Turn to Virgin Mary for protection of nation, urges bishop
Saying “the attacks of the world, the flesh, and the devil seem particularly ferocious in this current moment,” Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has called on Catholics of the Diocese of Peoria to increase their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“We turn to her to protect our country, to guide our leaders, and to turn our hearts to her Son,” said the bishop in a letter released in mid-August.
He specifically suggests that parishes, schools, and families consider a Marian Consecration such as one outlined in a book by Father Michael Gaitly, MIC. The book, "33 Days to Morning Glory," is being made available free of charge to parishes and schools while supplies last through the generosity of a donor.
Following is the full text of Bishop Jenky's letter:
To the Priests, Deacons, Religious Educators, Pastoral Leaders and Faithful of the Diocese of Peoria:
My Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I hope that over my 10 years as your bishop, my love for Our Lady, as has yours, has been abundantly clear: I have convoked a number of Rosary Congresses, declared a Year of the Rosary, dedicated a Festival Letter to our Lady as well as countless homilies and talks, I asked that her image as our Mother of Perpetual Help be enshrined in our parishes and schools, even as I re-consecrated our entire diocese to her patronage when I solemnly enthroned her icon in our Cathedral.
I again turn to her and I ask you to do the same.
It has never been easy to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. In fact, our Savior warns that the world will hate us if we love Him. The attacks of this world, the flesh and devil seem particularly ferocious in this current moment. Several months ago, I asked that we not lose sight of the spiritual nature of this battle when I directed that the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel should be invoked at every Sunday Mass for the protection of the Catholic Church in America. I now ask us to re-double our spiritual efforts through devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
The Immaculate Mother of God is the Patroness of the United States and our own Local Church. The Pope has personally consecrated the world to her protection, and that invocation has been renewed by the bishops of our country, as I have done as well for our diocese following the example of Archbishop Schlarman. I encourage each of our parishes, schools, and families to consider a similar devotion to Our Lady. We turn to her to protect our country, to guide our leaders, and to turn our hearts to her Son.
There are many ways to grow in devotion to our Lady. The scriptural meditation of the Rosary is perhaps the finest. Likewise, there are many methods of Marian Consecration. Through a generous donor, I am happy to make available copies of “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Father Michael Gaitly, MIC, to our parishes, schools, CCD and adult education programs. These books are free but supplies are limited and are available “first come.” I have asked the sisters in the diocesan museum and the Sheen Foundation to coordinate distribution. You may pick up the books anytime during office hours after Aug. 16. The traditional 30-day consecration could very appropriately begin in our schools and families in early September in order to culminate on the Feast of the Holy Rosary on Oct. 5.
But no matter what book or formula may be used, I feel it very important that we turn to our Lady to help us and our country during these coming months. We can take comfort that her Immaculate Heart will triumph!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC
Bishop of Peoria