At noon today, the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord, Archbishop Eamon Martin 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.
People are also invited to join the consecration in a moment of prayer with their families or as individuals. The Consecration coincided with Pope Francis’ invitation to people all over the world in praying the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father at 11am Irish time.
Over the last nine days, since Saint Patrick’s Day, many people have been joined in a novena in preparation for the moment of Consecration which includes the Prayer of Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Bishop Dermot Farrell, Bishop of Ossory, joined with priests of the diocese in the Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary broadcast live from St Mary's Cathedral, in Kilkenny.
Bishops and priests lead the Consecration from their homes, cathedrals and churches across the country. The faithful were invited to join their local priest or bishop from their home, via webcam, to prayerfully participate in this Act of Consecration during these unprecedented and worrying days for us all.
Archbishop Eamon 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 and, through prayer, as Pope Francis said on Sunday, we can overcome: ‘In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the thread of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven.’
“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. Today, at midday across our country, to mark the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord, as we consecrate Ireland and our people to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for protection against the coronavirus, Pope Francis has asked ‘all Christians of the various confessions, to invoke the Almighty, the omnipotent God, to recite at the same time the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, taught us’, – the Our Father. Pope Francis prayerfully 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.’
Archbishop Eamon Martin concluded, “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.”