In 2017 the Canadian Bishops consecrated Canada to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on the 150th anniversary of Confederation. As we rightly celebrated the many blessings we enjoy as a country, we were also aware of shadows stretching across the land and so turned to Mary for her help.
Recently, Pope Francis has been calling upon all of us to turn to Our Lady at this time of pandemic, seeking the protection and healing that come from her powerful intercession with her son, Jesus. So, in communion with this call of the Holy Father, the Canadian Bishops have considered it very opportune, at this time of unforeseen and unprecedented danger to the health of the nation, to offer an act of consecration once again to the Blessed Mother.
An act of consecration is basically an act of entrustment. We entrust our country, and especially those who are sick with COVID-19 and their caregivers and families, to the maternal love of Mary. We are turning to her this time under her title of Mother of the Church. She is Mother of Jesus, of course, which means she is also rightly and wondrously referred to as the Mother of God. In addition, and again precisely because she is the mother of Jesus, she is the mother of all those who by Baptism have been made his brothers and sisters, that communion we call the Church. So, Mary is Mother of the Church.
When we reflect upon her role as mother, both in relation to her son, Jesus, and to us her children, we can appreciate why it is not only appropriate but also effective to go to her and seek her intercession with our Lord. We are all hurting in a particular way right now because of this coronavirus crippling our health and our lives. So it is only right that we run to Mary our Mother and ask her to wrap us all in her mantle of love and care.
Mary has one remedy, and that is to bring us by her prayers to her son, Jesus, the divine physician. Her prayers work – every time. We may not see the result right away, it may take some time for the healing to occur – that all unfolds in the mystery of Divine providence – but as a people of faith we have every confidence in the power of her prayers, in the loving, reverent, humble and effective influence she has with Christ.
And so we make the act of consecration. I will do so at a livestreamed Mass on Friday, May 1, at 9 a.m., as will other Alberta Bishops. We will entrust our dioceses and our beloved country to her maternal love and care at this time of great need for healing.
I invite you to do the same. You can find the livestreamed Mass on Youtube or on Facebook. We are making the prayer of consecration and other resources available at the links below. Please offer this prayer yourselves: as individuals, as a family or as a community. Mary will obtain for us the healing we seek.
✠ Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton
28 April 2020