By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Dozens of people gathered to celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and to recite the Morning Glory Consecration Prayer on May 31 at St. Paul the Apostle Church.
Father Nicholas Akindele, the parish’s parochial vicar, led a month-long consecration to Mary.
Fr. Akindele has a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and led the consecration to entrust himself and others to her. It is through Mary that one can be consecrated to Jesus, Fr. Akindele said.
The 33-day consecration began on Divine Mercy Sunday (April 28) so that it could conclude on the Marian feast day of the Visitation. Fr. Akindele chose to use the book, “33 Days to Morning Glory, Consoling the Heart of Jesus” by Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, for this spiritual exercise. The book is described on amazon.com as a “do-it-yourself retreat that will bless even the busiest of people.”
Participants met weekly and gathered for Mass on the feast day to celebrate completion of the consecration. During his homily, Fr. Akindele referred to the Gospel reading of Mary’s visit with Elizabeth, who also was with child. The passage spoke of how “the baby leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” The two women were rejoicing and filled with the Holy Spirit, the priest said.
“Mary is a model,” Fr. Akindele said. “She was the most perfect disciple.” He told the gathering that if they wanted to find the Holy Spirit, “Go to Mary. Surrender to the most perfect disciple. Follow the way of God.”
He joked that he had written his homily 10 times before Mass. “This is the 11th,” he laughed as he delivered the homily, walking back and forth in the sanctuary. “If it is joy you seek – she sees it. The heart of a mother is the heart of God. Go to her.”
As Mass concluded, Fr. Akindele invited those in attendance to come forward and surround the sanctuary. “Gather and surrender,” he said. There they recited the Morning Glory Consecration Prayer. He blessed miraculous medals and distributed them, in addition to prayer cards. “There is joy in heaven right now,” he beamed.