Join the U.S. Bishops this Friday, May 1 at 3:00 p.m. for a brief solemn liturgy led by Archbishop José Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as we renew the consecration of the United States of America to the Blessed Virgin Mary, entrusting our needs to her maternal care and protection. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ service will be livestreamed via the USCCB’s website at http://www.usccb.org/consecration.
Through a collective dedication or entrustment of a nation to Mary, an act of consecration is meant to be a reminder to the faithful of the Blessed Mother’s witness to the Gospel and to ask for her effective intercession before her Son on behalf of those in need. Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore, the first bishop of the United States, promoted devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, and placed the United States under her protection in a pastoral letter of 1792. The 21 bishops attending the Sixth Provincial Council of Baltimore in 1846 determined to name the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, as the Patroness of the United States, and Pope Pius XI approved this decision the following year. More recently, the dedication of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., in 1959was the opportunity for the bishops to consecrate the nation to the Blessed Mother once again. Several popes have likewise consecrated the world to Mary on various occasions.
The consecration on May 1 follows a similar action of the bishops’ conference of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) who consecrated their nations to Our Lady of Guadalupe on Easter Sunday. This prayer reaffirms and renews previous Marian entrustments, and unites us in solidarity with our Holy Father, who recently established the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, as a source of protection and strength.