By Cian Molloy - 05 June, 2017
Please drive safely on the roads, especially this bank holiday, says Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe, who this Sunday held a ‘Blessing of the Roads’ ceremony after the 11.30 am Mass at Clonlara in Co. Clare.
“Up to this morning, 63 people have died this year on roads across the State,” said the Bishop. “This loss of human life is heartbreaking for the loved ones of the deceased and a tragedy for our society as a whole.”
As he spoke, another Irish family was in mourning following an accident in which a front-seat passenger had been killed around 4 am at Churchfield, near Tourmakeady in Co. Mayo.
There are many public organisations, including the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and county councils, working to promote road safety, said Bishop Monahan. “But in truth we all share this responsibility to protect human life on the roads.
“Road safety awareness is the parable of the Good Samaritan in action within our communities today. I am thinking here of all road users: motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, and every one of us has a role in helping others even if we are not known to each other personally.”
The Bishop said: “I firmly believe that prayer and reflection can change our driving behaviour, calm our aggression, and remind us to take care of our spiritual, moral and physical dimensions.”
In this context, he is proposing that drivers say one or two ‘dedicated prayers for motorists’ before setting off on a journey, and he made two suggestions. The first of these is an Irish-language prayer from the 17th century; the second is a contemporary English language prayer.
The Irish-language prayer is as follows:
In ainm an Athar le bua,
In ainm an Mhic a d’fhulaing an phian,
In ainm an Spiorad Naoimh le neart,
Muire is a Mac linn inár dtriall. Áiméan!
The English-language prayer he suggested reads:
Holy Mother, hear our prayer,
Keep us in your loving care,
Whatever the perils of the way,
Let us not add to them this day.
So to our caution and attention,
We add a prayer for your protection,
To beg God’s blessing on this car,
To travel safely near and far.