ST. LOUIS (CNS) — St. Louis will host a National Day of Prayer in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary Oct. 6.

Several local lay Catholics, with the blessing of St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, have invited members of the Family of Mary to lead the day of prayer, which will be held downtown at the America's Center convention complex.

Organizers have described the event as a spiritual gathering to bring together people from all walks of life to ask for Mary's blessing upon the nation.

Based in Rome, the Family of Mary is an international private association of the faithful of pontifical right and includes priests, seminarians and sisters. Its members are represented in about a dozen missionary countries across the world, including Uruguay, Kazakhstan, Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, France and Italy.

Doors will open at 8 a.m. and the program will begin at 9 with eucharistic adoration, the rosary and inspirational meditations and music.

Father Paul Maria Sigl, spiritual leader for the Family of Mary, will give a two-part presentation on “The Urgency of Mary's Presence in Our Lives, in the Church and in the World.” Afternoon activities will include a Divine Mercy holy hour and Mass celebrated by retired Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Hermann of St. Louis.

The event will conclude at 6 p.m. with a solemn consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.A website for the prayer day, http://mariandayofprayeramerica.com, has registration information and details about the events. The cost to attend is $25 per person; $20 per person for groups of 10 or more; or $30 a person at the door.

“As you know, our beloved Catholic faith is currently facing very serious challenges from the U.S. federal government,” Archbishop Carlson wrote in a Sept. 23 open letter to Catholics about the day of prayer.

“As Americans, religious liberty is our first, most-cherished freedom. At the same time, there are new threats to our conviction that every human life from conception until natural death must be respected,” he added. “For these reasons, we implore our Heavenly Mother's blessing upon our great nation in our time of need.”

Karen Ruberto, one of the St. Louis organizers, described the Family of Mary as “a young, vibrant community whose mission is to spread devotion to Divine Mercy and the Blessed Mother.” Community members are known for hosting days of prayer at various locations around the world.

“The whole purpose of the day and the theme is truly to gather people from all walks of life … and place all of our cares, all of our concerns that we have, all of our difficulties and give them to her,” Ruberto told the St. Louis Review, the archdiocesan newspaper. “She comes to the aid of her children — every single one of us.”

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Brinker is a reporter at the St. Louis Review, the archdiocesan newspaper.