By Thandiwe Konguavi
Staff Writer

As Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation with fireworks and block parties, Catholic faithful will be celebrating spiritually, with the consecration of the nation to Mary.

Bishops across Canada will be consecrating their dioceses and eparchies to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday, July 1. The bishops of Canada will also gather together in Ottawa in September to make the act of consecration collectively.

In Edmonton, Archbishop Smith will lead the 5 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph’s Basilica, in which the people of the Archdiocese will be consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Special prayers will also be offered at each parish across the Archdiocese.

So what exactly does that mean?

For individuals, Marian Consecration is a call to holiness through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God and Mother of the Church, said Rev. Paul Kavanagh, Director of Divine Worship for the Archdiocese.

“An act of consecration of a country to Mary is certainly a great spiritual moment for a nation,” said Kavanagh. “This can have a great spiritual impact not only for the Church but for our nation.”

Five interesting facts about Marian Consecration:

1. The consecration is a renewal of our first consecration, or calling by God to holiness, at Baptism.

“Marian Consecration for ourselves as individuals is really an act by which through the intercession of Mary the Mother of God we continue to live a personal call to holiness which begins at our baptism,” said Kavanagh.

“As we honour her as the mother of God and the mother of the Church, we grow deeper into our relationship with God.”

2. Mary is the perfect model of what it means to live by faith.

“She is a great and perfect model for each one of us of what it means to be a disciple, of what it means to be a Christian,” said Kavanagh. “Her entire life was directed, was pointing towards Jesus her son and of course to God, and so for each one of us as we live our life, we consecrate ourselves through the intercession of Mary our Blessed Mother as a way of growing in our relationship with God.”

3. Marian Consecration comes with spiritual benefits.

“Making an act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as we will be doing as a nation, draws us ever closer to God in a very profound way, and I think by that very fact we grow in our spiritual life, we grow in our relationship with God,” said Kavanagh.

Among the spiritual benefits of Marian Consecration are a deeper growth in faith and a deeper sense of the grace — or help — that God gives in our spiritual life, he said.

4. The first time the whole country was consecrated to Mary was 70 years ago, and it’s OK to do it again.

Canada was consecrated to the Blessed Mother in 1947 during the National Marian Congress in Ottawa. The celebration focused on the hope for lasting world peace and featured a message by Pope Pius XII broadcast during the Eucharist. Radio stations across the country carried the event and the prayer of consecration was led in French and English by federal cabinet ministers Louis St-Laurent and James J. McCann.

Consecrating the country again does not mean that the first consecration is lost by any means, said Kavanagh. Rather, it brings the consecration into focus for the current generation.

“I think that by consecrating each diocese, each eparchy, the bishops of Canada are really once again focusing the Catholic Church of Canada, our community, on what that means to be a Christian in our nation and in how we live our lives with the understanding of our relationship with God.”

5. The statue being used at the Consecration in Edmonton was used by Bishop Vital Grandin to consecrate the Diocese of St. Albert to the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1871.

Following communion at the Canada Day Mass at the Basilica, the Archbishop will make the act of Consecration, or prayer, before the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The refurbished statue, possibly the first Marian statue in the Archdiocese, is being loaned to the Basilica on that day from its home at St. Albert Parish.

Each parish will offer an adapted prayer of consecration from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) over the Canada Day weekend to consecrate themselves at the parish level, said Kavanagh.

The prayer speaks about our faith in God, our nation, the first missionaries, and Indigenous peoples.

“I have to say the prayer of consecration itself I found very beautifully written; I think in a very real way it tries to encompass our whole nation and the faith that we have,” said Kavanagh.

Prayer cards which have on one side an image of Our Lady of Canada and on the second side the prayer, will also be available for parishioners to pray daily on their own prayer time.

The Bishops of Canada will participate together in the consecration of the country to the Blessed Mother during the CCCB plenary meeting in September.


Download the Prayer of Consecration and supporting materials:


Did you know that 24 different parishes in the Archdiocese of Edmonton honour the Mother of God in their names?

  • 1. Holy Heart of Mary, Viking
  • 2. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Bashaw
  • 3. Mary Help of Christians, Edmonton
  • 4. Nativity of Mary, Edmonton
  • 5. Our Lady Queen of Poland, Edmonton
  • 6. Our Lady of Fatima, Edmonton
  • 7. Our Lady of Good Help, Edmonton
  • 8. Our Lady of Grace, Castor
  • 9. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Edmonton
  • 10. Our Lady of Lourdes, Jasper
  • 11. Our Lady of Lourdes, Lac La Nonne
  • 12. Our Lady of Mercy, Enoch
  • 13. Our Lady of Peace, Innisfail
  • 14. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sherwood Park
  • 15. Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, Maskwacis
  • 16. Our Lady of Victory, Thorsby
  • 17. Our Lady of the Angels, Fort Saskatchewan
  • 18. Our Lady of the Assumption, Sylvan Lake
  • 19. Our Lady of the Foothills, Hinton
  • 20. Our Lady of the Prairies, Daysland
  • 21. Our Lady of the Rockies, Susa Creek
  • 22. Queen of Martyrs, Edmonton
  • 23. St. Mary, Red Deer
  • 24. St. Mary, Provost