Advertisement

Nigerians Must Seek Help Through Rosary to Counter Killings, Catholic Archbishop Says

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Nigeria's Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja

The apprehension and suffering that Nigeria is experiencing including what has been described as irrational killings and attacks can be countered by seeking perpetual help through praying the rosary, a Catholic Archbishop in the West African country has said.

In his homily at the Marian Shrine, Ugwogo-Nike in Nigeria’s Enugu Diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama said that Catholics are distinguished by two pillars of devotions in the spiritual journey, which are Eucharistic devotion and the Marian devotion.

Archbishop Kaigama reflected broadly on the suffering of Mary and called upon the people of God in the West African country to go to her through the Holy Rosary for help.

“We as Nigerian Catholics must tell our Mama of Perpetual Help about the irrational killings and attacks resulting in internally displaced people,” Archbishop Kaigama said in his November 13 homily on the occasion of the 10th National convention Confraternity of our Mother of Perpetual Help.

He added, “We are experiencing hunger and poverty and the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The public service is fueled by corrupt practices and blatant ethnic and religious favoritism… Let us take our worries and the many problems facing our nation to the Lord in intensive and unceasing prayer by praying the rosary, participating in Eucharistic adoration, and repenting from our sins like the people of Nineveh.”

Advertisement

He further decried corruption in the country that he said is denying deserving citizens opportunities in life, saying, “One gets a job or admission or recruitment not on merit but based on somebody one knows or how much one has! To conquer all these, we must intensify devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.”

The Nigerian Archbishop used the biblical story of the wedding at Cana to encourage the people of God in Nigeria to turn to Mary and to plead for her help in moments of need.

He said, in reference to Mary’s appeal to Jesus at the wedding at Cana, “They have no wine, was her plea (at) Cana, and I believe it is also her plea for Nigeria which is lacking not alcoholic wine, but the wine of gladness and peace and security.”

Nigerians, the Archbishop noted, are also lacking national unity and cohesion, justice and peace, employment for youths, marriage stability, holiness, respect for the sanctity of human life, among other needs.

The Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese lauded the Redemptorists Religious Congregation whose members oversee pilgrimages at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help for their effort in spreading devotion to Mary in Nigeria.

More in Africa

“Mary is ever ready to assist us, to be there for us, constantly prepared to seek her son’s guidance and support for her children. May this annual celebration bring down God’s blessings upon us and continue to bear lasting fruits in our Church and nation,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

He further said that there is need for devotion to Mary because “she will ensure that no one is spiritually orphaned or abandoned for she will be present in moments of difficulties and suffering.”

“Mary remains the first disciple and star of evangelization because she heard the word of God and kept it,” The Catholic Archbishop said, and added, “Mary is not only blessed and favored; she remains a channel of grace and refuge for us and we are neither spiritually orphaned nor abandoned because she stands with us in the face of difficulties. We ask her to intercede for all who suffer.”

He urged the people of God in Africa’s most populous nation to seek graces for their families, religious, civil, traditional and political leaders by always carrying and praying the Holy Rosary for them, saying, “They need wisdom, prudence and compassionate leadership in order to sacrifice their personal ambitions and agenda for the good of all.”

“We are all urged to increase devotion and to make others aware of the role of Mary in salvation history,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

Advertisement

He said that pronouncing the name of Mary or wearing a medal or rosary in her honor is not enough and underscored the need to live a life that reflects Mary’s life and point to her as a tower of refuge and hope.

“We must remain confident that our eyes will see the blessings of God upon us, on our families, and nation. With Mary, our waiting will never be in vain and our hopes will not disappoint us,” The Nigerian Archbishop said.

Drawing from the popular Memorare prayer, he added, “Anyone who fled to her motherly protection, implored her help, or sought her intercession was never left unaided.”

Meanwhile, in his November 14 homily, on the occasion of the  World Day of the Poor, the Archbishop called on the people of God in St. Mulumba’s Igu Parish of Abuja Archdiocese to be considerate about the needy in their midst.

“As we mark the World Day of the Poor today, please, even in your difficult situation, always remember the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the homeless, the sick, etc. among you,” Archbishop Kaigama said November 14.

(Story continues below)