In the Year of Our Lord 1846 the bishops of the United States dedicated our land to Mary of the Immaculate Conception.
In a brave and splendid gesture they presented to the Queen of Heaven the new republic with its high hopes and uncertainties, with its enormous possibilities for good or evil, with the record of its history still unwritten and its destiny only vaguely seen.
Because these men loved America and foresaw what the new land needed most, they gave to America’s history a lovely woman, God’s own Mother. Into her hands did they commit its care and future.
Mary was for America, America was for Mary.
And in dedicating America to Mary, they pledged it to her Divine Son.
The infant republic now had a Mother in heaven. The land, upon the success of which depended so much of man’s political progress, now had a protectress with God. Democracy has the only queen it would ever know. Americans could henceforth look up to a perfect model for their women and a never failing inspiration for their men.
As Catholic Americans, whose land was under the motherly eye of earth’s purest Virgin and most powerful Mother, we can say:
The Prayer of the Immaculate Conception
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, didst prepare a worthy dwelling place for thy Son, we beseech thee that, as by the foreseen death of this, thy Son, thou didst preserve her from all stain, so too thou wouldst permit us, purified through her intercession, to come unto thee. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
(Copyright 1947 Daniel A. Lord, S.J. Nihil Obstat: John M. Fearns, S.T.D. Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop, New York)