Next weekend, a very important event will take part at Carfin Grotto, the national shrine in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On Sunday 3rd September, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and the Bishops of Scotland will consecrate Scotland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an event which has never taken place before, although it has certainly been preceded by several local Diocesan Consecrations.
A Vigil will take place the evening before, on Saturday 2nd September. There will be exposition and adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the prayer of the Rosary each hour between 7pm and 10pm, and the Vigil will conclude with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament at 10:30pm.
Please pray that this solemn Act of Consecration of Scotland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be accepted and blessed by Heaven, and that it will become a source of abundant graces and blessings for our Church and for our nation.
Bishop John Keenan, of the Diocese of Paisley, has recently spoken in a little more depth about this Consecration, the reasons behind it, and what it is hoped the Consecration will achieve –
What is the Consecration of Scotland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
By our Act of Consecration of Scotland we entrust our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We ask Mary to take it from our fragile hands into Her own, to defend it and guard it as Her own property and to make Jesus reign, conquer and rule in it. Outside of Her Son there is no salvation.
Jesus Entrusted the Church to Mary
In consecrating ourselves to Our Blessed Mother we are remembering how Mary’s Son, Jesus, consecrated us to Her from the Cross when He said, Behold Your Mother. It was only after He had done this that He knew all was now complete and, commending His Spirit into His Father’s hands, breathed His last.
Hours before, at the Last Supper, Jesus already consecrated Himself to His Heavenly Father for our sake when He prayed: For their sakes I consecrate Myself so that they also may be consecrated in the truth.
In order to bring about our consecration He entrusted us to His Mother’s Immaculate Heart. Jesus knew that His Mother always served His Father’s will. From the beginning She called Herself the handmaid of the Lord and, from the beginning, Jesus watched Her lead all the Father’s children to Her Son. Her last spoken words in the Gospel, to the stewards who entrusted themselves to Her at the Wedding Feast of Cana, are: Do whatever He tells you! So we consecrate ourselves to Mary in order to be consecrated with Her Son to the Father in the truth.
Jesus makes the Bishops of Scotland the Spiritual Voice of our Nation
As Jesus returned to the Father He sent His apostles into every nation and gave them His own authority. He said to them: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. In doing so Jesus promised them that whatever you bind on earth will be considered bound in Heaven.
The Scottish bishops are the successors of the Apostles in Scotland. Gathering as a College of Bishops in union with Peter, and in whom resides the spiritual authority over Scotland, they invoke this authority for our country to make recourse and Intercession to our Mother Mary’s Heart, sure that She will not fail to come to our aid but will entrust us to the care of Her Beloved Son.
Consecration Means the Total Gift of Ourselves to Mary
In making our Consecration we make a total gift of ourselves and our whole lives for all eternity to our Blessed Mother with childlike simplicity and confidence. We promise to offer Her all our prayers and the whole of our spiritual lives in great confidence that She, Our Mother, knows our needs best of all and, as our Most Powerful Intercessor, Her prayers are always heard. In consecrating ourselves to Mary we find ourselves in the safest path to union with Her Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. He is our goal but She is our surest guide to Him. It was only through the Virgin Mother that God came into our world and it is through Her that our world best goes to God.
We know that to consecrate ourselves to Mary is to commit ourselves afresh as disciples, spent for the salvation of the world and completing in our own lives the sufferings of Christ as His Body, the Church.
Consecration Follows the Pattern of Fatima
At Fatima Our Lady asked that Catholics turn our hearts to acts of reparation for our sins and the sins of the world, to the recitation of the Rosary for the conversion of our countries, and in devotion to Her Immaculate Heart on the First Saturdays of the month by attending Holy Mass and Confession and praying for the Church.
Inserting our consecration into the grace of Fatima we pray that the power of this consecration will last for all time, cover every person in our land, and overcome every darkness and evil, and we pray to live out our consecration ever more faithfully from this day on by imitating Our Blessed Mother’s virtues.
Consecration Saves our World from the Devil and His Wiles
The hope of salvation is never far away when a nation’s heart is turned in devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The powers of evil are all too evident and menacing in our modern world today. Like the Apostles on Lake Galilee, as the storm threatened to capsize their boat, we feel ourselves crying to Jesus: Save us Lord. We perish! We sense ourselves living through a crucial moment in our world’s history and destiny where the battle between good and evil seems stronger than ever. We live in times plagued by the evils of war, terror and famine, of sins against life at its beginning and end, of hatred and the demeaning of human dignity, of widespread impurity, of national and international injustices, of the trampling of God’s commandments where our people seem even to have lost the sense of sin itself, of attempts to stifle the truth of God in human hearts, of sins against the Holy Spirit.
