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Canada Day: When were we born?

Last updated on March 2, 2021

It’s July 1, that time for Canadian flag flying, fireworks and celebrations marking what many say is Canada’s birthday. While birthday stirs wonderful party imagery linked to our own birthdays, the grand event of 1867 was only the first step in a long journey toward our country’s full independence from British rule.

Canada’s Constitution was born On July 1, 1867, at the enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867). It united three colonies in the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.

The actual birth of our nation occurred when Christ, embodied in the Recollet missionaries and the Jesuits, landed on our shores causing an astonishing transformation to this land in a similar way to that caused by the Apostles bursting forth from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean towns and cities and to the ends of the known world.

The work of the Holy Spirit shaped the hearts and minds of the indigenous people through their encounter with the Good News and the European culture taking root in their soil.

Hidden in every event the Master’s hand guided a nation into its identity. Just as the Apostles encountered both welcoming hearts and hostile rejection so did the Jesuits who brought the message of salvation through the Risen Lord.

Brebeuf's Vison

So as we celebrate our nation’s political start in 1867 we need to enter into prayer and celebration, attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit in this Covid-19 Canada Day.

Aware of our nation’s embrace and opposition to the Gospel proclaimed through Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church we can confidently turn to Our Mother who will lead us to a future built on doing what Jesus tells us.

Prayer for Canada

O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy,
At this most critical time, we entrust our country to your loving care.
Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your
Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you
from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection.
Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open
our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that
accompany human freedom.
Free us from the falsehoods that lead to abortion and the breakdown of
family life. Grant us the wisdom to know and proclaim that this nation
was founded on God’s law and that He alone is the True Source of our
cherished rights and freedoms.
Guide and protect this land from every evil and from the attacks of the
powers of darkness.
O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and
the strength to build a new culture of life. We ask this through Christ Our
Lord, Amen.

Imprimatur: +Bishop Roman Danylak, D.D. Titular Bishop of Nyssa – Dec 12, 2004


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A retired Catholic teacher with a freelance writing stint, I love playing the best game on earth, hockey, or paddling kayaks on a river, lake, or ocean. My home is in the heart of Christ, held in the arms of His Mother who accompanies me when I receive the Eucharist. My seven kids range from 21 to 38 years old.