.- Cardinal Orani João Tempesta, the archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, consecrated Brazil to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
“Mary wants to be a presence of trust and hope” amid the present pandemic, the cardinal said at the consecration Wednesday, adding that “wherever she goes, she brings her son.”
The consecration took place in the Chapel of the Apparitions of Brazil, the only Fatima replica in the world authorized by the original Fatima Shrine in Portugal.
The consecration and accompanying Mass were followed online by thousands.
“Today is a very special day for our people. May the devotees of Our Lady of Fatima experience the comfort of the presence of the Mother of Jesus in their lives,” Tempesta said.
He said that because of the coronavirus lockdown, the May 13 event was a kind of pilgrimage in reverse. Rather than the faithful coming to the chapel to honor Mary, she goes out to every home, through the virtual transmission of the ceremony, he said.
The cardinal noted that the Fatima apparitions came in the context of the First World War, the Spanish flu, and the spread of ideologies contrary to the Catholic faith.
“God knows the reasons for the exile we’re going through,” he said, adding, “we pray that we can again participate in the celebrations in the churches” soon.
Tempesta invited all those watching the ceremony to hear anew the Fatima message and call to personal conversion.
“Given current events, these signs of the times, which remind us of human fragility, we must seek Jesus even more. It is necessary to live each day in the Way of the Lord,” he said.
“It is up to us Christians to announce that man needs God to have meaning for his life and for eternal life, without the illumination that comes from the cross of Christ, we would not be able to resolve the inner issues of our hearts.”
He prayed for the protection of Mary, “that she cover us with her mantle and give meaning to our journey.”
After the conclusion of the ceremony, the cardinal blessed all the cameras and electronic equipment used for the online transmission.
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
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