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Drive safely, we pray

By Cian Molloy - 30 October, 2017

“Prayer and reflection can change our driving behaviour, calm our aggression, and remind us to take care of our spiritual, moral and physical dimensions," says Bishop Fintan Monahan

Take care on the roads as you travel this Bank Holiday Monday and during the festivities surrounding Hallowe’en, says Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe, who called on parishes across his diocese to join him in a ‘Blessing of the Roads’ ceremony.

The bishop organised a road blessing ceremony at the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul in Ennis at Midday Mass on Sunday, where prayers were said for the safety of all road users.

““Statistics indicate that Bank Holiday weekends can be high risk times on our roads.  I am aware that many county councils and civic groups and especially the Road Safety Authority, work very hard to promote safety on the roads.  But the reality is that we all share this responsibility to protect human life on our roads,” said the bishop in a statement released on Friday.

“Up to this morning, 125 people have died this year on roads across the State.  While the trend is down from the 160 deaths this time last year, it is still 125 too many.  This loss of human life is heart-breaking for the loved ones of the deceased, and a tragedy for our society as a whole.”

Sadly, there has already been one road related fatality since the bishop issued his statement – early on Sunday morning, just after midnight, a man was killed when the car he was driving hit a wall three miles from Dundalk on the Castleblaney Road at Rathmore.

Thinking about the safety of others was applying Gospel values to modern life, said the bishop. “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 50-year-old, who was consecrated Bishop of Killaloe last year, says he believes that prayer and reflection can ‘change driving behaviour, calm aggression and remind us to take care’. As a result, Bishop Monahan recommends that motorists recite one or both of the following prayers before commencing a journey. One of the prayers is in Irish and dates from the 17th century;  the other is a contemporary prayer asking for Our Lady’s intercession.

Paidir ón 17ú céad:

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!

A Travellers’ Prayer to Our Lady:

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.
Amen.

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