Winnipeg Archbishop Richard Gagnon, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Canadian, U.S. bishops consecrate nations to Mary

  • May 1, 2020

OTTAWA -- The tradition of honouring the Blessed Virgin Mary in the month of May is taking on even greater significance this year as Catholics around the world are being asked to turn to the mother of Jesus for protection during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The bishops of Canada and the United States, in solidarity with a number of bishops’ conferences around the world, marked the start of the month by consecrating their nations to Mary.

“Under the circumstances this year, we are encouraging the whole Church to mark the month of May and celebrate Mother Mary in a special way,” Winnipeg Archbishop Richard Gagnon told Canadian Catholic News on April 27.

“Traditionally, the Marian Month of May is when we honour Christ’s mother who is our mother and the mother of the Church, and at this particular time with all the challenges we are facing spiritually as well as social and economic challenges, it is a special time in the way the Church can honour Mary,” said Gagnon, who is the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

On May 1, Gagnon was to participate in a consecration ceremony in Winnipeg at the same time the president of the USCCB, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, was to do likewise at his diocese in the U.S.

“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,” Gagnon said.

“We turn to her and ask for the help of her powerful and maternal prayers to God for us,” he said. “To consecrate ourselves to Mary means to be united with her in entrusting our lives entirely to God.”

As the bishops of Canada and the U.S. launched the start of the Marian Month of May, Pope Francis also issued a call to Catholics around the world to look to Mary for spiritual support by saying the rosary as often as possible in May.

“Contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary, our mother, will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial,” he said in a letter released by the Vatican on April 25.

Canada was last consecrated to Mary in 2017 to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

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