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OTTAWA, April 30, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — It’s not too late for Catholics to join a historic 54-day Rosary novena for Canada’s intentions that began Tuesday, April 28, the feast of St. Louis de Montfort, and ends June 20, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
And Canada desperately needs Our Lady’s intercession at this time, says Father Tim Devine, a Companion of the Cross priest in Ottawa, one of the many people promoting the novena.
“I was so happy to learn about how Canada was consecrated to Mary in Ottawa in 1947 and how it was under the mantle and patronage of Our Lady of the Cape,” he says in a video.
But now, as well as struggling with the consequences of legal abortion, euthanasia, confusion about “sexual morality, and gender confusion, and broken families, and decrease in the practice of the faith,” Canada is facing the global coronavirus pandemic.
“Seems like, boy, we really need to claim those graces of the consecration to Our Lady in 1947,” said Devine, adding he hoped many would join the novena.
“What a simple thing for us to do, to pick up a rosary and to pray,” he pointed out.
“I’ve got my rosary here, ready for action. If we could just get this out every day and together as Canadians pray for these 54 days! Let’s really call out to Mary. Let’s reclaim Canada for Mary.”
Fr. Devine was prompted to initiate the Canada54 novena by Catholic singer-songwriter Kay Clarity, who divides her time between Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Los Angeles, California.
“It was something I had felt we should do for a long time after hearing about many miraculous stories of the Rosary while living in Austria, but wasn’t sure how to make it happen,” she told LifeSiteNews in an email.
“I was praying the Rosary one day and the idea came, and I thought it was time to pursue it as I had some possible pathways to do so.”
Clarity then approached Devine, who had hosted a concert of hers in 2016.
“I thought he would be a good starting point because he is a Companion of the Cross priest, and the order as a whole, being Marian and ordered to evangelism, might be willing to spread the word. He was the one I knew personally, and I believed he would have a heart to understand this specific desire,” Clarity said.
Another inspiration for Canada54 was Father Richard Heilman, the founder of USA GraceForce (USAGF), who has organized a number of 54-day Rosary novenas, notably one ending October 7, 2019, the first day of the Amazon Synod, which was intended to pray for the Universal Church in the lead-up to the synod and the restoration of the Catholic faith in the United States.
Devine then brought Clarity’s suggestion to his order’s general superior, Father Roger Vandenakker, and to Dennis and Angelina Girard, who run the Marian Devotional Movement, an apostolate that promotes the Confraternity of the Rosary and devotion to Our Lady of the Cape, Canada’s preeminent Marian shrine at Cap-de-la-Madeleine in Quebec.
The Girards also organized Canada’s first Rosary Bowl, held August 22, 2019 at TD Stadium in Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park, where Canada was consecrated to Our Lady of the Cape, who also bears the title of Our Lady of the Rosary, during the massive Marian Congress of 1947.
The Girards immediately began organizing Canada54, and the rest is history in the making, with at least 4,000 people visiting the Canada54.com website the first day of the novena, Dennis Girard told LifeSiteNews.
Catholics who want to join can sign up and find all the information they need on Canada54.com, which also has messages from Bishop Pierre Olivier Tremblay of Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape, Fr. Vandenakker and Fr. Devine, and a video of the Canada54 theme song, written by Fr. Devine and his brother Matt.
The 54-day Rosary novena originated in Italy in 1884, when Our Lady appeared to Fortuna Agrelli, a young girl suffering from three incurable illnesses, and told her: “Whoever desires to obtain favors from me should make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary, and three novenas in thanksgiving,” Fr. Heilman explained on his Roman Catholic Man website.
Agrelli was miraculously healed of all her afflictions after praying the novena, which “consists of five decades of the Rosary (one set of mysteries) each day for twenty-seven days in petition; then immediately five decades each day for an additional twenty-seven days in thanksgiving, regardless of whether or not the request has been granted yet.”
Meanwhile, on Friday, May 1, 2020, the bishops in Canada and the United States will be re-consecrating their countries to the Blessed Virgin under the title Mary, Mother of the Church, and asking her to intercede in the battle being waged against the coronavirus global pandemic.
For more information on Canada54 or to sign up for the novena, go to canada54.com.
US, Canadian bishops to consecrate nations to Mary, seek her intercession against COVID-19