At 12 noon today, Wednesday 25th March, 2020 on the Feast of the Annunciation of Mary, families, individuals and religious communities joined with bishops and priests from all over the island of Ireland in consecrating the people of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for strength and protection from the Coronavirus, Covid-19.
This Consecration also coincided with an invitation by Pope Francis to people all over the world to pray the Lord’s Prayer (the ‘Our Father’) at Angelus time, 12 noon. This was a profound experience of global community offering prayer, solidarity, compassion and intercession through Jesus to Mary.
Pope Francis said, ‘May the Lord listen to the united prayer of all of His disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ.’
The Pope’s invitation to join him in prayer was live-streamed at midday, Rome time, from the Library of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.
This is his prayer:
“As trustful children we turn to the Father. We do it every day, several times a day; but right now we wish to beg mercy for mankind, so sorely tried by the coronavirus pandemic. And we do this together, Christians of every Church and Community, of every tradition, of every age, language and nation.
We pray for the sick and their families; for health workers and those who help them; for the authorities, law enforcement agencies and volunteers; for the ministers of our communities.
Today many of us celebrate the Incarnation of the Word in the womb of the Virgin Mary, when her humble and total “Behold” reflected the “Behold” of the Son of God. We too entrust ourselves, with full confidence, to the hands of God, and with one heart and one soul we pray:
Act of Consecration (Ireland)
Priests were invited to lead these prayers in their churches or at home and, if possible, to relay them via webcam and/or radio. People were encouraged to participate and unite themselves in prayer in their homes and workplaces.
Linking in to this prayer-filled experience one had the very real experience of the Church as ‘the People of God’ – beyond buildings, nationality or culture – united and focused on prayer for and with our world and its people. The churches may be closed, but ‘this Church that we are’ never closes and is open every day for business.
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.
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.
See: Irish Catholic Bishops Conference – Order of Service for Act of Consecration
See: Vatican News – joining Pope Francis for the ‘Our Father’