In Chiquinquira: Consecration of Colombia

Homily of John Paul II

The homily of John Paul II at Chiquinquira, on July 3, 1986, posed the criteria to understand the votive consecration that would follow.

John Paul II was looking from the perspective of Colombia's national identity: "Marian devotion ... is part of your national soul" (#5). He saw a double potential in their typically Marian, popular religious expression: one for evangelization, the other for social liberation.

A potential for evangelization:

"Mary ... brings all peoples closer to the most sublime mysteries of our religion." (# 6)

A potential for social liberation:

"You feel that she is close to you because she is your Mother; but ‘she excels among the most humble and the poorest of the Lord' (cf. LG 55). Moreover... you know that she carries within her the expectations of the poor, because the song of the Virgin is the prophetic announcement of the mystery of integral salvation of mankind... its liberating dimensions on the ...individual and social plan. ‘The Lord has cast down the mighty from their thrones ? and raised up the lowly' (cf. Lk 1:52)." (# 6)

A potential for peace and justice:

A violent socio-economic and military situation has been plaguing the Colombian peasants for decades. The Pope said that Mary gives us Jesus as the "Prince of Peace" (# 7), a peace associated with "Justice and Law" (# 8). Indeed, the Pope added, "the Kingdom of Christ whose path was opened by Mary's 'fiat' is the accomplishment of the Father's redeeming plan in justice and peace; a peace born of justice." (# 8)

Toward the end of his homily, John Paul II seriously warned against manipulating the devotion to the Virgin Mary,
- Either seeing it as an "obstacle to the demands of justice and prosperity."
- Or using it "as a resource for a merely human project of liberation that would quickly prove illusory." (# 9)

And, referring again to the Magnificat, he declared that Mary herself "guarantees the victory of the poor and humble; a victory that was already perceived in her life, and because of which ‘all generations will call her blessed' (cf. Lk 1:46-53)." (# 9)

Votive consecration of Colombia

1. "Ave Maria!"
We greet you with the angel: full of grace. The Lord is with you (cf. Lk 1: 28).
We greet you with Elizabeth: You are blessed among all women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb; you are blessed, because you believed in the divine promises! (cf. Lk 1: 42, 45).
We greet you with the words of the Gospel: Blessed, for you have listened to the word of God and acted upon it (cf. Lk 12: 27).

2. "Full of grace!"
We praise you, the favorite daughter of the Father
We bless you, Mother of the Divine Word.
We venerate you, Dwelling of the Holy Spirit.
We invoke you, Mother and model of the whole Church.
We contemplate you, perfect image of the hopes of mankind.

3. "The Lord is with you"
You are the Virgin of the Annunciation, the Yes of mankind to the mystery of salvation.
You are the daughter of Zion and the ark of the new covenant in the mystery of the Visitation.
You are the Mother of Jesus born in Bethlehem, who presented him to simple shepherds and to the Wise Men of the East.
You are the Mother who offers her son in the temple, accompanies him to Egypt, and brings him to Nazareth.
Virgin of Jesus' paths, of his hidden life and of the miracle at Cana.
Mother of Sorrow on Calvary, and glorious Virgin of the resurrection.
You are the Mother of Jesus' disciples, during their expectation and joy of Pentecost.

4. "Blessed..."
Because you believed in the Word of the Lord,
Because you put your hope in his promises,
Because you showed perfect love in the diligent charity you extended to Elizabeth,
For you motherly tenderness at Bethlehem,
For your strength in persecution,
For your perseverance in searching for Jesus in the temple,
For your simple life in Nazareth,
For your intervention in Cana,
For your motherly presence near the cross,
For your faithfulness in anticipating the resurrection,
For your constant prayer before the Pentecost.
You are blessed for the glory of your Assumption into heaven,
For your maternal protection of the Church,
For your constant intervention on behalf of all humanity.

5. "Holy Mary, Mother of God!" We want to consecrate ourselves to you.
Because you are the Mother of God and our Mother.
Because your son Jesus has entrusted us to you.
Because you have wanted to be the Mother of this Church of Colombia and wanted to have your shrine here at Chiquinquira.
We all consecrate ourselves to you, we who have come to visit you in this solemn celebration for the four hundredth anniversary of the miracle of your image.
I entrust to you the entire Church of Colombia with her shepherds and faithful:
Bishops who watch over the people entrusted to them, in the imitation of the Good Shepherd; priests who were anointed by the Spirit;
Religious and nuns who offer their whole lives for the kingdom of Christ;
Seminarians who have accepted God's call;
Christian spouses in the unity and indissolubility of their love and families;
Lay people engaged in an apostolate;
The youth who desire a new society;
Children who deserve to live in a more humane and peaceful world;
The sick, the poor, the prisoners, the persecuted, the orphans, the hopeless, and the dying.
I consecrate the whole nation of Colombia, of whom you are, Virgin of Chiquinquira, the Patroness and Queen.
May the values of the Gospel shine in its institutions.

6. "Pray for us sinners!"
Mother of the Church, we flee to your protection and we trust in your inspiration.
We ask for the Church of Colombia, that she remain faithful to the purity of the faith, steadfast in hope, ardent in charity, generous in the apostolic and missionary field, in her engagement to welcome justice and peace between the sons of this blessed land.
We beseech you, for the whole Church of Latin America so that she may always remain in perfect communion of faith and love, united to the See of Peter by close ties of obedience and charity.
We entrust to you the fruits of the new evangelization, the fidelity to a preferential love for the poor, the Christian education of the youth, the increase of priestly and religious vocations, the generosity of those who dedicate themselves to the missions and the unity and sanctity of all families.

7. "Now and at the hour of our death!"
Virgin of the Rosary, Queen of Colombia, our Mother! Pray for us now.
Grant us the priceless gift of peace, freedom from all hatred and bitterness, reconciliation of all brothers.
May violence and guerilla conflicts come to an end.
May dialogue progress, and may a peaceful life in common begin.
May new roads of justice and prosperity be opened.
We ask this to you, whom we invoke as Queen of Peace.
We entrust to you all the victims of injustice and violence, all those who have died in natural disasters, all those who invoke you as Mother and Patroness at the hour of death.
May you be, for all of us, the gate of heaven, life, sweetness and hope, that we may glorify with you the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

John Paul II,

Prayer and Act of Entrustment to the Virgin Mary at the Basilica of Our Lady of Chiquinquira (July 3, 1986), Colombia.