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Limbe Cathedral in Blantyre
Friday, 5 May 1989


The first Catholic missionaries claimed Malawi for the Mother of God. Those who resumed their work placed a medal honouring her at the foot of a baobab tree, in order to consecrate this land to her. Following their example, I, John Paul II, also wish to entrust the Church and the whole country of Malawi to Mary, Our Lady of Africa:

Blessed Lady, you are truly the Queen of our Hearts, for our inmost thoughts are revealed to you. Look with kindness upon this land of Malawi, upon its people and their leaders. See the goodness in their hearts and their desire for God, and lead them along the path of peace, harmony and prosperity. Fill them with love for one another and for all mankind.

You who are both Virgin and Mother, intercede for all families, especially those that are troubled. Help husbands and wives to live in mutual and lasting fidelity, and to bring up their children in the love of God and neighbour. May the women of Malawi find in you the perfect model of their femininity.

Comfort the many refugee families who have fled their native lands in search of safety and peace. Be a Mother of Compassion to those who suffer from illness, poverty, misfortune or despair.

I entrust to you the local Churches in Malawi: all the bishops, priests, religious and laity. Mother of the Church, intercede for them. Strengthen and encourage the clergy in the ministry of the word and the celebration of the sacraments. Inspire their preaching and teaching with the power of the Holy Spirit. Fill all men and women religious with joy and zeal in their special consecration to God for the service of the Church. Help many more young people to heed God’s call to the priesthood and religious life.

The laity of Malawi look to you as their Guide and Protectress. Through your intercession may they grow in faith. By word and example may they bear witness to God’s love in their local communities and in the public life of their country. Lady of the Magnificat, inspire them to work for greater justice in the world through the conversion of hearts away from sin and towards your Son.

Seat of Wisdom, obtain for all students and teachers an ever greater understanding of the mysteries of faith and their application to daily life. May the young people of Malawi seek God’s will in their lives and build a future bright with hope for all the people of this land and for all humanity.

Today, dear Mother, we are spiritually united with the missionaries of a century ago whose hearts leapt for joy on hearing “Jambo Maria” (Ave Maria) for the first time on the lips of the sons and daughters of this land. Like them we do not fear the future, for we know that Malawi is truly yours, in the hearts and souls of all who belong to Christ.

“Jambo Maria”: Daughter as well as Mother of your Son. To him be glory for ever. Amen.


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