b"Theology of MaryMARIAN DEVOTIONin Sub-Saharan Africa'Notre Dame dAfrique, Mere de toute Grace'('Our Lady of Africa, Mother of all Grace')By Father Sbastien Bakpenam Abalodo, SMIn our Theology of Notre Dame dAfrique in Abidjan, thePHOTO BY GODONG | GETTY IMAGESMary series, Marian capital of Cte dIvoire, is one of theFather Sbastien most famous Marian shrines in WestBakpenam Abalodo Africa. Built in 1985 and consecrated in 1987 from the district of Cte by Saint Pope John Paul II, it became a nationaldIvoire gives us cultural sanctuary in 2012 by decree of the Episcopalinsight into Marys Conference of Bishops of Cte d'Ivoire. It hadmotherhood. Father been the dream of its founder, Cardinal BernardAbalodo is a professor Yago, then Archbishop in the Archdiocese ofin the Religious Studies Abidjan, that this sanctuary would become aninternational site for Marian devotion. program at University A holy place of spirituality and pilgrimage,of Dayton. Notre Dame dAfrique receives more than 3,000pilgrims per week, with Christians and non-Christians visiting from all over Cte d'Ivoireand other countries. They come not only to discover and visit this architectural wonder but, more importantly, to strengthen and deepentheir faith in this holy place dedicated to theVirgin Mary.The name of the shrineOur Lady of Africa,Mother of all Graceis an expression of whatMary represents for people not only in West AfricaFather Sbastien Bakpenam but Sub-Saharan Africa, in general.Abalodo, SM Mary is, above all, a mother, but shes a specialMother, who leads her children to Christ. Shecares for them, protects them, and provides forthem. Children under her protection feel secureand fear nothing. Marian devotion among Sub-Saharan Africansis focused on the motherhood of Mary because thecultural aspects of motherhood are so importantin this geographic area.Let us focus on two important cultural aspectsof motherhood: The title of Mother; and The Pilgrims leave flowers at the Marian ShrineOur Lady of Africa,mission of a Mother. Mother of all Gracein Abidjan, Cte dIvoire.4 Call 1.800.348.4732"