In spite of torrential downpours, which caused major traffic jams and diversions, a large crown gathered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden, for the Mass of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the faithful of London on 13 June. First, two 'pilgrim statues' of Our Lady of Willesden and Our Lady of Fatima were carried in procession by the Guild of Our Lady of Willesden and the Heralds of the Gospel, around the outside of the church to the new titleboard, which was solemnly blessed by the Parish Priest and Rector of the Shrine, Rev Stephen Willis. Then all joined in the solemn consecration of the parish, its families, and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, echoing the words of Pope John Paul II, and praying for the conversion of London under the protection of Our Lady of Willesden. The homily encouraged everyone present to imitate our Lady as St Thomas More and St Josemaria did in their own lives, especially her love, her faithful obedience to the Will of God, and her orientation to Christ. The choir, ably supported by the congregation, sang parts of the Mass in Latin, and Fr Willis chanted the whole of the Eucharistic Prayer in English, adding to the reverence and solemnity of the occasion. English hymns 'Alleluia Sing to Jesus', 'O Bread of Heaven', and 'Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above' marked the Offertory, Communion, and the end of Mass with enthusiastically voiced prayer. Finally the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Willesden was entrusted to one of the families of the parish to take home. It will go from one family to another over the next few months, spreading devotion to our Lady and prayer for all Londoners. For anyone interested in receiving the 'Black Madonna' into their home please write to; Mr Rick Miller, Guild of Our Lady of Willesden, 1 Nicoll Road, Harlesden, London ,NW10 9AX.
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