The people of Ireland were consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord for protection against the Coronavirus. The Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, at Armagh Cathedral, joined with bishops and priests in cathedrals and churches from all dioceses in Ireland for the moment of Consecration at noon. People were invited to join in a moment of prayer with their families or as individuals.
The Consecration coincided with Pope Francis' invitation to people all over the world to pray the Lord's Prayer at 12pm Rome time on Wednesday.
The country's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Tuesday announced new measures to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak. The restrictions which include, going to work if it is essential, to shop for essential supplies, to care for the vulnerable, and exercise, will continue until 19 April.
There are 1,329 confirmed cases in the Republic of Ireland and seven people have died from the virus.
In Northern Ireland, five people have died from the Coronavirus and the number of cases now stands at 172.
Speaking about the Act of Consecration, Archbishop Martin said: "As a Church now, more than ever, we are committed to offering prayer, solidarity and compassion in our society. In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the thread of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven."
The Archbishop praised Pope Francis' strong pastoral leadership "at this horrendous time especially when we consider the impact that the rapid devastation COVID19 has wrought across Italy."
Follow the service in Armagh here: www.catholicbishops.ie/2020/03/24/order-of-service-for-act-of-consecration-of-ireland-to-immaculate-heart-of-mary/
For a list of services around Ireland see: www.catholicbishops.ie/2020/03/24/live-streaming-of-the-consecration-of-ireland-to-the-immaculate-heart-of-mary/
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