Patroness of America since America was a name,
we salute you and beg your blessing on our land now
and in the dim troubled eras of the future.
"Archbishop Samuel Eccleston of Baltimore called the Sixth Provincial Council of the Church in America in 1846. Twenty-two bishops responded, and the Council passed as its first decree the resolution to choose Mary Immaculate as the Patroness of the United States and to make December 8 the patronal feast. In the Pastoral Letter issued by the Council, dated May 5, 1846, we read:"
"We take this occasion, brethren, to communicate to you the determination, unanimously adopted by us, to place ourselves and all entrusted to our charge throughout the United States, under the special patronage of the holy Mother of God, whose Immaculate Conception is venerated by the piety of the faithful throughout the Catholic Church. By the aid of her prayers, we entertain the confident hope that we will be strengthened to perform the arduous duties of our ministry, and that you will be enabled to practice the sublime virtues, of which her life presents the most perfect example."