Marian Prayer Program
A new Knights of Columbus Marian Prayer program began Aug. 3, 2011 at the 129th Supreme Convention in Denver. This program features an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, along with prayer books and prayer cards available in English, French, Spanish and Polish.
A highlight of the program will be a Guadalupe Celebration, to be held August 5, 2012 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
At the end of the convention’s Wednesday morning Mass, state deputies from each of the Order’s 72 jurisdictions received specially prepared framed images of Our Lady of Guadalupe for use in the prayer program. The images have unique features: they were touched to the original tilma of St. Juan Diego, which bears the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and were blessed by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. In addition, the frame for the image is sealed with soil from Mexico’s Tepeyac hill, where Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared.
Hundreds of similar images of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be sent by the Supreme Council to each jurisdiction for the Marian Prayer Program. Local councils will be sponsor prayer services in parish churches and other locations before sending the image to neighboring councils. At the end of the program, most of the Order’s 14,000 councils will have received and prayed with the Guadalupe images.
Since 1979 the Knight of Columbus has conducted 15 such programs, honoring the Blessed Mother under her various titles, and more than 14 million Knights and other Catholics all over the globe have taken part in prayer services with the Marian images.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, as patroness of the Americas, has special significance to the Knights of Columbus. When the Order sponsored a tour of a relic of St. Juan Diego’s tilma in 2003, Our Lady of Guadalupe’s role as mother of all in the Americas became very clear.
In city after city, crowds of tens of thousands of people came to venerate Our Lady of Guadalupe. What was most striking was not the number of people, but the number of nationalities and ethnicities represented in each gathering. Likewise, at the Guadalupe Festival sponsored by the Knights of Columbus in 2009 in Phoenix, more than 20,000 people came to venerate and celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is our hope that this prayer program will continue to expand devotion to Our Lady and the evangelization of the Americas. More