By Charles Igwe
The four rectors of Côte d’Ivoire’s major Marian Shrines joined hands to reconsecrate the nation to the Virgin Mary, with the aim of restoring her to her rightful place in the hearts of the Ivorian people.
The initiative, which marks the third official consecration of Côte d’Ivoire to the Virgin Mary, took place last Saturday. The consensus among the rectors of the country’s primary Marian Shrines, including the National Marian Shrine of Abidjan – Our Lady of Africa Mother of All Graces, the Shrine of Our Lady of Notre Dame de la Garde in Bonoua, the Shrine of Our Lady of Deliverance in Issia, and the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Raviart, sought to invoke the Virgin Mary’s intercession for peace, fraternity, reconciliation, co-existence, and solidarity in the nation.
Father Eugène Adingra, Rector of the main national Marian Shrine in Abidjan, expressed the need to bring the Virgin Mary back to the heart of the country to seek divine guidance and assistance. He emphasized the importance of rediscovering the Côte d’Ivoire of the past.
The day of reconsecration also served as an opportunity for the faithful to gather and pray for the nation at these four Marian shrines. The reconsecration event began with the Angelus midday prayer, followed by the act of consecration at all the nation’s Marian shrines.
Côte d’Ivoire’s first official consecration to the Virgin Mary occurred in 1980 during Pope John Paul II’s inaugural visit to the country. The second consecration took place on September 10, 1990, during the inauguration of the Our Lady of Peace Basilica in Yamoussoukro. This latest reconsecration reflects the nation’s enduring devotion to the Virgin Mary and its desire for her continued intercession for peace and unity.