By ZENIT Staff

In an act of love and faith, the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean consecrated the region to the Virgin of Guadalupe on Easter Sunday, to pray for the world’s health and a speedy end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This past Sunday, in a remote manner and through electronic means, the 46 countries (with the dependent Territories and Overseas Departments), which make up Latin America and the Caribbean, joined together for this prayer transmitted from the Basilica of Guadalupe.

The Archbishop Primate of Mexico, Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, presided over the ceremony, pointing out that it is “a beautiful and significant date to put ourselves under the mantle of our dear Mother, Mary of Guadalupe.”

Latin America United

At the beginning of the ceremony, the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Franco Coppola, read a message from Pope Francis for the occasion of this consecration. In it, the Holy Father sent his Blessing to the Latin American and Caribbean Church, as well as to the faithful following the transmission through the electronic means.

Subsequently, a video message was broadcast of Bishop Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, President of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), thanking the Church in Mexico for the fraternal and generous gesture of this consecration initiative.

“In critical moments of epidemics, plagues, and wars, confident prayers have been made for the maternal protection of the Mother of Jesus; therefore, we address this prayer to Her: You, Mother, healed Juan Diego’s Uncle and, during the 18th century, you protected the whole of Mexico under your mantle from the matlazahuatl epidemic. We come to you again today, feeling small and fragile in face of sickness and pain, to pray to you for the whole of humanity, especially for your most vulnerable children: the elderly, the children, the sick, the Indians and the migrants.”

He added that, imprinted on the heart of Latin Americans as a seal are those words of the Virgin to Saint Juan Diego: “Let not your heart be troubled, or be anxious about anything. Am I not here who am your Mother?”

Therefore, said the President of CELAM, this ceremony of consecration to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of America, is being held to ask for health and an end to the pandemic, “placing ourselves under Her loving gaze in these difficult moments, in which She can open to us the doors of health, hope, and joy.”

Bishop Cabrejos Vidarte added that countries not included in the region, among them the United States, Canada, and the Philippines, were also placed under the protective mantle of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

On March 24, 2020, the Latin American Episcopal Council launched this consecration initiative, to be held on April 12 at 12 noon on Easter Sunday, given the Coronavirus pandemic afflicting the world at present.

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