July 2017 - District Superior's Letter
Our Lady of Canada!
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Divine Providence sometimes allows us to suffer greatly, so that we are almost forced to turn to God for help. We find examples of this in the Old Testament when the Chosen People were defeated by the pagans, and sometimes in the Gospels when the Apostles were truly at a loss as to what to do. Similar events are frequent in the history of Catholic peoples. God allows tragic situations to occur so that we are motivated to kneel and cry out: “Save us, O Lord, we perish!”
Against this background, in the face of the forces of evil that are becoming increasingly aggressive to destroy all vestiges of Christianity and even of natural law, in recent history we have seen bishops, sometimes all the bishops of a country, consecrate their country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We praise this act and recommend it to individuals and families, especially those who are going through hard times or who want to progress spiritually.
The Bishops of Canada have now taken this initiative on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the confederation of Canada on this July 1, 2017.
The first time the country as a whole was consecrated to the Blessed Mother took place in 1947 during the National Marian Congress which was held in Ottawa. Ranked at the time as the largest religious gathering until then in North America, the celebration marked the centenary of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and focused on the hope for lasting world peace. A message by Pope Pius XII was broadcast during the Eucharist and was carried by a number of radio stations across the country. We give this beautiful message below. The prayer of consecration was led in French and English by two federal Cabinet ministers, the Right Honourable Louis St-Laurent, then Secretary of State for External Affairs, and the Honourable James J. McCann, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of War Services. Archival information on the 1947 consecration is available on the website https://sites.google.com/site/mariancongress1947/.
Then as part of the 1954 Marian Year, during a celebration at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape, near Trois-Rivières, Quebec, all the Catholic Bishops of Canada, led by Their Eminences James Cardinal McGuigan and Paul-Émile Léger, then Archbishop of Toronto and Archbishop of Montreal respectively, consecrated the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Today again we can certainly sense a feeling of powerlessness among the religious authorities caught by the false principles of pacifism, of separation of Church and State, of having lost the spirit of sacrifice, and of battle of which the source is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This powerlessness, is often in itself a grace, as we said, to force us to turn to God.
The SSPX District of Canada, as all the other SSPX districts have been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary over the years. Fr. Emily did it in 1991. I think the circumstances are favorable for a renewal of this consecration again this year, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Canada. I would like to ask all our priests and our faithful to renew this consecration in all our mass centers, at the end of Sunday Mass, on July 2. We have slightly modified Fr. Emily’s prayer for the occasion.
Herewith then, is Pius XII’s beautiful Radio Message of 1947 followed by the prayer of consecration which we will use on July 2.
Yours truly in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Fr. Daniel Couture
Message of Pope Pius XII to the Marian Congress of Ottawa
June 19, 1947
Beloved Children in Christ Jesus: You have opened a congress which will be memorable in the proud annals of your country. This is not the first time that Canadian skies have been pierced by paeans of praise to honour her whom the King, the King of Kings has wished to honour. More than three centuries ago Mary's sweet name was given to river and lake, to mountain-peak and bay in your land, and devotion to her Most Pure Heart was sanctifying the family hearths. A first settlement might be little more than a few rough cabins along the lower banks of the river, but a chapel was there, dedicated to God to honour the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Other brave spirits came to penetrate farther up the river and their city was to be Mary's own; their battle-cry against the savages of the forest was: Ave Purissima!
But those early champions of Mary's honour to the glory of her Son, for all their adventuresome fervour, could never have imagined the scene that Canada presents today. In the national capital, before most eminent representatives of Church and State, thousands have gathered to make public profession of their faith, Canada's rich heritage from Old France and to re-dedicate to Mary Immaculate the country that they love, with whose future are bound up the happiness and welfare of their children and children's children. With keen joy We feel conscious of Our own presence in your midst in the person of Our Cardinal Legate. Surely Our venerable Brother, the devoted Shepherd of your souls, responded to a holy inspiration, when he planned to commemorate the centenary of the diocese of Ottawa by a Marian Congress, whose sessions and liturgical functions would help you to know better and love more ardently creation's incomparable glory, and whose crowning act would be the consecration of all; town, - city and province - to Mary, the Mother of God.
Mother of God! What an ineffable title! The grace of the divine maternity is the key which opens up to weak, human scrutiny the untold riches of Mary's soul; as it is likewise a challenge commanding for her the utmost reverence of every creature. « She alone by her dignity transcends heaven and earth. None among created beings visible or invisible can compare with her in excellence. She is at once the handmaid and the Mother of God, a Virgin and yet a Mother » (Brev. Rom. Offic. B. V. M. lect. 5).
