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Knights of Columbus Announces Novena for National Unity Prior to Inauguration

Prayer will be addressed to Mary, the Immaculate Conception, patroness of our country

Contact: Andrew Walther, Knights of Columbus, 203-824-5412, andrew.walther@kofc.org

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 6, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- As America prepares to welcome a new president, the Knights of Columbus is urging its members and other Catholics to pray a Novena for National Unity from Thursday, Jan. 12, through Inauguration Day, Friday, Jan. 20.

Individuals, families, parishes and K of C councils throughout the nation are all invited to participate in the novena, a special prayer offered over nine consecutive days.

The theme of unity is not a new one for the Knights. In an article in early November, just before the election, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson called for Catholics to be a source of unity in our often politically divided country after the election, regardless of its outcome.

In announcing the new novena, Anderson noted: "From its earliest days, the Knights of Columbus has been an organization that is dedicated to both faith and patriotism. This novena provides Knights, and all Catholics, the opportunity to serve their country in a faithful way by bringing unity in values and faith in a way that overcomes any political divisions. Our country is strongest when it is unified, and that unity is strongest when it is shaped by the timeless values of our faith."

The novena prayer asks the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, under her title of the Immaculate Conception.

The text of the novena reads:

    Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven, who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters; Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your Spouse; God the Son, who chose Mary as your Mother, in union with Mary we adore your majesty and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion and authority.

    Most Holy Trinity, we put the United States of America into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present the country to you. Through her we wish to thank you for the great resources of this land and for the freedom which has been its heritage.

    Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on the Catholic Church in America. Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president and on all the officers of our government. Grant us a fruitful economy, born of justice and charity. Have mercy on capital and industry and labor. Protect the family life of the nation. Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations. Through the intercession of our Mother, have mercy on the sick, the tempted, sinners — on all who are in need.

    Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother, Patroness of our land, we praise you and honor you and give ourselves to you. Protect us from every harm. Pray for us, that acting always according to your will and the will of your divine Son, we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.

In 1791, America's first Catholic bishop, John Carroll of Baltimore, entrusted his diocese, which encompassed the entire country, to the Blessed Mother. In 1846, the bishops of the United States reaffirmed that dedication, declaring Mary as patroness of the United States under her title of the Immaculate Conception.

The prayer being used for the novena was originally composed for the 1959 dedication of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which features a bell tower named for the Knights. The prayer received its imprimatur that same year from Cardinal Patrick O'Boyle, who was then archbishop of Washington, where the basilica is located.

More information is available at www.kofc.org/novena.