By Yusinyu Omer in Yaoundé
Accompanied by the Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and with the head of state personally represented by the secretary General at the presidency of the republic Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, Cameroon was on Sunday, April 24, 2022 re-consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by all the Bishops of Cameroon, one hundred and thirty-two years after the first Catholic missionaries entered and consecrated Cameroon into the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Christians all over the national territory gathered at Marienberg, a locality in the outskirts of the Diocese of Edea of the Douala ecclesiastical province to witness the event as well as dedicating their own families and personal issues to God through the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In his Regina Caeli appeal on Sunday, Pope Francis threw his support behind the national pilgrimage in Cameroon.
“The Bishops and faithful of Cameroon today are making a pilgrimage to re-consecrate their nation to the Mother of God and entrust it to her protection. They are praying for the return of peace in their country, which has been wounded by violence in several regions for five years,” the Holy Father said.
In his homily, Archbishop Nkea said the Catholic faithful in Cameroon needed to become apostles of justice and peace if the country was to return to peaceful co-existence it once had. The pilgrimage, he said, had only one scope: To implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for reconciliation and peace in Cameroon.
Speaking to journalists before the prayer vigil of Saturday 23 and re-consecration mass of Sunday 24 April 2022, the president of the national episcopal conference of Cameroon Mgr Abraham Kome said “The National Pilgrimage and Prayer for Peace to take place in Marienberg is an expression of solidarity of all our brothers and sisters towards the people of the troubled regions of our country that suffer in a visible way,”
According to Madam Mbeke Bernadette, one of the participants from the Diocese of Buea, it’s time to consecrate her village to the immaculate heart of Mary. “It’s been long I have not been to my village but a friend who recently went to the village told me that the place is deserted and with grass growing everywhere. So I have come here today to ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede for my village for peace to return so that we can once more be able to go home”, she said.
One of the participants from the Diocese of Bamenda, Mr Wanka Roland said he had seen a lot and has come to plead with the mother of God to really intercede for a change of hearts so that instead of the fighting on the ground, they can move to the negotiation table and settle things amicably.
Most of the Bishops present at the event had almost the same message to send out and that is the message of peace.
Speaking to Bishop Michael Bibi of the Diocese of Buea, Bishop Andrew Nkea of the Arch Diocese of Bamenda as well as Bishop Jean Mbarga of the Arch Diocese of Yaoundé, they all called on all the Christians to be ambassadors of peace wherever they find themselves.