LOS ANGELES (ChurchMilitant.com) - A California director, writer and storyboard artist is inviting residents of the Golden State to join in a consecration of California to Our Lady on Dec. 7.
For the third year in a row on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Angelo Libutti has roused Californians to raise their voices in prayer to consecrate the United States as a whole, and California in particular, to the care of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to beg mercy from God.
Libutti said the idea of the consecration came to him during 2 a.m. - 4 a.m. Eucharistic Adoration session three years ago when he was struck by a deep awareness of California's spiritual barrenness. "Of all the states," he said, "California is certainly the most distant from God, the least faithful to His Commandments."
But Libutti has observed a deep hunger for God among many people: "You can tell there is a need for something higher, a hunger for transcendence because of all the attempts to find it in so many denominations or false, feelings-based religions or in other things."
"One day, they're atheist, then five months pass by," he said, "and they call themselves Buddhist, and six months later, they've moved on to something else. But they're all seeking 'Something.'"
According to the Consecrate California website, the purpose of the consecration is to defeat the culture of death, abortion, euthanasia, natural disasters and to end sex abuse, drugs, alcoholism and sex trafficking. Special prayer focus is extended to the sick, elderly and unwanted.
Notable Californians have endorsed the event. Los Angeles auxiliary Bps. Joseph V. Brennan and Marc Trudeau. Christopher Check, president of Catholic Answers, a lay-run apostolate of Catholic apologetics and evangelization in the U.S. Of the consecration, Check has said:
The father of California was a Franciscan priest from Mallorca. To this day St. Junipero Serra's fingerprints are all over the Golden State. Interstate 5 is essentially El Camino Real. Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Diego, and more are towns were born of Catholic missions. Yet today, Californians, including many Catholics, are spiritually blind to their patrimony. May all the saints whose names yet grace so much of California, intercede with Our Lady of Guadalupe, to restore Christianity to California.
Libutti urges Catholics to arrange for their parishes to participate, or to meet near the California coastline, parallel to the San Andreas Fault.
The event template reads:
12:00 p.m. - Mass begins
1:15 p.m. - Priests lead prayer for the consecration of California
1:25 p.m. - Participants process procession
1:30 p.m. - Food is served
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Speakers
Libutti shared personal experiences related to his spiritual quest for the consecration of California with Church Militant. He said he met his wife last year at the consecration on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. They were engaged in front of an icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe and married at the Church of St. Padre Pio dedicated to Our Lady. They are expecting their first child this year.
"I think that Our Lord and Our Lady want me to continue with consecration given the good signs of Our Lady making appearances on my special days," he noted. "We must continue, and I hope people will wake up and stop thinking that something will happen on its own. The laity must make some moves."
Libutti and other California Catholics hope Abp. José Horacio Gómez of Los Angeles will participate this year as the highest ranking prelate in the state. Libutti told Church Militant,
But we are all crying out loud for the attention of Abp. Gómez to consecrate our state. He is the only one that can do it, and we will not stop until he will recognize how many victims are accumulating in his state.
The archbishop has the power to do this fight against the devil, but it is not something he can fix with his meetings nor with his prayer, but just with the help of Our Lady and Jesus, and the consecration is a first step of humility that he can do as leader of his lost sheep in California.
One of the prayers for the consecration includes the following:
Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother, Patroness of our land, we praise you and honor you and give our country and ourselves to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pierced by the sword of sorrow prophesized by Simeon, save us from degeneration, disaster and war. Protect us from all harm. O Advocate, 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.
Libutti recently worked on the Lion King and a Marvel movie and is currently directing a movie.
Editor's update: Libutti contacted Church Militant saying he had been informed by the archbishop's assistant that Abp. Gómez would not be attending the consecration due to a schedule conflict. When Libutti asked if the archbishop would at least write a letter of support, the assistant said, "No," because there wasn't enough time.