But when the little maid of Nazareth uttered her fiat to the message of the Angel and the Word was made flesh in her womb, she became not only the Mother of God in the physical order of nature, but also in the supernatural order of grace she became the Mother of all, who through the holy Spirit would be made one under the Headship of her divine Son. The Mother of the Head would be the Mother of the members (cfr. St. Aug. de Sancta Virginit. cap. VI; Migne PL t. 40, c. 399). The Mother of the Vine would be the Mother of the branches.
Our filial love of Mary prompts Us to dwell for a space in prayerful meditation with you, beloved children, on these beautiful truths. But time will not permit Us. You will ponder them in your hearts during these days of extraordinary grace, which are beginning for you. Let the sin-laden soul take courage and know that a Mother's heart filled with mercy is pleading with her divine Son for the needed grace of repentance and forgiveness. Let growing youth of both sexes know that a loving Mother's eyes are always on them. No path or circumstance is hidden from her anxious care. Go forward then with determination, O dear young men and young women; vindicate the glory of your Immaculate Mother. In the face of a vicious world prove that young hearts can still be chaste. And O how much depends on the genuine, active Catholicity of the home!
Rejoice, O most pure One, Mother of God, in the holy desires and resolutions of thy dear children of Canada. They are thine; they wish to cling ever to thy guiding hand. Protect them under the wings of thy affection and mercy. Defend them against the peril that threatens the human family and menaces especially those who wish to be faithful to thy Son and His Church.
As a pledge of these precious blessings, beloved children, and as a token of Our paternal affection, to you, to all who take part in this Congress and who have assisted in its preparation, We impart the Apostolic Benediction.
CONSECRATION OF CANADA AND THE MINISTRY OF THE
PRIESTS OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X
TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS AND
THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
O Jesus, Who didst ask at Fatima that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be established throughout the world, in order to save poor sinners from the fires of hell, behold we come today, the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X, in union with all our faithful people, to renew the consecration of Canada and of our ministry to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Humbly prostrate before Thine altar, we adore Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, and venerate the admirable privilege granted to Thy Holy Mother, by which Her most pure Soul was preserved from original sin, in order to become the refuge of sinners and “the way that will lead them to God”.
O Jesus, Thou hast instructed us through the vision of Saint John Bosco, in which he saw the Church attacked from every side, but saved by the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. Thou hast instructed us also through the vision of Sister Lucy, in which she was permitted to contemplate the Blessed Trinity, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Thy Holy Sacrifice of Calvary, renewed on our altars, the infinite source of grace and mercy. So it is, O Jesus, One and only True God, that in this storm which is shaking the Church and the world, Thou hast given us as the ark of salvation, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the incomparable treasure of the Blessed Eucharist.
Consequently, in the Presence of the Sacrament of Thy Love, with the utmost confidence of being heard, we consecrate again Canada, our families and the ministry of the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X to Thy Eucharistic Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We beseech Thee, O Sacred Heart of Jesus and Thee, O Immaculate Heart of Mary, to deign to receive this consecration of our country so that, protected by Thine assistance from the dangers which threaten it and enlightened by the Truths of Thy Wisdom, Canada may become once more a land of predilection, where love of Thy Holy Name and respect for Thy law will reign again, in conformity with the truth of Thy Sovereign Royalty, for which our first missionaries gave their lives.
Accept also this consecration of our families which, with all our heart, we make to Thee so that, forever safe in the burning furnace of Thy Charity, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, and in the refuge of Thy Heart, which is the refuge of all sinners, O Immaculate Heart of Mary, touched by so much mercy and grace, Thy children may live henceforth only for Thee, in Thy Church, and in obedience to Thy commandments, and may thus all, one day, come safely to Heaven to “sing forever Thy glories and Thy blessings”.
Finally, we ask Thee to receive this consecration of our Society of Saint Pius X, established in Canada, so that, faithful to the mission which has been confided to it, it may work with all its strength for the coming of the Kingdom of Christ, the King, and for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in this great land which the Church as placed under the patronage of Saint Joseph and the Canadian Martyrs. Taught by the example of our venerated Founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, we renew today the consecration of our priests, our seminarians, our religious, the members of our third order and all our spiritual family to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
We offer to Thee and we consecrate to Thee, O Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, our goods, our houses, all the Faithful who are confided to us and all the labours of our ministry, asking Thee to keep us ever steadfastly attached to the Catholic Church, our Mother, and to protect us always from error and from sin, so that united forever in the love of Thy divine Hearts, we may give Thee glory and praise Thee with all the angels and saints, throughout all ages of eternity. Amen.