Blessed Mary, we need a miracle



Church turns to Mary, Queen of Peace

Kathryn Williams, Editor-In-Chief

As violence in Eastern Europe persists, the Pope called upon Catholics to join together in unified prayer for peace and the intercession of the Virgin Mary. On Friday, March 25 at 5 pm Rome time (12 pm NH time), members of the Saint Anselm community gathered in the Abbey Church to pray for an Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

One of the first questions that people asked when they saw the invitation to pray together was, what exactly is a consecration? “Consecration means to make sacred, to set something or someone apart for a holy purpose. The Scriptures are filled with examples of people consecrating themselves, their children, and even their nations to the will and service of God,” said Br. George.

This Act of Consecration, which took place on the Feast of the Annunciation, involved consecrating humanity, especially Ukraine and Russia, to Mary. “Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary entails a plea that she guide us to her Son, Jesus. Such an act invites us to entrust ourselves to her perfect intercession,” said Br. George.

In a letter to all Bishops, Pope Francis wrote, “Since it is fitting that we should invoke peace with hearts renewed by God’s forgiveness, the Act of Consecration will take place in the context of a Celebration of Penance.” Given that the Consecration took place on the Feast of the Annunciation and during Lent, Catholics are able to reflect on this event in different ways. 

Brother George explained how the Pope’s message, especially during the Lenten season, emphasizes the need for repentance. “Rather than characterizing the current crisis as a bad country versus a good one, he reminds us all of our own collective guilt in enabling war in the first place,” said Br. George. 

The Feast of the Annunciation, which celebrates the moment when the angel Gabriel came down to Mary to tell her she would give birth, calls Catholics to examine how this act relates to the present-day conflicts, both in Eastern Europe and in individual hearts. The Act of Consecration that was prayed by many Catholics on that day reads, “You are able to untie the knots of our hearts and of our times. In you we place our trust.” Through the consecration, Catholics all around the world put their faith in Mary to help humanity overcome division and work towards peace.

The first recorded miracle of Jesus, when he turned water into wine at Cana, was also mentioned in the prayer. When the wedding feast ran out of wine, Jesus was not going to perform a miracle. However, Mary implored him to help the people and he listened to his mother. The Act of Consecration asks for Mary to intercede for humanity in that way once again, “for in our own day we have run out of the wine of hope, joy has fled, fraternity has faded.”

Faith can often be tested during times of such suffering. People question how a loving God fits with the violence of the world around them, or whether prayer is powerful enough to make a difference. “For us as Catholics, the consecration should remind us that our struggles, hopes, and goals involve politics but also transcend it,” said Br. George.

As Pope Francis wrote in his letter to Bishops, “this act of Consecration is meant to be a gesture of the universal Church, which in this dramatic moment lifts up to God, through his Mother and ours, the cry of pain of all those who suffer and implore an end to the violence, and to entrust the future of our human family to the Queen of Peace.”