On the Feast of the Annunciation, tomorrow 25 March, at noon, Archbishop Eamon Martin will join with bishops, priests and the faithful across Ireland in consecrating the people of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for strength and protection from the coronavirus, Covid-19.
Archbishop Martin is undertaking the Act of Consecration during “these unprecedented and worrying days for us all” and as a gesture of solidarity and care with people as the effects of the pandemic makes itself felt across Ireland north and south.
On Sunday in Newry, Archbishop Martin said: “As Church during this time we continue to gather for prayer – no longer physically in most cases – but linked over the internet as a congregation in spiritual communion with one another.”
He noted on Sunday that “A strange quietness has descended on our communities and town centres these days. And in our homes, our families are gathering, as if in a time of retreat. During these days I want to assure you that the family of God that is the Church continues to gather around you, the Church continues to accompany you along this valley of darkness and fear, with prayer, consolation and hope, like the gentle Good Shepherd, like a loving Mother, always at your side.”
Tomorrow, bishops and priests will lead the Consecration from their homes, cathedrals and churches across the country and the faithful are invited as families or individuals in their homes and workplaces to join their local priest or bishop via webcam or to join Archbishop Martin in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh via webcam.
Speaking ahead of the prayer initiative, Archbishop Martin said: “As Church now, more than ever, we are committed to offering prayer, solidarity and compassion in our society. Social distancing cannot be allowed to create social isolation.”
The Consecration coincides with Pope Francis invitation to Christians of the various confessions around the world to “lift our voices towards Heaven” in these “trying days, while humanity trembles due to the thread of the pandemic” and to recite at the same time the Our Father.
Paying tribute to the Pontiff, Archbishop Martin said, “Pope Francis has shown strong pastoral leadership at this horrendous time especially when we consider the impact that the rapid devastation COVID19 has wrought across Italy.”
In recent days in Ireland, many people have already been joined in a novena in preparation for the moment of Consecration by saying the Prayer of Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“In an act of profound prayer, solidarity and compassion, through our prayers, let us join in spiritual communion with Our Lord, Our Blessed Mother, Pope Francis and with each other,” Archbishop Martin appealed.
The webcam of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, can be viewed here.
Message from Archbishop Eamon Martin about the Consecration.
The Act begins with the recitation of The Angelus
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
The First Joyful Mystery of the Rosary: The Annunciation of the Lord
PRAYER OF CONSECRATION
Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Health of the Sick,
at this time of great challenge to our country from the coronavirus,
we consecrate to Jesus through your Immaculate Heart:
ourselves, our family, the members of our parish and Diocese, and the people of Ireland.
O Mary, Queen of Ireland, when you appeared at Knock, you gave hope to your people in a time of distress, and brought them comfort in a time of sorrow.
Be with us now as a sign of salvation and hope, as we entrust ourselves to your loving care.
We renew the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation and ask your intercession that we may be always faithful to Christ and to His Church.
Bring under your mantle of protection all those who are suffering because of the coronavirus, and those who care for the sick and minister to their needs,
as your Son implores us to do for one another.
O Loving Mother,
at the foot of the Cross, with steadfast faith,
your Immaculate Heart was pierced by grief at the suffering of your Son.
You know what we need during these difficult days.
Help us, O Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us -
He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection.
O Blessed Mother, Our Life, our Sweetness and Our Hope,
we wish that this Consecration be for the glory of God and that it lead us safely to Jesus your Son.
A Naomh-Mhuire, a Mháthair Dé, guigh orainn na peacaigh, anois agus ar uair ár mbáis. Amen.
May your servants be shielded, O Lord
By the protection of your loving-kindness,
That, doing what is good in this world,
They may reach you, their highest good.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
May Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.