FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Why consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
With scandals rocking the Irish Church, an increasingly anti-clerical government, godless laws being passed, creeping secularisation and the economy in a ditch a public solemn Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Irish Bishops has never been more urgent. When this ecclesiastical act was performed in good faith in Portugal in 1931 by Cardinal Cerejeira and all the Portuguese bishops the country soon after experienced the reward of a threefold miracle of a renewal in the Church, State and economy. Portugal got a new Catholic government, the seminaries were filled at an astonishing rate, with a doubling of the diocesan priesthood, a quadrupling of religious vocations, the flourishing of new religious communities, a rebirth of the Catholic media, press and radio, pilgrimages, spiritual retreats and Catholic action in the diocese. According to the Cardinal Archbishop of Portugal in his homily on 13th May 1942 this transformation was owed to the protection of the Blessed Mother and an example of what the Immaculate Heart of Mary has prepared for the world if it follows their example.
Hasn’t Ireland already been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
No. The Confederation of bishops of Kilkenny consecrated Ireland to the Immaculate Conception in honour of Our Lady’s purity in 1653. Although consecration to the Immaculate conception of Mary as later affirmed by our Lady’s visit to Lourdes in 1858 would surely have its own benefits, in 1917 in response to the spread of modern errors Our Lady of Fatima specifically requested fallen away countries be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart to benefit from her maternal intercession with God. This remains to be accomplished in Ireland and her spiritual light is dimming all the time…
Didn’t pope John Paul II consecrate Ireland to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1979 during his visit?
No. Pope John Paul II personally entrusted Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1979. Entrustment and Consecration are two very different acts and have different effects (see below). Furthermore a national consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary would require the bishops of all 26 dioceses to participate under whose spiritual charge the entire country is placed in diocesan form.
Doesn’t Pope John Paul II’s consecration of the world to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 count instead?
No. Since that general consecration of the world Ireland in particular has spiritually and morally declined very rapidly over the last 28 years like Portugal had in 1931. There are particular problems here in Ireland now which are unprecedented and which need addressing by the Irish Church on a national level. A specific Episcopal national consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady will regenerate the Irish nation just like it did in Portugal and prepare her for her worldwide mission.
Didn’t the Papal Legate Cardinal Marc Quellet entrust
the Irish Church to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on July 16th 2012?
Yes he did but this was a personal enstrustment of the Church not an Episcopal consecration of the State as in Portugal in 1931. There are good reasons to believe that the Church needed enstrusting in this way so that she can “put her own house in order” first so she will have the fortitude to Episcopally consecrate Ireland when the time comes. The fact that this occurred during the Eucharistic Congress of Our Lord’s Eucharistic Sacred Heart on the feast day of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and that the Papal legate returned via Lough Derg to do penance is a good sign in providence that the Church is being spiritually prepared for this. Moreover it may remembered that Our Lord specifically asked Sister Lucy of Fatima that He wanted the whole Church to put the devotion of the Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to His own Sacred Heart in 1936. As many will already know like Portugal, Ireland was consecrated by her bishops to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1873 when English power had started weakening, but unlike Portugal which was subsequently consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Ireland is still awaiting this consecration to fulfil the wish of Our Lord to Sister Lucy of Fatima.
What is the difference between entrustment and consecration?
Entrustment of a person, the Church or a nation whether done by a priest, bishop, Cardinal or an entire Bishops’ Conference is an ecclesiastical act which places the welfare and hence the spiritual and material needs of the person, Church or nation into the hands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Consecration goes much further because the word literally means "to be set aside for a sacred purpose" just as when a religious brother, priest or sister is consecrated to God for special service. He or she will not only receive all they need spiritually and materially but more than that they are consecrated to God's special service in His Divine plan. This was the case when the Portuguese Bishops abandoned themselves to the care of the Mother of God and consecrated their nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1931 and for their faith they were immediately blessed with a threefold renewal of Church, State and economy and became the mouthpiece for the message of Fatima to the whole world as a result. Consecration therefore is not just an emphasis on the person, Church or nation's needs alone but on it fulfilling a particular mission according to the will of God which only it can fulfill. The consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary then is a setting aside of Ireland for her future historic missionary activity as prophesied by St. Malachy in the 13th century who said "Ireland will undergo English oppression for a week of centuries but will preserve fidelity to God and His Church. At the end of this time Ireland will be delivered...Ireland will be instrumental in bringing England back to the unity of the faith". These words were echoed by Blessed Pope John Paul II at Knock in 1979 when he said "Ireland must once again become a light to the nations" and later when back in Rome referring to his time at Clonmacnois the ancient missionary epicentre of Ireland said "These ruins are still charged with a sacred mission". Well, as we know Ireland was emancipated in 1922 but her mission to evangelize England back to the unity of the faith and further afield has not been fulfilled, yet! Many of us will have been taught in our schools by Irish missionaries from the massive outpouring of vocations from Ireland all over the world. Once she has recovered from her present troubles and “put her own house in order” Ireland must evidently become that spark which re-evangelises a morally decaying Europe back to Christianity as she did with a decaying Roman Empire from Clonmacnois in the 5th century.
What is the difference between a consecration to the Sorrowful and
Immaculate Heart of Mary and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
The devotion of Our Lady of Sorrows occurs the day after the feastday of Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 15th. It was extended from the Servite Order to the whole Church by Pope Pius VII in 1814 on the third Sunday in September and then moved to September 15th by Pope Pius X. Properly understood this feastday commemorates the sorrows of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary as she stood at the foot of the cross of the crucified Christ the head of the Church. The devotion of the seven sorrows of Mary recounts the sufferings of Christ from Mary’s point of view and reminds us of her own sufferings as mother of the Church and the sevenfold operation of her Divine spouse the Holy spirit in her soul throughout Our Lord’s passion. Some theologians teach that without Mary’s free fiat of “Let it be done to me according to thy word” God would not have worked the incarnation and others go as far as to say that without her perfect faith at the foot of the cross He would not have worked the resurrection. As such the intercession of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary belongs in a particular way to the sufferings of the Church, Christ’s mystical body on earth, especially the Irish Church at this time to bring her to her resurrection and renewal. This relationship of the suffering Church to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary is a key point for any Episcopal enstrustment of the Irish Church. Consecration of individuals and nations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the other hand was specifically requested by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 as the remedy for the loss of souls and fallen away nations. The two devotions, although different, are complimentary in the special help they bring from God through Mary to the Church and the State.
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