Diocese of Derry


Consecrating Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Archbishop Eamon Martin is inviting priests and bishops to join with him, after the Angelus on the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, in consecrating Ireland and her people to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for protection from the coronavirus.  

The Act of Consecrating Ireland and her people to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for protection from the #coronavirus with Bishop Donal McKeown, was broadcast from St Eugene's Cathedral, Derry on the Feast of the Annunciation, 12 noon Wednesday, 25 March 2020.

The broadcast can be viewed below.

Daily Novena

From Saint Patrick's Day, in preparation for the Feast, you are invited to pray a daily Novena to help us reflect on God's Word especially so in the absence of public Mass. 

The faithful are encouraged to prepare a suitable prayer space with a crucifix, holy picture, or simply a candle. The Rosary can be prayed after the Gospel and before the Novena prayer given for each of the nine days. Please see below the daily Novena Prayer and the Gospel for today. 


In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. “In truth I tell you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them.” Mt: 18:19-20

The Word was made Flesh in the Womb of the Virgin Mary and she presented to the World the One who is the source of life. We are invited to welcome the word of God in our hearts, as Mary did, so that we can bring to others the life and hope that we ourselves have received.

In these days, beginning on the Evening of St. Patrick’s Day and leading up to the Feast of the Annunciation, we hope that these Novena Prayers may help you to ponder God’s Word, even in the absence of public Mass. If possible, prepare a suitable prayer space with a crucifix, holy picture or even a simple candle. Feel free, if time allows, to add the Rosary after the Gospel and before the Novena prayer given for each day. As you may be aware, of course, mass is being broadcast on web-cam or parish radio from many Churches and we encourage you to participate if you can.

As you light the candle pray:
Lord Jesus you came as a light that shines in darkness and a light that darkness cannot overpower (Jn: 1:5) – enlighten our hearts and minds to your presence in our midst.

Act of Penance

For the times when we have failed to love God and to love each other we ask for God’s forgiveness.
Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

We Pray

Jesus, for our salvation You willingly humbled Yourself, becoming Man in the womb of the Virgin Mother, grant me through the mystery of Your holy Incarnation the virtue of humility that I may ever please God as Your Mother did, by meekness and lowliness in this world, and be exalted by You in eternity.

Novena Prayers

Mary, dear Mother of my Saviour, I greet you and I thank you for having received the message of the Archangel Gabriel: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” (Luke I:28) and for having answered with your consent, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38) Intercede for me that God the Father, who accepted you as His Daughter and the Mother of His Son because of your humility at the Annunciation, may accept me as His humble child. Amen

Second Day: Mary, Cause of Our Joy Rejoice!

The Lord is with you. (Luke I:28)
Let us pray: Lord God, You were pleased to bring joy to the world through the incarnation of Your Son. You sacrificed Your Son in order to save our souls and enjoy life everlasting. Grant that we, who honour His Mother, the cause of our joy, may always walk in the way of Your commandments with our hearts set on true and lasting joy. Moreover, grant us the grace to share that joy found deep in the words and actions of Mary with everyone we meet. Show us the true joy of living the gospel life – even in our deepest suffering – for You have given Mary the power of helping the miserable. Father of mercy and God of all consolation, grant in Your loving kindness that we who joyfully venerate Mary, as our comforter, may deserve to enjoy the unending happiness of heaven with her. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Gospel Matthew 5:17-19

I have not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets but to complete them Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.’

Related resources

Homily - Fourth Sunday in Lent - Bishop McKeown
St Patrick's Day Homily - Bishop Donal McKeown

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Contact Info

Diocesan Offices
St Eugene’s Cathedral
Francis Street, Derry
BT48 9AP | Tel: 028 7126 2302

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