By Józef Łopuszyński
“Mother of the Holy Family from Nazareth, be the guardian of Polish families. We want to do everything necessary to defend the dignity of women and to support spouses in the faithful perseverance in sacred sacramental union,” proclaims the Act of Consecration of the Church in Poland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which, with the participation of Polish Bishops ' Conference was renewed in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Krzeptówki in Zakopane.
The Solemn Mass was presided over by the Polish Bishops’ Conference President and Metropolitan of Poznań Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki. The homily was delivered by Bishop Virgílio Nascimento Antunes - Bishop of the Diocese of Coimbra of Portugal, and former Rector of the sanctuary of Fátima. The ceremony was attended, amongst others, by President Andrzej Duda and his wife, and Prime Minister Beata Szydło.
The Act of Consecration was symbolically signed by Archbishop Gądecki.
Following this, the Polish Bishops stated, “This year's Act will be renewed in every diocese, parish and family on September 8th, on the feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God.”
And so it was that during a Solemn High Mass, the Polish Community in Walsall were led in the Act of Consecration at St Thomas of Canterbury R.C. Church, by Parish Priest of the Personal Polish Parish of West Bromwich and Walsall, Father Ireneusz Maraszkiewicz.
“On Friday, September 8th, in the whole Catholic Church we celebrated the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” said Father Maraszkiewicz.
“Every meeting with one’s mother is a beautiful and unique experience. It is different in every heart, but the mother is one and gives us what each and every one of us needs the most. Like every mother, Mary is so happy to see the whole happy and united family.”
“As a parish community we have gathered today in Walsall to tell our mother that WE LOVE HER. We also invited our brothers and sisters from the English parish.”
“In addition, on this day we joined spiritually with the church in Poland, which renewed its dedication and entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary all our joys and individual, social, family and parish needs. Let this gift of encounter and worship of God together with Mary, unite and support us in the sharing of the received good.”
“We thank Archbishop Gądecki for his initiative.”
St Thomas’ Parish Administrator, Resident Permanent Deacon Michael McGrail added, “I was very happy to be able to assist Fr. Maraszkiewicz at this special occasion for the Polish Church. It was wonderful to have both the Polish and English communities together giving Glory to God, and honouring Our Blessed Lady during this centenary of her apparitions at Fatima.”
“It was wonderful to have the people in Church praising and honouring Our Lady in this way,” responded Father John Villarete, St Thomas’ Church Parochial Vicar,
August Cardinal Hlond
Renewal of the Act is [for Poland] one of the most important points of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima
“The Act of Consecration of the Church in Poland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a reference to the events of September 8th, 1946, when at Jasna Góra, attended by about one million people, the bishops, led by the Primate of Poland August Cardinal Hlond consecrated our homeland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This act referred to the offering of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, performed by Pius XII in 1942.”
"In the Act of Consecration which stresses the right to life of each person we read: Mary, Spiritual Vessel, you protected the conceived life of Jesus and now you teach us how to care for unborn children. We want the gift of life to be considered the greatest Grace from God and the most precious treasure. We resolve to protect conceived life so that everyone can grow in peace and security in their own family.”
„Niepokalane Serce Maryi, przyrzekamy!”
(Immaculate Heart of Mary, we promise!)
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8 Sept –Polish Church Worldwide unites to consecrate Church in Poland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary bit.ly/ConsecrationMary