From Fatima we have heard Mary’s dreadful warning that our world must stop sinning and put an end to the enormity of our rebellion against God. She admonishes us that God’s justice must otherwise come to pass unless we turn back to Him in this space of history which His patience has yet allowed. We know these attacks are so relentless and severe that many of our brothers and sisters, God’s children, are being lost and that now we need good souls to give themselves up wholeheartedly to prayer, penance and reparation for their conversion. Our modern world sorely needs to feel the infinite power of God’s merciful love.
At their source we know that such errors and darkness are sewn by the Devil Himself and that the Christian battle is against the supernatural forces that rejected from the Beginning the Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that they will menace our world to the end.
Consecration will assure Scotland the Freedom from Darkness and the Final Victory in Christ which it so Needs and Seeks
Christianity came to our Scottish shores with Saint Ninian and was built up by Saint Columba and the missionary founders of many of our towns and cities. Saint Margaret reigned as a Christian Queen who served the Catholic Faith, established true worship and devotion, set us on a course of wisdom and education and tended to the sick and the poor. Saint John Ogilvie gave His life for the conversion of Scotland to the one faith under Peter, and gave us a love for Holy Mass, the Sacraments and devotion to Our Blessed Mother. Scotland has shone brightly with the light of Christ and we ask the Blessed Virgin to strengthen and increase the Christian faith among the people of Scotland, knowing that the happy destiny of our land depends not finally on our politicians but on our consecration to Her.
Yet now we must come to Mary and ask Her to drive from our land the darnel that the Devil has sewn among the good wheat of our Christian faith, to cast down the schemes of the enemies of religion, that Christian moral life may be restored, that freedom of conscience be respected, and that Scottish Catholics may fearlessly resist error by witnessing courageously to the Faith. Only thus will the Gospel again be preached in our nation and true justice, harmony and peace be spread. We pray that the saving Kingdom of God – a Kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace – may triumph in our land and that the intercession of the Blessed Mother Mary will assist us and obtain from Her Son, Jesus, light to our minds, and strength to our souls to overcome, by God’s grace, all that is sullied and wrong. And, as we do, we ask Her to look kindly on those in our country who oppose the Christian vision so that their minds and hearts may be converted from sin and turn to the Light of Salvation.
Consecration Saves our Church from its Sins
We come to make our consecration to Mary pained at all the unholiness in our Church and at how hard our hearts have been to Her Son’s call to repentance, penance, prayer and faith and how deaf our ears have been to His command to go into the vineyard of the world and gather in the harvest. We ask Our Lady, the handmaid of the Lord, to teach us how to hear afresh the voice of Her Son and answer His call. We pray that our consecration to Her will reinvigorate and unite our Church for its mission to herald Her Son’s Kingdom.
Consecration Ensures the Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart and the Lasting Victory of Good over Evil
Jesus’ Word assures us that the mystery our world’s Redemption is greater than the weight of its sin. He alone has power to make reparation on behalf our sins and to obtain our pardon and He has already paid the price in full of every sin that will ever be committed to the end of time. So we are certain that our Heavenly Father, Who loved the world so much as to send His Son for our Salvation and Whose Son consecrated Himself so that we would be consecrated in the Truth, will hear and answer our prayers.
From the Beginning, from the Fall and the sin of Adam and Eve, and the sins of the Human Race since, our Heavenly Father promised that, standing with His Son, there would be a Woman to crush the head of the Serpent that threatens us and Who would prove Herself the Mother of all the Living. Especially when the powers of this world and of Hell seek to cast the Christian vision from view, especially when our times fall under the shadow of sadness and pain, devotion to Our Blessed Mother ensures the gates of Hell will never prevail. No-one who sought Mary’s protection was left unaided and that is why it is with proven faith that we entrust ourselves to Her as our Mother who knows Her children’s sufferings and hopes, Who has a mother’s awareness of our personal, ecclesial and national struggle between good and evil, between the light and darkness which besets us, and Who hears the cry of the people of Scotland who, moved by the Holy Spirit, are turning to Her for forgiveness and, with it, a new beginning in life, peace and hope. It is Her Son, the Risen Lord, Who stands before us saying: See I make all things new! Amen!
– Bishop John Keenan, Diocese of Paisley