Observance: Consecration of the Philippines to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The National Consecration of the Philippines and the Catholic Faithful to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as "Isang Bayang Sumisinta kay Maria" (Pueblo Amante de Maria) will take place on June 8, 2013, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Catholic Filipinos hold a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, praying to the Mother of Jesus for guidance, inspiration, and spiritual strength. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will hold a simultaneous consecration at 10 am on June 8, 2013, in all cathedrals, parish churches, shrines, and chapels in the country, led by the bishops in their respective dioceses, prelatures, and apostolic vicariates. The ceremonies will start with a Marian procession, followed by catechesis and praying of the rosary. The rosary will be broadcast through media partners in various dialects such as Bicolano, Tagalog, and Cebuano. After the praying of the rosary, the mass will be celebrated, followed by the national consecration and ringing of church bells over the Philippines.

The decision to have a national consecration to the Blessed Mother was approved by the CBCP in its 106th Plenary Assembly on January 28, 2013. In its Pastoral Exhortation on April 15, 2013, the CBCP urged dioceses and parishes, schools and other institutions, and families, to solemnly offer a joint public act of entrustment to the Blessed Mother. It said: "We wish to do this as truly one people, from Aparri to Jolo, formally re-affirming that our country is indeed 'Pueblo Amante de Maria' -Bayang Sumisinta kay Maria, a people loving Mary, the Mother of Jesus."

The act of entrustment and consecration is part of the Year of Faith observance, and part of the nine-year (novena) preparation for the 2021 celebration of the Coming of the Christian Faith to the Philippines 500 years ago in 1521. The Year of Faith began on October 11, 2012, with ceremonies at the Vatican in Rome and will end on November 24, 2013, the Feast of Christ the King.

We seek the prayers and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to look upon Her beloved Philippines and the Filipino people to guide them along the paths of justice, truth, and love. May we grow in devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for all of us!

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