|State deputies stand with blessed images of Mary Immaculate as Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix of Québec, primate of Canada, reflects on the inauguration of the new Marian Prayer Program.
A new Knights of Columbus Marian Prayer Program was inaugurated Aug. 7 at the conclusion of a concelebrated Mass at the 131st Supreme Convention. The program features framed images of Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception that will be brought on pilgrimage from council to council throughout the next two years.
The Marian image, a colorful painting of Our Lady, is a reproduction of a 1925 work by Sister Mary of the Eucharist, a Sister of Charity of Québec. The original hangs above the main altar in the Basilica-Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Québec, the seat of the Archdiocese of Québec, which is the oldest see in the New World north of Mexico. The year 2014 will mark the 350th anniversary of this historic parish.
During the inauguration ceremony, Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix of Québec, primate of Canada, encouraged Knights to embrace this prayer program as a way to bear joyful witness to the faith in their countries, dioceses and parish communities.
“Today, our countries are in great need of missionaries for the urgent mission of new evangelization,” he said. “May Our Lady accompany our Church and all the members of our Order all over the world. Like her, we want to be open to the Holy Spirit and available to accomplish God’s plan in today’s world. And following Our Lady’s example, we want to leave with haste as she did, to share the Good News of the Gospel to a world that needs the hope and the truth and the love of Jesus Christ.”
Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore invoked God’s blessing upon the Order’s state deputies as they prepared to carry the images of Our Lady to councils and parishes around the world. “Bring success to their efforts as they bear these sacred images of Mary Immaculate far and wide,” the supreme chaplain prayed. “May they know her protection and trace in their hearts the pattern of her holiness.”
This is the 16th international prayer program organized by the Knights of Columbus that has been conducted using a sacred image as its centerpiece. Since the first Orderwide prayer program in 1979, more than 16 million people have participated in some 140,000 K of C-sponsored prayer services, rosary recitations and holy hours held at local councils and parishes.