Now let us listen to the very words which Good Father Frederick used at this touching Consecration of the pilgrims to Mary :
"0 very sweet Queen, you see all these devout pilgrims kneeling here in your blessed Shrine! They have come here to commemorate, with Holy Church, through the Mysteries of the Rosary, your joys, your sorrows, and your eternal glory! And at the foot of your altar, in the beautiful words of the sacred liturgy, they wish to gather the flowering roses of those great Mysteries in order to weave a Crown for you who are our true Queen.
"But, 0 Mary, though you are our Queen, you are also our Mother. Therefore, 0 very sweet and lovable Mother, cast a look of love on all these praying souls who with confidence are asking you, who are the Health of the Sick, for the healing of their ills and sufferings and all their afflictions. Yes, there is a poor father here who is asking you for a cure, 0 Mary, in order to be able to continue to earn a living for his wife and his dear little children ! There is a poor mother who is also asking you for a cure, so that she may continue to be able to give a good Christian upbringing to those little children who are crying beside her ... Formerly, 0 Mary, Your Divine Son used to heal them all. You can do so also, if you want to, 0 most merciful and loving Mother.
"But all these dear pilgrims have not come here to this holy Shrine merely to ask you for health of body. Above all things, they want health of soul too — yes, and the per-severance of the just, and the conversion of poor sinners, 0 Mary, you who are the true Refuge of Sinners. They also want the eradication of vice, particularly of the degrading vices of drunkenness and blasphemy and impurity, which are doing so much harm in our society today. And finally, 0 Mary, they are asking you for all they need for both their bodies and their souls during the brief pilgrimage of this life, before attaining the eternal benefits of the life to come!
"That is why, 0 Blessed Virgin, all these dear pilgrims kneeling here at your spotless feet choose you now, in this very moment, as their Queen and their Mother. They consecrate themselves, together with all who are dear to them, to serve you forever. Condescend therefore, 0 very sweet Queen, to accept them among your servants and to keep them under your powerful protection during their life and most especially at the moment of their death.
"And now, 0 Mary, since you are our Queen and our Mother, with your virginal hand, bless — yes, bless Holy Church and its visible Head, Our Very Holy Father the Pope, in all these sorrowful trials we are under-going ! Bless our Reverend Bishops, and our venerable priests who are here today, and all the clergy, with all our good Christian families ! Bless the fathers and mothers, bless the young girls and boys, bless. all our little children, children whose innocence is so dear to you ! Protect us in temptations. Deliver us from all peril. And help us, 0 Queen of the Holy Rosary, after our exile on this earth, help us all one day to go and praise you and bless you in the Glory of Heaven, forever and ever, world without end ... Amen."
THE ceremony of the Consecration closed with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Veneration of the Relics of the Holy Land. And then, as their farewell to the Cape, the happy pilgrims sang the "Magnificat". How beautiful and consoling it was to see their enthusiasm! They put into their forceful singing all the fervor of their love and their confidence in Mary's merciful intercession.
And as they left her beloved Shrine, they were often heard to exclaim : "What a heavenly day it has been! What a wonderful pilgrimage! We certainly prayed well, didn't we? That Good Father Frederick really is a saint!"
Now that our typical pilgrimage to the Cape with Good Father Frederick is over, we shall conclude our chronicle of his great work for the Shrine with a brief account of his last two outstanding services: his crucial but little-known role in the transfer of the Shrine to the present Guardians, and his part in the glorious ceremony of the Crowning of Our Lady's statue.
To be continued ...