By Vatican News
On Friday, May 1, the bishops of Canada and the United States reconsecrated their respective nations to the care and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Both Bishops’ Conferences have announced that their countries were reconsecrated to our Lady under the title “Mary, Mother of the Church”.
Each year, during the month of May, the Church seeks the special intercession of the Mother of God. The Pope highlighted this in a letter that he sent to all the faithful last Friday, calling for renewed Marian devotion.
In a letter to his brother Bishops, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, wrote that “this year, we seek the assistance of Our Lady all the more earnestly as we face together the effects of the global pandemic”.
“Based on discussion with the leadership of the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops, the Executive Committee of the USCCB met and affirmed the fitness of May 1, 2020, as an opportunity for the bishops of the United States to reconsecrate our nation to Our Lady and to do so under the title, Mary, Mother of the Church,” Archbishop Gomez said, adding that they would be doing so “on the same day that our brother bishops to the north consecrate Canada under the same title.”
“This will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus,” said Archbishop Gomez.
The title “Mary, Mother of the Church” was given to the Blessed Mother by Pope St. Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council. In 2018, Pope Francis added the feast of “Mary, Mother of the Church” to the Church’s liturgical calendar, with the rank of a memorial.
Shortly after this announcement, the bishops of Italy announced that they would also be reconsecrating their country to the protection of the Virgin Mary, after having received over 300 letters asking them to do so.