The Reconsecration of Nigeria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Remarks by Most Rev. Ignatius A. Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Benin City, 13th October, 2017.
I thank God that another day of national spiritual celebration has brought us the Catholic laity, religious, clergy and church hierarchy in Nigeria together to pray.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria envisioned this national day of prayer dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary as our own way of marking the culmination of the centenary of her apparitions to the three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. Our celebration began with the declaration of a year-long period of Marian prayers and devotions, culminating with the re-consecration of Nigeria here in Benin City on this 13th day of October, as a follow up to the consecration done in 1954. This in line with declaration by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, of a Jubilee Year in honour of the Centenary of the Marian apparitions in Fatima beginning from the 27th of November 2016 till the 26th of November 2017.
I am happy to see and welcome you Nigerian Catholics who have braved the odds to come to Benin City, not minding the economic recession that has diminished our financial capacity; the long, rough and bad roads and even the inconvenience of coming to spend two to three days on this pilgrimage ground without the luxury of food or accommodation.
Coming together in such numbers to celebrate our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a testimony that the Marian year has borne positive fruits in parishes across the country. I wish to thank you all as you come from all parts of the country: from the Creek areas of the Delta to the mountains of Mambila Plateau; from the far Northern cities bothering the Sahara to the city of Lagos and others lying on the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean. This demonstrates that we are one big family of God in Nigeria on mission.
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