By Susan Gately - 29 October, 2016
Bishop of Killaloe performs ‘Blessing of the roads’ and recommends prayers to help people to be calm and change their driving behaviour for better road safety this weekend.
Prayer and reflection can change our driving behaviour, calm our aggression and remind us of the spiritual, moral and physical importance of what we are about to do when we drive, the Bishop of Killaloe has said.
Bishop Fintan Monahan, who was ordained Bishop of Killaloe on 25 September 2016, has urged all road users to take extra care this October bank holiday weekend, and invited parishes in the Diocese of Killaloe to pray for safety on our roads.
There have been 159 fatalities on Irish roads so far this year, up 32 on this time last year – a significant increase.
“I am aware that many county councils and civic groups, especially the Road Safety Authority, work very hard to promote safety on the roads. But in truth we all share this responsibility to protect human life on our roads,” he said.
Road safety awareness is the parable of the Good Samaritan in action within our communities, Bishop Monahan continued. “I am thinking here of all road users: motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians – and we all have a role in helping each other even if we do not know one another personally.”
Before 6.30 Mass this evening at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Ennis, Bishop Monahan will take part in a ‘Blessing of the Roads’ ceremony, and he has invited other parishes across the diocese to pray for those who have lost their lives in tragic circumstances, and also to pray for the safety of road users.
The loss of human life on the roads this year is “heart-breaking for the loved ones of the deceased and a tragedy for our society as a whole,” he said, recommending that people pray before they drive. “I firmly believe that prayer and reflection can change our driving behaviour, calm our aggression, and remind us of the spiritual, moral and physical importance of what we are about to do.”
In this context the bishop has suggested the following prayers to be said before driving: first, the 17th century Paidir in Irish:
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.
And in English, this contemporary prayer:
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.