Catholics urged: Join consecration of PH to Virgin Mary
MANILA, Philippines — Catholic Church leaders have urged the faithful to participate in the consecration of the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Wednesday, the 103rd anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition in Fatima, Portugal, amid the new coronavirus disease outbreak that has gripped the world.
The celebration is not open to the public since large gatherings are prohibited under the enhanced community quarantine, but the faithful may participate through online streaming via the Church-run Radyo Veritas and TV Maria as main platforms for broadcast.
The bishops of different archdioceses and dioceses are expected to lead the consecration in their respective cathedrals.
“I think this is a wonderful initiative,” Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said in his letter to the dioceses.
Valles said this was “an opportune time to reflect on the current situation’’ gripping the world.
“The simultaneous National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on this Feast of Our Lady of Fatima must be accomplished,’’ he said in a May 1 circular.
“This is our country’s way to implore the grace and mercy of the Lord to end the pandemic of coronavirus and to seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the healing and recovery of all those who are infected, and for strength and protection of the front-liners and our fellow citizens.’’
This consecration reaffirms the bishops’ previous consecrations of the Philippines to Mary. In 2013, during the Year of Faith, the CBCP also consecrated the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
At the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City, the praying of the rosary, the simultaneous national consecration and a Holy Mass will be held starting 8:30 a.m.
In Manila, Bishop Broderick Pabillo will preside over a 12 noon Mass at the Manila Cathedral.
He will be joined by the five mayors of the cities under the archdiocese in leading the prayer for the consecration of the archdiocese and the cities to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The five mayors are Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Mandaluyong Mayor Carmelita Abalos, Pasay Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano, Makati Mayor Abigail Binay, and San Juan Mayor Francisco Zamora .
“It will be beautiful when all the people God, led by their civil and religious leaders, put themselves under the protection of the Blessed Virgin,” said Pabillo, Manila’s apostolic administrator.
“We do this to implore the protection of the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother in this difficult time, especially as we move to the transition to a new way of life after the quarantine,” he said.
Pabillo encouraged the faithful to intensify their devotion to Mary especially this month of May which is the Marian month.
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