In relation to Fatima, Pope St John Paul II composed a prayer for an ‘Act of Entrustment’, which was to be celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome on 7 June 1981. Since the Pope himself could not be there in person, his Address was broadcast. Here is the part which refers specifically to the Act of Entrustment: ‘Mother of all individuals and peoples, you know all their sufferings and hopes. In your motherly heart you feel all the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, that convulse the world: accept the plea which we make in the Holy Spirit directly to your heart, and embrace with the love of the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord those who most await this embrace, and also those whose act of entrustment you too await in a particular way. Take under your motherly protection the whole human family, which with affectionate love we entrust to you, O Mother. May there dawn for everyone the time of peace and freedom, the time of truth, of justice and of hope’.

Composed for another time, these words have also a particular resonance in our own day, with the deadly challenges we now face. May Our Lady, tender Mother of Mercy, embrace us all, and keep us under her sheltering mantle in all that befalls us. May God bless you this day.