Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we come to the First Saturday in September this year, we find ourselves in a place which many of us had hoped to have left behind by this day. We find ourselves still struggling with the effects of the COVID pandemic. Despite the progress we have made in dealing with the pandemic, there remain woven into the fabric of our days the suffering of those infected, too often even now leading to death; the fatigue and discouragement of health-care workers combating the illness; our fears and anxiety about the impact of the pandemic on our families and communities; and the contention to which these concerns so often give rise.
My aim in this message is to ask that you join me in making this First Saturday of September 2021 a day of particular prayer to renew the entrustment of our plight to the loving protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother.
In the rhythm of the Church’s life the First Saturday of each month is particularly devoted to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God. I invite all of you to approach the Blessed Mother on this First Saturday to ask again for her help and protection to carry us, her children, through this time of trial.
In the first months of the pandemic, Pope Francis, as he addressed the whole world from St. Peter’s Basilica, entrusted us “to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea.” The sea has yet to become calm, so let us once again renew the entrustment of ourselves to Mary.
In my “Ten Guideposts for Christians in the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic,” I made my own appeal to entrust ourselves to the Blessed Mother: “From the cross Jesus gave us his Mother to be ours. In every age – from the days before Pentecost until today – the Church has been blessed through the Mother of God interceding for us, from her being close to us with her care and protection.” Once again, with a constancy born of confidence in the love of Our Lady’s Heart, “let us renew our commitment to ‘fly to her protection.’” Once again, “I invite you to join with me in praying the Memorare every day to commend not only the Church but also our country, indeed the whole world, to the loving care of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
With each of you this day, in praying for all of us, I remain
Yours, in the Heart of Christ,
Archbishop Allen Vigneron
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
St. Anne, pray for us.
Bl. Solanus, pray for us.