and compassionate companion on our journey. Time and time again, with burdens weighing heavily on their hearts and in their many necessities, the Christian faithful have sought refuge under your mantle of protection.
Come quickly to our aid at this time, Mother of Mercy, and deliver us from the dangers that surround us in our hour of need; watch over especially the elderly, the weak and the infirm, our children and the unity of our families, and all those who give of themselves selflessly in pastoral care to those in need until in your arms and in your gentle embrace we all find safety and solace.