Scotland has been solemnly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Act of Consecration was read jointly by the Archbishops and Bishops of Scotland and the thousands of Catholics of Scotland, who had gathered this afternoon at the Marian shrine at Carfin Grotto. A few days ago, the Scottish Parliament announced that it was including itself in the Consecration by means of a motion of recognition. And so this collegial Consecration represented all of Scottish life – the Church, the State and the people.
Despite the forecasted heavy rain, which began as the Bishops processed in and was still pouring as they processed out, several thousand people came to the Grotto to be part of this singular day in the history of the Church and of Scotland.
The Sacrifice of the Mass was offered by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, and concelebrated by Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti and the Scottish Bishops, together with a large group of Priests and Deacons from the various Dioceses of Scotland.
Also present were many Religious, as well as representatives of a number of Catholic groups and associations, including the Union of Catholic Mothers, the Legion of Mary, the World Apostolate of Fatima and the Knights of St Columba.
In his homily, Bishop Brian McGee of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles, spoke about the rain and quipped that it had been much the same on 13th October 1917, when the great Miracle of the Sun took place at Fatima. On that day, of course, the rain stopped; today, the Lady of the Rosary gave us an opportunity to offer something up for the acceptance of the Consecration.
Bishop McGee also spoke about the children of Fatima, who constantly said ‘yes’ to the invitation of the Lady and so became ever more united to the will of God for them; in this, they echoed the life of the Blessed Virgin, who so perfectly and constantly said ‘yes’ to God. The Bishop invited us to make this same commitment, growing in holiness by our correspondence to the will of God for us in our own lives.
At the Conclusion of the Mass, the solemn Act of Consecration was read aloud by all present, led by Archbishop Tartaglia. Hearing the Bishops and the people of Scotland consecrating themselves and our nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a great and swelling array of voices rising up from the Grotto like incense, is perhaps the most beautiful thing I have ever heard and I was deeply moved. I have no doubt that all of Heaven was listening intently, too; and I pray that this Consecration will be found pleasing and acceptable by God. The text of the Act of Consecration is given below.
At its conclusion, Archbishop Tartaglia noted how moved he, too, had felt, and how historic this moment actually was; he spoke of his pride at the people of Scotland coming out to honour the Blessed Virgin, and he added that the Bishops and Priests of Scotland love the people of this nation very much. It was deeply heartening to see so many of the Priests of Scotland coming together in a public show of devotion to the Mother of God.
More than anything, it was wonderful to see so many thousands of ordinary people brave the typical Scottish rain to pay homage to the Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.
It was She who so very kindly visited Her people one hundred years ago in Portugal, bringing a message of such hope, an echo of the Gospel itself, calling us back to the way of holiness through prayer, sacrifice, reparation and the leading of a good life supported by the Sacraments of the Church. That message rings even now like a clarion call, persistent and insistent, perhaps even more relevant to our own age than it was then.
I am sure this same Lady looked down upon us gathered in Her honour this afternoon at Carfin, and that She smiled upon us all.
Text of the Act of Consecration of Scotland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Queen of Heaven and Earth, and tender Mother of all people, in accordance with Your ardent wish, made known to the three children at Fatima, we consecrate to Your Immaculate Heart our beloved country of Scotland.
We stand confidently before You today, O holy Mother of God. Inflame us with the same divine fire which inflamed Your own Immaculate Heart. Reign over us and teach us how to make the Heart of Jesus reign and triumph in us and around us, as It has reigned and triumphed in You. Make our country and it’s people, Your shrine, O holy Mother of God, so that we may be Yours in prosperity and adversity, in joy and sorrow, in health and sickness, in life and in death.
We consecrate Scotland to You; all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. To You we give our minds and hearts, our bodies and souls. We willingly place at Your service our homes and families, our parishes and schools. We desire that everything that is within us and around us, amuy belong to You, O Mary.
That this Consecration may be truly efficacious and lasting, we renew this day the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation – to be faithful witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We pledge ourselves to foster a true love of the Mass, and devotion to the Real Presence of Your Son in the Blessed Sacrament. We pledge ourselves to keep the Commandments of God and His holy Church. We undertake to promote in our homes and parishes a virtuous life. We pledge ourselves to recite ether Rosary more frequently, and to make reparation for the coldness and indifference of so many human hearts.
Finally, we promise, O glorious Mother of God, to devote ourselves whole-heartedly to the service of Your blessed name, in order to assure, through the sovereignty of Your Immaculate Heart, the coming of the Kingdom of Your Son, Jesus Christ, in our hearts and in our country of Scotland.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
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