Marian celebration on the occasion of the threat of the coronavirus pandemic on Easter Sunday in the Guadalupe Basilica of Mexico City and in the local churches
Rome (kath.net/KAP) The Council of Latin American Episcopal Conferences (CELAM) is taking an extraordinary step to solicit intercession for the "early end of the pandemic" together with the Bishops of Mexico (CEST), Latin America and the Caribbean are dedicated to the Mother of God of Guadalupe, who is also the patron saint of the continent, said the Roman news service "Fides" on Wednesday. The main event is at the Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico City.
The current situation requires that "as shepherds we see and hear the suffering of our peoples and awaken hope by looking at our mother in heaven," said CELAM President Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, Archbishop of Trujillo. All countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are invited to join the celebration through the media. At the same time, the bells of all churches should ring.
The program of the celebration initially includes the prayer of a "missionary rosary for the health of people on the five continents." The Easter service will follow and at the end there is the act of consecration of the continent to "Our Lady of Guadalupe." The contemplation of the Mother of Jesus strengthens faith and hope, and it also strengthens "that we use love based on solidarity, especially for those who today feel sick, pain, poverty, loneliness, fear or unrest," says the CELAM letter.
The decision of the bishops was preceded by several appeals to the Virgin Mary by Latin American presidents in the wake of the Corona crisis, including Colombia's head of state Ivan Duque. In Paraguay, President Mario Abdo Benitez, in El Salvador his counterpart Nayib Bukele, and in Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called for prayers. US President Donald Trump declared March 15th the "National Day of Prayer" in his country when the Coronavirus pandemic began.
Protector in distress
The consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a form of piety of the Catholic Church. Individuals or groups, churches, monasteries, dioceses or even nations are entrusted to the intercession of Mary and her special protection. The consecration of the Virgin Mary is practiced frequently, but not only in exceptional situations.
Traditional Marian piety sees Mary as a protector in distress. In many devotional pictures and works of art history, she is depicted with a protective coat under which those in need find refuge. Pope John Paul II (1978-2005) has consecrated the whole of humanity to the Blessed Mother several times, which Pope Pius XII. did in 1942. There were also several consecrations of the Virgin Mary in Austria, most recently on Thursday of the previous week - the Feast of the Annunciation - the consecration of Tyrol by Bishop Hermann Glettler.
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