ARCHBISHOP GOMEZ LED LITURGY OF RENEWAL OF CONSECRATION OF THE U.S. AND CANADA TO THE VIRGIN MARY FOR AN END TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
—Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange joined the liturgy for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. and the world, and encouraged the faithful to pray the Rosary at home during the month of May—
As the world enters the month of May, when Catholics intensify their love and devotion to the Virgin Mary, and nations throughout the globe continue to face the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, Archbishop José H. Gomez led today the renewal of the Consecration of the U.S. and Canada to the care of our Blessed Mother, on behalf of the bishops of both countries, in his role as the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops asked for the intercession of the Virgin for and end of the pandemic. A video of the consecration liturgy and more information can be found at https://lacatholics.org/consecration/.
“Today, we ask our Blessed Mother to turn her eyes of mercy towards us – to help her children in this time of trial, when many are dying and our faith is being tested,” said Archbishop Gomez during his bilingual homily. “We ask her to intercede with her Son, to protect us and deliver us from this evil of the coronavirus.” The full text of the homily and video of the liturgy is available https://lacatholics.org/2020/05/01/homily-renewal-of-consecration/.
“From Mary, we learn to trust that God’s plan of love will be fulfilled, in our lives and in history. From Mary, we learn to open our hearts to Jesus, to ponder his words and his life,” said Archbishop Gomez. “And from Mary, we learn to do whatever he tells us, to surrender to the will of God; in everything to pray with her: ‘Let it be to me according to your word.’”
The consecration on May 1 followed a similar action of the bishops’ conference of Latin America and the Caribbean who consecrated their nations to Our Lady of Guadalupe on Easter Sunday. The renewal of consecration planned in this country for May 1 does not change the designation of Mary as the Patroness of the United States under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Rather, this prayer reaffirms and renews previous Marian entrustments, and unites us in solidarity with our Holy Father, who recently established the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, as a source of protection and strength.
Through a collective dedication or entrustment of a nation to Mary, an act of consecration is meant to be a reminder to the faithful of the Blessed Mother’s witness to the Gospel and to ask for her effective intercession before her Son on behalf of those in need. Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore, the first bishop of the United States, promoted devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, and placed the United States under her protection in a pastoral letter of 1792. The twenty-one bishops attending the Sixth Provincial Council of Baltimore in 1846 determined to name the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, as the Patroness of the United States, and Pope Pius XI approved this decision the following year. More recently, the dedication of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. in 1959 was the opportunity for the bishops to once again consecrate the nation to the Blessed Mother. Several popes have likewise consecrated the world to Mary on various occasions.
In his closing remarks, Archbishop Gomez urged the faithful to pray the Rosary in family during all May. “The family that prays together stays together,” he said, citing the Venerable Patrick Peyton.
“Maybe we can all offer this little gift to Mary in the month of May. Maybe we can dedicate ourselves to finding time to come together every day, to pray the Rosary in our families and in our homes. Pray for peace, pray for those who are suffering and those who are risking their lives in this pandemic. Pray to grow in holiness and for our families and for the Church.” Full closing remarks are attached.
Due to gathering and social distancing restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Holy Mass is being livestreamed from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angles on the LA Catholics Facebook page and https://lacatholics.org/mass-for-the-homebound/. Masses are streamed live Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. in Spanish and 8 a.m. in English; and Sunday at 7 a.m. in Spanish and 10 a.m. in English. Latest video footage and photographs are available on Archdiocese social channels @lacatholics on Facebook, Instagram andTwitter. Video footage and photographs (credit: Angelus News) of Masses celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez are also available. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest and most diverse Catholic Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five million Catholics, serving the three counties of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara. For thelatest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts visit media.la-archdiocese.org.